I heard it loud and clear. “Get off the sidelines and into the game.” I was on the Pathways of Light annual meeting call and we were each asked to speak a message from Holy Spirit to the group. There were so many wonderful supportive loving messages and words shared as we joined together to share about the year prior and the year ahead. There was a pause and then I heard it as clear as day as if it were just for me.
There was another voice in my head too. The doubting voice of the ego that seem to be mocking me, “Okay Rev. Cathy, now that you’ve become an ordained minister, what are you going to do now?” Well, that was a very good question… what indeed. When I made the decision to finally listen and act on the calling to become an ordained minister two years ago, it was followed by the prompting to step back and lay aside all that I was doing professionally. Specifically, my business and coaching work. My coaching work also felt like it was my calling, but my lofty ideas of how I thought it should play out caused much resistance. I didn’t want to approach my new ministry in the same way. I very much wanted to let it unfold rather then forcing it to match my limited ego-driven ideas.
So I consciously stepped away. And all the while I wasn’t working on my business or ministry, Holy Spirit was working on me. I was presented with perfect opportunities to heal. Opportunities like relationship challenges, a persistent skin rash, and a ‘hellish’ presidential election. With each opportunity I became more aware of my need to ‘fix’ and solve the world’s problems with my own ideas of spirituality and love. I literally felt the conflict, separation and fighting I witnessed manifest in my body. I have realized this ability I have of taking on other’s emotions and problems. Through my work as a coach I’ve also learned that I cannot effectively coach or help anyone who is down in the muck if I get down in there with them.
The thing is that the conflict and muck was not anyone’s but my own showing up in my face in a way that I simply could not ignore any longer.
There I was on the sidelines, longing to be put in the game and play my part and helping us all to win. You see this was my Calling. I know in every fiber of my being that I am here to help us Awaken; to remember our true Identity as Love. Through Self discovery work I’ve learned I have the Gifts, abilities and life experiences that perfectly equip and prepare me for this Big Game of Awakening. But I cannot be truly helpful and play my part if I’m solely focused on the other players and what seems to be happening from my perspective on the sideline.
The Pathways of Light curriculum and the principles of A Course in Miracles that my ministry and life centers around are about my own awakening first. So the game is not about fixing or making the world a better place. Or even about spreading love and light all over the battle field or sharing ACIM quotes on social media. I’m sure it’s somewhat helpful but it doesn’t go away.
“The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.” (ACIM Introduction)
Love’s presence is my natural inheritance. It’s what I am. It’s what you are. It’s our birthright to be Happy and have fun in the game of life.
My part is in being willing to take a good honest look at where I am blocking that Happiness and what’s keeping me out of the game.
I needed to look at what the skin rash and my emotions around the election process were showing me. I thought the skin rash was the result of my reaction to the election, so my first move was to disengage a bit from Facebook and hide all the political ads and posts that came up on my feed. It was pretty successful but I still had the skin rash, and it was getting worse by the day. ACIM Workbook Lesson 136: Sickness is a defense against the truth came into my awareness and was the focus of my journaling exploration.
I will share my thought process with you —
“No one can heal unless he understands what purpose sickness seems to serve.” (W-pI.136.1:1)
Wow, what possible purpose could I be giving this affliction? — Holy Spirit I am willing and open to See. I’ve noticed the itching and pain goes away when I’m working with a client or being in the present with something I enjoy.
“Sickness is not an accident. Like all defenses, it is our insane device for self-deception.” (W-pI.136.2:1-2) I chose this to deceive myself? How could that be? Why would I do that? That’s just insane!
“And like all the rest, it’s purpose is to hide reality, attack it, twist it, or reduce it to a little pile of unassembled parts.” (2:3)
I’m still playing small, still on the sidelines, even though I keep saying I want to be in the game. I’m hiding my light by not acting on the inspired ideas and opportunities presented to me to take this message of Love more public. I am protecting myself from judgment, conflict, and the possibility that I might ruffle some feathers.
“The aim of all defenses is to keep the truth from being whole. The parts are seen as if each one were whole within itself.” (2:4-5)
I’ve heard the idea from other teachers about ‘disembodied souls.” Perhaps there is something to that. In attempt to convince myself that I am not a body as is taught in the Course, perhaps I have attempted to defend against it and attack it. As if to say to my body, “I am not you; you are sick and weak and imperfect!” This body has been used and abused and mistaken for who I am. It’s been used as a barrier (defense) to protect myself and protect others.
It is true. I am not a body. But the reality I need to face is I am in a body. This body named Cathy in this life I am living. I have wished for another body, one that is perfectly healthy and strong and fit. Just as I’ve wished for a different life; imagining I should do something different, be something different, do more for others.
The lesson goes on to say that, “defenses are not unintentional, nor are they made without awareness.” I’ve known all along what I was doing. And I masterfully accomplished it. I was hiding my light and holding back from fully expressing the Love that I am.
“Defenses are plans to defeat what cannot be attacked. What is unalterable cannot change. And what is wholly sinless cannot sin.” (W-136.11:6-8)
The Truth is — God is. I am. Love is. I am Love. There is nothing I have done or not done to change that one iota.
“Truth has power far beyond defense, for no illusions can remain where truth has been allowed to enter.” (W-136.14:1)
So this is my new aim, my game winning strategy and what I need to practice — To lay down all defenses and simply remember the truth, and allow the truth to replace the illusion I made.
As I do this, I am guided as to what to do. I finally was ready to be rid of the rash and decided to let down my resistance to going to a doctor about it. I told my husband I was ready. I was able to easily get an appointment in the walk-in clinic. On the way, I prayed to Holy Spirit to be with us and for it to be a simple straight forward diagnosis. The doc walked into the treatment room, took one look and without me needing to tell him, described my symptoms perfectly. He said in short “it’s scabies, and this is the treatment.” Just like that. It’s no longer needed.
All limits and the purpose I gave my body to protect myself and others is simply laid aside.
“As these are laid aside, the strength the body has will always be enough to serve all truly useful purposes.” (W-136.18:2)
Which leads me to Lesson 137: “When I am healed I am not healed alone. This lesson begins by stating that “sickness is a retreat from others, and a shutting off to joining. It becomes a door that closes on a separate self, and keeps it isolated and alone.”
So ultimately what I am healing is the illusion of being a separate and unique body; the false idea that I can or need to be apart from others in order to protect myself and heal. It’s in the joining in the Spirit of Love in the present, with our companions, that we all are healed.
“When I am healed I am not healed alone. And I would bless my brothers, for I would be healed with them, as they are healed with me.” (W-13715:5-6)
As this healing has taken place, Spirit invited me back into my coaching work again and I’m noticing other opportunities to serve with Pathways of Light and having a ball playing in the game. Our Big Win is the Happiness we share as we awaken to love’s presence together.
© 2016, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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