Healing Is Coming Home to God

Separating the Real from the Unreal

Last September, I experienced symptoms of a bladder and bowel infection that was resistant to antibiotics.  I experienced much discomfort in my body as a result of this.  I knew from being a Course student, that the source of this discomfort was not my body but was in my mind.  Holy Spirit guided me to look at my thoughts as they arose.  As I went into meditation, I observed that my thoughts consisted of judgements of myself and others.  My thoughts also focused on some future imaginings which created fear.  My thoughts focused on the pain that seemed to be coming from my body which seemed so real.  Of course as long as I was making the pain real, it kept me focused on making my body real.  As long as this was my focus, I was not able to go to the Source which was in my ego mind; Of course, this was a victory for Ego because as long as I believed the source of my dis-ease was in my body; healing could never take place and suffering would continue.  I also noticed with the sensations I labeled as pain that when I didn’t grasp hold of it and just allowed it to be there; for a second it seemed to intensify and then it receeded.  It reminded me of the experience I had in labor when I was giving birth to my daughters; the contractions were like the movement of the waves in an ocean; when a wave or contraction arose, it was intense and reached a peak and then receeded.  In that moment when it receeded there was a space, a gap in which I experienced perfect peace.  I was in the Now and this is where reality is; where the peace of God is.  I noticed during my meditations, that when I didn’t judge my thoughts or judge the sensations of pain, they left; moving on like clouds across the horizon; coming into my awareness and flowing out of my awareness.  When I didn’t hold on to them and make them real, the experience between each thought was just being in peace.

The practice of being mindful is showing me that peace comes when we are not focused on the past or the future; when we are not in judgment and when we are fully present to the moment of just being.  This is when we are joined with God in the Holy Instant in eternal peace.  How could anything else be real when it continually appears and disappears which is what happens with our ego thoughts. When we don’t grasp hold of them and run with them; when, we don’t give them power by focusing on making a story out of them, we return to the holy instant where our peace is.

The peace is always there in the moment but when we get lost in the thoughts, it becomes hidden behind the clouds of guilt from the past, and worry about the future that isn’t happening.  I also noticed in mindful meditation, that the sensations which I labeled pain were really a cluster of thoughts.  As long as I believed the pain was real, I was not able to see the thoughts that made up the cluster and if I couldn’t examine my thoughts, how could I undo them and forgive them?  When I made the pain in my body real, the more anxious and fearful I became which only intensified the experience of the pain which made them seem more real.  As long as I was focusing on the pain in my body, I was creating fearful thoughts and making real what was not real.

For most of my life this has been my pattern.  I have experienced much pain in my body and all my energy and time went into finding relief for this physical pain.  Now that I am a Course student, I am learning that the body is not real.  So the question came up for me as I was in meditation; so, Linda, if you are not a body, who are you?  I went to Holy Spirit with my question and over a period of weeks, he led me to Lessons in the Workbook which helped me come to an deeper understanding of what was the truth.

Lesson 91 “Miracles are seen in the Light also asks the question: 7:1 “If you are not a body, what are you?” 6:7-9 :“What you think you are is a belief to be undone. “But what you really are must be revealed to you.” The belief you are a body calls for correction, being a mistake.
7:2"You need to be aware of what the Holy Spirit uses to replace the image of the body in your mind.”  8:1-2 If you are not a body, what are you?  Ask this honestly.” 8:3-9 “Say for example, ” I am not weak, BUT STRONG; I am not helpless, BUT ALL POWERFUL; I am not limited; BUT UNLIMITED; I am not doubtful, BUT CERTAIN; I am not an illusion, BUT A REALITY; I cannot see in darkness BUT IN LIGHT.”

Is this easy to do for someone who identified with sickness, weakness, limitation, helplessness and doubt for most of her life”  NO! But, I knew that as a Course student, I no longer wanted to be sick and I knew I no longer wanted to be a victim and appear weak and limited.  I was tired of the pain and suffering.  I was learning I had a choice.  In my desperate moment of experiencing pain once again that wouldn’t go away, I cried out for help from God and I was answered with this again from Lesson 91; 10:1-6 - Relax…..be “confident that your efforts however meager are fully supported by the strength of God and all His Thoughts.”  “It is from them that your strength will come.”  It is through their strong support that you will feel the strength in you.”  “They are united with you in this practice period in which you share a purpose like their own.”  Theirs is the lights in which you will see miracles because their strength is yours.”  Their strength becomes Your eyes that you may see.”

I for who so long tried in vain and suffering to rely on my own strength and my own will was being asked to surrender and lean on God through the Holy Spirit.  I who tried to pretend I was so strong and stoic believed I could do it by myself.  But the more I tried to do it on my own, the sicker I became.  The sicker I became the more I put my belief and faith in making my body real and looking for magical ways to relieve the suffering.

So this time, wanting to heal as the Course describes healing, I began to realize that my way hadn’t worked for a very very long time and maybe, I should do something different.  Maybe, just maybe leaning on Holy Spirit to be my strength and guide might bring about the Miracle I was looking for.  I was learning that the Source of my pain lay in a mind controlled by Ego that made me believe I was weak, vulnerable, helpless, and could die.  It made me believe that the pain I was experiencing in my body that was the effect and not the cause was real and it made me fearful.  I really started to do the practices in the lessons, first by looking at my thoughts and asking Holy Spirit to help me see them differently and then doing what the practice asked me to do: Repeat the truth that I am strong, powerful, unlimited, and certain. I am not the illusion of my thoughts which sees through darkness but I am the Light. 

Gradually, very gradually, I started experiencing shifts taking place in my thinking and slowly releasing thoughts that made me believe I was a victim.

I am starting to notice more when I am being tempted by ego thoughts that make me belive any sensation in my body is real.  When I experience sensations that seem painful whether I label them physical like pain or emotional like fear or rage, I try to immediately to step back, surrender and hand them over to Spirit and ask for His help to see them differently; to see the real from the unreal.  This is becoming my daily practice and isn’t this what we are here to do.  Isn’t our function to awaken from this dream and remember the truth of who we are in God.

This is our function, to remember and awaken.  We are not alone in this and because we still believe most of the time that we are bodies, we cannot do it alone.  Holy Spirit is with me everystep of the way.  I only have to be willing to lean on Him and Let Him who remembers guide me to the Truth.

© 2004-2011, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this notice is included.

Let Go of Control - Let Holy Spirit Take the Lead

1) Whose in charge of the plan?
2) Whose in control?
3) Whose in the driver’s seat?
4) What happens when we try to take control of our lives?

These are the questions that have been coming up very strongly for me in the past couple of weeks.  They have presented themselves in the dream as 2 seperate problems.  One, is reacting to the fear that comes up when I think about how I am going to support myself in the winter when the farmer’s markets that sell my husband’s breads close and our major source of income ends.  This brings up tremendous fear and anxiety and from the ego thought system makes be believe I am in scarcity and lack and I have to come up with my own plan for survival.  I have to take control. When I listen to this insane voice, I give into the temptation to confront my husband David with what I think is the right plan.  Most of the time this creates conflict because in my ego mind I choose to be right rather than be happy.  Sometimes the temptation to put my two cents into what I believe is the plan is so great, the attack words come tumbling out before I could put a stop to it and the damage is done.  So on top of believing I have to be right, I also have more guilt to take to Hoy Spirit to forgive.  As I observed how fast the temptation to react takes me over, I suddently found myself having compassion for the struggle people who have a drinking problem have with the temptation that leads to an urge to take another drink.  Both the 12 step program and A Course in Miracles teach that we can not try to resist temptation on our own but that we have a Higher Power, the Holy Spirit to assist us and help us change our minds about our insane thoughts.  The ego belief that I am weak, vulnerable, and in lack and scarcity gives rise to the emotions of anxiety and fear and drives me to want to be in control as a way out.  It never works.

Another area which comes up as a seeming problem is to figure out what I should be doing with my ministry.  When I was ordained in May 2005, I made a committment to be guided by the Holy Spirit who would lead the way and guide me to be truly helpful.  I kept repeating the prayer in ACIM ” I am here only to be truly helpful; I am here to represent Him who sent me; I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He who sent me will direct me.  I am content to be whever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me; I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.”(T-2.V.18.2-6) This is so helpful excpet when I am taken over by my ego monkey mind and forget to remember the truth amd when ego tries to judge what my ministry should look like.  Recently, a ‘conflict’  arose in my mind because I desperately wanted to minister in a particular way but because I need to work in the illusion, I found myself resenting my job and blaming my job for keeping me away from what I wanted to do with my ministry.  I then found myself envious of ministers who had the time to practice their ministry full-time.  Of course, as long as I was in conflict and judging on my own what my ministry should look like and not allowing myself to be guiided by Holy Spirit, I lost my peace.  And when I lose my peace, I can not receive Divine Inspiration which will provide me with the perfect direction.

So, here were two seemingly different problems that were creating anxiety, fear and restment and robbing me of my peace, making me believe the problems were outside of me and making me believe I had to come up with my own different solutions to my own different problems.

Fortunately, I have been doing wy work-book lessons and the Lessons I have been working on; Lesson 79: “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved” and Lesson 80: “Let me recognize my problems have been solved:, shows me that the source of all our problems no matter what form it takes is the belief in separation.  Lesson 80 says that once you recognize that your only problem is separation, this provides: “opening the way for the Holy Spirit to give you God’s answer.”(Lesson 80,2:3) “You are entitled to peace today”(Lesson 80.3:1)

In looking at both my seeming conflicts with Holy Spirit concerning the direction of my ministry and the business, I was shown that the belief in separation was the source of both these problems that was robbing me of peace.

ACIM is teaching me that “all fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God”(T2-1.4:1) “The real conflict you experience then is between the ego’s idle wishes and the Will of God which you share. Can this be a real conflict?(T-11.5.5-6) “The ego’s goal is quite explicityly ego autonomy. From the begining its purpose is to separate, sufficient unto itself and independent of any power except its own.  This is why it is the symmbol of separation. (T-114.4-6)  “Yet the truth is very simple.”  All power is of God.” What is not of Him has no power to do anything.”(T11-V.3.6-7)

I asked a question at the beginning of this article?  What happens when we try to take control of our lives?  Holy Spirit brought me a vivid dream and then brought me an interpretation from Holy Spirit.  In the dream, I was driving a car and got into a severe accident that pushed my car against the highway wall and it started to go up in flames.  I got out of the car safely but went back in to retrieve something and I got caught by the flames.  In the past this dream would have teffified me and make me believe it was a premonition of my death.  But, interestingly, I felt at peace during the dream and when I awoke.  Holy Spirit showed me that there is no death and the flames were me moving into the Lightand into peace, no matter what was happening to my body.  I am filled with gratitude that through ACIM and studying the 900 Course at Pathways of Light, I now have a practice where I can surrender to the temptations of the ego stories and perceived problems and let them go by handing them over to the Holy Sprit and being restored to peace.  I am learning that whenever I am tempted to take control or judge how something like my ministry should be, I now ask Holy Spirit to look at it with me and let go of the temptation to step in “where angels fear to tread’.  I am at peace when I let Holy Spirit be in the driver’s seat and I can sit in the back and allow myself to enjoy the ride.  When I choose not to be a back seat driver, or take control of the wheel, Holy Spirit takes me to the perfect destination and I arrive safely and peacefully.  As we say at Pathways of Light, I could hardly wait for the Good that comes out of it when I Let Go of Control and Conflict and Let Holy Sprit Lead.

© 2004-2011, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this notice is included.

Once Upon A Time….It’s Only a Story

Recently, I was talking with my friend and mind-healing partner Myron who lives in Louisiana; so, naturally we were talking about the hurricane that hit New Orleans.  It was also a topic of conversation with almost everyone I came into contact with.  Even before my talk with Myron, I noticed how I was glued to the TV News and gripped by the dramas that were unfolding as thousands of people were left homeless and jobless.  I asked myself why am I so caught up by the images I see on the TV screen? 

The week before the hurricane, I had been feeling very anxious and panicky about my finances.  Every time it comes to the end of the month, I notice these anxious feelings increasing as the time draws nearer to paying the mortgage and wondering if I will have enough money to cover the mortgage.  The fear then comes up that if I don’t have enough money, will I be homeless?  As I watched the news of the hurricane and the turmoil it was creating, leaving people homeless and without food, water and jobs, I observed that what I was seeing on my TV screen was mirroring the fear thoughts that were going around in my mind.  Even though I was not in New Orleans in the eye of the hurricane; in my mind, I was believing that at any moment, I could be out in the streets without food and shelter.  My ego thoughts were running amuck, out of control.  The initial thought about whether I would have enough money to cover the mortgage grew into a full blown belief that I would be homeless and left adrift;  By not being mindful, the Ego thoughts were gaining more and more power until they grew into a full blown hurricane.  The Course points out, “When you are anxious, realize that anxiety comes from the capriciousness of the ego, and know this need not be.  You can be as vigilant against the ego’s dictates as for them.”(Chapter 4:1V:41-2)  Because I wasn’t vigiland and mindful of my thoughts a little thought grew so out of control, it seemed so real and I forgot it was just a thought that had I remembered I could have immediately taken to Holy Spirit and ask him to look at it with me and ask Him to help me see it differently.

And isn’t this what the Course tells us happened when we were at One in the Mind of God and a little tiny mad thought came in about how it might feel to seperate ourselves from God and individuate.  One little mad thought led to another mad thought about feeling unique and special and these thoughts grew into more thoughts and because we weren’t vigilant the thoughts took us over until we believed them and allowed them to put us into a dream where we came to believe we were seperate, unique, special individuals.  And, we got so lost in the dream that we forgot it was only a dream that started with a mad single thought; like a tiny raindrop that grew into a mighty hurricane and pulled us into its path of destruction, fear, and turmoil.  And we forget we are dreaming and it seems so real.

This is how the ego mind works.  We get lost in a thought and the thoughts build into a story and we forget we made the story up in the first place.  Lesson 73 in the Workbook says: “Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within.” The Source of neither light nor darkness can be found without” “Grievances darken your mind, and you look out on a darkened world.” Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light.:(5:1-4)

This past week-end during my participation in Course 923, Miracles Practice Part III at Pathways of Light, I received the following image from Holy Spirit during one of the group processes.  When I visit my grandson Ben, I read him many stories and take him to the movies.  He becomes scared when I read him the scarey parts or he sees something scarey projected on the screen and he covers his eyes and ears.  Then he hears Grandma say: Ben, this is only a story.  There is nothing to be afraid of; it’s only make-believe.  And then grandma closes the book or the movie ends and she says: See Ben, it’s not real and Ben is at peace again.  He’s happy as he realizes he was scared over a make believe story which was created from the thoughts in the mind projected onto the screen or the pages of a book.  In reality, nothing is happening.

And this is what happens in the ego mind.  In reality I was becoming anxious over nothing.  And when I stopped and examined my anxious thoughts over thinking I would be homeless, I am able to see that the state of anxiety always comes when I focus on something in the future that is not happening or I am still believing I am guilty over something that happened in the past.  When I am able to be an observer of my thoughts, I am able to realize that in the present moment, nothing is happening and I am safe.  I also saw that my beliefs about homelessness, scarcity and lack, came from an old script handed down to me by my parents’ belief who grew up during the depression and continually lived as if they would become homeless at any moment.  I bought into my childhood script and believed the story was real.  The truth is we are always in the Eternal Present in the Mind of God our true Home where we are safe, secure, whole, innocent and at peace.  But, we forget this when we get lost in our story.  Even the people who ended up during the hurricane staying at the Superdome lost their peace by projecting their thoughts into the future or thinking about the past.  How could they find peace in the moment when they were thinking about the homes and jobs they might lose or what they would find when they would be allowed to leave the Dome. 

As a Student of ACIM,  I am also learning that I don’t know what anything is for?  I don’t know what Holy Spirit’s Plan is for any of us including myself.  I am also learning that I can’t heal my fear thoughts on my own because a little worry on my own has a tendency to grow bigger and bigger and become a full blown panic attack.  But by being vigilant, I can take my thought the minute I notice I am thinking it to the Holy Spirit who will show me how to let go of the story I am making up and return to the truth and to peace.  And the more vigilant I am, the quicker I notice when I am having these made up thoughts and the quicker, I can turn them over, release or forgive them and know that in the present moment, I am at peace and in the Eternal Present in the Mind of God.  Its when I forget to do this and allow myself to get caught up in worrying about some imagined future or get lost in the past that I lose my peace in the present.  But the more I practice, the more I remember to quickly hand the thought over to Holy Spirit and not let it build into a hurricane of destructive thoughts.

Does this mean, we should make believe the hurricane on the Gulf coast didn’t happen and that people aren’t suffering.  No; we are still all in the dream lost in our stories which are all about loss, tragedy, scarcity, sickness, pain and death.  And for those in the dream who are in a particular scene of the drama, those of us who are not in that scene can hold the light for our brothers who are lost in the scene.  And, in the light we can help them remember that they are in a dream and can awaken.  It might be times in the dream when we are put in scenes of horror when our brothers can hold the light for us.  And isn’t reminding our brother of the Truth more helpful than making the story real. This doesn’t mean that we needn’t be helpful in the dream in practical ways; that we don’t offer food, shelter and comfort to those who need it.  It just means we don’t see our brother who may be in temporary difficulty as helpless victims of their stories.  And, we don’t have to do this alone.  We have the Holy Spirit to help us let go of our false beliefs in our make-believe stories.  We have the Holy Spirit to help us separate truth from illusion(fiction). In truth, we never left God; in Truth we are not homeless; in Truth we are safe at Home in the Mind of God and at Home in God we are in Eternal Peace and Joy.  I just have to keep forgiving, releasing the stories I make up in my mind and like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz I can awaken from the Dream and know that all along I Am safe at Home.

© 2004-2011, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this notice is included.

From victimhood to Selfhood; From sickness to Wholeness

These past couple of weeks, I have been suffering from a bad chest cold.  It’s been a long time since I experienced sickness in the body.  But, since studying A Course in Miracles, I am learning that the sickness in the body is an effect of the “sick” false ego ideas that are in my mind.  It is these sick ideas that are in need of healing.  The body is only a projection of the false perceptions which are in my mind and the real source of my sickness. Believing that what I experience in the body is the cause of my suffering will keep me sick.  I might receive temporary relief from some magic remedy, but it will only be temporary unless I go to the source of my suffering which is the false ideas that are in my mind that I have come to believe are true.  In my sickness, I have forgotten the truth that I live in the Mind of God not Ego, and in the mind of God, there is no sickness; there is only peace, love and joy.  I am also learning that to live in the truth of who I AM in God, I only need to be willing to remove the barriers to the truth; these “sick” ego ideas.  I also now know that I have the tool to do this; the Course is teaching me it only takes a little willingness to take these “sick” false ideas to Holy Spirit and ask Him to help me see the truth; i.e. to remove the barriers to knowing who I Am; i.e. to remove the barriers to Love.  I asked Holy Spirit to help me look at the false ideas that were being experienced in my body as a chest cold.

Holy Spirit led me to Workbook Lesson 31: “I am not the victim of the world I see”.  What stood out for me in this lesson were the following ideas: 1:1 ” Today’s idea is the introduction to your declaration of release”.2: “Again, the idea should be applied to both the world you see without and the world you see within”. 2:5 “You will excape from both together, for the inner is the cause of the outer”. 4:2 “Remind yourself that you are making a declaration of independence in the name of your own freedom”. 3: “And in your freedom lies the freedom of the world”. 5:2 “It is a declaration that you will not yield to it (any form of temptation that may arise) and put yourself in bondage”.

After going through this lesson, I realized that I became sick because I did allow myself to yield to the tempations that arose in my mind that put me in bondage by making me falsely believe I was a victim.  The first temptation came when I was at a baby shower for my daughter.  Her step-mother for 30 years was also there.  Since she became a step-mother she insisted my two daughters call her Mom and call me by my first name, Linda.  After 30 years, one would think I would no longer be affected by this.  In the past, it caused me much pain and suffering because so much of my ego identity was tied to my special title of being a mother.  But, when I heard my daughters address her as Mom during the shower, I could feel myself tightening and the tension growing.  In my mind, I was still replaying the past grievances that I thought I had forgiven and I was still tying my identity to being called Mom.  I also realized that I had not forgiven myself for the guilt I was still carrying over the divorce.  I was still believing falsely that I was a victim of ideas that made me believe I was weak, vulnerable and seperate and I had to be called Mom to make me feel I was important and a somebody.  I knew I couldn’t heal this by myself because I tried to in the past and 30 years later, I was still experiencing the pain.  I knew that only Holy Spirit could help me see this in a new way.  And He did; He showed me that my identity lies in God and I Am as God created me in Love.  In the moment I was able to return to peace.  However, when I returned home, I found out that my husband mistakenly forgot to mail in the mortgage payment and other bills I asked him to send while I was gone.  Again, I yielded to the temptation of fear thoughts that arose in my mind and believed that my husband’s forgetfulness would result in us being kicked out of our home for not getting in the mortgage payments on time.  Instead of following the instructions of Workbook Lesson 31 to just watch my thoughts come and go as “dispassionately as possible” and 3:4 “Do not dwell on anyone in particular, but try to let the stream (of thought) move on evenly and calmly without any special investment on your part”, I followed ego’s guidance and focused on the anger that arose and then made it real by verbally attacking my husband for being irresponsible.  Of course in attacking my husband, I ended up attacking myself.  The very next day, I came down with a fierce chest cold.  I knew immediately from studying ACIM that this was the effect of mistaken thoughts and beliefs that had to be released with the help of Holy Sprit.  By projecting my guilt onto my husband, I initially didn’t see that I was once agoin making myself a victim of my own wrong thinking.  There has always been a part of me I was ashamed to look at and admit.  Like my mother, I wanted a man who would take care of all my needs; someone I could depend on to keep me believing I was safe and secure under his care.  But like my mom, when that man didn’t live up to my expectations and my needs, my rage would then be projected onto him to cover up my guilt in believing in my weakness, dependency on others, vulnerablility, i.e. a victim.  I was following my mother’s script and didn’t know I could choose differently.  I asked Holy Spirit to help me to see this differently so I could release and forgive these false beliefs about myself and my Mother.  It was these same false beliefs that made me believe my identity was tied to having to be called Mom.  Through Lesson 31, Holy spirit helped me to see i was not a victim.  I am not dependent on others for my safety, security and happiness.  Holy Spirit reminded me that God is the Source of my happiness and God is my strength.  I Am as God created me; whole, holy, safe and innocent. 

Holy Spirit then directed me to Workbook lesson 70: “My Salvation comes from me. In that lesson, Jesus tells us that 2:1 ““Nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace”. 2: But it also means that nothing outside yourself can hurt you, or disturb your peace or upset you in any way” 3: Today’s idea places you in charge of the universe, where you belong because of what you are”. 5:2: God wants us to be healed and we do not really want to be sick, because it makes us unhappy”.  Therefore, 10:6 “My salvation comes from me”. 7: “Nothing outside of me can hold me back” 8: Within me is the world’s salvation and my own”.  Holy Spirit was showing me that my cold was a projection of the false beliefs that my identity lied in being called mom; that my happiness depended on my husband taking care of things I could take care of myself and that my security and happiness lied with others. The cold was a projection of the false belief that I am a victim, weak, helpless and vulnerable.  I took all these mistaken beliefs to Holy Spirit for forgiveness and He is helping me see that the truth is that I am strong, invulnerable and my power and happiness, security and safety comes from God, not from anyone or anything in the illusion.  Nothing can make me sick except my “sick” thinking.  And I can change my mind about this.  No one can rob me of my identity; no one can take away my power, my strenth and my happiness.  In truth “IAm Sustained by the Love of God”(Lesson 50) and “I Am One Self, united with my creator”. (Lesson 95)

© 2004-2011, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this notice is included.

Choose Peace First

I have been working with Lesson 34 from the Course: “I Could Choose Peace instead of this”.  Section 1:2 states: “Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter”; 1:3 “It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward”; 1:4, “It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.”

There have been so many examples this past week to show me that if I am not at peace, it’s not because of what is happening out there; it is what’s going on in my mind that creates my disturbance.  For example, a week ago, I was driving the company car to a home visit.  Twice in the recent past, I had been involved in an accident with the company car.  In last week’s incident, I had parked in a driveway that had a steep incline. When I tried to back out, the car rolled down the hill and slid into the side of another car.  The other car had no damage but the company car was scratched all along the back bumper.  Immediately, I started to panic and became flooded with the following thoughts: I’m going to be fired; What’s wrong with you, can’t you do anything right?, You idiot;  Because, I didn’t immediately hand these thoughts over to Holy Spirit and ask him to help me see this differently, they started to build until they became an avalanche of fearful thoughts which were trying to make me believe I would be crucified by my boss.  I called my husband and ranted on about how I would be fired and we would lose our home.  My husband gently reminded me that this story I was making real was all these thoughts going on in my head making me falsely believe I was in danger and my boss was my enemy.

After hearing Holy Spirit’s Voice coming through my husband, I calmed down and asked Holy Spirit to look at the situation with me and help me see it from His perspective.  The lesson from the Course popped up in my mind “I Could see Peace in this situation intead of what I now see in it. ” Holy Spirit helped me to see that my thoughts were attacking me by making me believe I was guilty and deserved punishment. It was my thoughts that were making me feel vulnerable and fearful.  It was this fear that was inventing stories that something terrible would happen to me.  I asked Holy Spirit to forgive me for making up this story and Holy Spirit gently reminded me that in truth I Am Innocent.  I have been studying the Course and learning that I
was making this fearful story up in my mind and making the thoughts real.  In truth, nothing was happening outside of these insane thoughts. These insane thoughts were attacking and crucifying me and I was projecting these thoughts onto my boss and making her the enemy. 

I then remembered Lesson 41 from the Course: “God goes with me wherevr I go” 4:4 states: Nothing can destroy your peace of mind because God goes with you wherever you go.” As I remembered I am Safe in God, I could feel myself returning to peace.  God doesn’t want any of his children to suffer.  As I now calmly observed my thoughts, I realized it was the thoughts coming from my Ego mind that creates suffering and pain and robs me of my peace.  Holy Spirit was reminding me through the Course lessons that I Am Innocent and there is nothing to fear.

I called my boss who was at a meeting and told my co-worker what happened.  I then went to a class I was facilitating which happened to be on stress management for single parents and shared with them what had just happened and the lesson I was learning that I could choose peace instead of these fearful thoughts.  The parents then shared their own stories of how this could apply in their own life situations and it turned out to be a healing session for all of us.Holy Spirit through this also showed me that by sharing my miracle stories about having a change of mind, I could be most helpful towards others.  After the class, I returned to work and my boss responded in a very loving way and told me not to worry about it.  We ended up talking and laughing for another hour in joyful sharing.

When I returned home, I went back to Lesson 34 in the workbook and sentence 1:4 stood out for me again: “It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises”
Since then, other situations have presented themselves which initially created terrifying thoughts making me believe once again that I was vulnerable and in danger and in lack and there was no way out.  Initially, I again started to believe them; they seemed so real and powerful.  But I remembered that no matter how real they seemed, it was Ego’s way of keeping me believing in the illusion and to prevent me from seeing the Truth.  Even so, I called another minister who helped me immediately take it to Holy Spirit and in a few moments, I calmed down and experienced peace.  From a peaceful place and with Holy Spirit’s guidance I was calmly able to take practical steps to solve the problem and also was able to helpful to another person by encouraging them to work with Holy Spirit.  I again was led to open to the Course and found Lesson 48: There is nothing to Fear”:3:l"The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength.“2: “The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness.” 3:“The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear.”

These experiences is showing me that I could choose peasce first in every situation.  The more mindful I am of my thoughts, the quicker I could hand them over to Holy Spirit like a hot potato and the quicker Holy Spirit will show me that in truth none of this is real; that I Am Love;  The quicker I am shown this, the quicker I am restored to peace.  When I am not mindful, these Ego thoughts have a tendency to snowball until it does become an avalanche of fear that makes it seem real.  It takes practice and vigilance on my part to recognize when they first come up so this doesn’t happen.  And, it is so worth it because since I have been practicing, I have been able to be more and more at peace.  And, the more peace I experience, the more its reflected in the world and in those I meet.  I am learning with the help of the Holy Spirit that I can Choose Peace in every situation.  What I see out there is only a projection of what I think.  I am grateful Holy Spirit for leading me out of hell into Heaven by showing me how to Choose Peace First.

© 2004-2011, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this notice is included.

Dog Lost — Peace Found

I started my relationship with my dog Maxie 10 years ago after my youngest daughter left home.  At that time I didn’t connect with God and was strongly joined with ego and its belief in separation, lack, vulnerability, and specialness.  I felt alone and falsely believed I needed a replacement; a dog that could love me unconditionally and comfort me and just be there without any demands.  I didn’t know that I was really searching for God and that Maxie was a substitute.  “You who believe that God is fear made but one substitution.  It has taken many forms, because it was the substitution of illusion for truth; of fragmentation for wholeness.  It has become so splintered and subdivided and divided again, over and over, that it is now almost impossible to perceive it once was one, and still is what it was.  Everything you see reflects it, and every special relationship that you have ever made is part of it.” (ACIM T-18.I.4:1-3,6)

When I first saw Maxie she was a round ball of furry hair locked in a small cage.  I opened the cage and she jumped on my shoulder and we have had a strong connection ever since.  Maxie is easy going and did extend unconditional love and acceptance to me and my husband David.  Now, since studying the Course, I know this is really how God loves and accepts all his children; not as our bodies and personalities which are ego creations but as One who is perfect recreations of Him; whole and Holy.  Maxie mirrored back to me God’s Radiant Light; And, when I looked into her eyes, I was communicating with God. 

The one thing Maxie was terrified of was thunder and lightening.  She looks like a small Bear and whenever there was thunder and lightening, she’d jump up on our bed and shake and pant loudly for a long time.  Recently in Wisconsin, we experienced a heavy lightening and thunderstorm which we were all grateful for after a long period of drought.  Right before the thunderstorm, my husband let her out after she let him know she needed to go.  She had never run away before;  In fact, she’s not a runner; she moves very slowly.  But this time, she took off right when the thunder and lightening burst forth fiercely.  By this time it was dark and my husband couldn’t find her.  We live in the middle of a state Forest and we knew she could be anywhere.  We were up most of the night calling her but she didn’t return.

For the next three days, we combed the Forests over a ten mile radius, getting mosquito bitten and exhausted.  We put out fliers, notified the authorities and radio stations and the Vet.  We felt somewhat comforted that we were doing everything to help locate her.  But we also knew the forest area was vast and she could be lost forever or hit by a car. 

Initially, I tried to be stoic and not allow myself to experience any feelings. This attitude wasn’t helpful to my husband who was feeling sadness and had to go to a neighbor to be able to cry.  The neighbor called me and gently chided me to be more compassionate.  On the one hand, I didn’t want to make the error of Maxie’s loss real.  I knew that wherever Maxie was she was safe in God.  However no where in the Course does it say we should deny our feelings.  In fact, its only when we bring our feelings into the light and ask Holy Spirit to help us look at them with us, can we truly come out of the darkness and heal through forgiveness and releasing all guilt from the past.  It’s the ego that wants me to stuff my feelings as a defense against the truth and remembering our connection with God. 

So after spending a morning in denial, I allowed the feelings to come up and asked Holy Spirit to look at them with me.  Deep waves of sadness washed over me and David and I cried together.  I knew I was alright because I wasn’t alone.  Holy Spirit was right there with both of us.  As I walked the Forest looking for Maxie, Holy Spirit was holding my hand.  Holy Spirit kept whispering to me: Maxie is safe; She will come home.  However for the next three days, there was no sign of Maxie.  Holy Spirit kept whispering she was safe and would return home.  At this time, I thought maybe it was wishful thinking on my part and not Holy Spirit really talking to me.  I even asked Holy Spirit do you mean Maxie would return Home to God or home to me.  Holy Spirit very clearly said, Maxie will return home to you.  Holy Spirit also told us we had nothing to feel guilty about, and that Maxie was safe.  This was really helpful to David because in 1990, he lost three cats in a house fire and never forgave himself.

Holy Spirit also led me to Lesson 244 in ACIM:  “I am in danger nowhere in the world.  Your Son is safe wherever he may be, for You are there with him.  He need but call upon your Name, and he will recollect his safety and Your Love, for they are one.  How can he fear or doubt or fail to know he cannot suffer, be endangered, or experience unhappiness, when he belongs to You, beloved and loving, in the safety of Your Fatherly embrace? 

“And there we are in truth.  No storms can come into the hallowed haven of our home,  In God we are secure.  For what can come to threaten God Himself, or make afraid what will forever be a part of Him?”  David and I repeatedly read this out loud and put Maxie in the light directing the lesson to him as well as us.  This brought both of us to a place of peace.  Maxie was also put into the light at our Wednesday evening Course Study Group at Pathways of Light. 

Every time, I felt sadness, Holy Spirit assured me, Maxie was safe and would return home to us.  Every time, I was overcome with feeling alone, I heard Holy Spirit say, I Am right with you.  By Friday, David and I were feeling at peace not matter what the outcome.  I was at Pathways of Light, Friday afternoon and David called to say, Maxie had returned.

When I look back, I still don’t know why Maxie ran but I know my connection to Holy Spirit strengthened.  I learned with Holy Spirit that I could be at Peace if I chose to be with Holy Spirit’s help.  I also learned that Holy Spirit’s Voice is Real and the Ego voice of fear, loneliness, and death is not real.  I had been so used to only hearing Ego’s voice for so long, I mistakenly believed it.  Now I choose to go to Holy Spirit in every situation that disturbs my peace.  I temporarily lost Maxie but I found that Real Peace is Eternal and Certain and Holy Spirit is Real.  I also learned I am always safe in God and so is the entire Sonship.

© 2004-2011, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this notice is included.

My Mother’s Gift

My mother left her body in 2001.  I was privileged to be with her as she was making her transition.  The gift she gave me was preparing me to experience what I have been learning in ACIM. “The ego separates through the body.” ” The Holy Spirit reaches through it to others. “You do not perceive your brothers as the Holy Spirit does because you do not regard bodies solely as a means of joining minds and uniting them with yours.”  “This interpretation of the body will change your mind entirely about its value.”  “Of itself it has none.”(Text V!!.2: 3-7;p.151) Throughout my life, my mother and I had a stormy love-hate relationship. My mother and I would get into fights which were very harmful to both of us and made us sick. “If you use the body for attack, it is harmful to you.” (ACIM: TV!!, 3:1; p.151) For the early years of my life into my adulthood, I suffered from severe arthritis and my mother had several bouts of cancer.  We never connected that the source of our sickness was a result of the anger and guilt we hadn’t forgiven that was keeping us imprisoned and creating increasing separation between us that was being projected onto the body We kept projecting our unforgiven past onto each other and were becoming sicker and sicker.  Wenever we would get together on a yearly basis we would end up getting into fights which would only increase the guilt and separation.  It became a viscious cycle created by Ego to keep us apart in anger, fear and guilt.  As long as we fought and believed we were each others enemy, how could we remember our connection with God; Our Creator Who created all of us in Love and Oneness.  Although my mother believed her connection with God was strong, the Cancer continued returning because she hadn’t done her forgivenss work and release her anger and guilt from the past One day, when her cancer returned again, she said she was through fighting and making her body real and she was ready to join with God. 
    I received a phone call from the Hospice Nurses and was told to come home immediately as my mother was slipping into unconsciousness and might not make it through the night.  We rushed to the airport but missed the plane and had to wait to take a flight on the next day.  I burst into tears because I was sure my mother would pass and I would not get a chance to say goodbye. But Holy Spirit knew that I needed to forgive and heal and had another Plan in Mind.  He knew I had never forgiven my mother for not allowing me to say good-bye to my grandfather at the time of his death when I was 6 y.o.  Not only did I hold on to my anger, but I also was in great fear about death and the dying process.
    When I finally arrived at my mother’s home, so sure I was too late to say goodbye and feeling so guilty about it; she was sitting up in her chaise lounge, wearing bright pink silk pajamas and “holding court”, saying good-bye to all her friends who lovingly gathered around her.  When I layed my eyes on her, all the grievances from the past melted away and I was filled with a profound sense of deep love.  We didn’t have to say anything; our eyes joined in love and joy.  I didn’t see her as a body anymore or see us as separate.  I really felt we were one joined in a Holy Union.  At that time, I wasn’t even a Course student, so when I read in the Course, “If the body becomes a means you give to the Holy Spirit to use on behalf of union of the Sonship, you will not see anything physical except as what it is.”(ACIM:TV!;4:5, p.151)
    After that day of saying goodbye in the illusion, she gradually slipped away and left her body.  Five days later, she died into Life.  In that time, I sat on the bed next to her, lovingly holding her in my arms whispering at times the Lords Prayer.  As she was transitioning, I saw her body disappearing and more and more light was shining through.  The love between us deepened as we truly became One.  I experienced so much peace and joy in those days with her.  What a gift Holy Spirit gave me through my mother. 
    I am presently studying Course 904: Putting God First, with my mind-healing partner Myron Jones.  On p. 14 it says:“When we believe our brother is a body we forget his holiness(Oneness with Love) and our own.” ” When we follow the Holy Spirit, we return to accepting our Identity as Love and see our brothers as Love.”  On p. 15 of the booklet Putting God First, it says: “We are being trained to look past bodies and realize that all power is in the One Mind of God.” ” We are One Mind which is joined and continuous with no separation. ” Through being with my mother as she returned Home, I was honored to witness how we are not bodies, but are truly joined in the One Mind of God. In those moments with my mother, I not only saw her light but she was smiling as she was whispering to God.  In my mother’s passing, she gifted me with awakening to my Source, my Self, my Holiness.  As she returned to the One Life she shares with God, I also returned.  We are all going Home together.  Thank-you Mom; Thank-you Holy Spirit.

© 2004-2011, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this notice is included.

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