Miracles News

April-June, 2019

10 ACIM Lessons That Will Take You to Freedom

by Rev. Barbara Goodman Siegel, O.M.C.

It is a sad statement that in what we think of as a “free society,” few of us feel free. Instead, most of us feel chained to our jobs, family responsibilities, chores, and various other worldly commitments. We may say to ourselves that once we get through this job report, or this family obligation, then we will be free, but something always comes along to fill that space. It seems that “freedom” is always something that will happen in the future, an elusive concept that never comes to fruition. Do we even have a description of what freedom is? Is it just time to do whatever we want or is it something much deeper?

I have been contemplating the question of “What is freedom” for several days. I know that A Course in Miracles is teaching freedom in every chapter and, from that perspective, I know that freedom is letting go of all that I ever thought I was and all judgments that I have placed on anything or anyone including myself. I know that freedom is not relying on my small self to fix and control my life circumstances. I also know that, depending on the situation, freedom is saying “no” or “yes” without guilt. I had an example of this yes/no decision come up a few weeks ago as if the universe was saying; “Here, Barbara, let me show you how this works.” The following is what happened:

Several months ago when the ACIM USA annual conference location was announced, I decided I would like to go. This year’s conference is going to be held in Boston in May. My brother, who I rarely see, lives in a very small town in northern Maine. Somehow, I thought that I could travel from Boston to his small town in Maine rather easily. I had no idea of the details and I did not check in with my Inner Guide before I told my brother that I would come for a visit, stay three days, and then go back to Boston for the conference. All seemed well until I looked into the details of what it would take to get to his location which turned out to literally be a plane, a train and an automobile. Oh my!

Once I realized what it would take to reach him, I had the realization that to combine this with the Boston conference would far exceed what I felt I could do. My small self said “You can do it,” but my Inner Guide said: “No, this is not for you to do all in one trip.”

I had to say “no” to what seemed, at first glance, like a good idea, but which in-fact I knew was more than I could do. I also knew I could not go ahead and do it out of guilt. I had to forgive myself for not being able to follow this through and I had to forgive myself for not checking it out first with my Inner Guide.

I also had to say “yes” to the Boston conference even though, for our budget, it is a considerable amount. But I felt guided to go to Boston and to say no to this guidance would be to listen to the small self trying to tell me that I shouldn’t spend that much on a conference and that we may need that money down the road. Why am I worried about money “down the road,” I asked myself. Do I not believe God will provide?

The decisions about the trip to see my brother and go to the conference as well as the question, “What is freedom?” were playing out over the same days that I was doing Lessons 40-50 in the ACIM workbook. Those 10 lessons state:

40. I am blessed as a Son of God.

41. God goes with me wherever I go.

42. God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

43. God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.

44. God is the light in which I see.

45. God is the Mind with which I think.

46. God is the Love in which I forgive.

47. God is the strength in which I trust.

48. There is nothing to fear.

49. God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.

50. I am sustained by the Love of God.

While contemplating these lessons I had a thought: “What if these lessons were the Ten Commandments? What if I committed my mind to live by these ten lessons no matter what I may think I am experiencing in the world and no matter how my ego mind wants to interpret it? Would not these ten “commandments” give me a framework for living in total freedom?

I know Jesus doesn’t call these ten lessons “commandments,” but what if I treated them that way? I saw that in my commitment to these ten lessons is my freedom — freedom from fear; freedom from thinking I need to figure out how to take care of everyone and everything; freedom to surrender to something higher than myself; and freedom to let God do what I am not ready to do and to make decisions for me from a vantage point that I am not capable of seeing.

This does not mean I am inactive; indeed it requires a very active discipline on my part. It requires me to hold these ten lessons in the forefront of my mind, no matter how much the ego wants to take over, and we all know that the ego will want to take over! It requires me to pause before any decision and ask my Inner Guide. It requires me to be alert to when I have let the ego introduce fear or judgment in my mind and hand it over. It requires a minute-by-minute dedication to mastery and vigilance rather than letting the ego give me permission to practice every now and again to make sure that, overall, it stays in control.

The ACIM Workbook Lesson 57, #3, p. 94, is a review of Lesson 33: There is another way of looking at the world. The commentary is written in first person and, obviously, we are to read it to ourselves in that way. The commentary says:

“Since the purpose of the world is not the one I ascribed to it, there must be another way of looking at it. I see everything upside down, and my thoughts are the opposite of truth. I see the world as a prison for God’s Son. It must be, then, that the world is really a place where he can be set free. I would look upon the world as it is, and see it as a place where the Son of God finds his freedom.”

I believe that lessons 40-50 show us the way to find that freedom.

Rev. Barbara Goodman Siegel is a Pathways of Light minister living in St. Louis, Missouri, and author of Finding Your Self in the Mirror: Awakening Through Mirror Affirmations for the 365 Lessons of A Course in Miracles. Email:Btheblessing7@gmail.com Web: http://www.barbaragoodmansiegel.com

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