Miracles News

October-December, 2019

Everything Serves the Purpose of Your Healing and Awakening

by Rev. Jennifer McSween, O.M.C.

I had been a smoker for the greater part of my adult life, and I really enjoyed smoking. Cigarettes were my constant companions, present in my life whether I was socializing or going about my daily life. I looked forward to lighting up with my morning coffee, and anytime I was on the phone — this was back in the day when we mostly used land lines. I also couldn’t wait to take a break from whatever it was I was doing to have a cigarette or, as I had convinced myself, to help me concentrate. After meals… well, for me, smoking was better than dessert. It was my dessert. I could never understand friends who would say they were “social smokers.” They smoked only when socializing. I remember thinking to myself, they must have serious issues with committing.

But my joy of smoking turned into agony as I found myself moving in the direction of what I called back then a “Spiritual Path” and felt that smoking was not in alignment with that path. Having judged it as being unspiritual, it felt wrong, even sinful, to continue to have smoking be a part of my life. But I still enjoyed it and wanted to continue doing it. I couldn’t even imagine myself not smoking.

At the same time, however, I was convinced that continuing to engage in this wrongful act was not only delaying my spiritual healing and awakening but was creating some distance between God and me — keeping God from expressing through me. So, though I still enjoyed smoking I felt that I should quit. But because I didn’t really want to, I thought that meant something was wrong with me. Judging myself so harshly, I began to feel very guilty, which only made me want to smoke more because I felt so bad about myself. Like I said, it was agony!

This was my state of mind in August 2002 when, along with a few other students, I went to Pathways of Light in Kiel, Wisconsin to attend the 10 Day In-Person session of the Ordained Ministerial Counselor Training Program. On the Pathways of Light Campus there was an atmosphere of non-judgment, yet respect for everyone’s individual preferences, so accommodations were made for everyone, even smokers like me.

There was a nice area in the shade of two trees, situated a bit of a distance and up-wind from the residences and the buildings where our classes were held. A wooden bench was placed there and was referred to as “the smoking bench.” If I remember correctly there was only one other student who occasionally smoked and joined me on the bench but most of the time, I would be alone on the smoking bench with my cigarettes and my guilt.

I found the in-person training to be a deeply healing experience right from the start. Being based on A Course in Miracles, the Ordained Ministerial Counselor Training Program, along with all the other courses and programs offered by Pathways of light, were designed to help you do what A Course in Miracles aims to help you do — remove the blocks so you can recognize the presence of love within you.

The in-person session offered a safe environment to engage in what I still describe as feeling like “Exploratory Spiritual Surgery” or going on a “Spiritual Recon Mission.” I had felt safe enough to allow the blocks in the form of my judgments about my smoking, along with everything else that was coming up at the time, to come up without restraint, so I was beginning to feel rather “spent” — like the fuel that had kept my resistance going was running low.

I noticed I was beginning to feel less and less guilty while I was on the smoking bench. One day during lunch break I was sitting on the smoking bench having my post lunch smoke. I believe it was around Day five or six and I literally felt like “Putty” or a “Ragdoll.” I was feeling no resistance to anything… no guilt about my smoking… no judgment or “shoulding” about anything. I was simply “be-ing” in that moment.

My eyes were gently looking around when something caught my attention. Just a few feet ahead of me there was an intersection where the brick walled side of a building met a patch of hard dry ground. There wasn’t even a blade of grass growing out of that patch. Jutting out of the intersection where the brick wall met the ground, looking like it was straining to get out, was a beautiful salmon coloured flower at the end of a stem about six inches long, and the flower had not yet opened fully. It was in the process of unfolding.

The thought that suddenly came to my mind was: “What a beautiful flower… and it was growing, blossoming and unfolding in a spot in which it doesn’t seem like anything should be growing.” This was followed by the thought, “Oh my, just like that flower I too I’m unfolding… even though it may feel that given the “place” I’m in, in my mind, I shouldn’t be.” I then had or experienced what felt like a revelation that there was nothing I could do that could keep God away from me or from expressing through me; and that regardless of what I had done, I was sinless, not guilty.

I had such a feeling of elation and liberation and, though it must have only lasted a few seconds, it felt much longer. As I tuned in to my experience, I realized that had I not been smoking I would not have been on the smoking bench to see that flower growing out amidst what seemed to be “blocks” to its unfolding. And, had I not stopped judging myself, I would not have been available to receive this revelation.

What stood out most to me though, was the awareness that the very same thing that I thought would keep God away from me, served to heal me. I walked away from the smoking bench with the absolute knowing that wherever I find myself, literally or figuratively, is exactly where I needed to be and that nothing comes to hurt me. And everything can serve the purpose of my healing and awakening if I hand it over to the Holy Spirit.

Rev. Jennifer McSween, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light Minister living in Montreal, Canada. You can listen to her Weekly Podcast at: http://www.RevJenniferMcSweenPodcast.com
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

© 2019, Pathways of Light. https://www.pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this copyright notice and website address are included.

Tell a Friend
Printable Page

Back to main page of Miracles News.

Has this page been helpful to you?
Your contribution in support of this site is greatly appreciated. To make a tax deductible contribution or become a supporting member online, click here.
Or send a check or money order to Pathways of Light, 6 Oak Court, Ormond Beach, FL 32174-2623 (USD only, please) Thank you for your support.

Articles by
Pathways of Light Ministers
and Others.

Search

Advanced Search

Pathways of Light Membership

Support Pathways of Light with an annual membership donation or become a sustaining member through monthly contributions. Includes printed Miracles News magazine mailed quarterly. Click here.

Subscribe to printed version.

To have Miracles News magazine mailed to you quarterly, Click here.

Most recent entries

Miracles News has been viewed 1097297 times

Archives

Complete Archives

Subscribe to
Miracles News Online

To have Miracles News Online articles emailed to you free when they are posted each quarter, enter your email address here.

Email Address:

You will receive an email requesting confirmation. After you confirm, the Daily Inspiration articles will be emailed each day they are posted. These emails will appear in your inbox as from "FeedMyInbox." You may unsubscribe at any time. We recommend that you add "updates@feedmyinbox.com" to your address book so that the emails do not get sent to your spam box.

You may also subscribe to the RSS feed to have these messages added to your MyYahoo! page, Google Reader or Bloglines by clicking this image in your Subscribe to RSS feed browser's web address field above.

Free Online Resources

Electronic "Magazine"Sign up to receive periodic emails with thoughts to ponder, inspirational articles and the latest news.

Subscribe to daily emails of Workbook Lesson Insights.

ACIM Text Made Simple — answers to hundreds of questions about the Text. Click here.

Daily Inspiration Blog — Thoughts to inspire your day. Click here.

Inspiring journals by Pathways of Light ministers applying the principles of ACIM. Click here.

Miracles News — hundreds of inspiring miracle stories. Click here.
 

We'd Like to Hear from You

Request Free Printed Program & Product Catalog

Or call 1-800-323-PATH (7284) (US & Canada) or 920/894-2339.

Click here to email your questions.

Español: Para mas información oprime aquí para enviar tus preguntas por correo electrónico.

United Kingdom: Click here to email your questions about Pathways of Light in the UK or call +44 1803 612 929.

Give us your feedback or report site problems.
 

Pathways Ministers Audio/Videos

ACIM Minister Training

Inspired by the principles presented in A Course in Miracles, this ministry training focuses on accepting the mind healing that is guided by the Teacher within, the Holy Spirit. As our minds are healed, we become Holy Spirit’s instruments of healing. For more information click here.
 

ACIM Practitioner Courses

If you would like a deeper understanding of key principles of A Course in Miracles, the 24 Pathways of Light ACIM Practitioner courses provide a complete, multimedia package to help you make ACIM principles a ready resource to call upon in your mind throughout your day. Click here for more information.
 

Events

Teleconference

More Teleconference info.
 

In-Person

22nd May 2020 ACIM Conference 2020 LA, Rev. Maria Felipe

More In-Person Event info.
 

Featured Items

Tru The Journey of Spirit Rising by Rev. Paula J. Richards. A commoner's journey to uncommon joy. Learn more.

True Forgiveness The Only Little Prayer You Need by Debra Landwehr Engle. The shortest route to a life of joy, abundance and peace of mind. Learn more.

Reason and Beyond Finding Yourself in the Mirror by Darrell Morley Price. Knowledge, belief and spiritual transformation More….

Listen & Receive 30-Day Home Study Listen & Receive 30-Day Home Study Learn to receive insight for your life in a form that is perfect for you …heal fears, find joy & peace. Learn more.

Minister training based on A Course in Miracles Minister Training — based on principles of A Course in Miracles, including counselor training and ordination. More….

Miracles Practitioner courses24 ACIM Practitioner courses including 50-page study guide, CD's with facilitator. More….

From the Christ Mind Book II From the Christ Mind Book II scribed by Darrell Morley Price. A simple, yet profound message that you can immediately apply to current circumstances. More….