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Visiting Mom

This is something I wrote several years ago. I thought it was worth revisiting.

I spent time with my mom today. She is in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s. She looked sad even in her sleep; sad and anxious, like she was having a bad dream. When she woke up it took her a while to focus on me and longer still to register that I was visiting her. She seemed to be reaching her hand out to me and trying to communicate with her eyes. She doesn’t seem to be able to make sounds at me, or maybe she just forgets to try. She doesn’t remember who I am at all anymore.

I talked to her anyway, telling her that I love her and miss being with her. I told her that I wish we could talk again. But as I said it, I realized I didn’t want to talk to her; I wanted her to talk to me. I wished I could have one more chance to listen to her. I would listen without judging anything she said. I would like one more chance to listen for the wisdom in her words. I spent way too much time before this happened to her thinking that I knew something. I missed a lot of what she could have told me. I felt sad for the lost opportunity.

If I had one more chance to listen to her I would give her my undivided attention. I wouldn’t be thinking of the next stop on my list or something I heard on the news. I wouldn’t be listening for the errors in what she said, and I wouldn’t be thinking that she was behind the times, that the world had moved ahead and what she had to say was out of date. If I had one more chance I would not be so foolish. I would just sit and listen as if she were the wise old woman, and the words falling from her lips were treasures she was freely giving. How lucky I would be.

© 2021, Pathways of Light.
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My Role As a Teacher of God

In 916 Teacher of God, we are given a list of twelve ways we can serve the Holy Spirit as a teacher of God. I use these all the time to be sure that I am an effective teacher for Him. I contemplated each of these points with the Holy Spirit and the following is what I received.

1. I love all the Holy Spirit Loves.
I saw someone selling something and they were at the same time pushing their political agenda which is not mine. I felt myself moving away from them. I ask to see as Holy Spirit see and to love as He Loves. My ex-husband told me he stopped watching football in protest of the men taking a knee. My first thought was all about my opinion as opposed to his. Then the Holy Spirit showed me another way to see this. He loves football and looks forward to it every year. And yet, he gave it up to be true to his beliefs. It is so helpful to step out of our stories and see the lesson it holds for us. It is always going to be some form of love as opposed to judgment. I choose to love all the Holy Spirit Loves without regard to anything in their story.

2. I remember that only what is eternal is real.
I remind myself of this all the time. I remind myself that I am not living the life of Myron. I am watching the story of Myron that occurred billions of years ago in the moment we had the thought that separation might be a good idea. I remind myself that nothing that ends is real. It is just imagination projected as if it is something real, seen and felt as if it is real. Nothing physical is real. Nothing felt that is not Love is real. This is so helpful to remember. It allows me to detach from the story and all its emotional impact so that I can use it to awaken.

3. I serve the timeless.
I serve the timeless by not giving credence to the world of time. I use it for awakening without believing in it and thus reinforcing it in the mind we all share.

4. I bring peace to every relationship.
This is an ongoing process. I make every effort to bring peace to whatever relationship I am in whether it is a momentary relationship with someone I pass on the track as I take my daily walk, or a lifetime relationship as the ones with my family. My intention is that each relationship be peaceful and loving regardless of what is happening in the moment. Here is something I wrote about this morning in answer to a question regarding relationships.

Cate was writing about something that helps our understanding here. She was quoting Jesus in the Manual for Teachers. “2. The simplest level of teaching appears to be quite superficial. ²It consists of what seem to be very casual encounters; … a child who is not looking where he is going running into an adult…. ( | M-3.2:1-2)”

She was saying that we can treat each “bump” as a child running into an adult. So if someone cuts you off in traffic or steals everything in your house, you can see it as an assault if listening to the ego’s interpretation of the event. But if you choose to ask the Holy Spirit, you will see it differently. Some brother, acting on his fear, bumped into you. That is how I see that all things are the echo of the Voice for God if we care to hear it. Some fearful brother may be calling for love. Will we give him what he needs or will we condemn him and ourselves at the same time. Will we hear an attack (ego) or the echo for the Voice for God?

5. I look upon my brothers with complete forgiveness.
I do this most of the time and if I fail to do so, I ask for healing until I accept it. Eventually, I see them as they are in truth, perfect and whole and as God created them.

6. I see past mistakes rather than reinforce them.
This is what I do and the reason my mind is almost always at peace. I cannot be at peace if I am attacking the Son of God. I look past my mistakes and the mistakes of others. It is easy to do when I remember who we are and I always eventually remember this.

7. You see past suffering to the truth.
This used to be harder for me. When my children suffer there is still the immediate response of suffering with them. This isn’t helpful for any of us so I ask for another way to see the situation and I accept it as soon as I can. When I am suffering it is easier to remember the truth and I generally get there pretty quickly. I have been healing my mind of guilt because I have had so much pain in my body and I know that guilt drives us to punish the body. I find it easy to move past the feeling of suffering as I work to heal the mind. The ego really enjoys suffering and tries to bring it to my attention over and over but I am not interested.

8. I recognize illusions of separation as just shadows that are mistakes, not to be taken seriously.
This is true. I see myself separated from someone by our politics and I may feel something at first but soon it is just funny. It is funny that I would let some brief opinion that will fade away with the next big thing in the world of constantly shifting ideas keep me from Love.

9. I recognize that God’s Will is my will.
Oh, yes! Sure, I still experience the ego will trying to insert itself in my mind, but I know that is just a temporary aberration. There is no will but God’s Will.

10. As I serve God’s Will willingly, I remember that I am Spirit.
Again, yes! The more I serve God’s Will, the more I recognize that my will is the same as God’s Will and this awakens the memory of Who I Am.

11. As Spirit, I release myself and my brother by recognizing what is of true Value in my brother.
What is of true value in my brother is of true value in me because we are one. Only Love is of true value and we are only Love. I will not recognize it in myself if I refuse to see it in my brother. I will not see it in my brother if I refuse to recognize it in myself. We are inextricably tied to each other in this process because in actuality we are one.

12. As Spirit, I see my brother as my savior. As I see the truth in my brother, I awaken. I bring peace and release to the world.
I do see my brother as my savior. He is either supporting and loving me, or he is asking for the love that he needs. If he needs love and I give it to him, I know that I have love and am love. When I look past his ego words and behavior, I see the light in him and to see that light, I know it must also be in me. Knowing the love and light that is in me, I begin to know my Self and this awakens me. In my awakening, I am peaceful and since I can only give what I have, I give peace and release to the world.

© 2021, Pathways of Light.
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Getting Out of the Box

T-31.III.4. 5 It holds in prison but the willing mind that would abide in it. 6 It sickens at the bidding of the mind that would become its prisoner. 7 And it grows old and dies, because that mind is sick within itself. 8 Learning is all that causes change.

I free myself when I give up the insane idea that God’s Son can be imprisoned in a body. When I stop thinking of myself in terms of a body. It is like I have drawn a box in the middle of the limitless awareness that I am, and have decided that I am only that which is in the box. My desire to be free dissolves the box I drew and I see that I am still the Creation of God, limitless and free. As I do this, I can no longer see anyone else as a body. How could they be? They are God’s Creation and thus they are the same as I am, within a whole, part of that whole and all of that whole.

How might I put myself back into that box? If I step on the scale and depending on what the number says, I am happy or upset. When this happens, it indicates that I am identified with the body, so much so that its size determines how I feel about myself. Another way I put myself back into the box is to see someone else as being his or her body, that is, seeing that person as his or her actions or looks or personality.

If I do this to someone else, I am teaching myself that I must also be what I do or how I look. There are so many little ways that I could put myself in the box. That box is so restricting. I don’t want to go back. I have asked the Holy Spirit to help me notice any remaining thoughts that could imprison me so that I can finally release them all. I am also remembering to frequently ask, “What am I?”

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All That I Give Is Given to Myself

Jesus what do you want me to know about all that I give is given to myself?

Jesus: Why do you think it is that facilitating classes and talking to students and counseling those in distress brings you so much peace? You help others find peace and so you find peace. You have seen this when you interact with your kids. When you visit Susan and you do little things for her, and she is grateful and feels loved, and you feel loved by her. You gave love and so you received love.

You have seen the opposite as well. You become impatient with someone who doesn’t understand or accept what you give and afterwards you feel uneasy and doubt yourself. Even though you may not have spoken the words that you felt, you doubted your brother and so you doubt yourself. When you spread fear thoughts, you feel fear.

It should be absolutely clear by now that you cannot give anything away because giving it is how you keep it. Ideas leave not their source. You have heard my words. All minds are connected and so what you think is shared in all minds, and in sharing it you strengthen your belief in it in your own mind. You know this. Just be mindful.

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I Am Eternal Spirit

What are the blessings that come with letting the truth return to your mind?
C-3.8. How lovely does the world become in just that single instant when you see the truth about yourself reflected there.

It is easy to get caught up in the story and forget who We are. This is why we need constant reminders. It is the reason for A Course in Miracles, for the daily lessons, for these courses. Most of the time, I know this world, this body and its story are not my reality. But sometimes I start taking it very seriously, as if this is all there is to us and every little thing is of great importance. Thank God, this doesn’t happen so much anymore and when it does, I know my way out. I know that each time it happens, I remember the truth and I become stronger in the truth. It is my part in the Atonement to accept it, to make decisions for God over and over until I know nothing else. I have to be absolutely certain that I want God before God can do His part and lift me to Him.  The following is an example of a time when fear did come temporarily into my mind and how I handled it,

Yesterday, my daughter and son in law took me for a ride on the “mule”, a for wheel ATV. I didn’t really have any interest in this but said yes before I thought it through. We went over and under and through every terrain you could think of. I was jostled and had to duck to avoid being hit by branches. I didn’t enjoy it and wished I hadn’t come. First, the ego-mind blamed my daughter for inviting me. She surely knew this was not my cup of tea. This was a typical ego projection. When we don’t like how we feel, we look for someone to blame. 

I couldn’t hold onto this thought for long because it was ridiculous. All I had to do was say no and I didn’t. Then, as the terrain got really rough, I felt fear. Of course, as soon as I opened the way for the ego to interpret the situation, fear was bound to show up. At some point in the ride, I came to my senses. I remembered that fear is not real and so I must be choosing an emotion that is distressing me. So I stopped. Once I stopped, I enjoyed the rest of the ride. 

First, I had made a decision with the ego and experienced resentment and fear, then I changed my mind and made a decision with the Holy Spirit and experienced happiness. That’s the way of it in every circumstance. I already knew this but it was a good reminder. We must make these decisions every day and in each situation. I used to be upset with myself when I did something like this, when I fell back into an ego response, but now I see that it doesn’t mean anything. It is just another opportunity to reinforce the truth in my mind.

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Healing by Seeing Your ‘Life’ as a Movie

I started with the concept of the world not being real and then I studied and practiced what I was learning. I did these Miracles Practitioners courses, some of them many times. I did the processes and read the explanations. I did the Daily Lessons and contemplated and wrote about them and the rest of the Course. Most importantly, I kept practicing in my everyday life what I was studying.

What has occurred is that I have gone from believing a concept to being true to knowing it is true. Seeing this life as a movie or a dream is a way of expressing what is happening. Here is the story I like as a way of understanding it. There really was a tiny mad idea to experience separation and specialness. From that idea, there unfolded a way to make this happen. Using the power of creation that is ours because we were created like God, we made a world we can use for our experiences and bodies that will carry us through this world.

It is a temporary experience and was never meant to be anything else but I think it has been going on for so long that we have lost track of its temporary nature. We exist in another illusory or temporary dimension and from there we decide on the experience we want to have. Maybe we just want to play and so there may not be a meaningful outcome for us.

Like going to an amusement park. You don’t hope to learn something from the experience, you just want to scared by the roller coaster and thrilled by other rides and eat too much junk food and throw up, maybe win a trinket and then go home. I think this is what we have done so many times but eventually, the alarm that we set to wake us up goes off in in our mind.

When that happens, awakening stories begin. We might still choose something fun and interesting but we have a goal in mind. We are learning to retrace our steps, to back out of the illusion and return home. So, our stories become our classroom and we choose scripts that will give us the lessons we need and that will lead us out of the stories completely at some point.

As each story reaches its natural conclusion, we pop out and return to this other dimension and probably think about what we learned. Maybe we have Helpers there, people who are a bit higher on the ladder much like the helpers we have here, teachers and those who awaken before us. Maybe they assist us in planning our next life so that we can get the most out of it and move closer to awakening.

In that dimension, we are still in the illusion but with a bit more clarity. It must be such a relief to be free of the body and to realize that these life adventures are not real and so we haven’t been hurt. We might think we are in Heaven at first. Especially, to be met with such love, this must be so wonderful after spending time in the world. But this level is not the ultimate goal either. Until we move past this, we continue the cycle of birth and then death. Eventually, we will move past even that heavenly retreat and into God.

Right now, though, it might be nice to realize that we are part of God and that this is our destination, but where I put my attention is on the work that is before me. I know that this world is something we made up just as we make up theme parks here, and I know that I am not the character I chose to play while here. I also know that what I am is invulnerable and eternal. This makes a huge difference in how I live in the world and what it feels like while here.

For instance, if someone dies, I feel compassion for those left behind who don’t know this is a temporary experience. And really, even if they understand this, it will still be very hard on them to be without that character because almost no one here is so detached from the experience that they don’t grieve the loss of a close loved one. But I am certainly not concerned for the one who died. It doesn’t matter what kind of life he lived here since it was all just a play or movie and not reality. He is fine. He is back in that dimension planning his next adventure. No one has actually died, anyway. We just pop in and pop out.

Another way this affects me is that I don’t have too many big deals anymore. Why would I think something was a disaster when I know it is just a ride at the carnival and I’ll be getting off soon? And guilt starts to seem ridiculous. Who is there to be guilty? I wrote the script and it is one that I wanted to experience. I invited all the players to join me and gave them their lines. Now I will be mad at them for doing their part? Ridiculous.

And something else that is happening is that where fear used to have a home in my mind, with few exceptions, now there is love. I didn’t make that happen. I just let go of the fear and love showed up. I feel a connection to everyone and I feel love toward most. If I don’t feel love, I wonder why and that question is generally resolved right there and I feel love. The way all of this happened was simple. I just kept looking at all the magic thoughts (ego thoughts) in my mind and I kept deciding that I wasn’t interested in them anymore. The rest just happened naturally once enough of them were gone.

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Fear Is a Concept

I had a root canal a couple of weeks ago and today I got a crown which took 2 hours. The thing is, I dislike going to the dentist and I always feel anxious when I have to go. So, I looked at that fear today. And here is what I realized. Fear is just a concept that we can choose to believe or not.

I took that idea with me and when I started to feel anxious, I would ask myself what was actually happening that made me anxious. The thing is, each time I questioned the fear it was always anxiety about something that might happen.

He would push harder or there would be a drill that was especially shrill and I would tense up waiting for pain which was not going to come. When I realized this, I began to enjoy the process of questioning and discovery. It is interesting to realize that fear is not a real thing, just an idea and that we don’t have to indulge it.

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