I will not hurt myself again today

“I will not hurt myself again today,” I muttered, hopping back from the path of another SUV zipping by way too fast (even under fair-weather conditions) for a residential area, lobbing another ill-formed missile of snow and ice in my direction. I dropped the shovel, stripped off my ski gloves, and blew on my fingers, panting from the effort of clearing the three car spaces necessary in front of my house to enable me to actually park my compact vehicle should I be crazy enough to venture out in six degrees with the snow still falling. On roads the Denver Department of Transportation had once more failed to plow, despite a concerted public relations campaign the night before on all the local, TV news stations. In which a way-too-cheerful-for-early-January spokesperson bragged about a new policy effective immediately to activate plowing teams whenever six or more inches of snow is predicted, designed to replace the prior undisclosed policy of not deploying plows until a foot of snow is predicted.

The admission unfortunately appeared to cause bad words to ricochet through the hollow chasms of my tiny, little head. Even though only days earlier I had vowed to “quit with the baby business,” as Ken Wapnick had so sagely recommended we do. To choose, as A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 330 advises, to stop hurting myself again today after one of the most trying dream years the self I still think I am believes she has ever experienced (which is saying quite a lot).

In my peripheral vision, I swear to God, I could suddenly see my imaginary robed marvel of an inner teacher (apparently back from his extended sabbatical) grinning, ear-to-ear, catching snowflakes in his bare hands, examining them as if he had never seen anything so exquisite in all his so-called life. As if each one contained the crystal “secret to salvation.” Somehow the lacy vision of which, the very thought, that somehow familiar phrase, abruptly drew me back, and I found myself once more inexplicably transported to his office in a campus far, far away. Comfortably seated in a new leather chair across from his desk, admiring the freshly painted ivory walls, the recently scrubbed and gleaming beveled windows, a fire blazing in a hearth I had never noticed before below the wall of ancient books.

“I see you’ve done a little remodeling for the New Year,” I said.

His brows shot up the way they do. “Cocoa?” he asked, handing me a steaming mug seemingly plucked out of thin air. (He apparently had not been paying attention to the state of the world; did not realize we needed Baileys.)

I sighed and sipped; the knot in my shoulder slowly relaxing. “Good to see you,” I said. “It’s been a while.”

“You think?” he asked.

“Therefore I am,” I said.

But he only continued to smile.

I thought about the last few months during which I seemed to have completely forgotten my only real purpose of using my seeming life as a classroom within which I could learn to forgive my unconscious belief in the “tiny, mad idea” of separation in all its ever-morphing, theatrical, dare I say often even diabolical disguises. About the presidential election results and continuing, astonishing, seemingly ever-escalating consequences I had mindlessly seized to root myself more deeply in this dream of impossible, unsolvable division. Russia’s hacking of the DNC, Syria, escalating denial of climate change, Leonard Cohen and Carrie Fisher.

I thought about the helplessness I felt around my father’s fall and resulting hospitalization on Election Day, my mother’s continuing refusal to rise from her chair parked in front of a TV playing 24/7 reruns of The Waltons following her hip fracture in August, despite her recovery. The frenzied preparations for the holidays and nonstop activities in which I had engaged that left me cranky, sleep-deprived, sugar-addled, and breathless despite my vow to savor every moment of my daughter’s long-awaited Christmas visit. I thought about the way I began missing her a couple of days before she even returned to Seattle and continued to do so, as if all the work I’d done to move on emotionally since her relocation a year-and-a-half ago had been for naught.

And I thought about the welcome epiphany I’d had coinciding with the dreaded dawn of another dream year in which I finally realized I had forgotten that my life was not about dreaming up a better dream or clutching at or clinging to external substitutes for the one Love we all think we threw away to make me feel better. My life was about learning I could experience peace and love for all no matter what the dream seemed to dish up, whatever ill-formed missiles came my way.

I couldn’t know why my decision-making mind had decided to review these particular expressions of the belief in separation from our undifferentiated, eternally loving Source realized. But I did know a part of me clearly didn’t want to learn (certainly not in all circumstances) that my attachment to an ongoing sense of a real, suffering Susan was, in fact, optional. If there are villains stalking the darkened corridors of my dream and I am the dreamer, I must have put them there for the same reason I peopled my dream with angels: to keep me focused on and fascinated with my dream instead of on awakening from it. I didn’t have to feel guilty about that, since it was coming from fear, but at some point I did need to accept it. Because my refusal to do so was hurting me while my willingness to do so would set me free.

When it came to the diverse, dare I say flamboyant cast of villains I’d dreamed up to torture myself, for example, or the handful of heroines I’d envisioned to brighten my way, I really didn’t need to know why these particular expressions of the belief in separation realized kept showing up. Because right now, in this moment, and the next, and the next; I could simply choose to remember my purpose. To quit with the baby business as I caught myself once more feeling unfairly treated as I had just this morning in the snow. I could stop hurting myself again today and allow the long buried peace in my mind independent of all external problems and solutions, kind to all dream figures seemingly competing for my reactions, to dawn.

I thought about the sleeping dream I’d had a couple of nights ago after days of again begging Jesus for help and inspiration in the New Year (and apologizing for asking for guidance because I know it’s not about the form). About the dreamy image of a line of bundled figures marching up a hill against a sky of pinks, and reds, and oranges bleeding like fireworks into the horizon. How I had, at first, taken the figures in my sleeping dream to be refugees from Love, just like me, the extravagant palette reminiscent of a setting sun, but now saw them as fellow pilgrims headed home. That mighty star, in truth, not in decline at all, but on the rise toward the apex of its actually constant fullness.

And I realized that all the begging, all the cursing, all the bargaining I had engaged in these last few months seemingly addressed to a dark, echoing void was in fact, an uninterrupted conversation with the figure sitting across from me right now, fiddling with the snow globe I had given him a few Christmases ago, beaming at tiny snowflakes gently falling in his hands. Each unique, yet really all the same.  Who else could I have been talking to, after all?

He looked up at me, smiling his dazzling smile. “More cocoa?” he asked.

But I just shook my head. I had everything I needed, after all.

“Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function. Why should we attack our minds, and give them images of pain? Why should we teach them they are powerless, when God holds out His power and His Love, and bids them take what is already theirs? The mind that is made willing to accept God’s gifts has been restored to spirit, and extends its freedom and its joy, as is the Will of God united with its own. The Self which God created cannot sin, and therefore cannot suffer. Let us choose today that He be our Identity, and thus escape forever from all things the dream of fear appears to offer us.

Father, Your Son can not be hurt. And if we think we suffer, we but fail to know our one Identity we share with You. We would return to It today, to be made free forever from all our mistakes, and to be saved from what we thought we were.” (A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 330)

The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true. For you could not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming. Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream.

This single lesson learned will set you free from suffering, whatever form it takes. The Holy Spirit will repeat this one inclusive lesson of deliverance until it has been learned, regardless of the form of suffering that brings you pain. Whatever hurt you bring to Him He will make answer with this very simple truth. For this one answer takes away the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the single cause of all of them, no matter what their form. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement, “I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.

Bring, then, all forms of suffering to Him Who knows that every one is like the rest. He sees no differences where none exists, and He will teach you how each one is caused. None has a different cause from all the rest, and all of them are easily undone by but a single lesson truly learned. Salvation is a secret you have kept but from yourself. The universe proclaims it so. Yet to its witnesses you pay no heed at all. For they attest the thing you do not want to know. They seem to keep it secret from you. Yet you need but learn you chose but not to listen, not to see.”

(A Course in Miracles Text Chapter 27 VIII., The “Hero” of the Dream, paragraphs 10-12)

NOTE: A Course in Miracles uses the character of Jesus as a symbol of the part of our one mind that remembered to laugh at the “tiny, mad idea” that we could separate from our true, non-dualistic nature or would possibly want to. By choosing Jesus as our inner teacher  and learning to forgive ourselves when we’re unable to, our belief in the ego thought system’s illusion of differences and separate interests is gently undone for us. We gradually become more kind and loving, recognizing that choosing the inner teacher of fear hurts while choosing the inner teacher of kindness yields peace that defies understanding and includes everyone and everything in its warm embrace.

Foundation for a Course in Miracles Announcements

Latest Book

A Symphony of Love is an compilation of selected writings of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, including autobiographies, poetry, short stories, and articles. 

Programs through March 2017

Please view our latest Temecula Schedule page https://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx   to see the Seminars and Academy classes, including Live Streaming of the classes, currently scheduled through March 2017.
(You can register for upcoming live and streamed classes (AND GET THE NEW 2017 SCHEDULE) taught by the amazingly gifted Foundation for A Course in Miracles teaching staff; who continue to communicate Ken’s teachings with such clarity and grace, here: https://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx. I really can’t recommend these classes more highly! Rosemarie LoSasso and Jeff Seibert continue to gently encourage us to bring the darkness of all we’ve dreamt up to hurt us (whenever we’re choosing to feel victimized and justified in victimizing others) to the light of the part of every mind that knows only our shared innocence and need to find our way home. Their classes offer us a safe, non-judgmental “space” above the battleground in which to allow the healing of our frightened minds. (And often laugh a lot, too! 🙂 NEW INTERVIEWS with Rosemarie LoSasso and Jeff Seibert coming to my www.foraysinforgiveness.com site in 2017!)

Two NEW Audio Releases

http://bookstore.facim.org/p-443-dream-stuff.aspx

http://bookstore.facim.org/p-448-the-holy-relationship-a-stream-of-stars.aspx

MP3-CDs To Be Discontinued

The Foundation is beginning the process of discontinuing production of audio titles in MP3 CD format. The second grouping of MP3 CD titles, which is available through December 31, 2016 only, can be viewed here. These titles are also available this month at a 40% discount.
Super Inventory Sale

We are continuing to clear out the warehouse of all printed books as we make the transition to electronic books. After the current supply of books is sold, the books will not be reprinted, and will be available only in digital download format.

You may view all of the books currently on sale here. Please note that some orders may take up to two weeks to ship after the order is received.

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Here’s a NEW VIDEO I did with Bruce Rawles on sharing perception with the Holy Spirit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S45pmt7ntQ4

MY LATEST BOOK, FORGIVENESS: THE KEY TO HAPPINESS, http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Happiness-Susan-A-Dugan/dp/0983742022, along with my second book in the forgiveness essay collection series, FORGIVENESS OFFERS EVERYTHING I WANT: http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Offers-Everything-I-Want/dp/0983742014/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=07RKZW8SHE2RNC209A2D  are currently DISCOUNTED on Amazon.

Schedule individual MENTORING sessions with Susan Dugan here: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/personal-coaching  Although A Course in Miracles is clearly a self-study program and the one relationship we are truly cultivating is with our eternally sane and loving right mind, mentoring can help remind Course students having trouble applying its unique forgiveness in the classroom of their lives that the problem and the solution never lie in the difficult relationship, situation, behavior, health issue, etc., but in the decision-making mind. In every circumstance, without exception, we can choose to experience inner peace and kindness toward all, unaffected by the seemingly random strife of a world designed to prove otherwise. By choosing to look at our lives as a classroom in which we bring all our painful illusions to the inner teacher of forgiveness who knows only our shared innocence beyond all its deceptive disguises, we learn to identify and transcend the ego’s resistance, hold others and even ourselves harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. 

Susan’s mentoring sessions provide valuable support in our forgiveness practice from a Course student and teacher deeply committed to awakening through learning and living true forgiveness. While keenly aware of our resistance to Jesus’ loving message from first-hand experience, she remains faithful to opening her heart to the Course’s universal answer for all frightened hearts and to sharing her ongoing learning and growing trust with kindred faithful, but sometimes frightened and confused, fellow students.

Sessions are conducted via traditional phone or Skype (your choice). Please contact me to find out if mentoring is right for you before submitting a payment. (No one is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay!)

Here’s a RECENT AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, in which we talk about the importance of catching our unkind thoughts and judgments and looking at them with the part of our mind that sees no differences and makes no comparisons … even while watching the news! http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=584A85D9-26B9-4187-86B672216F9D08E7

A RECENT VIDEO I did with Bruce Rawles, discussing Section 16 of The Manual for Teachers: “How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgHjOcxzrwg&feature=youtu.be

And a RECENT AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12 Radio, on Changing the Purpose of the Body from Prison to Classroom: http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=C936F436-26B9-4187-862BC523BC16D778, and another on what it means to go “above the battleground” (ACIM Text 23, Section IV) http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=13D9C907-26B9-4187-86F1370A394E8755

In this VIDEO, Bruce Rawles and I discuss A Course in Miracles lesson 190: “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPqUpNmAmG0

CA Brooks, 12Radio and I talk about ACIM workbook lesson 101: “God’s will for me is perfect happiness” and 102: “I share God’s will for happiness for me.” http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=16BFF184-26B9-4187-86DD07743FBB7355  You’d think we’d like to hear that God’s will for us is perfect happiness, but we can’t possibly believe that and also believe we attacked God and threw his love away.  Following our inner Teacher’s path of true forgiveness begins to dissolve the guilt in our mind, teaching us that it was just silly to believe we could oppose God’s will and create a separate one. Allowing us to gradually accept that we deserve the happiness we share within God’s presence and could never really destroy.

The Denver-based School for A Course in Miracles (formerly the School of Reason), an A Course-in-Miracles teaching organization, has a beautiful new website: http://www.schoolforacourseinmiracles.org/, with information on great new and ongoing classes based on Ken Wapnick’s teachings.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Center for A Course in Miracles http://www.centerforacourseinmiracles.org/index.html, is an educational Center whose focus is to teach what A Course in Miracles says, address common misunderstandings, and help students develop a relationship with their internal Teacher, inspired and guided by the teachings of the late Dr. Kenneth Wapnick.

The Interviews page on my forays website been revised to make it easier to find and access interviews with Ken Wapnick and others including Gloria Wapnick, and FACIM staff teachers.

In this video Bruce Rawles and I discuss themes from my most recent book, Forgiveness: The Key to Happiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vEbI3jH8Sk 

My good friend and fellow Course student, teacher, and author Bruce Rawles frequently invites me to chat with him on YouTube about the Course and Ken Wapnick’s teachings. He continues to compile lots of great ACIM information well worth checking out at ACIMblog.com.

My good friend and gifted A Course in Miracles teacher and writer Bernard Groom has been posting beautifully written, heartfelt essays about living A Course in Miracles for years at ACIMvillage.com. Bernard lives and teaches in France with his dear wife Patricia. You’ll find a wealth of information in French on his website including recorded talks available for purchase or free download.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Helpful reminders to listen to – and practice – the inclusive perspective that our Inner Kindness Teacher beams into our minds 24/7/365; thanks, Susan! I particularly like the snowflake metaphor and how it ties into the Hero of the Dream quote above; when we emphasize the sameness of each person, each moment, each seemingly different thing in the dream, we remain in darkness and seemingly at the mercy of the figures in the dream; whereas by forgiving our mis-identification, we take our Kindness Teacher’s hand and rise above ego’s circus where mercy to all (including what seems to be our self) is the only choice, and one we gladly make. 🙂 I’m looking forward to conversing with you about this topic on the recording we’ll make (and post on this site and ACIMblog) this afternoon!

  2. Hi Bruce:

    Thanks for your wise commentary! I enjoyed talking with you Friday on this topic. It is so hard to remember that the Course is asking us to take 100 percent responsibility for everything we’re feeling even when we’re convinced it’s someone else’s fault. Fortunately we don’t even have to believe it. We just need to be willing to question it and look at it with Jesus. The believing will come eventually as our guilt and fear are undone for us. So I’ve heard. 🙂

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