Real intimacy: from me first to we

earthIn my sleeping dream, my inner teacher was giving a lecture to a crowd of A Course in Miracles students in a spacious, theater-style auditorium. I had not seen him in a long time, had been hoping to catch him all day, but so many others appeared to be clamoring for his attention. And so, I held back, waiting my turn, nonetheless increasingly worried I would not get to ask the questions I so desperately needed answered. When I finally caught him alone in front of the stage, gathering his belongings, in tranquil transit to another obligation, he smiled, took both my hands in his, looked deeply into my eyes–past it all, I swear to God, to where we really live–and said:

“We will talk more soon. But I am going to want a more intimate relationship with you from now on.” Which I instantly translated to mean the only thing it possibly could (since our inner teacher has no wants; knows me only as a decision-making mind): “You are going to want a more intimate relationship with me from now on.”

Welcome tears of recognition pooled as I held his gaze, and aligned with his message. Filled, for once in my ever-longing life, with his faith in me, my faith in we. Full. All questions answered.

He squeezed my hands and smiled, before hastening off.

I awoke in my bed, my little dog beside me on the pillow, her limbs tangled in my hair, still murmuring in response to her own dreamy dreams involving tormenting squirrels, no doubt, and the loss of a beloved toy piggy, to find something changed. Something about my purpose here in a body, dealing with a tumultuous world full of challenging relationships and situations morphing from moment-to-moment, shifted. As if the default position with which I had seemingly forever navigated this impossible to truly navigate habitat—the “me first” battle cry of the ego thought system—had somehow been replaced with “we first,” etched in bold letters on a white flag of surrender.

Since then, my teacher’s gaze, his touch, his message of true forgiveness, lingers within. Most of the time, I do not have to consciously summon it. It’s just there, superimposed like a healing apparition over all the issues I still dream up to coax me back into believing I am the beleaguered heroine of the drama instead of the sly dreamer.  This fortified inner focus on my relationship with him has enabled even the most painful, long repressed childhood memories (I thought needed no further attention) to surface for review. Allowing me to fully feel them at last, completely supported by the part of my mind that knows I made them up in my own fear to prove I exist but it’s not my fault. Allowing me to really see the perceived “victimizers” as the same as me, to feel and own their motivating pain as mine, and to open to the buoyant truth that no one is guilty here. Period.

Specific special relationships in my dream—one involving a life-long, primal connection, my reactions to which I had long ago buried—another more ancillary and recent–my reactions to which I still secretly clung—both emerged vividly in my mind’s eye, expressing in content (although not in form) the exact message my inner teacher had uttered in my dream: “I am going to want a more intimate relationship with you, now.” In each case, I instantly translated that to mean the only thing it possibly could (since all dream figures are figments of my imagination, all messages uttered directed only at me): “I am going to want a more intimate relationship with you from now on. Meaning, I want to experience you only within the light of the true intimacy of my relationship with our inner teacher, who knows us truly as the same innocent child within our creator’s everlasting, abstract love. Who currently shares my fear of having squandered that love, and deserves only compassion and reassurance in response to the results of a silly dream, just like me.

By making my relationship with my imaginary inner teacher the most important thing, I am learning there really is nothing to forgive. My “me-ness” automatically gives way to “we-ness” as I remember we all share the same fear and hopelessness as imagined fugitives from undifferentiated union marooned in bodies. And the same redemption when we choose to accept true forgiveness as our function, its loving-to-all inner teacher as our only real relationship.

I couldn’t seem to shift back to “me first” after my dream (although, God knows, I tried :)), even when reviewing the ravishing root of my story as a separated, unfairly treated self in this lifetime. The gear seems to be wearing away. The tenderness that emerged within toward everyone involved even extended to me, allowing me to honor my need for quiet, for rest, for letting all ambition for this personal self go, even as I more fully opened to that intimacy with our inner teacher that informs my writing and teaching.

Thinking of him constantly throughout my day, making time to sit with him, go within, and look into his eyes (even though I still can’t hold that gaze for long, prolonged contact with unconditional, undifferentiated love still too shattering to my perceived body’s senses), has spontaneously brought to mind the faces of everyone I still secretly want to judge as other than me. Allowing me to gratefully smile. I mean, honest to God, how funny is it; when we realize there is really only we?

There really, truly is something (everything, really!) beyond the blocks to our awareness of love’s presence. But we can’t find it if we don’t first look at all the “spots of darkness” we cooked up to obscure it with him. And we can’t look at them with him if we refuse to go to him, instead continuing to stubbornly cajole him into coming with us. Can’t open to his simple answer while still obsessed with the cleverness of “our” complex questions. Sensing his presence as we go about waging our war of meaningful (to the ego; meaningless, in truth) differences in a nonexistent world will not bring us closer to him. Only acknowledging what we’re doing and fully feeling its consequences will motivate us to make our relationship with him our only real purpose.

And much as we’d like to, we cannot skip the feeling step that eventually triggers our willingness to make true intimacy with him the most important thing. Let’s face it, we refuse to leave the burning building of the ego thought system despite the heat and smoke until we think our odds of surviving by jumping (however miniscule) trump the suffocating pain and imminent demise presented by our paralysis. We have to allow ourselves to open to the suffering the stories of abuse at the hands of other dream figures (past and present) we still hug so close–like favorite, mutilated children’s toys–cause us, to be motivated to finally choose the only real relationship we ever really wanted. Within which we will ultimately realize we had it all along. Within which, our mind is healed about all seeming external relationships.

When we allow ourselves to fully feel the pain of our projections, realize we can’t take it anymore, and finally jump, we find ourselves not splayed on the sidewalk but nestled in his arms, able to look at the cause of, and solution to, all suffering as the same. Enveloped in all we ever really wanted. Even though, until we completely awaken, we still encounter troubling problems in a seeming external world designed to generate them, it is much more difficult to shift from our new default position back to that “me-first” orientation. We recognize we still have a choice but we also remember clearly its scorching consequences. Do we really want to go there again?  Besides, right here, right now, as close our next breath, waits his embrace.

Until we know all the time that we are one, we need to make our relationship with him our primary purpose, which automatically includes everyone. Sincerely focusing on our inner relationship all the time with as much honesty and earnestness as we can find, as much resolve as we can muster (a considerable amount, given the resolve it must have taken to choose against our one self and uphold a lie in the face of all inner evidence to the contrary). Giving as much attention, trust, and priority to this relationship with one who knows every single, seeming one of us as the only one we are, but does not see us at all as we pretend to be. Giving as much as we can to this relationship, and then a little more, will get us home, deliver us to loving innocence, and bring us peace, leaving us as we seemed to begin, forever full.

“Relate only with what will never leave you, and what you can never leave. The loneliness of God’s Son is the loneliness of his Father. Refuse not the awareness of your completion, and seek not to restore it to yourself. Fear not to give redemption over to your Redeemer’s Love. He will not fail you, for He comes from One Who cannot fail. Accept your sense of failure as nothing more than a mistake in who you are. For the holy host of God is beyond failure, and nothing that he wills can be denied. You are forever in a relationship so holy that it calls to everyone to escape from loneliness, and join you in your love. And where you are must everyone seek, and find you there.” (From A Course in Miracles, Chapter 15 VIII. The Only Real Relationship, paragraph 3)

“Our Love awaits us as we go to Him, and walks beside us showing us the way. He fails in nothing. He the End we seek, and He the Means by which we go to Him.” (From A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 302, paragraph 2)


HALF-HOUR MENTORING SESSIONS NOW AVAILABLE: 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 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 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 harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. One-on-one, hour or half-hour mentoring 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 below. (No one ever turned away for lack of ability to pay.)

Honored that Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, is now available at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center in Denver, Colorado, where I teach regularly on Tuesday nights. Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want takes up roughly where my last ACIM essay collection left off, and conveys my growing faith that no matter how wrenching, wild, or wacky the dream of our lives may appear, we always have a choice about which inner teacher we are looking and listening with: the ego, the part of our mind that believed the “tiny, mad idea” of separation from our source had real effects. Or the “right mind” that remembered to gently smile at the bizarre thought of it. If you’re thinking about buying a book and live in Denver, please consider purchasing a copy from the RMMC to help support their great work. The new book is also available on Amazon. If you read and find the book helpful, please consider posting a brief review on Amazon. 🙂

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and my previous book, Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness, are now also available from the ACIM Store:

I enjoyed talking with Bruce Rawles recently about my new book; Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and the importance of cultivating a relationship with the inner teacher of forgiveness in our one mind. You can watch the video by clicking here: or on my home page. Other recent videos are available on my Videos page.





  1. The American Indians put it so simply: you feed the good dog or the bad dog. Whichever you feed gets stronger.
    Perhaps the part of the story it leaves out is no matter how much one feeds the bad dog, it won’t survive because of its very nature.
    So what are we waiting for ?

  2. Maria Gearhart says:

    Thanks, Susan, for sharing this. It did resonate with me a lot. I’ve also been noticing this shift in me. A gentle, clear voice, whispering “what are you waiting for? You are ready to take me with you wherever you go.” And then, in my experience of this dream, it seems that all is conspiring to encourage me to accept the Truth of Who we are. Your message was one if them. We are definitely remembering Who we are as we walk each other Home. We are definitely never alone. 🙂

  3. Love the idea of feeding the good dog, Jim. But, you’re right, however much we feed the bad dog, he’s still just a dream. 🙂

    And thank you, Maria. It helps to know others are experiencing this , too. I really do know the support is always there now, and it’s so comforting.

    (That said, I woke up yesterday in the pen with the bad dog tossing him steaks with no memory of how I’d gotten there. Ah, that pesky resistance/fear. 🙂 )

    Love to you both,

  4. Wonderful insights, thanks, Susan! When we deny our special, separate identity thief it’s claim to selfhood hoodwinking, the All-Inclusive Self we never left reveals our true, shared, unchanging Being … in each seeming part. 🙂

  5. The good use of denial. 🙂 Thanks, Bruce!

Speak Your Mind