When last we talked, and since …

Monarch ButterflyJesus, I know it’s been a long time. For reasons I can’t begin to fathom and at least now know better than to try, I think I needed a break from our dialogue (OK, monologue, since I do all the talking, really), in which I all too often inch dangerously close to facing my real fear of being swallowed by the heart of God, and then find myself clowning around with you again before I can quite go there. Then, too, I suppose I had become somehow dependent on the imaginary you I conjured in our talks as a way of avoiding the abstract we beyond all words. Today, though, for reasons that gratefully elude “me,” I feel the need to fill you in on the little independent study (I know that sounds sketchy, but try and trust me on this) I’ve been conducting over the summer.

When last we talked, I believe I may have come to you on my knees, perhaps in tears? Offering symptoms I feared would somehow fell the physical being I still cling to before I could really learn to digest the good news I’ve been ruminating on for more than 10 years that I am not a guilty, mortal body at odds with every other. Despite terribly convincing evidence to the contrary. Just one frightened mind, at odds with its true Self. Confused about how the hell it got here, unable to remember where it came from, but nonetheless pleading to go home.

When last we talked, my hand in yours, aware only of your eyes alive in mine, it occurred to me in a familiar, welcome flash of completion that I didn’t need to know why I’d chosen these bodily problems, only that I had, and it scared me. Because a part of me believed it was safer to be scared than released. It occurred to me that the solution to my fears about these physical problems, the meaning of true healing, was no different from the solution to a problem in a troubled relationship wherein I learn to recognize the ego activated in another’s seeming meltdown as my own. In either case, I don’t need to know why I’ve chosen to support the sick belief in separation realized. Just that I have, and it scares me. And a part of me I don’t even remember likes to be scared. As Ken Wapnick often says, the problem is not what I’m dreaming. The problem is that I’m dreaming to stave off the awakened awareness that I am still one with God, scary or not.

When last we talked, I was just beginning to learn from the inside out that the practice of true healing and forgiveness are the same, providing the same remedy for the same fundamental problem showing up in yet another, equally, ultimately irrelevant, form. The former merely focuses on correcting the guilt projected on my own seeming body, or the body of a loved one I also identify with as my own, the latter on correcting the guilt experienced as another’s incoming attack.

Both strive to make the unreal body real, defending against the truth of our uninterrupted, abstract union in the mind. Milking the body’s physical or emotional pain for the nectar of specialness that, however much we guzzle, never comes close to replenishing the inner reservoir of ALL we believe we permanently drained. Both require remembering that perceiving myself (physically or emotionally) under siege is a choice I am making in my mind (outside this dream) right now to prove I exist at God’s expense but it’s not my fault, as Ken always says. I could see peace instead of this. I have done so before and I will do so again, as soon as my fear of you subsides.

When last we talked, I was up again during the night, hurting in so many specific-seeming ways, so very tempted to pin the cause on something or someone “out there.” Learning, nonetheless; that I could elect to stop scaring myself. I could locate the tender place within that was beginning to hear the call for love in others as my own and respond spontaneously to the same call that now seemed to emanate from “me.” I could treat myself like I am learning to treat other frightened children disguised as grownups with your patient, non-judgmental compassion, without internally joining with their belief in an external cause of their suffering. Without supporting our addiction to helplessness that refuses to recognize our only real power: our decision-making mind. Applying what I have learned under your tutelage every day in my classroom with my husband and daughter, friends and acquaintances, teachers and students, to “me.”

Since last we talked, as my reactions to my physical and emotional symptoms continue to ebb and flow according to a choice I can’t remember making in a mind outside this dream I can’t remember I have, as I find myself awake in the rawest recesses of the night, taking it all seriously again, seemingly without you, I have somehow also remembered things are not what they seem. Eventually falling back into sleeping nightmares that abruptly morph into healing dreams. Discovering an entire colony of those dreaded, diabolical spiders I’ve mentioned before crawling on the foot of my bed, for example, waking within the dream, and flinging off the sheets and covers intending to capture and/or kill them, only to freeze as they turn into Monarch butterflies before my astonished eyes.

Or, swimming in a vast channel, a man and a woman standing above on a bridge pointing out a Great White Shark churning toward me through metallic looking chop. Heading under the bridge to escape him even as the fin draws closer, his head bumps against me, and I jab outward at it with my elbow. Watching him circle away, only to return for me, as predators will. Bracing myself for certain death as he lunges out of the water and onto my suddenly mighty shoulder, magically able to sustain such weight, even immersed in water, as the creature transforms into a dolphin, fishing net entangled around his nose, crying, beseeching. Most recently, cornered by a giant serpent, slowly coiling and rising to strike. Even as a voice I somehow know as yours advises me to sit down and take the creature into my lap, as I would a frightened child. (Thank God, I had the sense to wake up before I could obey you on that one, but still.)

Since last we talked, in my waking dreams, too, you’ve been showing up in the most surprising places. Special relationships I’ve been practicing forgiveness in for years with mixed results (in terms of my recurring sense of victimization) and, quite honestly, often tried to avoid altogether so as not to shatter my spiritually tolerant facade, have suddenly appeared to shift from toxic to benign. Doors to hearts long sealed shut have suddenly swung wide open, forcing me to dig a little deeper within to find the roots of my enduring pain, a terrifying excavation of seemingly long-exiled, warring fragments, and yet.

Since last we talked, I seem, nonetheless, to have survived the ordeal of my own scrutiny. Despite scouring the sewers of my psyche intent on finding the unholy, past source of my enduring sense of hard-earned suffering and hidden, luxuriously justified hates, each scene revisited simply dissolved into the ether from which it sprang once my compassion for the dream figure I thought I was at the time, the dream figure I mistook them for, kicked in. Which must mean you were beside me all along during this little sabbatical, right? Sneaky, ever-smiling savior that you are. In stealth mode. Even as I elected to face my most formidable foes.

Jesus, since last we talked, I think I am learning, in spite of myself, as dreams come and go, kingdoms rise and fall, that there could never be a time, appearances aside, when you are not.

“To look within is but to find my will as God created it, and as it is. I fear to look within because I think I made another will that is not true, and made it real. Yet it has no effects. Within me is the Holiness of God. Within me is the memory of Him.” (A Course in Miracles workbook Part II, lesson 309, paragraph 1, lines 4-7)

 

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles continues to offer illuminating classes taught by a talented, devoted, truly inspiring staff who shine with the light of living this work! I was so deeply moved and inspired by their presentations at the July and March academies, and can’t wait to return for more! Check out all their current offerings here:  http://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx

The Foundation has extended its 50% discount on all books written by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick (print version only) through September! Now is the time to add to your library or gift a friend as there will be no lower price this year! Shop for your English and Spanish-language translated bound books at our Online Bookstore. http://www.facim.org/bookstore/ A great time to buy (among other wonderful books) the incredibly helpful Journey Through the Workbook and Journey Through the Manual!

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles could use our help as they continue to so gracefully teach and publish the mind-healing, life-altering work of our beloved teacher and mentor Ken Wapnick, who selflessly dedicated his life to helping us change our minds about the world and find our way home. You can express your support and appreciation for this ongoing work with a donation here: https://www.facim.org/bookstore/p-195-donate.aspx . 

I enjoyed talking again with CA Brooks of 12Radio September 5th about workbook (Part II) summaries “What Is Salvation?” and “What Is the World.” To listen, please go to the top of my Audios page: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/audios 

Here’s a link to details about my ongoing Tuesday night class on the text here in Denver https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/classes-events beginning in May 2014. 

I’ll be speaking in interview format, followed by a live Q & A session, at the upcoming Miracle Share virtual conference in October. You can find out more about the many speakers and register here: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/miracleshare-org-2014-virtual-conference 

HALF-HOUR, FORTY-FIVE MINUTE, OR HOUR-LONG 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 and even ourselves harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. 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 is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay.) 

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 http://www.acimvillage.com/. I found his recent, kindly right-minded contemplations there on the death of our beloved teacher Ken Wapnick deeply comforting! Bernard lives and teaches in France with his dear wife Patricia. You’ll find a wealth of information in French on his website http://uncoursenmiraclesenfrance.com/ including recorded talks available for purchase or free download: http://uncoursenmiraclesenfrance.com/audio/. 

My dear friend and wonderful teacher Lyn Corona continues to offer classes at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center through her School of Reason for Course students and teachers. You can subscribe to her website http://www.schoolofreason.org/ to receive information about upcoming classes.

My latest book, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle versions. If you read and find the book helpful, I would so appreciate you posting a brief (a sentence or two is fine) review on Amazon. 🙂

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and my previous book, Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness, are now also available from the ACIM Store: http://www.acimstore.com/default.asp.

Comments

  1. “hard-earned suffering and hidden, luxuriously justified hates?” I suspect we’re all harboring … and glorifying more dream grievances that we realize, but fortunately we get to look at them with our Inner Kindness Teacher … and ultimately let them all go … at a pace we’re comfortable with. Thanks for yet another great post, Susan! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Bruce. His faith in us will take us wherever and whatever “there” is if we let it. 🙂

  3. A very nice piece Susan. Oh how we want to recognize the end of the process, forgetting that we would not need a process to begin with if that were the case. I will forever be grateful for Kenneth’s article, “Mysticism and Schizophrenia” in that regard. It was this article that led me to Kenneth and the Course and it explains why we need to do our spiritual exercises (my interpretation) so as to be prepared for the next “big – ah-ha” moment in our studies. It is a process, and one that you write about beautifully. The end is certain and so long as we remember to establish our goal as such at the beginning of each day, the means will be clear to us and we will see in each and every one of them the truth of the miracle as it reflects certainty upon an uncertain world. It is a process and there will be some bumps and then there will be a miracle and then we are one more step closer to standing at process’ end. Jesus only smiles and we are one with him. There was a time when I could not fathom that. How silly of me. May every smile we make lead us to the everlasting smile of Christ. A process that we can believe in. Ben

  4. Hi Ben:

    Yes, it is a process, and not always a pretty one :). Still, as you say, the end is sure; we cannot fail!

    Thank YOU for beautifully describing what it means to live the Course, giving each moment in each day the new purpose of learning from Jesus that we are happily wrong about all our sad stories. Ken always said, “it’s not a big deal; you’ll get there.” I hear him saying that a lot these days, and am so grateful.

    Kind regards,
    Susan

  5. Oh, so cutely you reminded Ken’s words “it’s not a big deal; you’ll get there”. For me it always seemed so far away! And still seems! Yet, not as much as before. “Yet” – is a nice word, huh?

    Cute little dreams, Susan. The dreams of change – I like that. Your each dream is like a condensed description of the process and maybe a retelling of “Son’s fall and awakening” myth. How a Son falls asleep and thinks he condemned himself, while realizing it was all a dream and everything evaporates as Monarch butterflies. And that recurring theme of sharks (remember channel “Animal Planet”?)… nice!

    Blessings,
    Gabrielius

  6. Thanks, Gabrielius.

    Yes, yet is a nice word, depending on which teacher I use it with, I suppose.

    And yes, spiders and sharks and snakes, oh, my! But nightmares eventually transform into forgiven dreams. No real predators anyway. Almost safe to wake up, perhaps. And yet … 🙂

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