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I remember my first encounter with the Course in a small study group in February of 2007. The first thing that sparked my curiosity was hearing that I am not guilty. For someone who had felt guilty all of my life, I was hooked.
Through the years I've felt resistance to the Course because it's not an easy read, it's a course to be studied and lived and I've put the book down a few times, only to return to it because there's nothing like it for me. Practicing its principles has resulted in more self-awareness, mind healing, loving relationships, and inner peace like never before. It has and continues to answer my existential questions; I have a relationship with it's Author that grows deeper and deeper. Finally, I am inspired to facilitate a study group myself starting with the Text in 2021.
"Nothing real can be threatened; nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God."
This quote from the Course's introduction starts us off precisely by the inquiry of what is real in this life; if reality cannot be threatened then most of what we believe is real (bodies, furniture, jobs, etc.) really isn't because they can be threatened. Think about it.
Our Creator calls us all to practice this (see below) so we can experience a world of unity, inner peace and brotherhood. It is not easy, since we live in a world based on the ego thought system that is founded on lack, competition and fear and it is what we know, until now. We can choose differently. Our Inner Wisdom is always with us to guide and help.
Love is the basis of this practice, and it begins with each of us. If we want to see our world begin to heal, it starts with us! We can practice this at home, at work, on social media, even at the store.
"....when someone injures you, instead of seeking to get your own back or to repay him in his own coin, you are to do the very opposite--you are to forgive him, and set him free. No matter what the provocation may be, and no matter how many times it is repeated, you are to do this. You are to loose him and let him go, for thus only can you be free yourself--thus only can you possess your own soul."
Emmet Fox--Sermon on The Mount
Curiously, as I watch my thoughts, I notice how much of them are recycled, from the past, judgmental, with no real substance nor connection to the present moment and alien to God-inspired thinking. These intrusive thoughts seem to rise up from my subconscious to be acknowledged and released, which I’m learning to do as I focus on what is true about me and the situation. Truth heals.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling very anxious about one of my children’s life situation, constantly thinking about their situation. I realized this concern and fearful thinking was not helpful and had robbed me of my peace, and more importantly, had detoured my thinking away from faith. I remembered the truth: God is our loving Father and our true Provider, and the Holy Spirit is in all of us as our Guide, Helper and Comforter. Bingo. As I PRAYED and THOUGHT IN THIS MANNER consistently (these are some of the practical, spiritual tools), the anxiety subsided.
Whenever I feel anxious, I check what I am allowing in my mind and remind myself of what is true. This helps me return to peace. I may need to do this repeatedly, but I am certain to return to love, truth and peace.
This IS the practice that will bring God into the world through each of us as we choose this path. We are truly innocent. We are mistaken about who we truly are.
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Prov. 23:7
"[Man] thinks in secret, and it comes to pass: environment is but his looking-glass." James Allen (1902)
It has been through my study of A Course in Miracles that I became aware of this truth, that the projection of what is in my mind (my beliefs) is the cause of the world I perceive. I spent almost 20 years in a religious community and studied the Bible, and yet don’t recall this important teaching. I, as most of us, believed that I was at the effect of the world. As a result, I felt the need to control the world and others, feeling victimized by what was happening “to me.”
Maybe I just wasn't ready to understand this truth. But I am ready now. I am ready to be at peace, I am ready to see a different world, I am ready to see myself as I truly am, as God created me, and to see others in this light. I am ready to put this into practice now. As I change my mind, the world I experience changes. Very empowering!!!