I am determined to see things differently.
Never before has our commitment been so poignant and called into action. We can no longer hide from anger, hatred, grudges, and triggers of annoyances. We realize in our five practice periods today that we can no longer work with empty words and that we are called to be more specific in our examples used. If one is serious about lifting the veil, this means that she cannot hide from certain things and not others. All must be ready to be seen differently and in truth.
In our more recent lessons, we have been asked to include the statement outside of our practice periods whenever appropriate. This is another step towards awakening as every moment we are in this world is a moment pregnant with the potential to be aware of the truth. The Course is now working with us to recognize the opportunity we have in our daily lives not just in our structured practice periods. Today’s lesson is not an exception and is perfect to use when little annoyances arise throughout the day.
I recall working on this lesson while driving down the road one day. The car in front of me was from another state. Not only did the license plate tell me this but as the driver was moseying along it became apparent that he didn’t know where he was going. You know the situation, the driver in front of you starts to turn on the signal to make a turn and slows down but then never turns. Then the driver quickly swerves back into traffic and speeds up and eventually turns off the turn signal. You, as a local, realize that this person in front of you could be a hazard and that you must pay attention as this driver is more concerned with finding where he is going. This was such a driver that I found myself behind one day. I wasn’t necessarily in a rush to get somewhere that day but I obviously wanted to get somewhere and stopping and stalling for this car didn’t seem on my list of things to do. We came to a stoplight when the car in front of me wanted to turn left while there was a steady flow of oncoming traffic making it hard for him to do so. I noticed my blood pressure rise as I could see my house just straight ahead. I was getting so annoyed because I needed to go straight but had to wait on this person to turn left. The light turns yellow and just when I think he is going to turn, he swerves right, and goes straight, leaving me at the stoplight looking at my house ahead, waiting for the light to turn green again. If he had just known he wanted to go straight, I would be on my merry way and at home. I remember in my annoyance, I sat at the stoplight saying to myself, “I am determined to see this out-of-state car differently.”
I didn’t want to feel this annoyance and ickiness that I was feeling. This reason alone is why a lot of people come into a journey of spirituality, to end his/her suffering. In this example, I can say it was the driver’s fault for my annoyance but it wasn’t. It was me who was choosing to suffer the feeling of annoyance. That is the beauty of this lesson. We become aware that we can continue to live in anger, guilt, fear, annoyance or we can choose to see things differently. Instead of waiting for something outside of me to change, I can be the one who is the game-changer, connecting back to a life of peace.
“I am determined to see __________ [name of person, with or without a specific attribute, or a situation] differently.”
Being aware of this lesson gives us an idea of how quickly we react with annoyance or anger. How slippery is the slope to negative reaction. While on a trip, I once sat next to a professor of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Management who specialized in the aspect of sustainability. He told me that teaching sustainability to students comes down to one word, “pause.” He said, “as instructors of sustainability, we teach our students to pause. To reflect on the cause and effect of their actions, choices, and ways of living; thus learning the impact it has on Nature.” Isn’t that was the Course is teaching us? To pause before we react into cascade of consequences?
This is where the practice periods are miraculous. We start to see not only the past hurts that we are carrying around with us but also the level of severity we give ones over others. The Course states,
“It is merely an example of the belief that some form of attack are more justified than others (ACIM Lesson 21 3:5).”
We start to bring the light of today’s statement to the dark places where we keep our attackers held with all the ways we believe they have hurt us, regardless of severity. Today is lit with awareness and we walk with courage to explore this aspect of the mind.
We are being asked for our full attention and commitment with this lesson on sight. This will no doubt be a Course statement you will not forget and may be one you will use consistently in your life. No statement can better call us out of suffering to recognize that we truly want to see differently; to see with love. What a beautiful reminder of your true commitment here on Earth.