I do not perceive my own best interests.
Rrrring….Rrrrring (telephone rings)
Voice 1: Hello
Voice 2: Hi, is Kathy at home?
Voice 1: This is she.
Voice 2: This is Truth calling. Can you talk?
Ouch. Today is a real blow to the ego. Today’s is like a shocking phone call that we are bound to get. Truth has caught up to us. No, not really caught up to us, but with our work thus far, we are finally open to what It has to say. In earnest, Truth has been calling you for a while but you have just sent it to voicemail. But today, today is your choice to pick up the phone and stay on the line.
Wow, “I do not perceive my own best interests.” Here I was walking around in life thinking I was the only one who knew what was best for me. I had to learn that the hard way after years of asking everyone else because I thought they knew best. Well, after blaming others for their advice which always led me astray, I decided that only I knew what was best for me. At least then I only had myself to reprimand for my actions. I found I kept more friends and less foes this way. Now, on my spiritual journey, I am told that even I don’t know what is best for me. In a way I feel relief after still being led astray by my own self. But where do I go from here?
If we integrate all of our lessons leading up to this one we can clearly see that, of course, we don’t perceive our own best interest. How can we make a good decision when we are choosing at random from the millions of thoughts we think a day? This is truly a loosing battle. When a thought comes and goes as quickly as a leaf floating on the river, how can we choose one such thought to base our happiness on? We are choosing nothing but illusory thoughts that are fleeting. Thus, are results are just as empty and passing. No wonder we keep searching and searching. What we are trying to hold onto is pure water. Try it, can you capture a fist full of water? This is what we are trying to do with the small mind when we think we know our best interests.
“What you do is determined by your perception of the situation, and that perception is wrong. It is inevitable, then, that you will not serve you own best interests. Yet they are your only goal in any situation which is correctly perceived. Otherwise, you will not recognize what they are (ACIM Lesson 24 1:3-6).”
Today’s lesson also makes sense because if you follow with the practice periods you will notice that you have a very limiting view of a situation and it’s outcomes. The small mind limits potential but the Truth sees all potential. Notice how in the practice periods what you begin to list as potential outcomes are really just ultimatums for God. Recognize how often this happens in life.
I know I have come to various crossroads in my journey to then turn to God, “thinking” I am handing over the situation but to only say in my dialogue to Her,
“Could you please have this happen or this?
And if you have this happen maybe only a little bit of that?”
I know I am alone this circumstance. Although we may believe we hand over our lives to a Higher Power, we still often think we know what is best. And how can we? We are negotiating with a Higher Being that knows no limits and that see a destiny in us that is greater than anything we could ever,ever, ever imagine. Thank goodness God has a sense of humor when we come to Her with such alternatives and ultimatums. And I am very grateful that the Creator cannot be limited even with my suggestions. She cannot come down to my level of smallness but I am welcome to join Her in my original seat.
Today, we see the ladder of ascension before us. The next step is merely the willingness to allow the unraveling of the mind to continue, so that we can begin to trust in something greater:
“If you realized that you do not perceive your own best interest, you could be taught what they are….The idea for today is a step toward opening your mind so that learning can begin (ACIM Lesson 24 2:1&3).”
In our practice periods we notice all the demands we place on ourselves, others, and the world. And recognize that truly the only outcome possible is failure and conflict. We are always vulnerable to suffering when the small mind is in charge with all her ultimatums. We are doomed no matter what, like the adage says, “you can’t win for losing.” Such is life led by the ego.
Luckily, the Course awakens us to the Truth and our highest potential. A friend once told me, “if you want to exercise something, exercise faith.” Now that is something, exercising faith like a muscle. But there is no gym involved, no team workout, no set structure or days of the week or time of day. Exercising faith is a 24 hour equal opportunity employer as we exercise her in the arena of life. Exercising faith is knowing that I do not perceive my own best interests. Exercising faith is letting go and letting the Word of God appear before me. Exercising faith is where all souls come to after every attempt of knowing where to turn to, fails.
This is the beauty of this experience. We exhaust all options until we turn to the One True Faith Show-er. Thus, we truly never, ever fail and have no reason to distrust ourselves. We were only playing out all options until we found the One True Way that is eternal and forever flowing. We only finally see the right path that has been in front of us all along, waiting patiently for our gaze.
Picking up A Course in Miracles is picking up the phone. You are already on the line. Just continue to walk the course. You never walk alone.