A Course in Miracles: Lesson 285

Lesson 285

My holiness shines bright and clear today.

“Father, my holiness is Yours.  Let me rejoice in it, and through forgiveness by restored to sanity.  Your Son is still as You created him.  My holiness is part of me, and also part of You.  And what can alter Holiness Itself?  (ACIM Lesson 285 2:1-5)

We are here for this grand experience called, “Life.”  We are here to sit in the front row for our grandest role yet, Human.  There is no other purpose for our existence than this.  We are not here to be a healer, a doctor, a lawyer, a mother, a sister, a friend, etc.  We are here to be God observing God.  That is it.  Yet something so grand, while also simple, can be mind-boggling to the human brain.  It is tough to fathom the grandiosity and tough to understand the absence of complexity.  As humans, we love to make things tough and we do so because of what we get out of it, a badge of honor, so we think.

What do we get out of anything?  That is the question for the day.  The company we hold, the books we read, the movies we watch, the places we decide to go, and the breath we breathe, nourishes our souls, minds, and bodies.  We are walking antennae that are absorbing and deciphering all the stimuli we come in contact with.  Yet, have you ever paused and asked, “What am I getting as by products?”  Fear?  Suffering?  Pain?  Joy?  Love?

“For what would be the use of pain to me, what purpose would my suffering fulfill, and how would grief and loss avail me if insanity departs from me today, and I accept my holiness instead?”  (ACIM Lesson 285 1:4)

It is easy to claim what we get when we choose love or joy.  One will stand and declare that all day, every day.  However, on the other hand, a lesson like today prompts us to recognize, “What am I getting out of pain, suffering, and fear?”  In honesty we are fulfilling ourselves and gaining something whether we like it or not.  This can be a very stark, dark, and alarming thing to look at but it must be attended to.  It cannot be overlooked…any longer.  Your pain did not choose you.  Your suffering, also, did not choose you out of a lineup at the grocery store.  It is time to ask ourselves, why would I not choose light and love and where in my life am I not choosing those things?  We must look at what is so appealing about suffering and pain that makes us want to identify with it rather than our birthright.

Once more, I am not saying that you will not feel suffering or pain.  You are human, and it comes with the territory, however, what I speak of is our power of choice in how we experience the entire gamut of feelings and emotions and circumstances in human form.  How do we flow with the various waves of life?  Can we let it wash over us or do we get taken under water by the undertow?

Thus, we must be honest with how we choose certain experiences to play into the stories we have created for ourselves.  For example, the story I may choose to feed is the story of my smallness, “I am small and weak.  Nobody sees me.  Nobody hears me.  Nobody truly cares for me.”  This is a juicy story that the world and all its players are happy to take part in.  Someone cutting me off while driving on the road sends the message that I am never seen.  I say hello to someone on the street and they do not even acknowledge my existence, well, that just means that I am never heard.  And never getting chosen for the job or promotion, that plays into the smallness that I am not good enough.  Do you see how our existence can feed our story of suffering, pain, and fear?  Yet, just as easily we can feed Truth.  It is up to you to decide.  The desire to know our holiness must be greater than the desire to feed our stories.

It takes courage and readiness to look at such truth.  I know many people who smoke.  Each one of them has a desire to quit but is aware that the desire it not great enough to actually do it.  They know if they try to quit they will just get frustrated because the desire to smoke is much stronger.  They are waiting for the moment of readiness.  It is interesting to note that the desire to smoke is also equal to the desire to harm oneself.  Smoking is harming yourself.  It is not good for the human body.  It causes damage to the lungs, skin, teeth, gums, and to the bank account.  I say this statement as I recently talked with a woman who is 6 months smoke-free.  Since letting go of her cigarettes she has realized how smoking was playing into her story of years of hurting herself.  Smoking seemed harmless and cool, and custom for her culture, but when she was honest, and ready to look at the truth, she came to recognize that smoking was a means of adding to the damage and pain she wanted to cause herself.  I do not feel her story is singular but universal.  We all often feel we are deserving of some level of suffering or pain.  We feel it is a rite of passage or deems us a badge of honor.  That is what the Course would call, “insanity.”  And if you pause to think about it, I believe you would agree.  What does God have to prove?  Why would Perfection need, or want, to suffer?

Today, we break the habit of cultivating our stories and remember the immaculate story of our Creation, our holiness.  It is a story that shines clear and bright.  It is eternally unmistakable, deserving, and True.  The desire to live and experience this brilliance is what leads us away from the idea that we could ever suffer.  Throughout today, let us feed our Light instead of our stories.  Let us drink of the eternal well of love and nourish ourselves with all that is holy, as this is the Real badge of honor, our Light.  Let us care for it, love it, and wear its glory.  Namaste.

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