It’s Not Working

From Ambitious Kitchen

In my last post, I wrote about how I sometimes still get the feeling that I might need to look at other spiritual paths because A Course in Miracles “isn’t working.” And while I feel if you’re called to look beyond the Course and you’re bringing your feelings to Holy Spirit and you get the message to pick up a different book or try a different idea that you should honor that, I also feel like “It’s not working” is an ego excuse. Because, guess what? The ego doesn’t want us to heal and be at peace!

“Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival.” (T-5.III.8). 

If we choose peace instead of war (which is fear, worry, conflict, doubt, etc.), that means that the ego is weakened in our mind. As we continue to choose peace over and over again, we stop giving the ego our attention and our lifeblood, which it obviously doesn’t like! The ego likes to feel like it exists and that it has control over us.

So one of the best ways it can stop its inevitable demise through our work with A Course in Miracles and Holy Spirit is by convincing us that it’s not working; that the methods suggested by ACIM aren’t leading us to happiness and peace.

With the thought that turning to Holy Spirit might not be working, the ego is also telling us that it will work for us, that it will solve our problems.

But the ego’s way never works, because it tells us that the problem is outside of ourselves, when the problem is actually in our mind. We cannot heal the symptoms of problems; we have to heal the cause of the problem, which is always in our mind. All the conflict we experience results from our decision to experience separation from other people and from God.

Nevertheless, the ego still tries to convince us that it knows better than the Holy Spirit, and it throws up distractions to try to bring us back over to the dark side ;). These distractions take many different forms, but usually sounds like this in my mind:

Because my car broke down, I am not at peace. I can be at peace again if I fix my car. 

Then I think obsessively about how to fix the car–who to bring it to, how much money it will cost, when I can take it. Do you see how the ego is convincing me that my lack of peace results from something outside of me, and that peace will return if I fix it out there?*

“The distractions of the ego may seem to interfere with your learning, but the ego has no power to distract you unless you give it the power to do so.” T-8.I.2:1

But the ego’s distractions, these temptations to believe that we can fix it out there, have no power unless we turn to it. We created it and gave it power by believing in it; so we we can take back our power by not believing in it.

So when the ego tells you, “This forgiveness crap isn’t working, look at all the problems you have” you can simply say, “Thanks for the input, but you’re wrong.” You can turn back to the Holy Spirit, choose peace, and hear His voice again.

However, depending on where you are in your development of trust, you may still feel unsure. You may wonder if forgiveness really is working for you. And that’s okay! Those are the days when you should be SUPER GENTLE with yourself and trust the process. This is the part where you say to yourself again, “I’m never off my path.”

Know that no matter your doubts, you are being guided. One of things that helps me so much when I’m feeling doubts is the fact that I wouldn’t be guided to this work if it wasn’t for me.

If you’re here reading this blog, this work is for you in some way, shape or form. You may not feel like that’s true, and that’s okay. Feel how you need to feel. Get angry at the Holy Spirit if you need to, feel sad if you need to. But know that it IS working, that Holy Spirit’s always with you. And at some point, you’ll hear a little voice that says, “This need not be.” 

“When you are sad, know this need not be. Depression comes from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have Remember that you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise.” T-4.IV.3:1-3

Whenever you’re ready, decide again for peace, which is another way of saying turn to the Holy Spirit. He is waiting patiently for you. 

*Just because your lack of peace does not result from something outside of you does not mean that you don’t still need to do things in the world. If your car breaks down, please fix it. Just know also that your lack of peace doesn’t result from that; it always comes from a decision you made in the mind to see conflict and hardship instead of peace. 🙂

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