We will not let the thoughts of the world hold us back. W-45.4:4
In 2013 I gave a Sunday message called “So What?” I spoke of not allowing the ego’s thoughts hold you back in any area in your life.
Also in 2013 I sent out a survey to assess what we could do to better assist our members and students of ACIM.
Interestingly the top two responses revealed that “money” and “time” were the “thoughts” that hold people back from participating in what we have to offer. Granted we do offer a vast array of programs, services, groups, audio and video recordings and more.
All offered to extend to Course students an extended hand in joining rather than to be isolated in their study. To also feel supported in times of need and to grow a little more from where they are now in their study and practice.
The survey revealed that students believe that money holds them back from these services. “If I had enough money, then I would attend an online class, a phone study group, or join in person.” See right there? The ego will tell us anything to keep us separate and alone.
This was important to me when I established my ACIM ministry work and later MiraclesOne.
I desired that there would be no blocks standing in the way of a student’s participation. My thoughts, “Get the block out of the way and get to the business of healing the mind.” Yet, this is not what some Course students seem to experience. We believe that we have blocks standing in the way of our dreams, our visions and our freedom. We are sitting in the prison in our mind not realizing that the door has been open all along.
In reviewing this survey as I said, the prison for some was the thought of “money”. “Money” does not hold you back from our programs and services, it is the thought that money is holding you back from participating. Going beyond that is the guilt and fear that is really holding you back. Guilt and fear or shame or other feelings added in.
You see, once we release the block the way is made clear for us. Then we may be surprised by what we can do and what we can learn and how it will heal us of these thoughts that we believe are holding us back. Some have found that once they have made the commitment, or “set the goal” as Jesus’ says, they find that the obstacles are gently removed. Suddenly their “budget” seems to open up and the ability to give a few dollars a month is realized.
We are tempted to believe that all of these items, money, time, distance, and such are standing in the way of our healing. Jesus tells us in Chapter 13 in the Text that he has already overcome every temptation that would hold us back. We walk the way together with him in quietness and peace. We need our brothers as well for the journey Home. So too, the Holy Spirit.
In me you have already overcome every temptation that would hold you back. We walk together on the way to quietness that is the gift of God. Hold me dear, for what except your brothers can you need? We will restore to you the peace of mind that we must find together. The Holy Spirit will teach you to awaken unto us and to yourself. This is the only real need to be fulfilled in time. Salvation from the world lies only here. My peace I give you. Take it of me in glad exchange for all the world has offered but to take away. And we will spread it like a veil of light across the world’s sad face, in which we hide our brothers from the world, and it from them.
The thoughts holding us back are excuses to remain as a victim to the ego. That is not what this Course is teaching us. It is teaching us freedom from what we made by way of the ego’s thought system. As a quote I saw once on the Forgiveness Project website, “What holds you back is the thought that something is holding you back.”
What is it for you?
Perhaps it is judgment?
I’ll refer to the first item. When I set out to do a “miracles ministry” early in my ACIM ministerial career, over 20 years ago, I did come from the standpoint as indicated in the Psychotherapy ACIM Supplement that “No one should be turned away because he cannot pay.” It was influenced by my work in the nonprofit and social service world and the traditional ministry work prior to coming to ACIM. I believe in service.
One I have heard, “Not enough time in my schedule” is what is holding me back from attendance or participation. As Byron Katie would say, “Is that true?” Is “time” really holding you back?
As I mentioned to Rev. Paul what I had written in the middle of the night he recalled a quote he heard once: The things you find important in life are the things that you find the time for.
What if it was a “choice” of where to place my time? Certainly time for family is essential. But suppose you are binge watching “House of Cards” when you could be taking an hour out of your week to join with others in spiritual communion. Heck, even taking five minutes to join with the Holy Spirit? This doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy those so-called “non-spiritual” aspects of life. I, myself, enjoy Downton Abbey or TV comedies. Yet, if I use these as an excuse to keep me in the dark and not nurturing my soul, then I would need to take a hard look at that.
For me, the spiritual is in every aspect of my life. It is not separated out and I enjoy the time that I spend with other ACIM students throughout the week. It feeds me and to extend that love and care to others I indeed receive it. I never know what I will receive and with every student I talk with in a group or a one on one mentoring session, I am fed as I prepare myself to receive just as much as I give in the time allotted. We can always learn.
Many of our students indicate that when taking the time to join with others the concepts become a little clearer. Does that mean you always have to attend one of our studies? Not necessarily. But how about sharing your thoughts on our Facebook Group or our Google Group Forum? It just takes a few sentences to share your experience. You never know how you will touch another. The miracle touches all. Self-judgment too can hold you back. Doubt, criticism….but who is criticizing who? Isn’t it your own ego thoughts?
Yet “time” and the others I mentioned seem to hold us back. We choose where to place our priorities just as we choose where to place our paper strips and metal discs. It’s all a choice. Once we can own and take responsibility for our choice no longer can we make the excuse for that choice.
We have Heaven’s Help to assist us that is a given. We need no longer hide behind the thought of “I can’t do such and such because of _____” We know too much now. That is why internally it feels off when we say “I can’t participate in because I don’t have enough money or time or I’m afraid to share with others or I’m too far….” We use these as a block to joining with others.
The ego wants us to stay separated and alone in our guilt and fear. Yet when we venture out and prove the ego wrong by leaving that prison we see how free we really were.
I encourage you to join us where and when you can. If there is something that you would like to participate in, let us know. The same with time and schedules, we offer some sort of program just about every day of the week and in different formats, phone, Skype (for those of you at a distance) online accessible classes and audios and videos, and a ministerial program. There is always something available and if you are not sure, simply ask. We post our Weekly Schedule on our site.
What thought is holding you back from participating? Money? Time? Judgment? Fear? Guilt?
Take some time to look at those with the Holy Spirit. Really be with the thoughts with Him. Is there a chance you have decided wrongly and that is why you are not at peace?
P.S. Right now until 11/7/15, I am offering my book, I am Entitled to Miracles! Simple Ways to Apply the Principles in ACIM for free in the Kindle version. Go to: http://amzn.to/1MvkAgl
Rev. Deb Phelps, Senior Minister
Originally posted 10/7/13