God wants me to be happy. The special relationship stands in the way of my happiness. I insist my brother must act a certain way and say certain things. I make my brother responsible for my happiness. I have been on the giving and receiving end of this idea. I don’t like or appreciate either end. What I can do is have that communication with the Holy Spirit. “Holy Spirit, I don’t like what I have made in this relationship. It hurts me to the core and breaks my heart. I want to make of this a holy relationship where I know that I am healed and whole and so is my brother. Transform it for me. Help me to see the truth through the thick of the mess that has been made. I offer it to you. I accept your loving gift in all its essence and beauty. Amen.”
Paragraph 2 – Every special relationship you have made is a substitute for God’s Will, and glorifies yours instead of His because of the illusion that they are different.
There is emotional pain in special relationships. When one has seen you as you are not. I can speak, and explain, and plead my case. But I cannot change another’s mind. I can only change my mind. Do I will for the relationship to continue its dreadful path? Do I want it to be holy and kind? I choose the latter. I hold the key to the relationship in my hand and it is through forgiveness. For neither of us have done anything. We were mistaken and afraid, yet we are only innocent and loved.
Paragraph 3 – Every special relationship you have made has, as its fundamental purpose, the aim of occupying your mind so completely that you will not hear the call of truth.
The special relationship is where I insist what I believe to be true. I project all my garbage on to another person. This includes stories that I write up in my mind about my brother. My brother is innocent. My stories are my projection and my judgment that I have used as self-sabotage to keep me under the ego’s thumb. It keeps me as far from the truth as possible. It keeps me from being honest with myself and others. Nice words are only nice words but if they hide an hidden agenda then truth is not there. We can do this with one another as Course students without even realizing it. We Course-ify what we project to make it sound more spiritual instead of owning responsibility for the projection and the denial of truth. It is a wall that I keep between my brother and myself thus maintaining the special relationship. I want the holy relationship and I am willing to see my brothers through the veil, see their true heart of Love, and lay aside the scripts I have written for them. I do this with Holy Spirit. I do this with my conversations with him all the time in my mind. He helps me to see it differently. I am grateful.
Paragraph 4 – The whole defense system the ego evolved to protect the separation from the Holy Spirit was in response to the gift with which God blessed it, and by His blessing enabled it to be healed.
Yes, the special relationship was developed to keep the separation going. Special love and special hate. Blame, blame, blame and be the victim of it all. Yep, I did that too. I wanted myself to be special and I wanted others to see me as special. I had special hate with those who were against me or abused me in any way. What that did though was keep me entirely alone in my delusional thoughts. And they were delusional. The delusions make one paranoid. Always looking around every corner, protecting the self I made because someone, somewhere was out to get me. They’re coming to take me away, ha ha, ho ho, he he! So many stories and so much time wasted by believing in specialness.
Paragraph 5 – The ego is always alert to threat, and the part of your mind into which the ego was accepted is very anxious to preserve its reason, as it sees it. It does not realize that it is totally insane.
In addition to what I wrote above, then the ego is on Defcon 1, readily prepared with a full arsenal to preserve and protect the “I know” thoughts. The ego really does think it knows. I know why someone says what they say, it was because they were trying squelch me. I remember I guess it was 10 years ago or so in an organization I had worked for. I felt that I had no voice and I was being squelched. I blamed the co-owners but with Holy Spirit soon I came to see that the only one who squelched me was me. I was proficient at self-sabotage, in fact being an expert saboteur from years prior. Learning it from family and school and society. When I blame someone else I am shirking responsibility. I am not owning my part in the matter. How can I heal if I don’t own it? Do I really want to stay separate? Is this just lip service? We can’t just do this in one area of our lives. We have to do it in every single area of our life. I can’t be a victim in regards to my work life but in my spiritual group I am not. It is about generalization. The Holy Spirit, yes, can work with us specifically but it is His goal is to work with us to generalize the application in every area of our life so we are no longer sequestering private thoughts. All thoughts of separation must come to Him, not just some.
Paragraph 6 – You have but little difficulty now in realizing that the thought system the special relationship protects is but a system of delusions.
System of delusions, it’s the virus placed in the computer-like mind. I’ve let a hole through my firewall, my vigilance and so the ego virus is able to run its fatal code. Yet, like with a computer, I keep the anti-virus updated and I keep my mind ever vigilant for ego’s fearful thoughts, then my mind and my computer run clean and free. Pretty simple. The ego has its way of protecting its domain which is divide, conquer and distract. The distractions come in as we focus outside of our mind and into the world and to another person. Thus the divide and conquer come in leaving us isolated and alone in our own thoughts. Sure we might join with others but we are joining with others to support our insane beliefs. We call the witnesses to the fear to agree with us and say, “Yes, indeedy, you were unfairly treated. You are a victim and anger is justified here.” Instead, I know I need to go to peace immediately and as often as I can. Yes, the pain will arise, I may need to write it out in a journal or call a friend but then it is ultimately up to me to be honest with the Holy Spirit of where I am in my insanity. That is owning it and that is “giving” it to the Holy Spirit. My willingness to have it transformed and to have all my relationships transformed is how the transformations occur.
Paragraph 7 – Every defense operates by giving gifts, and the gift is always a miniature of the thought system the defense protects, set in a golden frame. The frame is very elaborate, all set with jewels, and deeply carved and polished. Its purpose is to be of value [in itself,] and to divert your attention from what it encloses.
For me, I detested the “frame” growing up in my family. My mother was one who put on such a façade and was incredibly cruel while I was living at home. Out in the world at her job and to others she was sweet as pie and the social butterfly. Always putting on the most beautiful, innocent face to the world while at home it paled in comparison with Joan Crawford’s famous antics. It caused me to be very wary of people who put on a façade. I was so careful to be true and real to myself and to others. I did not want to be attacked and abused. I thought I had learned to possess a good radar for façade makers so I could protect myself.
Some time ago I had contact with someone who I had known for a long time and who I thought was genuine and lovely in all of our interactions. I really cared for this person tremendously. Basically in this last conversation I was called to my face a “cold-hearted bitch”. Whoa! Never saw that coming! I never knew anything was wrong between us. Not one clue. Accusations were made towards me and obviously were imagined. Nothing had ever given me an idea this person was so angry, and for what? This snapped me back to growing up with my mother and the abuse that I dealt with. Once again it caused me to lose faith and trust in the human race, that is, yet another person that I trusted and shared deep intimate details with had pulled the wool over my eyes and attacked me. I felt vulnerable and isolated.
Yet I knew the true picture. I knew the truth. Holy Spirit knew the truth. Holy Spirit knew my deepest intentions from the heart. Holy Spirit also knew that this attack was not who this person was. This person felt afraid and terrified inside and had used me as a target of projection because of their own history of pain. They didn’t know how to look within and see the terror striking at their heart. It was easier to blame. I took some deep breaths and even through the hurt, I knew that this was not the truth for either of us. How could it be? I know so much from practicing the Course to not pay attention to the ego’s antics, “the frame”, and to look straight to the heart of the matter. In this I could offer love and only love as the issue here was a call for love. That’s the only way I can respond is with love.
Paragraph 8 – Into the frame are woven all sorts of fanciful and fragmented illusions of love, set with dreams of sacrifice and self-aggrandizement, and interlaced with gilded threads of self-destruction. The glitter of blood shines like rubies, and the tears are faceted like diamonds and gleam in the dim light in which the offering is made.
Ah, the frame. The ego wants blood. It wants what it wants. It wants me to worship the special relationship be it of love or hate. I place my expectations on the frame. I place my control on the frame. I place my need to be right on the frame. I place my superiority and inferiority on the frame. I decorate it further with as someone said in our Wednesday Practical Application Group today, “righteous indignation”. Further decorations with blame, shame, guilt, and fear, all that I use to make this frame elaborate. How about that innocent face? The innocent victim? You bet that is there as well. I have used sacrifice as well, perhaps conditional love, judgment and more. All this keeps me distracted. And what about special love. “You complete me!” That has a hand in it as well. I have to get you to meet my needs and do what I want or I will not feel loved. Oh boy! I don’t think I like this frame very much at all!
Paragraph 9 – Look at the [picture.] Do not let the frame distract you.
What’s the picture in this frame? What really is under all of this? The ego’s destruction of us as the Son of God. The ego always reminds me of Gollum from the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. “My preciousss” is what is the picture. “I haves to have it.” It’s so pretty and shiny yet it offers me death. The Ring seemed to give extended life to Gollum, yet it brought him ever so daily misery. The Ring he had come to love and to hate just as he loved and hated himself. So too us with the picture and the frame. We love it yet we hate it. We want to be free of our special relationships, insisting what we want and where to find it, yet too, we want to have freedom and God’s Love. We can’t have both as it is one or the other. We have to drop the frame into oblivion just like Frodo had to drop the Ring into the fires of Mt. Doom. The Ring hypnotized Gollum just as the frame and picture of the special relationship hypnotizes us. Break the spell now. At one point in the last movie of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gollum tells his ego self to “go away and never come back” and it works (at least in this scene). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_aziIIp8U8 That is what we need to say to the ego. “I will not listen to your distractions. I will not focus on special love or hate. I will only focus on God’s Will for me.” When I do so, I am free!
Paragraph 10 – That is why the holy instant is so important in the defense of truth. The truth itself needs no defense, but you do need defense against your acceptance of the gift of death.
What I like about this quote from this paragraph is that I need not defend what is true. If I find that a falsehood has been presented all I need to do is commune in the holy instant and I will be shown the power of Heaven. False is false. Truth is True. There is nothing for me to defend, just as there is nothing for me to attack. I am saved from my own attacks for I am loved. Thank You God for providing me with Heaven’s Help against all attacks either outer or inner.
Paragraph 11 – The holy instant is a miniature of Heaven, sent you [from] Heaven. It is a picture, too, set in a frame. Yet if you accept this gift you will not see the frame at all, because the gift can only be accepted through your willingness to focus all your attention on the picture.
Oh yes to be willing to focus and direct all intent on seeing the Truth in any circumstance. That is what I have been practicing this week being mindful of only the truth no matter what has been presented to me. Illusions are illusions. Falsehoods are falsehoods. But Truth is True and only the Truth is True. My dilemma has been I believe what an outside source has told me to be true about me even when I know deep within my soul that it is untrue. Somehow I was swayed into believing the lie. Joining in the holy instant shows me my innocence, shows me that no matter what is said out in the world it can never take away the beauty of Who I am. I am God’s Son, whole, healed and complete.
Paragraph 12 – Look at the pictures. Both of them. One is a tiny picture, hard to see at all beneath the heavy shadows of its enormous and disproportionate enclosure. The other is lightly framed and hung in light, lovely to look upon for what it is.
And so I see the contrast of the ego’s picture of myself: the guilt, the attack, the defense, and the illusion. Holy Spirit’s picture is one of Light, Love, Joy, Peace and Stillness. How could I dwell anywhere else? How could I listen to the ego’s lies about me? How could I know anything else to be true? I only look within and share with the Holy Spirit my feelings and thoughts of the ego’s picture. I own responsibility for what I believe. I free myself to further improvement and healing. I know that this gift of ACIM does not stop with reading the miraculous words on the page. The gift comes in looking straight at my illusions along with the Precious Loving Eyes of the Holy Spirit and surrendering all interpretations of which I was mistaken. I have given the meaning to the picture. I placed the ego picture there. I now remove it from my mind gallery and look upon the light in its loveliness and Love.
Paragraph 13 – You who have tried so hard, and are still trying, to fit the better picture into the wrong frame and so combine what cannot be combined, accept this and be glad: These pictures are each framed perfectly for what they represent. One is framed to be out of focus and not seen. The other is framed for perfect clarity.
It’s the old “I want my cake and eat it too!” syndrome. Yet, I don’t want to do the work to get there. But that was then, this is now. Just like my eyeglasses that I wear to help me see clearly, so too is the Holy Spirit there to help me to choose the correct picture which is the Happy Picture of Heaven.
Paragraph 14 – The other picture is lightly framed, for time cannot contain eternity. There is no distraction here.
No need to allow distractions to take me from Heaven. I can’t throw Heaven away in actuality but I can sit in the corner and keep clutching at the frame of what I wanted to occur, or who I wanted my partner to be, just like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings as I shared the other day. My precious, my precious, my precious. But “my precious” is not the frame. No one can be the way I want them to be. I cannot control them or change them. I have to allow all in the Sonship be Who they are. They are lovely to behold with the Eyes of Christ. So too this week did I relinquish my frame placed on a few relationships. I now feel at peace. And even especially since one of the frames was me. It is always what is in my mind. I make up the frame and the picture it holds. I want the picture of light because there is Heaven.
Paragraph 15 – The picture of light, in clear-cut and unmistakable contrast, is transformed into what lies beyond the picture. As you look on this, you realize that it is not a picture, but a reality.
Ah, reality. Reality is mine by my choice. Is it yours today?
Paragraph 16 – Let us ascend in peace together to the Father, by giving Him ascendance in our minds. We will gain everything by giving Him the power and the glory, and keeping no illusions of where they are….The holy instant shines alike on all relationships, for in it they [are] one. For here is only healing, already complete and perfect. For here is God, and where He is only the perfect and complete can be.
In the holy instant am I and my brother free. No longer do I hold the petty illusion that kept me distracted from God’s peace. How could I let my self suffer? I am the one that choose suffering and the belief in lies. God knows the truth. If I come to Him first and listen intently to His Words then nothing can be taken from me. I am complete, perfect and whole.
Originally posted February 2014