“What do I value?”
After reading a section of the text I try to take time to sit with it for awhile in order to fully digest the reading, which allows me to meditate on the words and receive insight from The Holy Spirit.
For the sake of making this blog more personal you will find when the text uses “we” I will be personalizing it by writing it in the first person in order to form a better understanding of how I apply and understand my readings.
I was reading from section VII: “The decision for God in chapter five of the Text and as section VII begins it asks, “What am I valuing, the ego or God?” I came from a very strong mainstream denomination before I came to “New Thought” spiritual practices. After I felt that I no longer aligned spiritually with the mainstream denomination’s teachings, through my experiences that are unimportant for the sake of this blog it launched me into a completely new and eye opening world of spiritual practices.
The first statement of section VII is “A common theme in the Course is that everything I experience is the effect of my decision(s).” These words caused me to pause for a long time, sit in the quiet, and spend time in meditation allowing the words from the Holy Spirit to wash over me. I was reminded what the last sentence in paragraph one says “I may have decided wrongly, but I am always allowed to change my decision”. Wow! Those words alone freed me from a lot of guilt I felt for the many years I was not true to myself and who I truly am. I also realized that all the decisions I made on my Spiritual journey culminated down to that one sentence.
As I began to reflect on my years spent practicing the mainstream denomination’s teachings I realized I spent a lot of those years seeking the approval of various spiritual leaders I had chosen to follow. I now realize not only was I not truly following my spiritual path I had set out upon, but I was valuing the ego over God the majority of the time because I was seeking the approval of men and not truly valuing God, my creator. I was not allowing The Holy Spirit’s voice to direct me and I found I would rail against it because I had been convinced that the path I was on was the only way to make the journey home. I feel as thought I was listening to the ego and allowing it to take primary control to lead me since I was allowing other spiritual leaders to show me the path and make my choices for me. I allowed myself to believe in the illusion that the path they were showing me was the only spiritual path until one day I clearly heard The Holy Spirit’s voice telling me that there was much more out there and it was through leaving the large church I was a member of that I truly began to blossom into the person and the creation that God meant for me to be. Though my departure from that church was a very painful experience for several reasons I found that through listening I was at peace with what the horizon and future held for me. I had a level of excitement within my spirit that I had never experienced before. It wasn’t until years later when the Course found me that I read in this section that the plan for my Atonement was given to me by God and that it was a plan of undoing through helping to change my mind about what I valued. Jesus goes on to say “When our values change, our decisions change”. The second goes on to say “We are gently taught to recognize the valuable and the valueless. Letting go of the valueless is not perceived as a sacrifice. Rather it is recognized as a release of what is no longer wanted”. Those powerful words could not have resonated more with my spirit and with me. It was the first time I felt a true connection with my Creator and I was able to hear The Holy Spirit direct my path. Though the Course was still yet years away from finding me. I strongly feel that each part of my Spiritual Journey has led me to where I am now. Another feeling that I felt before I practiced the Course is that as I started to feel my peace slipping away it was the Holy Spirit that guided me back and I was at peace with the decision to walk away from what I was studying knowing that I was doing what the Holy Spirit was guiding me to do. The course has taught me to acknowledge when there is a lack of peace within and that Holy Spirit is there to support and let me know when a change of course is needed in my mindset. The Holy Spirit is always there to guide me to the next level of spiritual growth.
Jesus says “Be very firm with myself in this, and keep myself fully aware that the undoing process, which does not come from me, is nevertheless within me because God placed it there”. This is something I slowly learned along this new and exciting journey I’ve found myself on. I had a lot of undoing and relearning from all the formed doctrines, dogmas, and creeds that was the core of my spiritual practice for years, but I knew if I relied on the guidance of my Creator; The Holy Spirit would gently do this undoing and unlearning for me. This section has a beautiful prayer written in it that I use often if I do not feel at peace and know somewhere I decided wrongly with something on my spiritual path. That prayer is from section VII:
“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace. I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise. I want to decide otherwise, because I want peace. I do not feel guilty, because The Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I let him. I choose to let him, but allowing Him to decide for God for me”
This prayer is one of my go-to prayers when I am not at peace and “The Holy Spirit will respond fully to my slightest invitation.” As long as I am as sincere as I can be in inviting The Holy Spirit. The section also reminds me “The Holy Spirit is in our mind to help me decide for the Value of God. It is here where I find perfect safety, perfect joy, and perfect peace.” That is why Jesus us tells us of the importance of sincerely inviting The Holy Spirit. I am reminded, “The time is now. I do not need the dreams of the ego. I will receive God’s gift for my peace and joy as long as I am willing to still my mind and accept them.” Accepting these gifts and owning these gifts allows me to share the peace and joy of God with the Sonship, which is making the decision for God; by my sharing this peace and joy from my Creator is what my Decision for God allows for me to do. This is what making the decision of God is all about for me.
The last paragraph of Section VII of Chapter five of the text says, “Because there is no order of difficulty in miracles, I can accept healing. I can return to God the mind as He created it. As I return to God what belongs to God, I am healed. I return to wholeness where I belong. I return to certain peace, where I belong. God’s joy is mine and I experience it on in God’s wholeness.” When I am still and silent and listen to Guidance I am sure to choose correctly, or know that I am always free to turn around and change my decision with the confidence that The Holy Spirit is always there to correct any wrong decision I may have made. All I need to do is be open and have that “little willingness.” There is no fear of guilt or shame for deciding wrongly as I was taught when I was much younger. The illusion and fear of a vengeful God has been undone and as I have been in the unlearning and relearning process, I like to call this process that many people call “The Unlearning Classroom.” It was when the Course first found me and I found MiraclesOne Center for A Course in Miracles where I began my practice of MiraclesOne’s philosophy of the “Practical Application” of the Course. The more I dedicated myself to studying, practically applying the Course in my daily life, and made the full commitment to practicing and applying the daily Workbook Lessons the rest of the guilt and shame I had been working on undoing began to slowly turn into God’s perfect love, joy and peace.
So if you feel that you are not at peace and feel that you have decided wrongly. Know The Holy Spirit is just waiting for that sincere invitation to help you correct any wrong decision(s) that you believe you have made without feeling guilty, instead feeling the love, joy and peace of The Holy Spirit and The Creator.
The Course has changed my life in countless ways. One simple way I love to sum up my journey with the Course is that it has brought me to a place of complete peace and certainty of the unconditional love of God and has placed fully in my view the certainty of the bridge that I will one day cross over to that Holy place where my Creator will be waiting.
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Wishing you the Deepest Peace,
Ryan Westbrook-Vigue, MiraclesOne Board Member and Tuesday Night Online ACIM Study Group Facilitator