January 19, 2015
The practice period should begin with repeating the idea for today, then closing your eyes and reviewing the unresolved questions whose outcomes are causing you concern… Today’s idea should be applied as follows: First, name the situation: I am concerned about ______. Then go over every possible outcome that has occurred to you in that connection and which has caused you concern, referring to each one quite specifically, saying: I am afraid ______ will happen… After you have named each outcome of which you are afraid, tell yourself: That thought is an attack upon myself. Conclude each practice period by repeating today’s idea to yourself once more.
Thoughts & Applications
- My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.
- I am concerned about whether I should be trying to increase my income or trying to divest myself of the need for it to the extent possible.
- I am afraid that by investing time and energy building Studio Tara Erin, I am working at cross purposes to the principles in A Course in Miracles. That thought is an attack upon myself.
- I am concerned that if I do not cultivate additional sources of income, my family will suffer. That thought is an attack upon myself.
- I am concerned that our current financial situation will increase conflict and distress in my home. That thought is an attack upon myself.
- I am afraid that my efforts to resolve this problem, no matter how I do so, will create conflict in my family, either by threatening Mark’s role in the family or by seemingly threatening to dissolve the family. That thought is an attack upon myself.
- I am concerned that I am meant to struggle financially and that my ego will succeed in using this goal to trap me in its consciousness. That thought is an attack up on myself.
- I am concerned that I have somehow earned this financial struggle through guilt. That thought is an attack upon myself.
- I am afraid that I will prove my parents wrong by succeeding financially. That thought is an attack upon myself.
- I am afraid I will never teach my sons how to fulfill their dharma and to live lives of happiness and fulfilling their true purpose because I cannot find the key to even do so myself. That thought is an attack upon myself.
Most of these worries are rooted in feelings of guilt and its companions fear and unworthiness; and Guilt, Jesus clearly tells us in ACIM, is a tool of the ego to project the original separation outside of ourselves. Celia Elaine at Miracles Each Day put this separation into perspective nicely when she wrote: “The separation occurred only in illusion, when our minds became mad from a ‘tiny, mad idea’ about which we forgot to ‘laugh.'” (https://celiaelaine.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/separation-and-the-ego-are-actually-impossible/) I am reminded me of the moment in The Rise of the Guardians when, inspired by the playful spirit of Jack Frost, the children laugh at their would-be villain, Pitch. Robbed of the power of fear, Pitch must soon face his own fearsome Nightmares…and meets his demise. And who having seen Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban can forget Ron Weasley’s moment of brilliance, when he turns his fear of spiders into the “Riddikulus” (and hilarious) image of a spider on roller skates?!
Fear comes when we project the Past onto the Future, and cannot coexist with laughter in the Present. When one is laughing one cannot but be present in the NOW. By its nature, laughter is contagious, and we extend it to others.
January 20, 2015
The idea for today needs many repetitions for maximum benefit. It should be used at least every half hour, and more if possible. You might try for every fifteen or twenty minutes. It is recommended that you set a definite time interval for using the idea when you wake or shortly afterwards, and attempt to adhere to it throughout the day.
I did truly see today: for at least a moment, I understood the Call for Love, if not at first, then at last. And I answered it with Love as best I could.
“Tara, come see our new lap dog.”
Mark was in the easy chair in our living room when I got home. Our 65 pound Black Lab Brewer was in his lap.
“The dogs won’t leave me alone today.”
Later that evening, he dragged his feet about going to work.
“How could he?” the Fear in me chided, “You need his income to survive!”
In turn, I asked the Spirit: “My fear is right: how could he do this to us?”
And the Beloved Spirit answered me: “All things are either Love or the Call for Love. Which do you judge this to be?”
Without hesitation, I replied, “The Call for Love, of course!”
“And so, how will you answer this Call?”
And of course there is only One Answer to that.
“Show me, please, how to answer with Love.”
And so I came into the NOW, and I listened with all my being. I learned how Mark had experienced extreme weakness last Thursday night at work, and cold sweats. I learned how Mark dreads this dreadful job: getting paid 2 cheeseburgers an hour for work which his aging body struggles to complete. I learned of his gratitude for a $35 stool on which to sit when his strength fails him, trying to stand up from a task that has him lying on a cold concrete floor. I learned of the former EMT who got burnt out and now works with Mark, also earning 2 cheeseburgers an hour, who wanted to send Mark to the ER on Monday night when he had another episode of weakness and sweating and just a twinge of pain. In the left side of his chest.
And I answered with Love, knowing his Ego demanded that he not acknowledge his weakness, not acknowledge his need: “Mark, either you’re going into work, or I’m taking you to the ER.”
We wound up at the ER. Mark said: “Well, she forced me to come.”
But the truth was, the Spirit taught me to listen. Taught me to hear the Call for Love. Taught me to answer with Love.
Perhaps there was not a Miracle to heal his body that night, but then perhaps that was not the Miracle called for that night. Surely a Miracle did occur.
January 21, 2015
We will have six two-minute practice periods today, in which the idea for the day is stated first, and then applied to whatever you see about you. Not only should the subjects be chosen randomly, but each one should be accorded equal sincerity as today’s idea is applied to it, in an attempt to acknowledge the equal value of them all in their contribution to your seeing.
As usual, the applications should include the name of the subject your eyes happen to light on, and you should rest your eyes on it while saying
Above all else I want to see this ______ differently.
Each application should be made quite slowly, and as thoughtfully as possible. There is no hurry.
I did follow this lesson throughout the day. I repeated it especially frequently as I looked at Mark, and all around his hospital room. I repeated frantically when he decided to leave the hospital “AMA” – Against Medical Advice. I insisted and argued with the Beloved Spirit that I was not being helped to see things differently to my satisfaction. I felt afraid of so many things: of Mark’s heart health, of insurance repercussions for Mark and possibly for his children; of the coexistence of petty financial worry with my fear for the very life of my beloved. In fact, I think that last fear was the greatest of all. For the time being, I am left to confront my fear. Time serves the Spirit’s purpose in the end…and having not yet fully understood the lesson, I am left to wait within it for a Time.