What if Love really is the only truth and our true home? What if all fear -- which is hatred, judgement, attack, jealousy and anger -- is really just an illusion? This inquiry is baffling to me, difficult for me to completely wrap my head around and is one of the many concepts taught in the metaphysical text "A Course In Miracles," written by The Foundation for Inner Peace. Reading and applying the teachings has allowed me to access a deeper sense of wholeness and a feeling of being at home in my heart.
The Course was first introduced to me by Dr. Wayne Dyer. The core of the teaching of The Course is that there is both Love and fear. Love is within us and and fear is what we learned. The Course acknowledges that Love is too great to teach so the focus is on teaching the unlearning of fear. I love how Marianne Williamson explains this: "Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us."
These three quotes from "A Course In Miracles," that I consistently revisit, have provided comfort in some of the most difficult circumstances I have faced.
1) "Nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace. But this also means that nothing outside yourself can hurt you or disturb your peace or upset you in anyway."
Way before I was aware of any of these principles, I had a powerful experience that first showed me that Love and wholeness were within me. It was about eight years ago and I was in an argument with an ex-boyfriend; our relationship was ending. I felt sadness, anger, inadequacy, and fear. After I hung up the phone I continued to weep and suddenly a wave of light and Love came over me. Nothing external had changed, we still were angry and broken up; but I felt this insurmountable sense of Peace within. It would take me years to learn what that was, clean up my life, get sober, and readily be able to make conscious contact with this Force.
The 15th century Persian poet Hafiz wrote: "I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being." If an abundant career, great relationships, and other external things are the source of peace then what happens when those experiences shift or transform? How can we cultivate peace, love, and light in our own hearts that is so powerful that outside storms can not really weather it? I find through daily connection with the higher version of myself, I am able to more easily access the peace that lives within. Author Dr. Robert Holden has said: "A daily spiritual practice can be as simple as taking a moment in the morning and asking your Soul to guide your day."
2) "If you knew Who walked beside you at all times; On this Path that you have chosen; You could never experience fear or doubt again."
Not more than a few years ago I was letting rule my life in a big way. Worry and doubt and a relentless effort to control things through my own self will was exhausting and would leave me feeling disappointed and angry. When I embarked on my spiritual path, slowly began to awaken and surrender; I started to understand that when things did not go my way, often times it was actually really helpful and beneficial. So called "losses" were actually wins. Yeah, maybe at the time I didn't get the job or didn't make the move but so often I was catapulted into experiences and relationships that furthered my evolution and growth. When I am feeling funky or resistant to my current circumstances, I make a practice of recalling and even writing down those past experiences where the Universe was supporting me. Steve Jobs famously said: "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future." I now trust that Spirit, Universe, or the Highest version of myself is walking with me, supporting me, and knows whats best for me.
3) "The holiest of all places on earth is where an ancient hatred becomes a present love."
I was in a yoga class once and was feeling resentment to someone close to me. I began to realize that their personality type that triggered me so much was not just in them but in many people who have been in my life. This stuff was ancient! I felt suddenly softer around the situation as I remembered this quote. I imagined the person feeling peace and I prayed for the willingness to forgive and accept them. I began to weep on my mat in half-pigeon pose as I envisioned the small corner of that Berkeley yoga studio where my mat lie to be the "Holiest place on earth" at that moment. In that holy instant, I shifted my perception, forgave, let go of old resentments, and returned back to Love.
Dr. Wayne Dyer's recent passing has reminded me of all the beautiful teachings that he introduced to me like the Course. A miracle, as defined by ACIM, is a shift in perception from fear to Love. Through practicing forgiveness, gratitude, and a strong connection to my Higher Power; I am able to more readily shift my perception and allow miracles to unfold.
As we approach this beautiful season of miracles (where also, resentments can run much higher) may we make the collective intention to let go of fear, forgive and return to the pure Love that lies within us, that is Us.