I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.
Loss is not loss when properly perceived. Pain is impossible. There is no grief with any cause at all. And suffering of any kind is nothing but a dream. This is the truth, at first to be but said and then repeated many times; and next to be accepted as but partly true, with many reservations. Then to be considered seriously more and more, and finally accepted as the truth. I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt. And I would go beyond these words today, and past all reservations, and arrive at full acceptance of the truth in them.
Father, what You have given cannot hurt, so grief and pain must be impossible. Let me not fail to trust in You today, accepting but the joyous as Your gifts; accepting but the joyous as the truth.
I have had some small experiences with this idea. I have been in pain, sometimes for days, and then decided that enough is enough. I ask the Holy Spirit for a different way to see and I really mean it. It is a true miracle because in a simple change of mind I go from being completely distraught to completely free. What is amazing about this process is that I might take a while to get to the decision to make another choice. But then, I don’t take nearly as long as I used to so I see progress.
Sometimes I say that I want to change my mind, and I ask the Holy Spirit for a new way to see and I don’t experience a change. I used to think that this seeming failure means that the system is flawed, or that God doesn’t want me to be happy because I don’t deserve it, or that there is something wrong with me that is so bad I am the only person who is not forgiven.
What I know now without any doubt is that this process always works to the degree that I truly want to relinquish the ego thought and embrace my true thoughts. When it does not seem to work it is not the system that is flawed, nor is it God. It is not me that is flawed. Actually, the whole thing works perfectly. I want to keep my separation thoughts and so I do.
It is as simple as that. I will sometimes still argue that I hate what is happening in my life and I certainly do want it to change, but what I really mean is I hate what is happening in my life, I don’t want the circumstances to change, but I want to be free of the painful consequences of my decision. This is not the same thing as asking the Holy Spirit for a new way to see.
An example of this kind of thinking happened when my son was very sick. Every time I saw him or heard from him I felt so upset and so anxious for him. I knew it was not helpful for me to join him in his story of sickness and yet I could not seem to stop myself. I kept praying for a new way to see this situation and would get glimpses, but I refused to accept them.
The thing was, I knew what I wanted my new vision to look like. I wanted it to show me my son with a healed body and any other answer was not of interest to me. So I continued to muck around in the ego story of pain and suffering, all the while giving up my peace and knowing that, in doing this, I was not helping my son.
One day he called to tell me that he had passed out on the bathroom floor in the night. It was a very frightening experience for him and scared me to death. I was on my way to an ACIM group and so told them what had happened and how I felt. I was so tired of not being at peace and of being afraid. I also noticed that I felt anger at my son because he seemed to be the cause of my suffering. I knew this wasn’t true, and yet it was how I felt.
I was ashamed of my feelings and felt guilty for them. It was such an ego mess and I just wanted out of it. Also, I had never lost sight of the purpose. I knew that the only purpose of this situation was for me to use it for my own awakening, but that thought made me feel guilty, too. My friends suggested that we all join in prayer at a certain time. When I got home I emailed others and asked them to join us as well. I was asking them to pray for Toby, but of course there is only one of us and so his healing is my healing.
It was the most amazing moment for me. As soon as the moment of prayer began I experienced the power of that joining and tears flowed from my eyes for the entire time. When I rose from my prayers I was healed. I understood (not in an intellectual way, but with a knowing that did not involve the thinking mind) that Toby’s journey was perfect for himself and that I was so blessed to have had this healing opportunity.
I felt such gratitude toward him for sharing this situation with me. This was very different from the fear and resentment and the resultant guilt that I had felt just moments before. I was free and so was he. Nothing was being done to either of us; we were simply experiencing the natural result of our choices. This made a permanent change in the way I think.
Most of the time, I do not have such a dramatic change of mind. Usually, I suffer until I decide I don’t want to anymore. Then I stop telling God how He should answer my prayer and completely surrender my thoughts to the Holy Spirit for correction. Dramatic or not, the result is always the same. When I truly recognize that all I want is to experience God’s perfect will for me rather than the ego will, then it is done.
Choice is my one freedom and one that I am well versed in. I make choices all day, every day. Nothing is in my life except by my choice. Where I need practice is in making choices that bring me to joy. I have plenty of opportunity and now that I have seen the results, I am truly motivated. Now that I no longer accept that something outside me causes my pain, and now that I accept that God wants only that I be completely happy, all that is left is for me to practice this way of thinking. I am truly grateful.
What I find helpful is to have certain thoughts in mind so that when I feel upset I can work my way out of the error. These thoughts remind me of the truth just as the ego thoughts compelled me into the error. I don’t think it is the thoughts that cause the change of mind, after all they were in my mind all along, but rather they motivate me to make the change by choosing the Holy Spirit as my teacher rather than ego. They help me shift my focus, and they help me to stop the ego cycle of wrong minded thinking so that I can receive help from the Holy Spirit. I think of it as allowing the Holy Spirit to get a word in edge wise.