I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 17
17 I do not need gratitude, but you need to develop your weakened ability to be grateful, or you cannot appreciate God. He does not need your appreciation, but you do. You cannot love what you do not appreciate, for fear makes appreciation impossible. When you are afraid of what you are you do not appreciate it, and will therefore reject it. As a result, you will teach rejection.
Do I appreciate God? Do I appreciate Jesus? Do I appreciate myself? I never really thought about this before. According to Jesus, I cannot love what I fear, so I guess I don’t truly appreciate God. I have much less fear of God than I used to, but I guess I am not free of that fear yet. I do feel a sense of deep gratitude well up in me sometimes when I think of God. I thank Him for creating me and for loving me. So I am developing a sense of gratitude for Him.
I feel absolute and complete gratitude and love for Jesus. There is no fear in my mind when I think of my brother, Jesus. This has developed over the years as I studied the Course. I appreciate his part in our awakening and love him for it. Actually, it was in developing my gratitude for Jesus that I began feeling less fear and so more appreciation for God. (That I can admit that fear of God kept me from loving God shows me that the fear has lessened. At one time I could not have written these words.)
I do appreciate myself. That sure wasn’t true before. I hated myself and had no appreciation whatsoever. Slowly, as I studied the Course and practiced what I was learning, my mind began to heal and I stopped hating myself. Eventually I developed appreciation and gratitude for myself. Now I think I am pretty awesome. ~smile~
I find, as I write this that I am in love with myself, not in an ego way of thinking that I am better than others or look good or am successful. I don’t know how to explain this, and had not even known this was true until I reflected on it here. I spent so many years thinking badly of myself and feeling profoundly guilty, that I was surprised to discover that I don’t feel like that anymore. I guess it is because I am not so identified with the ego and don’t think of myself like that much, so I am in love with my Self.
I see that since these changes have occurred, and since I am no longer rejecting myself, I have stopped teaching rejection. I see it come up in my mind sometimes, but I am very quick to realize that I have no use for rejection anymore and immediately ask for the Atonement. It is just the ego mind trying to reassert itself into my consciousness, but I am not interested.
Now I am going back to the fear of God. Jesus, could you help me to see this differently. I notice as I ask that I feel emotional and tears are welling up in my eyes. What do you want me to know about this?
Jesus: Sister, the fear of God is a deep well within the mind of the separated ones, but it is a well of nothingness. You have nothing to fear. Your desire for your Father is very strong and your devotion to your purpose has nurtured your desire. You are very appreciative of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is the Voice for God, the representative of God while you are still feeling separate.
You are not afraid of the Holy Spirit are you? In fact you are very grateful and appreciative of His Voice in you. You are not as afraid of God as you think, so much of your fear is just a shadow, a memory that you return to at the call of the ego mind. That does not make it real. As you have learned, the thoughts in your mind are not your real thoughts. You hear the ego, but you are not the ego.
God is Love Itself, and that Love has extended Itself as you. The Love that is God is undiluted by the imaginings of the ego mind. It can only love. I know that it is hard to understand something that is non-dual while the mind is still mired in duality, but Love can only love. It cannot condemn because it is not condemnation. Because God created you as an extension of Himself, He could not condemn you without condemning Himself and God is not insane. There is absolutely nothing to fear from God. Your imaginings cannot affect His nature and so you are perfectly safe.
Dear Sister, I am in a position to know this and you are here with me. Can you see, now, how unfounded is your fear of God? You are dreaming, sweetheart, just dreaming of fear and guilt. Nothing is happening. No one is threatening you, least of all Love Itself. You can wake up anytime you want.
I went back over this and read it to myself and I have to tell you, that the ego mind was scrambling to take me away from this idea. I started thinking about correcting a sister, about how people would think of what I am writing, about how inconvenient awakening would be at this moment, like would I be able to see my customers today? That I will die if I keep thinking about this. That if I don’t hurry up I will be late for work. Really? That’s what I’m concerned about now? Just any crazy thing the ego could think of to distract and redirect my desire.
I am not interested in the ego. I ask that my mind be healed of any belief left that the ego has anything to offer me. God, here I am. I open my heart to your healing love, and accept the Atonement. I say, yes. Please heal me of any residual no, any residual fear that is still in my mind. I don’t want to hide behind that fear anymore.
PS: This is my personal journal that I share with you all. But please remember that there is no personal and that is said to me is said for all. The Holy Spirit does not look on us and see many. He sees just the one Son of God. So nothing can be for me alone.