VII. The Totality of the Kingdom, P 1
1 Whenever you deny a blessing to a brother you will feel deprived, because denial is as total as love. It is as impossible to deny part of the Sonship as it is to love it in part. Nor is it possible to love it totally at times. You cannot be totally committed sometimes. Denial has no power in itself, but you can give it the power of your mind, whose power is without limit. If you use it to deny reality, reality is gone for you. Reality cannot be partly appreciated. That is why denying any part of it means you have lost the awareness of all of it. Yet denial is a defense, and so it is as capable of being used positively as well as negatively. Used negatively it will be destructive, because it will be used for attack. But in the service of the Holy Spirit, it can help you recognize part of reality, and thus appreciate all of it. Mind is too powerful to be subject to exclusion. You will never be able to exclude yourself from your thoughts.
There are three things that stand out to me in this paragraph. First there is the sentence, “You cannot be totally committed sometimes.” I think that this sentence is responsible, more than any other, for changing my attitude toward the work we do on this path. I realized at once that my commitment, my dedication, my devotion must be complete. A Course in Miracles is not something I can do when I am in the mood. Forgiveness is not something I do for some and not for others. I must be totally committed all the time or I am not committed at all.
When I divorced my last husband I realized that my commitment to forgiveness means that I cannot throw a relationship away and just start over with someone else. All relationships must be healed, and so I did that. I forgave him and I forgave myself. It took me thirteen years to know that this relationship was completely healed, but that doesn’t matter. Forgiveness is the right use of time.
I may not be quick to forgive, but I always forgive. I understand the purpose of relationships. I know what I am to do with them. If someone at work gets on my nerves, I ask for the Atonement in that situation. If a customer upsets me or a situation with the customer triggers fear in me, I know what to do with that. I ask for the Atonement in that situation and I accept the Atonement. There might be action to take for the story’s sake, but the purpose is forgiveness.
If I experience guilt, that is if I see myself as guilty or someone else as guilty, my purpose is to forgive this. There are no exceptions. No one stands guilty and outside God, and this is what I am teaching myself, and through teaching guiltlessness I am learning that guilt has never existed except in my mind. It is a belief that I made real for myself through the power of my belief.
As I learn to make no exceptions to forgiveness, I am being released from the belief in guilt. Every time I make an exception, every time I believe that some action or thought is unforgivable, whether in myself or someone else, I reinforce the belief in guilt. This is why I must be totally committed all the time. Otherwise I will spend my time dancing back and forth between belief and disbelief, getting nowhere.
Fear is another false belief that I have made very real for myself. My commitment is to back out of that belief. The Holy Spirit does this for me, but only with my permission. As I cling to some particular fear that feels more real to me than another, I keep fear itself in place. It doesn’t matter what form the fear takes. It could be a fear of heights, a fear of poverty, a fear of relationships; it is just fear appearing as a story in my life and so they are all the same, and the solution is the same.
I accept the Atonement in each seemingly different problem. Through accepting that the solution to each problem is the same regardless of the form it takes, I teach myself that there is only one problem. I also teach myself that there is a solution and that I can and will accept the solution. This lesson is not learned if I make exceptions, so I must be totally committed all the time.
I may come back to this paragraph tomorrow.