ACIM Lesson 284 I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.
1. Loss is not loss when properly perceived. ²Pain is impossible. ³There is no grief with any cause at all. ⁴And suffering of any kind is nothing but a dream.
I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.
1. Loss is not loss when properly perceived. ²Pain is impossible. ³There is no grief with any cause at all. ⁴And suffering of any kind is nothing but a dream. ⁵This 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. ⁶Then to be considered seriously more and more, and finally accepted as the truth. ⁷I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt. ⁸And I would go beyond these words today, and past all reservations, and arrive at full acceptance of the truth in them.
2. Father, what You have given cannot hurt, so grief and pain must be impossible. ²Let me not fail to trust in You today, accepting but the joyous as Your gifts; accepting but the joyous as the truth.
Only Our Thoughts Hurt Us
The only thing that can hurt us is our thoughts. We can believe ideas and those ideas become true for us. This is what has happened to us, why it is that we think we are separate from God living in a world as bodies. As long as we continue to believe in this fantasy, we will suffer from our thoughts. We will continue to believe in pain because we believe that we are bodies and bodies experience pain. We believe we are separate and alone and loneliness is painful. Bodies die and we are left without the body we loved and so we grieve for our loss.
The Way Out
There is a way out of the world and we do want out even as we resist the simple process that we are given to free us. We can decide to change our minds about what we believe. We can change all thoughts that hurt. Because our thoughts are projected outward and seen by the body’s eyes, we think our thoughts must be true and real. This is the error that makes the world possible. It is the error that keeps us coming back for more suffering. But the world is not cause, our thoughts are cause and they can change.
We know that we can change our minds. We do it all the time. I go for an ice cream cone intending to get vanilla. Once there I choose rocky road instead because I changed my mind. I get married and then divorced because I changed my mind. It is easy to see that I believed one thing and then I believed something else instead. It didn’t just happen, I decided. I have believed that I am a body living in a world of time and space. I believed that a certain amount of pain and loss was inevitable. I thought there was no way out. Now I have changed my mind.
Finding the Truth
Jesus has helped me to see this differently. He has convinced me to look deeper into myself and to find the truth. I still waver in the face of what my past beliefs have shown me. However, I can never go back to believing in the world completely. My process is described here exactly. ⁵This 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. ⁶Then to be considered seriously more and more, and finally accepted as the truth.
I have one problem. I think I am no longer in God. I think I am different, that I am not what God created. I believe I changed creation. Everything else stems from that one thought that I decided to believe. All the pain I have ever suffered was because I believed this thought. All the loss I ever felt was because I believed this thought. This thought of separation from God is not true and I can elect to change it.
An Overriding Desire
Most of the time I feel detached from the body and the world, but then something here pulls me back into the old beliefs. My child is sick or someone I love dies. This body feels pain or I forget something important. I feel a stab of fear that this brain is failing me. There is a hurricane warning and I feel tired at the thought of going through all that again. Some lingering belief in the reality of the world rises to the surface and grabs my attention. It’s OK, though, because while part of the mind is interested in these phenomena, I know that they are not true.
No matter what appears on the screen of my mind, I have one overriding desire. ⁸And I would go beyond these words today, and past all reservations, and arrive at full acceptance of the truth in them. I am meant for joy, not pain and I pray that today I choose to believe only that which brings joy. I pray for support as I continue to make the choice for God over and over until I accept nothing else.
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