ACIM Daily Lesson 217. It can be but my gratitude I earn.
It can be but my gratitude I earn.
ACIM Lesson 217
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
1. (197) It can be but my gratitude I earn.
²Who should give thanks for my salvation but myself? ³And how but through salvation can I find the Self to Whom my thanks are due?
⁴I am not a body. ⁵I am free.
⁶For I am still as God created me.
What am I being saved from? It is my decision to see myself as separate and special. This decision obscures my reality and makes it impossible for me to remember who I am. It causes me to believe that I have forgotten Heaven and have forgotten my Creator. This decision has left me in a hell of my own making.
So who is going to save me? Only myself. My choices placed me in hell, and choosing with God will be my salvation. I am given all I need to guide me back Home. A Course in Miracles has introduced me to the presence of my decision-maker and has shown me how I can use these life stories as helpful feedback that shows me where there is still a need to heal my mind.
This Is the Process
How is this going to save me? As I continue to bring my thoughts and beliefs to the Holy Spirit, my mind is healed, and I begin to see more clearly. I become aware of the errors in my mind, and I let them go. My mind opens to more healing and so more clarity. As the darkness clears, the light shows me my Self and it is to my Self that I owe gratitude. I really am as God created me.
I want to talk a little about bringing my thoughts to the Holy Spirit because it is the heart of forgiveness. And forgiveness is the only way to God. When I notice an ego thought in my mind, I look at it with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the ego wants to look with me. I can tell it is the ego because there is judgment. Seeing the thought, I feel guilty for having it in my mind.
I Must Make a Choice
I cannot look with the Holy Spirit and with the ego at the same time. So, if I feel guilty or upset in any way when I notice a thought, I change my mind. I change from looking with the wrong mind to looking with the right mind. As I look with the Holy Spirit, it is miraculously healed. Then I remember that my mind is my servant and needs new instruction as to what to believe. Thus, I instruct my mind with true thoughts so that I will not be as likely to pick that thought up again.
My commitment is very strong now. There are still thoughts in my mind to be healed, but I know what I want, and I seek only that. The following is from a couple of years ago. At that time, my commitment was strengthening but still wavered at times. The second sharing is from several years ago. At that time, I was noticing how different I had become but also aware of a ways to go. I enjoy seeing my growth through these journals.
My Commitment Was Growing Stronger
I am grateful for my salvation which seems closer all the time. But oddly, the closer I get, the less of a personal me there is to accept that thanks. That is because, in salvation, I find my Self. So right now, I sit on the proverbial fence, leaning first toward the self and then leaning more toward the Self. I can never come down on the side of self because I have come too far, but I seem not to be ready to fully commit to Self. I don’t know why.
This wavering is not ideal, and I will be glad when I do finally commit, but it does not decrease my gratitude. Every day, I am happier and more content. Every day, I am more peaceful than all the days before. I rarely have days of discontent now, though I have brief periods of falling into the rabbit hole. Even when I do, though, I am never lost in them. I know what is happening, and I immediately start digging my way out. So, yes, I am deeply grateful to my self/Self and all the spiritual forces that act on my behalf.
It Sometimes Feels Frustratingly Hard
And I am, indeed, thankful for my salvation. I am so grateful for the peace and love that are consistent elements of my life now. I used to be a morose, angry, self-destructive, and depressed person filled with self-loathing. This is not true about me anymore. This sea change I have witnessed in myself has proven to me that there is something else, a Self yet to be discovered.
Because I am still looking at and releasing ego beliefs, I sometimes forget to look at the big picture. I get confused and discouraged at times, and I wonder if I will ever loose myself from this illusion. But then there are other times, Times when I write with Spirit, when I teach, when someone asks for help and I let that help come through me. These times I feel differently about it. I feel like my real self. I feel at home.
Not Yet Stable
Then I slip from my lofty perch on the mountaintop, and I am back in the valley again, doing the work. But the reality of Self is in my mind, so I never get lost in the valley. I may be frustrated, but I know I am not that. Here is what I know and what I always come back to. I want the peace of God, and the peace of God is all I want. All I am doing in the valley of tears is looking at what I used to want more than I wanted the peace of God. I am looking and deciding whether to keep the other thing or to choose again, this time for God.
It’s Like This
I remember one day while I was still working, the heat and humidity were extreme. The customer I was working with got an emergency call. He had to excuse himself so he could take care of one of his workers who got overheated and had to go to the hospital. This was in the morning, around 10:00, and we had not come close to the real heat of the day.
Here is what I did. I noticed how my mind wanted to feel victimized and unfairly treated. I noticed how it wanted to suffer and feel sorry for itself. But as I noticed I decided that all I really want is the peace of God. But I cannot have the peace of God if I have any of those other choices. Suffering is not peace; it is not God. It was an interesting day as I witnessed myself make the choice over and over. I am grateful for the work I did that day with my mind. And I wonder what miracles I will experience today. I am truly grateful to my Self. I fully embrace Regina’s tip today and am grateful to her.
Once we have decided to awaken, the purpose of the entire universe is our awakening. It is the purpose of meditation and the purpose of conflict. It is the purpose of inspiring teachings, and it is the purpose of apparent rejection. It is the purpose of inner guidance, and it is the purpose of everything in the world that seems to be going against ‘my way.’ It is the purpose of everything.
Since our personal awakening is the sole purpose of the universe, we can be grateful for everything. Everything is occurring to help us reach this goal. It is all in support of our purpose. Nothing stands against us. Everything is with us.
My personal prayer at dinnertime each night is this: “Holy Spirit, thank you so very much for everything. Amen.” As I pray, I remember the day. I remember both that which inspired me and that which challenged me, and I let myself feel genuine gratitude for all of it. This keeps the purpose of awakening foremost in my mind and enables me to use everything for this one purpose.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 217 click here.
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