ACIM Lesson 21 I am determined to see things differently.
I am determined to see things differently.
ACIM Lesson 21
I am determined to see things differently.
1. The idea for today is obviously a continuation and extension of the preceding one. ²This time, however, specific mind-searching periods are necessary, in addition to applying the idea to particular situations as they may arise. ³Five practice periods are urged, allowing a full minute for each.
As you can see, Jesus is slowly getting us used to spending more time with our lessons. When I first started the lessons, it seemed that these lessons were intrusive on my day. I was working and sometimes I couldn’t stop and do them. I also felt really guilty when I failed to do the lessons. All of this was resistance but I didn’t see it that way at first. Even the guilt is resistance. Somehow, though, in spite of it all, I did finally get all the way through the lessons in one year. And, no, I didn’t do them perfectly. But I did them and I am so grateful that I did. It made all the difference in the world.
2. In the practice periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself. ²Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present or anticipated that arouse anger in you. ³The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage. ⁴The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. ⁵You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.
This is the lesson that has the familiar statement that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury. Maybe you get that, and maybe not. I had not thought of it before I this lesson, but I see how this is true. If I am angry or just annoyed, I have lost my peace. Either I am at peace or I am not. There is no degree of peace.
And, if I am just a little annoyed at someone, I have pushed them away from me, figuratively speaking. I am not seeing the other person as part of me and thus I am choosing to believe in and reinforce the idea of separation. So, it matters not the degree of the emotion. We are one or we or not. If I see myself as separate in any way from one person, the Sonship is not whole. We are not, in my mind, one and I will suffer for that.
There Are No Justified Attacks
3. Try, therefore, not to let the “little” thoughts of anger escape you in the practice periods. ²Remember that you do not really recognize what arouses anger in you, and nothing that you believe in this connection means anything. ³You will probably be tempted to dwell more on some situations or persons than on others, on the fallacious grounds that they are more “obvious.” ⁴This is not so. ⁵It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others.
The tendency is to overlook the “little” thoughts of anger. First, all anger is the same though some situations elicit stronger emotion. But no matter how intense the emotion, it is still anger, none greater or lesser. Second, we don’t recognize what has caused the anger. For instance, I might think that the plumber caused my anger but all anger has the same cause.
We feel guilty for separating from God and need someone to blame it on, so we use these people in our dream for that purpose. I could just as easily have seen the plumber as innocent and normally would have. But in that moment, I was using him to project onto and so the anger seemed justified. This is why I typically always turn my thoughts inward when I am tempted to look for the cause in the world. In this way, each upset becomes an opportunity to heal my mind of another belief.
4. As you search your mind for all the forms in which attack thoughts present themselves, hold each one in mind while you tell yourself:
²I am determined to see ____________ [name of person] differently.
³I am determined to see ________________ [specify the situation] differently.
5. Try to be as specific as possible. ²You may, for example, focus your anger on a particular attribute of a particular person, believing that the anger is limited to this aspect. ³If your perception is suffering from this form of distortion, say:
⁴I am determined to see ____________ [specify the attribute] in ____________ [name of person] differently.
It may not seem like we are doing very much with this simple process, but we are instructing our minds as to what to believe. In several places, Jesus tells us to instruct our mind such as he does in this one. ³Faith goes to what you want, and you instruct your mind accordingly. (ACIM, W-91.5:3) Our mind is our servant. It does what we tell it to do. We have not done a very good job of instructing it in the past, but now we can instruct it in a new way. These lessons are a perfect way to do this reprogramming of our minds.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 21 click here.
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