ACIM Lesson 338 I am affected only by my thoughts.
It needs but this to let salvation come to all the world. For in this single thought is everyone released at last from fear.
I am affected only by my thoughts.
ACIM Lesson 338
I am affected only by my thoughts.
1. It needs but this to let salvation come to all the world. ²For in this single thought is everyone released at last from fear. ³Now has he learned that no one frightens him, and nothing can endanger him. ⁴He has no enemies, and he is safe from all external things. ⁵His thoughts can frighten him, but since these thoughts belong to him alone, he has the power to change them and exchange each fear thought for a happy thought of love. ⁶He crucified himself. ⁷Yet God has planned that His beloved Son will be redeemed.
2. Your plan is sure, my Father,—only Yours. ²All other plans will fail. ³And I will have thoughts that will frighten me, until I learn that You have given me the only Thought that leads me to salvation. ⁴Mine alone will fail, and lead me nowhere. ⁵But the Thought You gave me promises to lead me home, because it holds Your promise to Your Son.
Choose Beliefs with Your Goal in Mind
I’ve been talking about beliefs and how we can change our beliefs from those that take us away from God to those that bring us closer to Him. All beliefs are in our mind and we simply choose to believe what we want to believe. Therefore, we are always free to choose a different, more preferred belief. We already know how to do this because we do it all the time.
Whatever it is you believe was believed out of choice. To clear the mind of what is not true and to come closer to awakening, it is most helpful to choose more deliberately and with the goal of awakening. Whatever belief doesn’t bring you closer to that goal can be exchanged for one that does. Thoughts come from our beliefs. So as the beliefs in your mind come more in line with your goals, so will your thoughts.
Nothing Outside the Mind Affects Us
We have mistakenly come to believe that something outside our mind can affect us. It is the way we set up the world and it serves a purpose. That is to say, by seeing the problem outside us we can deny responsibility. Of course, there is an obvious downside to this strategy. What we deny responsibility for, we also deny the ability to correct. This leaves us with the problem but in a place outside our control.
Taking Complete Responsibility
The way to correct this error is to take complete responsibility for our lives. When we accept that we are affected only by our thoughts, we have our way out. Certainly, it doesn’t always feel like the problem is only our thoughts, but I have discovered that this is absolutely true. For instance, if one of my children says something harsh to me, I could respond in kind because my feelings are hurt. But what really happened?
My child acted from her/his own present experience and so what was said reflected that, not anything about me. My reaction was the effect of my thoughts about what was meant by the child’s words. Thus, it was my thoughts about the spoken words that hurt me, not the words themselves. In fact, it was not even the intention behind the words that was hurtful. It was actually just my thoughts about the meaning of the intention that affected me. In other words, the meaning I gave the intention that affected me.
Beliefs about Sleep
This is true in every case. Am I upset because something didn’t go my way? The ego would like to find something to blame for my upset. But really, it is just my thoughts about the situation that affected me. I can change my thoughts as easily as I am learning to change my beliefs. A case in point is that I sometimes have trouble sleeping. I used to fret over this and I would try all sorts of tricks to get my body to sleep. If nothing worked, I worried about the lack of sleep and made up all sorts of troublesome outcomes.
Certainly, these kinds of thoughts didn’t help me to fall asleep. Eventually, I realized that it was my thoughts that were upsetting me. Now when I can’t sleep, I get up and make good use of my time. The next morning, I let myself experience the lack of sleep however it shows up and I discovered an interesting thing. What I discovered is that sometimes I would be tired but that I could be happy in my fatigue. Who knew? Another surprise came when I discovered that sometimes I wasn’t even tired even though that is what used to happen all the time.
Only My Thoughts Upset Me
All this has helped me to see for myself that it really is my thoughts that upset me, not the words or behavior or even the situations. Rather, it is always what I think about it all, and I have control over my thoughts. Also, I discovered that control becomes easier and more dependable as I practice it. So, that’s what I do. I practice consistently. I watch my feelings and my thoughts so that I can change my mind if I need to do so in order to remain peaceful.
At first, this felt difficult and sometimes tedious. But now it is just what I do and because I have proven to myself this is a valuable practice, I do so gladly. To recap, nothing outside my mind is responsible for how I feel, no matter the appearance. My thoughts and beliefs are responsible for how I feel and I am in charge of them. I will believe only those that reflect the truth. My mind can only serve. Thus it is that in this practice of accepting only true thoughts, I give its service to the Holy Spirit.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 338 click here.
If you found this content helpful, please share on social media so more people can read and learn.