VI. Fear and Conflict, P 4
4 The correction of fear is your responsibility. When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it is not. You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about. These conditions always entail a willingness to be separate. At that level you can help it. You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations. The particular result does not matter, but the fundamental error does. The correction is always the same. Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.
This paragraph has been very important to me. At first it scared me to death. The first sentence was the scary part for me because Jesus was so clearly telling me that I couldn’t ask him to take my fear away and I felt so helpless against my fear. I felt like fear was the driving force in my life and I didn’t know what to do about it. Now here was my savior telling me to take care of it myself.
But eventually, I got over my upset enough to really read the rest of the paragraph and I saw that he was telling me how to do this. No, he was not going to wave a magic wand over my fear and make it go away. However, he would help me when it came to the conditions that brought the fear about.
He also let me in on the secret to doing this. He said, “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations.” In this sentence he let me know that I needed to watch my mind for thoughts that were miscreating the world I see. Once I understood this and accepted it, I began to change the world I see a thought at a time. When I found Dan Joseph’s book, Inner Healing, I started using his little three step process for mind watching and I got really good at it.
I paid attention to my thoughts and when they were not the thoughts I think with God, I asked that my mind be healed. In noticing how much this changed my life, I came to understand how I was projecting fearful stories from a mind that was steeped in fear. The stories themselves don’t really matter (although, from Myron’s point of view they seem to matter a lot) but the belief that caused the stories does matter, and so I learned to use the effect (the story) to signal an untrue belief that needed to be healed.
Remembering that there is only love or fear, I treat every thought that is not love as if it is fear. It really is fear. When I am angry it is because I feel threatened in some way and I am afraid. If I were jealous it would be because I was afraid of losing something or someone. When I am grieving it is because I am afraid I have lost someone important to me. If I feel shamed it is because I am afraid I have lost esteem. If I feel guilty it is because I am afraid I did something wrong. If it is not love, it is always about fear whatever name we give it.
Last night I came home after being on the road working this week. I was excited to get there because I wanted to see if the contractor was through with my house as he anticipated. When I got home he had made some progress, but not nearly what he led me to expect. I looked around at the unpacked boxes, the layer of sheetrock dust on everything. I walked across the gritty floors and checked out the closet and bathroom he is putting in for me.
The tiles are in and the walls painted, but there is a hole where the toilet will someday sit, or so I am told. The tub is there but the plumbing is not. And so it went. I felt let down, frustrated, then angry. I argued with myself over these feeling for awhile then I just gave in and cried. I felt silly crying over such a temporary and relatively unimportant problem, but there it was. I felt like crying so I did.
I had gone through such a display of emotion and had so many different feelings about it, disappointment, frustration, anger, and then guilt for having this petty and “unspiritual” reaction that I felt confused. I would like to have asked the Holy Spirit to wave that magic wand and make it all go away, just heal my mind of everything so I felt like myself again. But that’s not how it works. We are free and this means that no one can give us what we don’t want or undo what we did without our permission.
Just saying, “Hey, make me feel better,” is not the same thing as looking at my thoughts with the Holy Spirit, and deciding that they are not true and not thoughts I want anymore. So I asked Holy Spirit to help me see the thoughts that were untrue. Suddenly the fog lifted and my mind cleared. He showed me what I was thinking that was not true, by giving me the true thoughts.
I remembered that this was not done to me. Always, I but do this to myself. Everything that seems to be just happening is actually the projection of the thought forms in my own mind. I am not a victim. These are not slow and lazy contractors. They are my brothers. They are the Son of God. Everything is in Divine order and there is nothing to fear. I think I want my house to be finished, clean and in order, but really what I want is the peace of God. And just like that, faster than a speeding bullet, faster even than the mind can think, I recognized my mistaken thoughts and wanted to be healed, and everything changed.
This would have been a very different story if I had not done the practice that makes mind watching second nature for me. I have stopped being tolerant of mind wandering because I know that watching my thoughts is my way out of hell. I watch for the misthoughts and I sincerely ask for healing. I want the peace of God more than I want whatever thing the ego thinks I need to be happy, so although I temporarily forget this, I always come back to it.
Lately, these sentences have been important to me. “Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.” For a long time now I have asked, “What would you have me go, say or do?” But now I have made it more specific at times. For instance, I got some extra money and I wondered if I should use it to pay off a debt, or save it for unexpected expenses on the house. I asked Spirit for guidance, but not before I tried to decide on my own and then I was confused about which answer came from Him.
So I made a decision about what to do with it, then I asked Jesus if my choice was in accord with his. I waited a bit, just letting my mind rest in the certainty that I would be answered, and then followed through on my plan. I knew that if it was not a good idea, that I would feel it, because I wanted to be in accord with Jesus more than I wanted to make plans on my own or be in charge of this little kingdom of mine.
Does it really matter that I use the money one way and not another? Not really. This is all an illusion, so how could my decision matter? But it does matter that I learn to set the ego aside and that I realize that I don’t want a will separate from God, and to finally see that I do not have a will separate from God.
I learn this by practicing it and then the result teaches me that God’s Will for me is happiness. As Jesus says, “The particular result does not matter, but the fundamental error does.” He said that before I do anything, I should check with him. So every time I remember to do so, I follow his instructions, and the results of doing so motivates me to remember more often.