VII. Cause and Effect, P 4
4 It has already been said that you believe you cannot control fear because you yourself made it, and your belief in it seems to render it out of your control. Yet any attempt to resolve the error through attempting the mastery of fear is useless. In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that it need be mastered. The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love. In the interim, however, the sense of conflict is inevitable, since you have placed yourself in a position where you believe in the power of what does not exist.
In one sentence, Jesus lets me know why I have not yet let go of fear. I have been trying to master fear. I am beginning to notice when I do this and to choose differently. Here is the way it can happen. A common source of fear for me is that I will lose my source of income. This fear is not real strong in me, that is, it is no longer is a driving force in my life. However, there is still fear because it pops up now and then as it did yesterday, so I will use that example.
This is the way it has progressed for me. When I was young, if my income was threatened, I would panic and if things didn’t resolve soon, or even if they did resolve, I would become very depressed and feel hopeless until something changed in my life that cheered me up.
Later, after I discovered Unity and began to realize I had some control over my life through controlling my thoughts, I reacted differently. I would panic, then I would remember that I could think differently and sometimes that helped. I would start using mantras and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. If it seemed to work, I felt exultant and encouraged. When it didn’t seem to work, I felt afraid because I didn’t know what else to do and because it was scary to think my new hope was unfounded.
Then after I found ACIM I went through a different progression of changes as my understanding grew. I slowly learned that healing took place in my mind, not in the world, though often a healed mind did reflect a changed world. I began to realize that praying for a certain outcome was a mistake because I didn’t understand what anything was for. I learned to ask for a perfect solution and to trust that the Holy Spirit would know what needed to happen.
But what I did not learn for a long time was how to approach fear without trying to control it. I learned not to try to control fear through manipulating circumstances. I learned that I could not control fear through praying it away. I learned I could not control fear through confronting it with a force of will, even if I used all the spiritual words in the world.
I did have moments when fear would dissolve away, but for a long time I didn’t see that it was the moment when I gave up trying to control. I didn’t connect the healing to moment that I surrendered completely to the Holy Spirit. It was in that moment of surrender that I stopped trying to control fear and allowed fear to be healed by Love.
So going back to my example of being afraid of losing my income, this is how it looked.
· I would try to manipulate the world to make things safe.
· I would try to manipulate God to get Him to make things safe.
· I would try to control the fearful conditions through controlling my thoughts.
· I would try to control my fear through controlling my thoughts.
· And finally, I stopped trying to control the fear and accepted the atonement solution. I accepted the Atonement in that situation, or I accepted Love or God or healing. I asked the Holy Spirit to heal my mind or to undo what I had done. All of these are the same thing. I completely surrender the problem to Love and allow it to be undone without my input or help or direction.
Because the mind is split, there is the belief in loss and lack, and there is the belief in Love which does not know of loss or lack. As I have progressed through the steps that have led me to the place I am now, my focus has been drawn away from the ego mind and toward the mind I share with God.
I still get distracted by the ego thoughts and sometimes respond to them, but I never entirely lose sight of the part of my mind that knows this cannot be true. Even when I get entangled in the ego beliefs, I do so only briefly. I know how to be free now. I stop trying to disentangle myself, and I simply accept the solution. I accept the Atonement and allow Love to heal my mind.