I. Right Teaching and Right Learning, P 13
13 I will substitute for your ego if you wish, but never for your spirit. A father can safely leave a child with an elder brother who has shown himself responsible, but this involves no confusion about the child’s origin. The brother can protect the child’s body and his ego, but he does not confuse himself with the father because he does this. I can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this enables you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance. I could not understand their importance to you if I had not once been tempted to believe in them myself. Let us undertake to learn this lesson together so we can be free of them together. I need devoted teachers who share my aim of healing the mind. Remember this:
In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. That is why you should be of good cheer.
Oh dear God, I feel such gratitude for Jesus I cannot express it in words. I am learning to read the words in this book and take them at face value and it is cracking open something in me I didn’t know was there, and gratitude pours out. I am my spirit and my spirit is just fine! It is safe and has not suffered for my foray into ego land. It is invulnerable and doesn’t need my concern or protection. When I think of the worst thing I ever did, the ego holds it up as proof that I am ruined by it. Spirit doesn’t even glance at it. Spirit is proof against my imagined sins.
I can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this enables you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance.
I have been writing off and on about my desire to finally and completely let go of the idea that food or anything outside my mind is cause. In the past, I have always thought that what I eat determines how my body looks and feels. I have, for awhile now, suspected that this doesn’t make sense. In fact, Holy Spirit told me as much several years ago in a meditation. He said that it isn’t food that makes me gain weight, but guilt does. I believed Him and didn’t believe Him. (I wonder if my mind is split on this? Hahaha.)
I finally reached a point that I am ready to let go of these childish ideas about the body. It began when I started taking Jesus seriously and believing that he meant what he said through A Course in Miracles. I began to let him show me that pain is not real. Then he offered to show me that some medicine I was taking was not real.
These steps have strengthened my confidence in both Jesus and in me. Perhaps that is why I was given the thought that I wanted to end this war with my body over weight. This idea, that the body is a real thing and apart from my mind, is firmly rooted in my ego belief system, and is not going down without a fight. I have had my ups and downs with it.
(Stay with me here. I am going to relate this to the promise Jesus made to us in this paragraph.)
Shortly after I began this project, I received absolute clarity about the body and food. It was so clear and so obvious that I couldn’t believe I had ever been confused about this. I would share this with you if I could but, the ego part of my mind blocked it out completely. How could that happen!? Or a better question would be, “Why am I surprised it happened?” The ego thinks of the body as its home and its fortress against God. It might concede a battle, but it is not conceding the war.
So I went right back to confusion and the ego offered to help me out. It reminded me that losing weight is easy. We know how to do this. When I balked at the idea of abandoning my plan to end the war on my body it cajoled me with the promise this was a temporary measure. The deceitful little devil said we could go back to working with Spirit when we got the weight thing under control. I had lots of good reasons for doing it this way and for a brief time I was convinced of its plan. I forgot that there is no meeting ground for Spirit and ego.
I have always fallen back on the Atkins Diet (low carb) as a quick and easy way to bring my eating under control and to lose weight quickly. It is easy and always successful for me. But this time it didn’t work at all, and in fact, the inexplicable happened. The more carefully I ate, the more I gained. In fact, I was gaining at an alarming rate. I was forced to look at what was happening.
I asked to be shown that my body is not outside my mind and so nothing outside my mind can affect it. In this case, I was looking specifically at food. This was my prayer and it was being answered. I was seeing that fear and guilt were the cause of the weight gain and that it had nothing to do with the food. The more nervous I got about my body image the more out of control it seemed to be. I ate a lot and gained a lot. I ate in a way that always brought me weight loss results and, instead, I gained a lot. It was like Jesus was saying, “See, I told you it had nothing to do with the food.”
And here is where that passage comes in. Jesus said that he could be entrusted with my body and my ego and that this would relieve me of my concern with them, and teach me their unimportance. So a couple of days ago, I surrendered my body and my ego to Jesus. I admitted I was flummoxed and had no idea what to do about the whole body thing.
I told Jesus that I don’t know what to eat and when I eat anything now I feel afraid and guilty, but I do remember him saying in the Course that when I make a decision if I will ask if he agrees, there will be no fear. So I am through making diet plans on my own and making decisions by myself. In fact, I am through with the whole thing. I give my body and my ego to you, Jesus. Please guide me in all things.
I know I don’t have to tolerate this tribulation in the world because Jesus has overcome the world and once done, it is done for all. I am just catching up with the program is all. Gratitude doesn’t begin to cover it when I reflect on this. Ever since the moment of surrender, all the conflict has fallen away and I am at peace. I don’t know what will happen with the food, the weight and how I feel about the body, but it all seems so remote and so unimportant next to the peace that it is now mine.
I gave my body and my ego to Jesus when I said I did, but I took it back and gave it over and took it back. But each time, I learned something and eventually, I shifted into a conviction that I never had before. I gave my body and ego over and felt no anxiety about it, and no temptation to take it back. Every time I have a thought about the body or what to do about it or how it looks, I rest in the certainty that having given it to Jesus, he will direct me if there is anything I need to do about it. It feels very peaceful.