I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 19
19 Remember that the Holy Spirit is the communication link between God the Father and His separated Sons. If you will listen to His Voice you will know that you cannot either hurt or be hurt, and that many need your blessing to help them hear this for themselves. When you perceive only this need in them, and do not respond to any other, you will have learned of me and will be as eager to share your learning as I am.
When I read these paragraphs my mind immediately looks for an example of what he is telling me. Finding real life examples helps me to understand. Here is the one that came to mind. Several years ago I was invited to join a closed group to share my thoughts. Immediately, my writing was attacked by one person in particular. This happened both times I shared.
My first reaction was a thrill of fear. What if I am all wrong and this person found me out? I had always suspected that and it brought up guilt that I was a bad Course student and was misquoting the Voice for God. This happened at a time when I was just beginning to gain confidence in my ability to hear that Voice.
After the fear passed, I thought about it and decided that it would not be helpful for me to stay in the group. I had no desire to cause upset and since I was the only person who wrote from my own experience and from the Voice I hear, maybe this was not the place to do so. But when I politely bowed out, I was asked to stay.
Two things happened because I stayed. First, I learned to look at my self-doubt with the Holy Spirit and allow it to be healed. The second thing is that I learned to see that the person who attacked me, did so out of their own self-doubt and fear. If I defended myself against this person I would be teaching us both that the attack was real and had real affects, and that sometimes attack is justified. This is a lesson I wanted neither to teach nor to learn.
I continued to write what I was given and to allow comments to be made without reaction on my part. My gift to this person was to teach defenselessness. The gift to myself was to learn that I am not in need of defense. Life is more peaceful since I realized that nothing is personal. It is very rare for me these days to feel even an urge to defend my writing or my teaching. When someone challenges it, I recognize it for the opportunity to teach defenselessness that it is.
Now here is an example that happened recently. Because it was not connected to my spiritual work, I was temporarily thrown off guard and didn’t see it as clearly as I did the new group incident. There is someone at work who challenges my work skills. I have been doing this job for 20 years and he has been doing it for one, so at first glance the challenge is ridiculous. But, never the less, I found myself reacting both in my mind and occasionally out loud.
Each time it has happened, I have talked to the Holy Spirit about how I feel and showed Him my thoughts about the situation and about this man. I saw that I was feeling like I was the old one being discarded so this young energetic man could take my place. There was no proof of this and highly unlikely, but there it was, the fearful thought that was driving my behavior.
I asked that my mind be healed and I accepted that healing. I was vigilant for thoughts that indicate I had not accepted the Atonement for this. I remembered that this is all an illusion and does not need to be fixed. I remembered my purpose, which has nothing to do with securing my position at work, and everything to do with teaching defenselessness. I accepted the Atonement.
Now I see his fear of not succeeding and I understand this fear. I see that he thought of me as an obstacle to overcome and as a barrier to his happiness. What can I do about this? My guidance is to be gentle and defenseless. Here is what it looks like. I read his report and saw that he didn’t know something important about this customer. I told him what he needed to know. He responded with sarcasm.
I asked the Holy Spirit how I should respond. I then assured him that I wasn’t criticizing him and that I was sharing this information only because I value his work and have confidence in him. (That was not my first thought, by the way, and I am glad that I chose to ask Spirit before I responded.) Since that time my mind has cleared some of the desire to defend against this young man, but it is not complete yet. I do, however, recognize that my defenses were a result of my fear and not anything to do with him. I let my mind be healed and that is all I need to do. When I am able to accept that healing, I teach with the Holy Spirit instead of the ego.