I. Principles of Miracles, P 42
42 A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing you from your false sense of isolation, deprivation and lack.
Why do I feel alone? Why do I feel deprived and as if I lack something? I used to believe it was because I wasn’t deserving of friends or lovers. They didn’t want me. Do you see how I perceived my loneliness to be someone else’s fault? If they would just like me I would be happy. When I felt deprived of money it was because someone wasn’t paying me enough, or hiring me, or because my parents didn’t raise me right. Believing my unhappiness was caused by someone or something else over which I had no control set up an endless cycle from which there was no escape.
A Course in Miracles told me that I am not a victim of the world I see and that the secret to salvation is that I but do this to myself. It took me a long time to be willing to believe this. I had always thought that projecting my guilt onto something else was my salvation. It took a giant act of faith to become willing to consider that there was an alternative and then to step into that alternative.
Peter walking on water has always been a powerful symbol to me because I don’t swim, and have had a frightening moment of near drowning. If Jesus, himself, was standing on the water outside the boat and holding out his hand to me, I would still be afraid to get out of the boat. This is what it felt like to begin the process of giving up projection. Projection was my boat and Jesus was telling me I didn’t need it. He was holding out his hand to me, and I was sure that if I stopped projecting I would drown in my guilt.
Through the study of his words in the Text, I slowly became convinced that projection was not in my best interest, and that when seen clearly, it didn’t make sense. If I am unhappy because of some one else, then I could never be happy because I could never control that one. Lord knows I had tried often enough. I tried using guilt and fear to get my husband to do what I thought I needed him to do. I tried it on my kids.
In my own mind I was so clearly right, or at least entitled, and yet they persisted in living their own lives in their own way in spite of how much they were hurting me when they did. Seeing this thought process now I can’t believe how deeply I bought into it, and yet that is the way I lived my life, and never questioned it before the Course.
When I began to question this insane way of living, I still had to become convinced that it would work. I started off small with little things. I would bring a thought of deprivation to the Holy Spirit. I would tell him that I couldn’t see any way this was my fault and that it sure seemed like this guy needed to change his ways in order for me to be happy. At first I would put that thought on the altar only to snatch it back. How could this be my guilt? How could taking responsibility for it lead to my happiness? Surely it would only condemn me.
But eventually, I became willing to give it a try, not because my sharp intellect discerned the truth of the Course, but because life was too painful to continue on as it was, and something in me was drawn to A Course in Miracles. I felt the truth before I understood it. Once I set those thoughts on the altar and walked away from them, the healing began.
The miracles began as my mind was healed. I experienced peace of mind that was not dependent on my life circumstances. I began to hear the Voice of God in my mind, and I learned to heed It rather than the ego voice. I began to understand that the guilt I had always felt and that made me feel so isolated and abandoned did not come from something happening to me. The guilt came from the belief that I was separate from God and out of His favor.
This guilt and subsequent fear was so great that I kept trying to get rid of it. I projected it away from myself and onto the world I made just for that purpose. So I was not guilty for something I did. I did something because of the guilt I felt. The guilt came first, and the story was my projection. Just to be sure, within the story I created characters onto whom I could project blame. Surely with all these layers of projection I could distance myself from the awful guilt I felt and see myself blameless, and yet, I only felt trapped.
But God’s love for me has no bounds and He would not leave me in this hell of guilt and isolation I made for myself. He gave me the Holy Spirit to guide me out of my confusion. He helps me back out of my stories and to let go of the guilt that made them. As soon as I loosen my grip on my beliefs, the Holy Spirit takes the guilt from me and I am left in peace. Lifetime after lifetime of hiding from God, of living in fear and smothering in guilt, and then, nothing. No guilt or fear. My mind is clear and it is as if nothing happened. It is a miracle.