ACIM Lesson 216
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
1. (196) It can be but myself I crucify.
²All that I do I do unto myself. ³If I attack, I suffer. ⁴But if I forgive, salvation will be given me.
⁵I am not a body. ⁶I am free.
⁷For I am still as God created me.
We crucify ourselves each time we attack someone or ourselves. This is true because what we give is received. Giving is receiving. If we are suffering, we have done it to ourselves and to find a solution we must look inward to our thoughts. No matter what is happening outwardly, it began with thought and there is where it must end if it is to end. Forgiveness is the solution. Forgive and we will be saved from our self imposed suffering.
This lesson reminded me of an article I wrote a few years ago. Here it is in case you would like to see how I use this lesson in my life.
Get off the Cross; We Need the Wood
Everything is my responsibility. I sometimes forget that this is true, and begin to think the world is hurting me and responsible for my misery. I forget that I am only projecting these things on others from my own mind and that the only power to hurt me comes from my own. I can only be hurt if I decide that is to happen. I crucify myself. But eventually, I withdraw the projections that I cast onto others, reclaiming them so that I can allow the Holy Spirit to help me see them differently.
As a result of doing this daily, I notice a difference in my relationships. I feel loving toward other people, and I feel them respond more lovingly toward me. I noticed yesterday that when I called the office for help with a customer, I began by asking how my coworker was doing. This is not unusual, just common courtesy. What was unusual is that it was not just a polite way of beginning a conversation. It was a prayer, a song shared spirit to spirit. My soul sang of love and oneness to her soul. I think this is what communication between the children of God is supposed to be like. It is what it will be like all the time when I have allowed all my projections to be withdrawn and healed.
There was a time when I had a lot of unresolved guilt about how I raised my children. One of those times, I opened my mind to the Holy Spirit and He helped me to see it differently. The following is what I received.
Holy Spirit, I see how my life is changing as I accept responsibility, but A Course in Miracles talks about how we crucify ourselves. Could you please speak to me about how I do that?
Holy Spirit: Last night you were looking at your daughter’s photograph and thinking about your earlier conversation with her. You began to think that the conversation didn’t go as well as you hoped. You thought about how hard it can be to talk to her and how sensitive she is, how hard it is to share on a personal level. You had many thoughts about her and about how she feels about you. Soon, you were feeling very anxious about your relationship.
Before you began thinking, you were very peaceful in your mind. After you had been thinking for a few minutes you were very anxious. What changed, Myron? Your relationship did not change; it was only your thoughts about the relationship that changed.
Here is the way the ego thought system works. You harbor within your mind the belief that you have not been a very good mother to this girl and have made unforgivable mistakes. As you listen to her words you look for proof that this is true. No matter what she says to you, it seems to prove that you have failed and she hates you for it. She told you about a book she read that said the brain can be damaged by pollution. She wonders if living near the plants when she was growing up could have caused her to be depressed and need medication.
Because you began with the underlying belief that you failed her as a mother, you heard her say that you are responsible for her depression. You moved her to a place that put her in danger and you did nothing to get her out of it. Her life is miserable now and it is all your fault. She hates you for doing this to her.
The ego belief is that doing this kind of thinking protects you. The ego says that if you don’t pick apart the conversations and find the hidden meanings you won’t see the danger coming so how can you protect yourself. The ego then begins its “protection” of you. You start thinking that it was your ex-husband’s fault because he insisted the family lives there and you feel hatred for him. He is the one to blame, not you.
Then you remember that you had wanted to leave and Susan had wanted to stay. It is her fault, not yours. You begin to think that she could do something about this in the same way you dealt with your depression, but instead, she wants to blame you. You begin to think what a difficult person she is and how hard it is to talk to her. You have made her the one who is wrong. This is what the ego calls protection.
What actually happened in that phone call, Myron? You had a conversation with your precious daughter. She shared some ideas with you. Then you crucified yourself. You began with your buried belief of unworthiness and proved to yourself you were right. You tried to cover it up by projecting the unworthiness onto others, but you were not able to undo the basic wrong-minded thought because you kept looking out there for salvation as you tried to find someone else to make wrong.
The ego thinks that the only way to get you off the cross is to find someone else to take your place. Each time you do this you further convince yourself that the original premise must be right because you see proof of your unworthiness everywhere you look.
The solution is to recognize where the problem lies and then choose a different teacher. You already know how the ego tries to solve the problem and you know it never works. Would you be willing to let go of the lie that you are unworthy of motherhood? Would you be willing to turn your ear away from the ego nonsense and give Me your attention? You have carried this thought for a long time, and now you are becoming aware of what an unnecessary burden it is.
Over the years, I have consistently turned to the Holy Spirit with my crucifying thoughts and allowed them to be corrected. What has resulted is much happier relationships with my children and everyone else. I completely accept now that all relationships are in my mind so if a relationship seems to be unhappy, it is always my mind that needs to be healed.