There is nothing to fear.
W-pI.48.1. The idea for today simply states a fact. 2 It is not a fact to those who believe in illusions, but illusions are not facts. 3 In truth there is nothing to fear. 4 It is very easy to recognize this. 5 But it is very difficult to recognize it for those who want illusions to be true.
This was the lesson that was hardest for me to accept. I had so much fear in my life. I didn’t let it stop me from doing what I wanted to do, but it stopped me from doing it in peace and with joy. Because I accept what Jesus is telling us in the Course, and know that this is an illusion and not truth, I don’t have a lot of fear now. I know I am not actually in this body at all and that I am remembering something that never actually happened.
Now if I am afraid, I know that it is because I have slipped back into the story and believe in the bodies. It is, after all, only the body that can be hurt so if I think the body is real and is me or is my child, then I have reason to be afraid. So, what I do when fear shows up is to turn to the Holy Spirit. I had an example of that last night.
I was prepared for the harsh weather and was just enjoying the evening, wondering how much snow we would get, and thinking how excited my little granddaughter would be when she woke up to it. Then a friend told me about the precautions she took and I realized that I had not gone to those lengths. I suddenly was afraid that my pipes would burst and I would have this to deal with.
The thing about fear is that once you open the door to a single fear thought, it comes in with friends. Soon I was afraid of someone getting into my house and I was going around making sure the windows were locked. I stopped myself at this point, and realizing what had happened, I asked the Holy Spirit to show me another way to see this and to heal my mind.
Because I knew this was just an old pattern of thought and that it was not legitimate, I accepted the healing immediately and thought no more about any of it. It wasn’t always so easy. When fear was still a belief and I was practicing the idea that it was not true, it would take me a lot longer to accept healing. But that practice is what makes fear an infrequent visitor to this mind, and an unwelcome one. The practice is what made it so easy for me to accept the healing and return to peace.
W-pI.48.2. Today’s practice periods will be very short, very simple and very frequent. 2 Merely repeat the idea as often as possible. 3 You can use it with your eyes open at any time and in any situation. 4 It is strongly recommended, however, that you take a minute or so whenever possible to close your eyes and repeat the idea slowly to yourself several times. 5 It is particularly important that you use the idea immediately, should anything disturb your peace of mind.
Because fear can still show up however infrequently, I will gladly practice this lesson.
W-pI.48.3. The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength. 2 The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness. 3 The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear.
I’m laughing at myself now as I think about running around locking windows last night. But I also know that when I am in fear, the fear sounds so reasonable. Fear tells us that it is our friend. The windows need to be locked to protect this body, it tells me, and how would I know to do that if it were not for fear. But fear is a liar. If I thought the windows needed to be locked, I could easily have completed that task without ever feeling afraid.
The reason I felt fear was because I was depending on my own strength to protect me. As soon as I remembered what was wrong, why it was I was not at peace, I knew what to do. And when I turned to the Holy Spirit, leaning on the strength of God in me, I was at peace and I knew there was nothing to fear. That quick turnaround is a miracle. I asked for a healed mind and all the fear that was driving my actions only a moment before was simply gone. Thank you, Holy Spirit.