I have been studying A Course in Miracles since 1996 and earlier this year read A Course of Love, a continuation of ACIM. When I finished, I accepted Mari’s Spirituality Journaling Challenge to help me digest the new material.
I had received with a bit of alarm the book’s declaration that my time of learning was over and my job now was to live the Course. After all these years of daily lessons, I felt abandoned, not convinced my thoughts had changed enough to affect my behavior. Although I wrote about capital-letter Peace, Love, and Unity in response to Mari’s prompts, they remained mere words whose real meaning eluded me. The lessons instructed me to just “be,” but my ego kept trying to figure out how to do it. I believed I must be missing some step in a process.
“You just do it,” I admonished myself in morning pages. “That’s the point. There is no “how” except to trust in the Love.
At Mari’s suggestion to adopt a vision statement for the ideal spiritual life, I chose a favorite ACIM Lesson—I rest in God. My goal was to be able to describe from personal experience how that felt. My challenge would be to catch myself when non-productive over-thinking replaced Thought.
My sister and I had planned this visit for six months, but the day I flew into Corpus Christi, she took off for Denver on a family emergency.
“Stay at my place, anyway,” she said. “You know where to find the key.”
Though disappointed, I told myself to enjoy the quiet time alone to read and write.
My chance came sooner than expected when the airline rescheduled my 7:00 a.m. flight to 3:00 p.m. due to weather. Delayed at a motel in Detroit, I pulled out my morning pages notebook.
“I’m doing my best to flow with all these changes,” I wrote.
Yet I worried because I would arrive 9 ½ hours later than expected and have to drive an unfamiliar rental car through road construction in the dark. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and repeated my mantra. I rest in God. My jaw unclenched, shoulders un-hunched, and mind stopped running on the gerbil wheel. All day, any time anxiety threatened—even during turbulence on the flight—the words would restore my sense of safety. And, Scout’s honor, the plane stopped lurching, too!
I’m not trying to claim I suddenly acquired extraordinary powers. My fearful self responded first at every curve, as the Course says it always will. But safe in my sister’s guest room the next morning, I felt exonerated reading The Sun magazine interview with Rabbi Rachel Timoner.
We set intentions, and then we forget. But when we remember
we’re not doing what we intended, we return rather than feeling
we have failed. To remember and return: This is the spiritual life.
I took a deep breath and wrote,” I rest in God.”
Kay Butzin enters flash essay and flash fiction contests to motivate her to write something more than morning pages. She is retired at Houghton Lake with her life partner Ron and is a member of Mid Michigan Writers, Inc.
Kay answers email at email@example.com