When we encounter resistance, it’s good to stop and be patient. Resistance is a good teacher. Sometimes I open a lesson – review or otherwise – or read a section of the text, and I don’t understand it. Or it annoys me. I can almost feel myself obscuring the words, pushing their message as far away as possible. Or maybe I get masochistic. I’m going to figure this out right now no matter what. And so an hour later I still don’t know what’s going on only now I have a headache and I’m late for work or I forgot to eat breakfast.
Resistance is part of our experience of the path, the way. I felt it this morning, reading this lesson. What is all this abstract metaphysical nonsense? “As I recognize my holiness, so does the holiness of the world shine forth for everyone to see” (W-pI.58.2:5). What does that mean? I start to argue with it. Well, I know people who have “woken up” through A Course in Miracles. Why don’t I perceive the holiness of the world?
So I put the book away, make coffee. I turn away. But resistance isn’t as scary as it used to be. It’s like anger. Anger I see as a symptom of fear and so I can go right to the fear. What am I scared of? And the anger fades because the fear is being seen. Resistance is just unwillingness. It’s just a decision. It’s no big thing. We can undo it now and choose again now or we can wait.
One thing I do is get a little space between me and the text. A few minutes at least. I look outside and watch chickens scratch the snow. They are joined now by grackles and chickadees. The kids wake up and I can hear their voices. I remember that God asks nothing of us and expects nothing from us. All God does is extend Love. So something in me softens. I take my coffee and read the lesson again.
And I see it. All those references to my holiness . . . you can’t read this review and come away thinking that you’re a loser or hopeless or unlovable or whatever your favorite adjective is for beating yourself up. Or at least you can’t believe that God sees you that way. And if God loves us, then . . . what is the point of choosing to see ourselves in any other light?
I want to insist on being broken. I am invested in being the stumbling babbling idiot. Self-denigration – with a sense of humor, a sense of irony – is my mode. I’m not really blessed or holy. You maybe. And me someday. Maybe. But now now. Not like this.
And yet that is precisely what this group of lessons tells us: right now, right here, without any modification or alteration whatsoever, we are blessed by God. We are God’s holy children, a family of perfect light and love, and we can take that knowledge with us everywhere and it will welcome all brothers and sisters. We are the home we have been waiting for.
That is what I am resisting: that peace, that comfort, that happiness. So I offer it up. I give it to Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I give it to the Christ in us – in the collective. I don’t want to be loved today. I don’t want to be your brother. It is in the nature of a gentle confession to one who just laughs at my confusion: here you go, I say. I’m seeing the world as a confirmation of my sinfulness, my ugliness, my brokenness.
And then breathe. And breathe again. And it’s okay, because it always okay. What changes is that we can see it.