Sometimes we come to our lives with a sense of failure. We are not the men and women we wanted to be. We aren’t holy enough, or loving enough. We aren’t performing acts of selfless kindness at the level of Dorothy Day. We aren’t bravely making the world a saner place through courageous acts of nonviolence along the lines of Gandhi or the Buddha. If Jesus was here he wouldn’t give us the time of day, let alone encourage us to follow him and help him teach.
Nobody in the world doesn’t feel this way some of the time. We are fragmented and incomplete – it is the condition of the self in this world. We can’t escape it on the world’s terms. Why even try?
A Course in Miracles would teach us only that we are confused about what we are in truth. It’s a simple mistake. An oversight that we have magnified far beyond its original smallness. Our belief in this tiny mistake – that we could somehow be separate from God – has spawned a world of mistakes so dense and complex it can seem deeply irresponsible not to take it seriously. Yet what is there to forgive? Nothing.
Accept your sense of failure as nothing more than a mistake in who you are. For the holy host of God is beyond failure, and nothing that he wills can be denied (T-15.VIII.3:6-7).
Can we do that? If we can create a space of stillness – of genuine quiet – in which our willingness to return to God can glimmer just the tiniest bit, then we can begin to practice accepting our Oneness with God. Just a hint of acceptance will transform our lives and bring us closer to the truth. We learn that we are not separate. We see that believing otherwise was a simple error, already forgotten, already forgiven.
Relate only with what will never leave you, and what you can never leave. The loneliness of God’s Son is the loneliness of his Father. Refuse not the awareness of your completion, and seek not to restore it to yourself (T-15.VIII.3:1-3).
Wise words! How many times must we say it – write it – read it? We are not inventing holiness, we are not building bridges to God, we are not manufacturing the conditions of Heaven. We are simply allowing our awareness of Love – which is holiness, God, Heaven – to be restored to our awareness. Our job is in the allowing, the willingness that it be done for us. The actual mechanics . . . that’s not our job.
Our practice then, to some extent, has to involve simply being present to that which heals us. Our presence is itself an undoing, because we are not bringing any of our puny self-made powers to bear on it. We are not the healers. We are waiting. We are trusting. This needn’t be a formal waiting – sixty minutes morning and night perched on the zafu. It can be that – maybe for you it needs to involve something along those lines (I’m partial to formal meditation myself) – but rather an inclusive waiting. It is a bit like ensuring that we are always aware of the need to desire only the Kingdom. It is like Jesus said so many years ago: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The times change, or they seem to, but the fundamental lesson does not. God waits for us to accept God. As we are incomplete without God, God is incomplete without us. When we see the simplicity of that equation – when we accept it as true – then the long quest for wholeness ends.
God created the only the only relationship that has meaning, and that is His relationship with you (T-15.VIII.6:6).