A Course in Miracles Lesson 210

I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.

The alternative to suffering is happiness; the alternative to conflict is peace.

A Course in Miracles is an invitation to “choose the joy of God instead of pain” (W-pI.189.h) and it is an in-depth exploration of why that choice appears to difficult to make, basically teaching us – in time, in bodies, in the world – how to make it. Making it is how we become happy.

Reason will tell you that there is no middle ground where you can pause uncertainly, waiting to choose between the joy of Heaven and the misery of hell. Until you choose Heaven, you are in hell and misery (T-22.II.7:7-8).

When we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to remember God’s love in a way that cannot be forgotten – which is to choose happiness over suffering – we are gently taught that the only secret to salvation is that we are doing this – “this” being suffering – to our own selves, and that there is another way. The other way is just . . . not to do that.

Pain is my own idea. It is not a Thought of God, but one I thought apart from Him and from His Will. His Will is joy, and only joy for His beloved Son. And that I choose, instead of what I made (W-pI.210.1:2-5).

This is a beautiful and concise description of what healing in ACIM looks like. We realize that suffering – hurt, anger, guilt, fear, pain, loneliness, anxiety, depression et cetera – is our own construction. We come up with the idea of suffering and then work double-time to ensure it’s our experience.

And yet – sooner or later – we realize that pain and unhappiness cannot be God’s Will for us. We reach the Thetfordian juncture and cry out that there must be another way. And when we do make the cry, it is answered in relationship with our brothers and sisters. Together, we realize we are thinking in ways that God would not think, and so we have to change our thought. God’s Will is peace and happiness; why are we not experiencing it as such?

The answer to that question is that we are throwing up projection after projection – block after block, distraction after distraction – and it all clouds the simple truth that God’s Love is all there is and it includes us.

And you who share God’s Being with Him could never be content without reality. What God did not give you has no power over you, and the attraction of love for love remains irresistible. For it is the function of love to unite all things unto itself, and to hold all things together by extending its wholeness (T-12.VIII.7:9-11).

We don’t have to DO anything; we have to stop doing something. The decision to stop is up to us; that is the choice that we have to make. But it is also the only choice we have to make. Once we sincerely desire the other way, then it is given. It may unfold in time – there may be bumps in the road, we may take a step back or sideways – but the end is sure.

We remain as God created us; this is both our reality and the promise that we will remember that reality, and stop insisting on holding it apart from us in the name of separation. There is another way; the way is given. Today – together – let us join hands and walk it, neither lingering nor racing, content to know where the path leads and grateful for the company we keep upon it.

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