When we encounter resistance, it’s good to 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 feel myself obscuring the words, pushing their message as far away as possible. Or I get masochistic. I’m going to figure this out right now no matter what! And 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 practicing A Course in Miracles and healing our split mind. 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). Or “Seen through understanding eyes, the holiness of the world is all I see, for I can picture only the thoughts I hold about myself” (W-pI.58.1:5).
What do those sentences actually mean? I start to argue with them. I get frustrated with myself for not getting it. People wake up with A Course in Miracles. Why don’t I perceive the holiness of the world? Why do my eyes insist on confusion and separation rather than understanding?
When this happens, it’s okay to put the book away, make coffee, bake muffins, do a crossword. Eventually we learn that resistance isn’t as scary as it used to be. It’s just another symptom of fear. Of what are we so scared? Why are we unwilling to go into what scares us? Resistance is just unwillingness, which is just another form of fear.
What is there to be saved from except illusions? And what are illusions except false ideas about myself? My holiness undoes them all by asserting the truth about me (W-pI.58.3:3-5).
So get a little space. A few minutes to breathe. I watch chickens scratch the snow. Admire grackles and chickadees in the maple trees. The kids wake up. And then I remember. God is love extending love. Something in me softens. I take my coffee and read the lesson again.
Herein lies my claim to all good and only good. I am blessed as a Child of God. All good things are mine, because God intended them for me. I cannot suffer loss or deprivation or pain because of Who I am (W-pI.58.4:2-5).
And I see it. All those references to our holiness . . . How can we read this lesson – or any of the lessons to which it makes reference – and come away thinking we are lost or hopeless or unlovable. We are perfect creations of a Loving God. When we accept this truth about ourselves, then we are finished with fear, and the world is blessed along with us (W-pI.58.4:4-5). Why see ourselves in any other light than the one in which God gifts both us and the world as one?
I can accept the innocence that is the truth about me. Seen though understanding eyes, the holiness of the world is all I see, for I can picture only the thoughts I hold about myself (W-pI.58.1:4-5).
I want to insist on being broken. I am invested in stumbling. Self-denigration and self-debasement are my mode. It’s a back-handed way of allowing ego’s judgment to go on. I might talk as if I am saved but secretly I do not accept this truth about myself. You maybe. And me someday. But not now.
There is another way.
And that other way is precisely what Lesson 58 insists we learn: 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 embrace every living thing we encounter.
That is what we resist: the peace, comfort and happiness for which we have been pining for so long. When we sit quietly with our resistance, perhaps we can see this. And seeing it, can offer to let go of our resistance. Give it to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit, to Love. How we describe letting go of resistance is not nearly as important as what happens when we do let it go.
When we let it go, we become willing to be healed, to be one with the One whose desire for us is our desire for the One.