Love holds no grievances.
I always feel like this is the first half to the title of a country western song: Love holds no grievances . . . but I sure do.
Grievances – or resentments – are the product of disappointed expectations. Expectations, in turn, are the products of a belief system. Belief systems act according to laws, be they of the ego or the Holy Spirit. They dictate how things are supposed to go. When they don’t go that way, we tend to blame the actor – be it the weather, another person or a situation – for behaving out of accord with a belief system than to challenge the belief system itself. Those are our grievances, our resentments. And we hold to them because, in a dysfunctional way, they confirm the existence of our belief system. As long as somebody or some thing “out there” is wrong, I can still be right.
A Course in Miracles takes the opposite tack, aiming to undo the flawed belief system. It urges us to dig deeper, look more closely, and offer up for forgiveness everything we find on the interior journey. If we do that, the egoic thought system is correspondingly dismantled and removed. Beneath it – or beyond it perhaps – another system is perceived. Much the way removing layers of grime and dust will expose the brilliant paint beneath an old painting, or cleaning a window will allow radiant beams of light in, the removal of the ego barriers reveal a thought system based on love.
And love brooks – and holds – no grievances.
This is another way of saying that to wake up, we have to end conflict, and we have to end it in ourselves. It is no good to see the conflict outside of us – bad banks, bad politicians, starving children, violent homes, abused animals. Those things are only there because we put them there. Ending conflict is not about rearranging the external details as if they were an equation that might somehow equal peace. Rather, it is a perceptual correction based on our understanding of how our minds work.
In other words, we recognize the creative power of our minds – recognize that power as a gift – and turn it over to the Holy Spirit. We ask it to serve the laws of a belief system other than the familiar one. This is important. We have to choose against the ego in the sense of deciding that its effects are no longer what we want. They don’t make us happy and so we are going to try something different. That decision is effectively a choice for the Holy Spirit, by which our happiness is ensured. The ego – while it will certainly rage and rant and fight this decision (and will sometimes appear to be making headway) – is undone accordingly. It’s days were always numbered.
How do we let go of grievances? Just do it. When your thoughts turn to the errors of others – be they large or small or somewhere in between – direct your thoughts elsewhere. If you can’t do that, then ask for help doing it. Keep asking for help. Drag yourself away from conflict. Let it go. Peace is already in you. It is already your condition. The conflict is the illusion – loud and vexatious at first glance, and entirely unwilling to leave quietly – but utterly powerless to withstand our decision to be happy.