[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
It started on the day we did Lesson 239, “The glory of my Father is my own.” As part of our year-long Workbook Practice Program, I usually prepare a handout on the lesson. Writing about the lesson invariably puts me in a good frame of mind to practice the lesson; however, this time it didn’t. I knew on an intellectual level that the glorious light of God shines in me, but I sure couldn’t feel it. I was reminded of Helen when she said of the Course that she knew it was true but didn’t believe it. All morning, tears would come to my eyes whenever I practiced the idea, because I so longed to experience my glory but didn’t.
Everything changed with my 1:00 practice. As I reread the prayer, I stopped at the sentence, “And we honor it [the light that shine in us], because You share it with us.” As I reflected on this, I thought, “God shares His light with me and I honor it by accepting it, by believing in it, by not letting it be hidden. As I honor the light, I also honor God: I believe that He has shared His light with me, and I accept it. And, I let Him know how grateful I am for this glorious truth about myself.”
My thoughts then moved to, “Well; if I honor God by believing in and accepting His gift, I likewise do Him a dishonour by not fully believing and accepting it.” That really hit me. I was dishonouring God, disrespecting Him. I was basically saying to Him, “I don’t want Your gift; I don’t want the light You so willingly want to share with me.” It looked as if I was merely not experiencing my glory, but if I really believed it, I would accept it, and if I really accepted it, I would experience it!
Who did I think I was to refuse the truth about myself?! I couldn’t believe that I would do God such a dishonour. I was so excited to have had this insight and I decided then and there that I would stop denying the truth of what God gave me. I was determined to stop hiding the truth about myself and wallowing around in littleness… in false humility. I was so excited that I even wrote a guided “My Glory” meditation to share with my Workbook class that evening!
Since that day, everything has changed. I feel full of joy and enthusiasm; I am practicing with more motivation, and my practicing feels blessed; I am in love with everyone and everything; I want to “arise in glory, and allow the light in me to shine upon the world… [bringing it] the tidings of salvation” (Lesson 237).
Today I am practicing Lesson 241, “This holy instant is salvation come,” and I do actually feel as if I have been experiencing holy instants of release all through the day so far. This morning I spent a few hours paying bills and dealing with billing issues. A few times I could feel myself starting to worry or feel frustrated, and I immediately applied the lesson as a response to temptation. I added something to the beginning that seems to have added an important element for me: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me. I accept this truth about myself. This holy instant is salvation come, because I have forgiven [the name of the company].”
I was writing a response to an important email and had to put a lot of thought into it and it was taking a long time: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me. This holy instant is salvation come, because I have forgiven [the person who wrote the email in the first place]. I am glad to share my light with her!”
Whenever I have felt tempted to see myself as inadequate (like right now as I write this!) or burdened, I have been using it in this way: I am not a body I am free, for I am still as God created me. This holy instant is salvation come, because I have forgiven myself for my illusions about myself and about [the person or the situation].
I have reminded myself several times today about my favourite definition of forgiveness from the “What It Says” section of the Preface:
As we learn to recognize our perceptual errors; we also learn to look past them or “forgive.” At the same time we are forgiving ourselves, looking past our distorted self-concepts to the Self That God created in us and as us.
I can’t begin to describe how grateful and joyful I am. I feel as if a fresh breeze has blown through me, clearing away cobwebs of false ideas about myself that I have been holding onto for a long, long time.
Then comes the warning voice, “Don’t get too carried away here. Remember, pride goeth before a fall.” Quickly, then: “I will not let the truth about myself be hidden by a false humility (Lesson 239.1:1). It is not pride, but true humility to accept “this glory and be glad” (Lesson 218.1:3).
I am so grateful for this insight and the little glimpse of truth. it has given me hope that one day this will be a permanent state!