(Epilogue to my “Putting it into practice” blog)
During the weekend at the family gathering for the burial of my cousin’s wife, I really liked how James and I were. He is such an outgoing person, who is genuinely interested in people, and he spent his time at the reception talking to this cousin and then that one. In the car on the way back to Ottawa, I told him how I liked how we had both been–reaching out, once in a while touching base with each other, and then going out again, for the most part, focusing on talking with my cousins, being loving to them. It felt as if we were these balls of light and love effortlessly moving through the room, lighting here and then there. I told him that I thought we were really learning the love lesson, and I was filled with such love and gratitude.
This must have been too much for the ego, for shortly after, I said something to which James reacted with anger and withdrawal, and it all fell apart.
It was almost as if the ego, threatened by my earlier comment, said, “Okay; you think you’re such a loving couple, well let me show you!!” And it did–for almost twenty-four hours! One of us would make an effort to reach out to the other, and it worked for a while, then one or the other would slip back into resentment and withdrawal again. The grip the ego had on both of us was amazing. The review lessons for the day, “There is no love but Gods” and “The world I see holds nothing that I want” and their central theme, “My mind holds only what I think with God,” didn’t help, and even our favourite, Holy Instant Prayer” from T-18.V.7 had no holding power for us this time. The words, “all that I have to do is accept and extend God’s Love” had disappeared from our vocabulary!
At one point, I went back to some guidance Amy had shared with me a couple of days earlier:
Don’t be confused by dreams in which you treat your brother unkindly or with dishonesty or dishonor. They are but dreams, and nothing more. They confuse you because they teach you that you are capable of dishonoring your holy and beloved brother. This makes no sense to you, because you have glimpsed the truth of yourself and of him. The truth, once witnessed, becomes the only thing you want. And so, you dedicate yourself to overlooking anything in your brother or yourself that dishonors him.
I realized how much I did only want to see the truth of James and myself, I knew that the way out of this was to see each other sinless and to act out of our true nature; that is to love. I talked with Jesus and asked his help in opening my heart and mind to love. “Feeling God’s love in me and letting it love James: that’s the solution. Honouring the love in me and in him and reaching from that in me to that in him.” So, with all that in mind, I got to work with renewed desire and determination! I pulled out some favourite forgiveness practices and set to practicing them:
Let me behold my savior in [James, the one] You have appointed as the one for me to ask to lead me to the holy light in which he stands, that I may join him there. (W-78.8:3)
[James] I would see you as my friend, that I may remember you are part of me, and come to know myself. (W-68.7:3)
I bless you, brother, with the love of God, which I would share with you. For I would learn the joyous lesson that there is no love but God’s and yours and mine and everyone’s. (W‑127.11:4-5)
But it was this practice from Lesson 161 that really turned me around:
Give me your blessing, [James] holy Son of God.
I would behold you with the eyes of Christ,
and see my perfect sinlessness in you. (W-161.13:2-3)
After repeating it several times, I felt a lifting in my mind and heart and that led me to reach out to James once again, asking him to join me in saying these words to each other. We did that several times and it turned us both around, making all that unlovingness dissolve. It was so fascinating. That “wish to be separate and apart” vanished in an instant with the desire to really want to love, to see each other sinless. What could all that have been if it had disappeared instantly? You’re right: nothing! Nothing but the ego’s fear that it would lose us to love!
Since then, we have put into practice a “DEW” line system, a “distant early warning” system such as the one they had in the Arctic during the Cold War. It’s pretty well a sure bet that after a major breakthrough, insight, or “giant stride,” the ego will feel threatened and react with a vengeance to “prove” the opposite. The greater the stride, the greater the backlash. So, aware of this, we have decided first of all to realize that a backlash might come, then stay vigilant for the signs of it, and finally to head off any of those signs before they can get up a head of steam; and, if we do get off track, remind each other of what’s happening and stop right there, using the “Holy Instant Prayer” or the “Give me your blessing” practice from Lesson 161. So far, we haven’t had any incidents of insurrection, but we’re staying vigilant!