[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
Joy seems to be becoming a constant in my life, if not always here, at least welling up from within throughout the day. Sometimes I can hardly contain it, like this morning. When I asked God what He wanted me to do with it, I heard, “share it,” so here I am.
The joy I’ve been experiencing is always related to joining, to God, to some message of truth… like in this morning’s Lesson (341). As soon as I read the title, and even before I read the whole lesson and started to meditate, I felt the joy filling me. The meaning went in much more deeply than ever before as I read the words:
I can attack but my own sinlessness,
And it only that which keeps me safe.
Here’s what I saw in those words: Whenever I attack someone else or myself (with impatience, frustration, annoyance, judgment, criticism, or even worry and anxiety), I am only attacking my loving nature. I am betraying, denying my true sinless Self. A holy, innocent person cannot attack, cannot hurt. It’s impossible, because a holy innocent person can only extend love. Only someone “sinful” can attack, because it is an act of harmfulness, of lovelessness.
When I do attack, I feel guilty for hurting a brother and fearful of attack back as some form of punishment, so for sure I don’t feel safe. So, it’s obvious: if I want to feel safe, I have to stop attacking in any form, even in those that seem more “innocent” and “harmless.” I must stop attacking my Self!
Since I was created as holy, innocent, and pure––and nothing can change that––whenever I attack, it’s just a foolish and useless attempt to prove that I’m the exact opposite; that is, unholy, guilty, and impure! It’s just a foolish, useless “journey to the cross” (T-4.In.)!
Let us not, then, attack our sinlessness, for it contains the Word of God to us [“My Son is pure and holy as myself” (276)]. And in its kind reflection we are saved.
Nothing but my sinlessness will keep me safe; nothing but my sinlessness will save me from the fearful dream I’ve dreamt. How can I not feel joyous to know that, no matter what, I am sinless and safe in my sinlessness!
The joy didn’t stop there, but carried into my meditation. I usually try to empty my mind and seek that “wordless deep experience” of God, but this morning, I was drawn to a more contemplative approach. I sat there, eyes closed, slowly repeating the words of the prayer, again and again, letting their meaning sink deeply into my mind and my heart. And that they did–– filling me with love and gratitude, and joy. Sometimes, I personalized them a bit, for instance;
Father, I am Your Son, and I am holy.
I am he on whom You smile in love and tenderness so dear and deep and still
the universe (of which I am a part) smiles back on You, and shares Your holiness.
How pure, how safe, how holy then are we, abiding in Your smile, with all Your Love bestowed on us…..
Each repetition took me deeper and deeper. I felt myself really abiding in God’s smile (what a concept!), basking in that smile, and smiling back on Him. But the smiles weren’t for Him and me alone. We were all joined, held in that smile, all of us, and we were all smiling back on Him, until there was only one smile holding us all. It’s not that I actually saw it. I somehow inherently knew that that smile of love and tenderness had to embrace all of us, just as the joy I was feeling had to include all of us. It was impossible that it not. How could any thoughts and acts of attack find any place in such a state!
P.S. I carried a smile and a heart filled with joy all through my day. Whenever I started to feel any distress (such as time pressure), I realized it was because I wasn’t feeling safe, but fearful of something “bad” happening if I didn’t get everything done and done “right.” I saw that as an attack on both my brothers and myself, so I just repeated those lines and felt God smiling on me and me smiling back on him, and the distress disappeared.