A Priceless Remedy for Major Upsets: Response to Temptation Practices in Review 2

I am often asked how we should deal with major upsets. How do we heal them? In response, I share the thing that has worked the best for me. These are the “response to temptation” practices in Review 2 of the Workbook (Lessons 81-90). In this review, we are given three “specific forms” for applying each of the lessons reviewed. Since there are twenty lessons being reviewed, that amounts to a total of sixty practices.

Every now and then I have a big upset, one of those ones that so fully has me in its grip that I am like a pressure cooker, with almost visible steam shooting out of my ears. When that happens, the upset renders me unable to function constructively in the situation. I am driven to say and do things that don’t actually need to be said or done; they may satisfy the upset but they just make the situation worse.

What I do at these times is sit down with these sixty practices. I allot myself about thirty to forty-five minutes. I then go through the practices slowly. I mentally apply each one to the situation about which I am upset, repeating the sentence provided slowly and intentionally. I stay with each sentence until it gives me at least a tiny shift. In my experience, almost every one of the sixty will shift me a little bit, and as a result, my upset slowly, incrementally subsides. By the time I have gone through all of them, and often before, I feel restored to “normal”. Not that my normal is some lofty state, just that it’s vastly better than where I was before I sat down.

I don’t think this practice has ever failed to return me to normal. Oftentimes, the results are truly miraculous. Now it may be that, if the situation is a deeply challenging one, that situation will trigger me again within days or weeks, so that I will find myself sitting down with this practice once more. I’m not saying that this practice gives me permanent healing in any given situation. But it does give me more—by far—than anything else I have ever used. To go, in less than an hour, from crazy with upset to calm and at peace, from erratic and destructive to healthy and constructive, is no small gift.

If you want to locate these practices in the Workbook, just flip to Lesson 81. There, you will see two lessons reviewed, “I am the light of the world” (61) and “Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world” (62).  The second and final paragraph for each lesson reviewed begins by talking about “specific forms” for applying this idea. It then lists three italicized, indented sentences. For Lesson 61, the first one is “Let me not allow my perception of this to obscure the light of the world in me.” For Lesson 62, the first one is “Let this help me learn what forgiveness means.” Those sentences are two of the sixty practices I am talking about.

If you read through these italicized practices, you will notice that every single one includes either “this” or “[name].” “This” means the situation with which you are upset; “[name]” means the person with whom you are upset. In other words, all of these practices are aimed at upsets. They are adaptations of the original idea (e.g., “I am the light of the world”) that are geared to a specific source of upset. The introduction to the first batch of them says it all: “Suggested specific forms for applying the idea, to be used when specific difficulties seem to arise, are:” (W-81.2:1). These practices, then, are applications of the idea to particular upsets. They are what the Workbook elsewhere calls “response to temptation” (W-Re.2.In.5:3).

To use these practices

  • Choose something that has been particularly upsetting to you of late, something that seems to have you emotionally in its grip.
  • Allow yourself some time for this. Try to allow yourself a half an hour or more to go through these practices.
  • Before repeating each set of three practices, briefly review the original lesson that they are based on. This will help you understand their meaning. (It will especially help with all the references to your “function”.)
  • Repeat each practice slowly to yourself, either silently or aloud. Take your time. Don’t rush.
  • Apply each one specifically to what is upsetting you. “This” means “this upsetting situation or appearance.” “Name” means “the person I am upset with.”
  • Spend time with each one until you feel some shift in your mind, even if it’s only a tiny shift, and then move on to the next. With sixty practices, you need each one to shift you just 1/60 of the way.

By the time you reach the end, it will be impossible to feel the same as when you started. You may, in fact, be free of your upset long before you get through all sixty practices.

Additional suggestion

A couple of years ago, I discovered an even more effective way to go through these practices, though it takes a bit more effort. If the situation about which you are upset is one that will probably stick around for a while, I highly recommend this additional suggestion.

Before you start, get out a pen and piece of paper. As you mentally repeat the first practice (“Let me not allow my perception of this to obscure the light of the world in me”), watch your mind for any shift that takes place. If you feel a shift, see if you can verbalize it. See if you can put into words its new perspective. If you can, write that new perspective down.

For example, let’s say that you are upset about what someone has recently said about you. You repeat to yourself, “Let me not allow my perception of this to obscure the light of the world in me.”  As you repeat it, the following insight suddenly flashes into your mind: “Rather than protecting my image here, I could be shining my light.”  That’s what you write down.

You may only have one such insight for every few practices that you repeat. That’s okay. Don’t force it. Only write down the ones that come spontaneously.

Once you are done, you have one more step. Read all of your insights, one after another. See if there is a main theme that jumps out, a single theme that summarizes many, if not most, of your insights. If there is, write that one down at the top of the page. In my experience, that single insight is a kind of guidance from the Holy Spirit, a kind that will probably come in no other way.

My advice is to keep that insight with you. Every now and then, pull this page out and read that key insight, perhaps along with the other insights you wrote down. Try to keep it in your mind as you move through the situation. Chances are that it will be priceless.

Lesson 81
(61) I am the light of the world.

Let me not allow my perception of this to obscure the light of the world in me.
Let the light of the world shine through this appearance.
This shadow will vanish before the light. (W-81.1:1, 2:2-4)

(62) Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.

Let this help me learn what forgiveness means.
Let me not separate my function [of forgiveness] from my will by misperceiving this.
I would not use this for an alien purpose [alien to my true purpose of forgiveness]. (W-81.3:1, 4:2-4)

Lesson 82
(63) The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.

Let peace extend from my mind to yours, [name].
I share the light of the world with you, [name].
Through my forgiveness I can see this as it is. (W-82.1:1, 2:2-4)

(64) Let me not forget my function.

Let me not use this to hide my function [of forgiveness] from me.
I would use this as an opportunity to fulfill my function.
This may threaten my ego, but cannot change my function in any way. (W-82.3:1, 4:2-4)

Lesson 83
(65) My only function is the one God gave me.

My perception of this does not change my function [of forgiveness].
This does not give me a function other than the one God gave me.
Let me not use this to justify a function God did not give me. (W-83.1:1, 2:2-4)

(66) My happiness and my function are one.

This cannot separate my happiness from my function [of forgiveness].
The oneness of my happiness and my function remains wholly unaffected by this.
Nothing, including this, can justify the illusion of happiness apart from my function. (W- 83.3:1, 4:2-4)

Lesson 84
(67) Love created me like Itself.

Let me not see an illusion of myself in this.
As I look on this, let me remember my Creator.
My Creator did not create this as I see it. (W-84.1:1, 2:2-4)

(68) Love holds no grievances.

This is no justification for denying my Self.
I will not use this to attack love.
Let this not tempt me to attack myself. (W-84. 3:1, 4:2-4)

Lesson 85
(69) My grievances hide the light of the world in me.

Let me not use this as a block to sight.
The light of the world can shine all this away.
I have no need for this [appearance]. I want to see. (W-85.1:1, 2:2-4)

(70) My salvation comes from me.

Let this not tempt me to look away from me for my salvation.
I will not let this interfere with my awareness of the source of my salvation.
This has no power to remove salvation from me. (W-85.3:1, 4:2-4)

Lesson 86
(71) Only God’s plan for salvation will work.

God’s plan for salvation will save me in this.
This is no exception in God’s plan for my salvation.
Let me perceive this only in the light of God’s plan for salvation. (W-86.1:1, 2:2-4)

(72) Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.

I am choosing between misperception and salvation as I look on this.
If I see grounds for grievances in this, I will not see the grounds for my salvation.
This calls for salvation, not attack. (W-86.3:1, 4:2-4)

Lesson 87
(73) I will there be light.

This cannot hide the light I will to see.
You stand with me in light, [name].
In the light this will look different. (W-87.1:1, 2:2-4)

(74) There is no will but God’s.

Let me perceive this in accordance with the will of God.
It is God’s will you are His Son, [name], and mine [my will] as well.
This is part of God’s will for me, however I may see it. (W-87.3:1, 4:2-4)

Lesson 88
(75) The light has come.

This cannot show me darkness, for the light has come.
The light in you is all that I would see, [name].
I would see in this only what is there. (W-88.1:1, 2:2-4)

(76) I am under no laws but God’s.

My perception of this shows me I believe in laws which do not exist.
I see only the laws of God at work in this.
Let me allow God’s laws and not my own to work in this. (W-88.3:1, 4:2-4)

Lesson 89
(77) I am entitled to miracles.

Behind this is a miracle to which I am entitled.
Let me not hold a grievance against you, [name], but offer you the miracle that belongs to you instead.
Seen truly, this offers me a miracle. (W-89.1:1, 2:2-4)

(78) Let miracles replace all grievances.

I would not hold this grievance apart from my salvation.
Let our grievances be replaced by miracles, [name].
Beyond this is the miracle by which all my grievances are replaced. (W-89.3:1, 4:2-4).

Lesson 90
(79) Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.

This presents a problem to me which I would have resolved.
The miracle behind this grievance will resolve it for me.
The answer to this problem is the miracle which it conceals. (W-90.1:1, 2:2-4)

(80) Let me recognize my problems have been solved.

I need not wait for this to be resolved.
The answer to this problem is already given me, if I will accept it.
Time cannot separate this problem from its solution. (W-90.3:1, 4:2-4)

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Or you may be interested in delving deeper into A Course in Miracles.