What is the “this” referred to in the six specific applications in this lesson? What is it that might block my sight, that the light will shine away? What is it that I have no need for, and which tempts me to look away from me for my salvation? What is “this” that could interfere with my awareness of the Source of salvation, and which seems to have power to remove salvation from me?
“This” is grievances: anything I react to with less than the perfect love which is my reality. Anything I do not like, or push away from me, or blame for my problems, or look upon as less than God’s creation. Anything within myself I hold with something other than compassion and forgiveness. “My grievances show me what is not there” (1:2). They cause me to see something that is not real, and I react with fear or hatred or anger. My reactions are as inappropriate as a child’s fear of a curtain flapping in the dark. I am seeing something that isn’t there, because only what God created is real. I am jumping at shadows when the reality is sheer beauty. The grievances not only show me things that aren’t real, they hide what I really want.
If this is what my grievances really do, why would I want them? I do not really want them; I have used them in a mistaken attempt to protect myself, but I can recognize now that I no longer want them or need them. I do not blame myself for having chosen them in the past but I do not need to continue to choose them now. I want to see, and so I lay them aside joyfully, without guilt, without regret.
What I am looking for is in my Self (3:3). I won’t look outside of myself today. “It is not found outside and then brought in. But from within me it will reach beyond, and everything I see will but reflect the light that shines in me and in itself” (3:6-7). My grievances tempt me to look outside for salvation, thinking I know what must change out there to bring me peace, feeling anger or sorrow or betrayal as I look on the things I blame for my loss of peace. But I recognize today that the answer is in my Self. Rather than seeking for the light, I will be the light today, and lighten my whole world.