Much of spiritual literature tells me in one way or another that if I keep my mind focused on God/Truth/Love, anything within me that is not aligned with this energy will drop way. While I have experienced this to be true, there are aspects of my life where I continue to exhibit compulsive behavior, and thus feel frustration. HS addressed this with me over the last few years, saying, “Sheryl, the reason you feel frustrated, and struggle in this area is because in this aspect of your life, you don’t practice what you’ve learned.”
I am experiencing much peace, freedom, abundance and creativity in many aspects of my life through my willingness to practice, practice, practice, and yet, in my areas of greatest frustration I don’t practice. I think of “spiritual practice” as any practice used to return my mind to the truth. HS has taught me that with the practice of prayer I return to the Source of healing. This idea of “living indoors” is about keeping focus within instead of “out there”.
It doesn’t happen often, but once in awhile throughout the night I’ll hear a particular sentence over and over again. It’s not like I’m thinking the thoughts, but hearing the thoughts. Based on experience, when this occurs I know that HS is attempting to get my attention.
Well this week I had at least two nights where this occurred. Throughout the night I heard a line that I recognized from the Bible: “You are to be doers of the word, not just hearers of the word.” (James 1:22)
And I heard a passage that I recognized from NTI: “For to listen and to agree, but not to practice, is not to have heard. And one who will not hear cannot be healed.” (NTI, Matthew 7:6)
I heard these two sentences over and over again throughout the night. I knew what HS was trying to say to me. In those areas where I feel frustrated, dazed, crazed and confused, I am not practicing what I know and stay stuck in compulsive behavior.
Last year HS gave me some amazing practices for healing in this area, and while I am wowed by them, and see the power in them, I have not been practicing consistently, and thus I continue to feel imprisoned. The Course tells us that there is no one here who doesn’t feel imprisoned in some way. The key word is “feel” because a child of God cannot be imprisoned; we can only think
that we are.
My Inner Teacher is attempting to teach me that if I am unwilling to practice what I am learning, I cannot experience freedom. So, why am I experiencing so much resistance? You may also be experiencing resistance to healing in some area of your life. Let’s face it, most every one of us have the compulsive behavior of listening to ego! Ha!
As I have continued to ask for guidance and healing on this, HS has led me to some powerful teachings on just why I might be so resistant. First to these teachings in NTI:
“Your resistance is nothing more than your desire to keep things the same, to keep things as you see them now. And you desire this because you desire safety, and you think there is safety in the security you have made. And yet, you fear yourself and what you have made also. Safety comes from the guarantee of who you are.” (NTI, Luke 11:29-32)
HS then prompted me to this section in A Course in Miracles: It’s in the workbook just before Lesson 261 in the section, “What is the body?”
“You will identify with what you think will make you safe. Your safety lies in truth and not in lies. Love is your safety. Fear does not exist. Identify with love, and you are safe. Identify with love, and you are home. Identify with love, and find your Self.”
In these places where we are trying to keep things the same, we believe lies. Your safety does not lay in a focus on the small, limited self. Your safety must lie in truth. And the Truth is that you are Love. I am Love. We are Love.
We think we want change, we think we want freedom but in some respects, we don’t. There’s a line in the Course that says something to the effect of: If you were in a dungeon for years and years and all the sudden you were set free, you’d think you would jump up and down with joy and yell, “Eureka! I’m free!” But no, you wouldn’t. You’d run right back into that prison. And we would – we do!
We experience glimpses of freedom in aspects of our lives, but we all have that one area where we feel imprisoned. You are free now. The light has come. But instead of jumping up and down in joy, we stay mesmerized by the world of form that tells us that we are caterpillars, not butterflies.
In that section of NTI regarding practice it speaks of healing: Let yourself be healed, that your brother may see your health and recognize that it is but his own, then he will ask for healing and it will be given him. Concentrate first on your own healing, that you may be used to lead your brothers to health.
It is our responsibility to practice remembering who we are so that, we can help others remember who they are. HS can love you through me, only as I am willing to get me out of the way. And so may we make a deeper commitment this year to move past resistance to healing and onto embracing freedom.
Holy Spirit, help me be willing to be willing!
What do we practice? Let HS guide you. It doesn’t matter what the form of the practice is, it may be different for each one of us. One thing I like to do is take favorite passages in the Course and fold them into prayer:
You have told me that I identify with
what I think will keep me safe.
Help me know that Love is my safety.
Help me know that fear does not exist.
Help me identify with love so that I will know
that I am safe, and I am home.
Help me, Holy Spirit, to identify with Love
so that I may find You in my Self.
Note: HS denotes: Holy Spirit, Higher Self, Inner Teacher
NTI is: The Holy Spirit's Interpretation of the New Testament
This Audio encompasses much more than I have written here, and is powerful on spiritual practice.
It was recorded to an internet audience on 1/19/10, and is 51 min.
You can find it on my blog: http://sherylvalentine.blogspot.com