We can read, hear and study spiritual principles ad nauseam, but they are essentially useless if we do not learn to apply them to the ins-and-outs of our daily lives. My daily spiritual practice is all about applying what I’ve learned to my grievance du jour.
It’s probably fair to say that most of us have a grievance-of-the-day, and usually more than one.
The dictionary defines “grievance” as: “a complaint against a real or imagined wrong.”
I love this definition because from the perspective of A Course in Miracles,
all of our grievances are imagined!
The ego’s plan for freedom and peace centers around holding grievances, maintaining that if someone or something were different, then – Eureka – I would be free! This petty tyrant wants everyone and everything “out there” to change, but it does not want to even consider that the common denominator in all my problems is: “Oh My God. It’s Me!”
If we’re paying attention we notice that we have grievances, a running commentary of them, all day long. It’s not the thoughts that seemingly pop into our mind that present the problem, it’s the ones we hold onto that keep us in hell. Every day we make constant choices between hell (holding on) and heaven (letting go).
Lesson 68: Love holds no grievances, asks us to notice that there is no one against whom we do not cherish grievances of some sort. “Not true for me,” you say? Never mind those that you have major grievances toward, call to mind someone you like or even think you love, and then notice if there isn’t some minor grievance you hold against them. Busted, eh?
I am Love. I cannot hold grievances and know that I am Love. When I hold attack thoughts toward a person, place or thing, I am attacking my Self.
One cloudy and stormy day as I looked out a large window in my office, suddenly a sliver of blue sky appeared amidst the clouds. I had somewhat of a spiritual “Aha” moment as I recognized that just as the blue sky is always there, so is God; so is the Truth of who I Am. Clouds can momentarily obscure the Truth, but they cannot change it.
Although I’ve read the lesson several times over the years, it wasn’t until recently that I noticed that lesson 69, My grievances hide the light of the world in me, contains a simple meditation with the same imagery; grievances likened to a layer of dark heavy clouds hiding the brilliant light that I Am. When I hold onto grievances, Who I Am is hidden from me.
At the moment I am reminded of that old saying: “Behind every cloud lies a silver lining.” It seems to me that God provides the silver lining, and I provide the cloud!
The course tells me that every decision I make is between a grievance and a miracle. Today, I am willing to remember that I no longer want to trade miracles for grievances.
If my grievance du jour is toward a person, I can quickly let it go with these thoughts:
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.
As I give, so do I receive.
And if I am tempted to hold a grievance in the form of anger or fear in regard to circumstances and events outside of me, I will let it go with these thoughts:
Love holds no grievances.
When I let all my grievances go,
I will know I am perfectly safe,
I am perfectly loved, and
I am forever blessed as a child of God.
I am grateful this is so.