Workbook Lesson Support Notes

by Allen Watson

LESSON 79

March 20

ÒLet me recognize the problem so it can be solved.Ó

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer: 2 times for 10–15 minutes

¥          Try to free your mind of the belief you have many problems. Try to recognize you have only one.

¥          Then ask what that one problem is (do not assume you know) and wait for the answer. You will be told.

¥          Then ask what is the answer to it. And you will be told.

REMARKS: You will succeed to the extent you do not define the problem. You need not let all your preconceived notions go, only entertain some doubt about what you think your problems are.

Response To Temptation:

* Whenever you see a problem try to recognize there is only one problem and one answer. Say immediately: ÒLet me recognize this problem so it can be solved.Ó

* Then try to lay aside what you think the problem is. If you can, close eyes and ask what it is. You will be told.

COMMENTARY

This lesson, with the next, presents one of the clearest statements of an important Course principle: ÒOne problem, one solution,Ó as it is stated in Lesson 80 (1:5). They merit repeated re-reading until the concept they teach become imbedded in our thought processes.

I seem to be faced with a multitude of problems, overwhelming in number and complexity, ranging from tiny to titanic, constantly shifting, changing, appearing and disappearing in the moments of my life. If I pause to consider things objectively from this viewpoint the only possible response is blind panic. Attention paid to one problem obliterates dozens of others, equally deserving of my attention, from conscious consideration. Like Lucy and Ethel on the pie conveyor, as things speed up I can only start stuffing some of the ÒpastriesÓ down my shirt, trying to hide them before my failure to handle them becomes evident.

Seen from the perspective of specialness, our problems doom me to failure after failure, with every moment increasing my overwhelming sense of inadequacy.

What if all of these problems were really just one? What if I already had the solution to that one problem? I can scarcely imagine the universal sense of relief that would run through my being if I could grasp that this were true: All of my problems are one, and that one has already been solved.

Could this be? Yes. If I think my problems are many and separate, if I have failed to recognize the one problem in them all, I could already have the answer and not know it. I could even be aware of the answer without realizing its application to what seem to me to be very different problems. ÒThis is the situation of the world. The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved. Yet the solution is not recognized because the problem is not recognizedÓ (1:3–5).

To break free of this illusory imprisonment, then, my first step must be to recognize the problem in every problem. I have to become aware of what the problem is before I can realize that I already hold the solution to it. As long as I think the problem is something other than my separateness from God (which has already been so completely resolved that it has become a non-issue), I will continue to think I have problems and lack the solution. I will look for ÒsalvationÓ from my problems everywhere but where the answer is because I have already discounted the answer as irrelevant to the problem at hand. ÒWho can see that a problem has been solved if he thinks the problem is something else?Ó (2:3)

The seeming complexity of the world is nothing more than my mindÕs attempt to not recognize the single problem, thus preventing its resolution (6:1). My greatest initial need, therefore, is to perceive Òthe underlying constancy in all the problemsÓ (6:3). If I can see the separation at the root of every problem I would realize that I already have the answer, and I would use the answer. I would be free.

Again, this lesson is so wonderfully forgiving. Even the idea of seeing all my problems as variations on the theme of separation may seem an impossibly daunting task. So the lesson tells me, Òthat is not necessary. All that is necessary is to entertain some doubt about the reality of your version of what your problems areÓ (8:2, 3). The only thing I have to do is to doubt? Hey, I can handle that; IÕm pretty good at doubting.

All I am being asked to do is to Òsuspend all judgment about what the problem isÓ (10:4). ÒSuspendÓ means to temporarily abate; the lesson does not even ask me to lay aside my judgments forever. Just for an instant. Just allow myself to doubt my personal perspective on things and consider that there might be another way of looking at it.

So today I am called to doubt. To doubt my version of what my problems are. To think to myself, ÒIÔm probably not seeing this with complete clarity. IÕm probably muddling the issues here somewhere.Ó And then to ask, ÒWhat is the real problem here?Ó That kind of practice even I can handle. Thank You, God, for such a simple Course!


LESSON 80

March 21

ÒLet me recognize my problems have been solved.Ó

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer: 2 times for 10–15 minutes

Close your eyes and claim the peace that comes from recognizing your problem and accepting GodÕs answer, which cannot fail. Let the peace you deserve be given you. Recognize that your problems are gone, that you are free of conflict. Remember you have one problem, which has one solution. This is why salvation is so simple and guaranteed to work.

Shorter: as frequently as possible

Repeat idea with deep conviction and gratitude. Tell yourself over and over that your one problem has been solved.

Response To Temptation: Whenever a specific problem arises, say: ÒLet me recognize this problem has been solved.Ó

Remarks: Be determined today to not gather grievances, to be free of non-existent problems. Simply be honest about what the problem is and you will see it has been solved.

COMMENTARY

ÒOne problem, one solutionÓ (1:5). ÒThe problem must be gone, because GodÕs answer cannot failÓ (4:2). So I must be at peace—whether I know it or not. I have no more problems. Seeing and understanding this, accepting it wholly, is the essence of salvation (1:8; 2:5; 5:6).

To see a problem as unresolved is to accumulate another grievance and to block the light from my awareness. An unresolved problem is an occasion of unforgiveness. It represents something I do not like or do not approve of, a cause of judgment in my mind. ÒCertain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness. Yet that is the content underneath the formÓ (W-pI.193.4:1,2). When the Course speaks of our forgiving the world, it means the same thing as our recognizing that all forms of problems are only separation, which has already been resolved. The answer to every problem, therefore, is forgiveness. The answer is accepting the Atonement, recognizing that nothing, whatever form nothing takes, can separate me from the love of God; nothing can take away my peace.

I have spent this past weekend (1995) sleeping on an air mattress at my sonÕs home in California. I am writing this on my last day here. Last night, the air mattress sprang a leak, and I woke about five oÕclock with most of my body on the ground and my arms and legs still half floating several inches higher, a most uncomfortable position. I never got back to sleep and got up feeling short of sleep and worrying a bit about driving from Phoenix to Sedona late tonight, two hours in the dark desert, alone, and sleepy.

That seemed to be a potential problem. How is that a form of unforgiveness? How is this problem of short sleep a manifestation of separation?

If I recognize that my only problem is separation and that it has been solved, I can realize that a lack of sleep cannot separate me from GodÕs love and peace. I can forgive the air mattress, or forgive my son for providing a flawed bed. I can forgive myself for worrying about the drive. I can accept that nothing is wrong and that my life is in the hands of God, and all will work out just as it should. Perhaps my body will be energized enough that I will not be sleepy as I drive home. Perhaps I will spend the night with friends in Phoenix even though that is not ÒmyÓ plan. Perhaps I will pull off the road and sleep in my truck. Whatever happens, I do not need to be pulled out of peace by this event; my problem has been solved. I can be at peace now.

Or, if I so choose, I can destroy my last day with my son and grandchildren by obsessing about my problem. I can worry about falling asleep at the wheel. I can be upset because I may be forced to change my plan. I can be grumpy and grouchy and miss out on the love that is around me with my grandchildren. Is that really a choice I want to make?

A collapsing air mattress is not my problem. The only problem is allowing that, or anything like it, to disturb the peace of God that is always mine if I choose to have it. The only problem is separation from God. The events in our lives do not, and cannot, cause us to separate from Him. When we seem to be upset it is always a choice we make; the events we connect to that loss of peace are only a convenient excuse. Forgiveness involves recognizing our responsibility and lifting the blame for loss of peace from the persons and events of our lives and accepting that the peace of God has not been taken from us, cannot be taken from us, and indeed has never left us. We have merely closed our eyes to it. And we can open them again at any instant we choose to do so.

The events and persons may or may not change as a result. The Atonement does not plug the leak in the mattress, necessarily. It may or may not supply me with more energy to make the drive to Sedona. Sometimes those things happen, sometimes they donÕt; it depends on what plan the Holy Spirit has for me. What happens externally is not the problem, and the solution lies not in externals, but within me. Will I choose peace, or choose upset? Will I forgive, or will I project my rejection of peace onto the external things and blame them?

Peace lies in acceptance. I accept GodÕs peace whatever happens. I refuse to believe that anything can separate me from the love of God. I refuse to deceive myself about what the problem really is. I recognize the problem is within me, and I bring the problem to the answer. And I rest, trusting the Holy Spirit to arrange the circumstances as He sees fit, not as I think they should be. I am out of conflict; I am free and at peace.


REVIEW II INTRODUCTION

Lessons 81 to 90

Review II: lessons 81-90

This review begins the standard review practice of covering only two ideas per day (the final review--VI--will drop this to one idea per day). Its practice looks very much like the practice that we have just done. There is no real increase; if anything, we are doing a little less practice:

¥           Longer periods: We go down from two longer practice to one, but up to 15 minutes per (from 10-15).

¥           Listening for a message: In the spirit of the previous 10 lessons, we listen for a message from the Holy Spirit.

¥           Dealing with distracting thoughts: Note the lengthy instructions for dealing with distracting thoughts, covering both the fourth and fifth paragraphs of the Introduction.

¥           Response to temptation: Note the change here. In the previous bank of lessons we were given specially designed sentences to use. Here we are given more of these, but only as suggestions--we are also encouraged to generate our own. This is the fruit of the practice of "letting related thoughts come." Because of that practice we can generate our own tailor-made versions of the lesson to heal particular upsets. Note the comment, "It is not the particular words you use that matter" (rII.IN.6:4).

Commentary

A brief word on the Review instructions. There is one longer practice period (see ÒOne or two?Ó below) of about 15 minutes, in which we read over the two ideas and the associated comments, and then spend the bulk of the time with our eyes closed Òlistening quietly but attentivelyÓ for a message. Most long-time students of the Course agree that this does not mean we should expect to hear a voice, as Helen Schucman did, although some may. Messages can come in many forms: a feeling; an idea; an awareness without words. We are not used to sitting quietly just listening, and this is practice in doing so.

During the first half of the day we are to work with the first idea, and in the second half, the second idea. The shorter periods are not assigned any number; we are to continue the ÒfrequentÓ applications of the previous lessons. If you take all the lessons in which a number is mentioned in regard to these shorter practices, the numbers average out to five per hour; I think we can assume that is about what is intended during these days of review.

Notice the seriousness attached to both the longer and shorter practices. I, for one, am going to try to avoid the temptation to treat the review period as a time to slack off. This is what he says:

ÒRegard these practice periods as dedications to the way, the truth and the life. Refuse to be sidetracked into detours, illusions and thoughts of death. You are dedicated to salvation. Be determined each day not to leave your function unfulfilledÓ (W-pI.rII.In.5:1–4). This is a course in mind-training. Our minds will not be trained if we do not practice. We will not learn listening if we do not practice. This is what doing the Workbook is all about.

Additional notes: ONE OR TWO?

A few of you have written to me questioning whether this review calls for one or two longer practice periods. The reviewÕs Introduction can be understood either way. Robert Perry, who wrote the practice summaries, sees only one longer period devoted to both ideas for review. Those who have questioned see it calling for two 15-minute periods, one in the morning for the first idea, one later in the day for the second idea. For a long time I saw it that way, too.

The relevant portions of the review instructions are these:

Ò1. 2 We will begin where our last review left off, and cover two ideas each day. 3 The earlier part of each day will be devoted to one of these ideas, and the latter part of the day to the other. 4 We will have one longer exercise period, and frequent shorter ones in which we practice each of them.

2. 1 The longer practice periods will follow this general form: Take about fifteen minutes for each of them, and begin by thinking about the ideas for the day, and the comments that are included in the assignments. 2 Devote some three or four minutes to reading them over slowly, several times if you wish, and then close your eyes and listen.Ó

1:4 seems to imply a single long practice period, and ÒfrequentÓ short ones. But 2:1 speaks of Òlonger practice periods,Ó plural. It could be referring to the ten periods, one per day, over the days of review. Frankly, until I talked with Robert last year, I thought these instructions meant for us to do two longer periods daily. It made sense, one idea for each longer review. However, in 2:1, the instructions for Òeach of them,Ó that is for each longer review, tell us to think about Òthe ideas [plural] for the day.Ó So this seems to be speaking of a single period in which we think about both ideas.

I donÕt think it matters a whole lot. If you want to do one, review both ideas in it. If you want to do two, review one idea for each period. The bulk of each period, after the first 3 or 4 minutes, are to be spent simply listening quietly for a message. One time, two times; hey, do it five times if you are up to it! We can use all the practice we can get!


LESSON 81

March 22

ÒI am the light of the world.Ó

ÓForgiveness is my function as the light of the world.Ó

PRACTICE SUMMARY

LONGER: 1 time, about 15 minutes

¥          For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

¥          Close eyes and spend remainder listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it. If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First half of day: ÒI am the light of the world.Ó

Second half of day: ÒForgiveness is my function as the light of the world.Ó

Response To Temptation: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day: ÒLet me not obscure the light of the world in me.Ó ÓLet the light of the world shine through this appearance.Ó ÓThis shadow will vanish before the light.Ó

Second half of the day: ÒLet this help me learn what forgiveness means.Ó ÓLet me not separate my function from my will.Ó ÓI will not use this for an alien purpose.Ó

COMMENTARY

ÒI am the light of the world.Ó Lighting up the world is my function. The Course is teaching us to remember Who we are, and to begin to live as Who we are. We are lights, and we can live as lights in this world, by our forgiveness sharing the happy news of freedom from all guilt. As St. Francis of Assissi prayed, ÒLord, make me the instrument of Thy peace.Ó May I leave everyone I meet a little brighter today. May the world seem a little less dark for everyone I encounter. May each one I touch feel more loveable as a result of meeting me. May I ask to see the light in every situation; may I respond to darkness with light.

ÒForgiveness is my function as the light of the world.Ó If I do not feel like the light of the world this day, let me forgive another; everyone I forgive will show me the light in myself. ItÕs even OK that I donÕt yet understand what true forgiveness really is; that canÕt stop me if I am willing to learn, and I am willing. Every situation that seems to bring distress is a chance to learn what forgiveness really is. I donÕt want to use the circumstances of my day for any purpose other than GodÕs. Let everything be grist for the mill.


LESSON 82

March 23

ÒThe light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.Ó

ÒLet me not forget my function.Ó

PRACTICE SUMMARY

LONGER: 1 time for about 15 minutes

¥          For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

¥          Close eyes and spend remainder listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it.

¥          If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First Half Of Day: ÒThe light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.Ó

Second Half Of Day: ÒLet me not forget my function.Ó

Response To Temptation: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day:

ÒLet peace extend from my mind to yours, [name].Ó

ÒI share the light of the world with you, [name].Ó

ÒThrough my forgiveness I can see this as it is.Ó

Second half of the day:

ÒLet me not use this to hide my function from me.Ó

ÒI would use this as an opportunity to fulfill my function.Ó

ÒThis may threaten my ego, but cannot change my function in any way.Ó

COMMENTARY

My forgiveness serves three primary purposes, according to this review:

1. The light of the world is expressed through me, in this world, by means of forgiveness.

In Part II of the Workbook, it says that forgiveness is the reflection of love in this world (W-pII.352.1:4); it also refers to it as ÒtruthÕs reflectionÓ (W-pII.357.1:1). The full reality of love cannot be known in this world, but we can know its reflection, which is forgiveness. The reality of what I am is reflected here as I forgive.

2. I become aware of my own reality, the light of the world, by means of my forgiveness.

What comes through me shows me what I am. I become increasingly aware of the Holy Spirit in me, and the Christ of which He speaks, by seeing His effects through me (T-9.IV.5:5). To learn that I am love, I must teach love. Forgiveness, loveÕs reflection, is how I do that in this world.

3. The world is healed by means of my forgiveness, and so am I.

As I forgive those around me, they see love reflected through me, and they see themselves in the light of love and are healed.

It is easy to see why forgiveness plays such a major role in the Course. It is easy to feel motivated to Òforgive the world, that it may be healed along with me.Ó

I like practicing the line, ÒLet peace extend from my mind to yours, [name].Ó I will practice it now, as I write this, thinking of all of you who will be receiving this message: May peace extend from my mind to yours.

With forgiveness as my function, and with forgiveness having so many profound effects, I do not want to forget it today. It helps me become aware of my Self, and so I want to practice it today. Let me use everything today as an opportunity to learn forgiveness.


LESSON 83

March 24

ÒMy only function is the one God gave me.Ó

ÒMy happiness and my function are one.Ó

COMMENTARY

To be without conflicting goals in life is a wonderful blessing. Most of the time, I feel stressed out with conflicting goals. I want to exercise but I have a deadline to meet for work. I want to spend time with my friends but my favorite TV program is on. And so on. When I am able to realize that my only function is the one God gave me — forgiveness, or simply being happy instead of being angry or upset — things become marvelously clear. My goal becomes to be at peace, to be happy, to be serene and unaffected by what surrounds me. ÒWhat to do, what to say and what to thinkÓ (1:4) simply comes to me. Perhaps I realize that it makes no real difference whether I exercise or write. Perhaps I realize that one or the other can wait. Remembering my one and only true goal somehow sorts out everything else.

I used to think that when I had a conflict, the only way to become peaceful again was to make a decision, to resolve the conflict. It rarely worked. Usually, when I made my choice, I felt some distress at what I was leaving undone, or some loss at what I could not do because of my choice (e.g. watch TV or be with my friends; one or the other had to be ÒsacrificedÓ). Lately IÕve begun to realize that if I put becoming peaceful at the top of the list, if I choose to be peaceful first, before making my decision (perhaps taking a minute just to close my eyes and be quiet, remembering Who is with me), the decision becomes simple, and there is no sense of sacrifice. I just know what to do.

This is the way to be happy. My function is one with my happiness. If I can be at peace, letting go of my grievances, the little demands I constantly make of life, I am happy. Like forgiveness, happiness is a choice I can make at any time.

I notice today that the examples given of different ways to apply the ideas in specific situations seem to emphasize a kind of negation. They stress that the situation, or the way we perceive things, can not affect us if we so choose. The way I perceive this doesnÕt change my function, give me a different function, or justify selecting a goal other than the one God gave me. No matter what I see, no matter what happens, nothing will alter the fact that the only way I will find happiness is if I fulfill my function of forgiveness, blessing, and peace. There is no happiness apart from my function, and I am deceived by an illusion whenever I think there is. Do I expect to find happiness by indulging worry, justifying my anger, indulging my appetites, or licking my wounds of pain? It will never happen. Only in forgiveness, only in releasing everyone and everything from all my demands and expectations, only in quiet peacefulness of mind will I ever find my happiness.

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer: 1 time, about 15 minutes

¥          For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

¥          Close eyes and spend remainder listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it. If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First half of day: ÒMy only function is the one God gave me.Ó Second half of day: ÒMy happiness and my function are one.Ó

Response To Temptation: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day: ÒMy perception of this does not change my function.Ó ÓThis does not give me a function other than the one God gave me.Ó ÓLet me not use this to justify a function God did not give me.Ó

Second half of the day: ÒThis cannot separate my happiness from my function.Ó ÓThe oneness of my happiness and my function remains wholly unaffected by this.Ó ÓNothing, including this, can justify the illusion of happiness apart from my function.Ó


LESSON 84

March 25

ÒLove created me like Itself

ÒLove holds no grievances.Ó

Practice Summary:

LONGER: 1 time for about 15 minutes

¥          For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

¥          Close your eyes and spend the remainder of the time listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it. If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First half of day: ÒLove created me like Itself.Ó Second half of day: ÒLove holds no grievances.Ó

Response To Temptation: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day: ÒLet me not see an illusion of myself in this.Ó ÓAs I look on this, let me remember my Creator.Ó ÓMy Creator did not create this as I see it.Ó

Second half of the day: ÒThis is no justification for denying my Self.Ó ÓI will not use this to attack love.Ó ÓLet this not tempt me to attack myself.Ó

COMMENTARY

If I am created in the likeness of my Creator, then ÒI cannot suffer, I cannot experience loss and I cannot die. I am not a bodyÓ (1:3–4). That just makes sense. God cannot suffer, experience loss or die, and He is not a body. He created me like Himself (1:7); therefore these things must be true of me. My reality is completely unlike what I believe about myself, for assuredly I have believed that I can suffer, experience loss and die, and I have identified almost entirely with my body.

What is it that makes and reinforces this illusion about myself? Grievances. ÒLove holds no grievancesÓ (3:1). I am love, in the likeness of Love which created me, but when I choose to hold a grievance I am denying my own reality, I am affirming I am not love, because Ògrievances are completely alien to loveÓ (3:2). In so doing, I am re-affirming that I am what I think I have made of myself, and I am choosing, without conscious awareness, to suffer, lose, and die. The only way I can rediscover my own reality is to stop holding grievances. A grievance is an attack on my Self (3:6, 4:4). It affirms that I am something I am not.

If I see ugliness, unloveliness or evil in my brothers I am attacking myself. Deny what they are and I am denying what I am. Today I choose to see others as I would see myself, and as I would have God see me. I have the power to make this choice. I see what I desire to see, and today I desire to see my Self, in myself and in everyone.


LESSON 85

March 26

ÒMy grievances hide the light of the world in me.Ó

ÒMy salvation comes from me.Ó

PRACTICE SUMMARY

LONGER: 1 time for about 15 minutes

¥          For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

¥          Close your eyes and spend the remainder of the time listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it. If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First half of day: ÒMy grievances hide the light of the world in me.Ó

Second half of day: ÒMy salvation comes from me.Ó

RESPONSE TO TEMPTATION: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day: ÒLet me not use this as a block to sight.Ó ÓThe light of the world will shine all this away.Ó ÓI have no need for this. I want to see.Ó

Second half of the day: ÒLet this not tempt me to look away from me for my salvation. ÒI will not let this interfere with my awareness of the Source of my salvation.Ó ÓThis has no power to remove salvation from me.Ó

COMMENTARY

What is the ÒthisÓ 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 ÒthisÓ that could interfere with my awareness of the Source of salvation, and which seems to have power to remove salvation from me?

ÒThisÓ 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 GodÕs creation. Anything within myself I hold with something other than compassion and forgiveness. ÒMy grievances show me what is not thereÓ (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 the fear of a child in the dark at a flapping curtain. I am seeing something that isnÕt 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 arenÕt 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 nor 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 wonÕt look outside of myself today. ÒIt 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 itselfÓ (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.