Today, I send into your meditation Jeopardy: Part I: Consequences. This from A Course in Miracles (ACIM) which I have doctored slightly to remove gender-specific/religious specific wording.
I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision, if I allow Spirit to do so.
I choose to let Spirit do so, as it will bring me that peace I seek.
(Chapter 5: A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman, 1976)
I read this prayer often. At the heart of it’s value to me is the undoing of consequences. That single line may be the greatest gift I have ever allowed myself to receive. The allowing of true forgiveness to wipe clean what I did not see, what created error, what took me down paths that thoroughly blinded or caused me to harm myself or another. It makes clear, I can allow my karmic path to be healed and set anew. It is a gift I take with immense gratitude and appreciation, for surely my mind’s efforts at offering me the same have never come close to delivering this peace, as those sparse few words have.
Much of our ‘stuckness’ is in our laboring, incessantly, over those consequences. As Lady Macbeth so eloquently demonstrated to all:
Out, damned spot! out, I say!–One: two: why,
then, ’tis time to do’t. –Hell is murky!–Fie, my
lord, fie! as soldier, and afeard? What need
we fear who knows it, when none can call our power
account?– Yet who would have thought the old man
to have had so much blood in him.
The Macbeth’s had indeed committed a horrific crime, yet for most of us this is not the case, but you’d be hard pressed to believe that by the weight of our suffering over what we have thought, said or done. We desperately want a reset button and fear we are in jeopardy of something bad happening to us. We can labor hours over misspoken words to a colleague or dissect every moment in an event where our actions took us astray. We see consequences around every corner for us not being our best selves and don’t know how to make right what we have done or not done, as the case may be.
Sadder still, many of us are so frozen by the fear of consequences we can’t make any decisions at all. We see trouble down every path. Thus, we make no choices, and in so doing, live a life that unfolds by the ‘no-choice’ choice, that never feels like a life of our own. A life by default.
This is, of course, reinforced in a world that seeks justice more than it seeks healing. Desires rightness more than it desires wholeness. Or possibly, we confuse the first in each instance, as the pathway to giving us the second. We don’t know how to forgive and heal ourselves in such a way that the guilt, shame, anger, and fear are truly relinquished and our mind’s made clean again.
I use dry eraser markers to write on my bathroom mirror. A brilliant idea given to me by my dear friend Nancy Markow who facilitates groups on intentional living. I write many things to myself on the bathroom mirror, in many colors, but one is never erased and written boldly in black so that I can always see it.
“I am not in jeopardy and neither is anyone else. I can be free, I need but ask.”
I read it every single day, sometimes twice…. or three times… depending how spiritually-centered I am. If I’m in a good place, than the reminder comes simply, if I am off kilter and running amuck, the reminder is a life vest I offer myself when I am barely treading water. It brings me back to the present moment, because my sense of jeopardy will always take me either into the future or the past. It robs me of the present. It sucks away any awareness of this precious now and what I can/could do to assist myself and truly live my life consciously.
Fear of consequences keeps us victims to our past, our mistakes, and our unworthy, imperfect self-perceptions that we seem to always be diligently trying to improve and correct. Our own efforts, however, will never clean our minds or heal our choices, as relinquishing what we’ve done, with the humble request to be healed, to be made anew, to start again, to be assisted in finding a new way.
Sit for a moment and imagine the feeling of picking up a sponge and a heavy bucket of bleach and water and attempting to clean a wall covered in every misspoken moment of your life written in spray paint. Feel the weight of that bucket. Feel the enormity of that job. Feel the effort it will take. Now, imagine you kneel before that same wall hands free and open and humbly ask that it be erased, that the consequences to all be healed and that your mind be freed to see a new way. Imagine a love so great that in that instant the wall became clean and the air was free to move in and out of your lungs without restriction once more. Feel how the muscles of your shoulders and belly relax. Feel how open your heart becomes in that instant to that very same love. Feel the lightness of being that comes with releasing such a burden.
Imagine in this moment, that is exactly what is being offered to you. A force of love so great, consequences are not beyond it’s reach to heal. What if you let that love in? What if you gave yourself that?
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