An article written for Pathways of Light Miracles News
by Rev. Cathy Silva, O.M.C.
In working with clients and in my inner personal healing work I am a big fan for simplifying everything and finding the path of least resistance.
I’ve found that when I am feeling stuck with finding a solution to a problem, or moving forward with a project, or in healing a hurting relationship with a loved one, that it’s because, well… “it’s complicated!” At least it seems to be. It can be so tempting to drop kick the Course book into the corner, distance yourself from a lifelong friendship, disown your family, get divorced. Because sticking with it is just too hard.
“The Course is Simple.”
I have this circled and highlighted in my Course book. It’s on page 77 in the section titled, “Clarification of Terms.” I really needed this simple statement to be true if I was going to experience the healing I so desired. Because honestly I too found some of the ideas confusing, especially when I first began my journey with the Course. Even though there was much I didn’t understand and much that challenged my way of thinking, the Voice within prompted me to persist and push through my own resistance. Somehow I trusted that the Love and healing I longed for was to be discovered in my journey through the Course.
I believe that we are prompted to do the very thing that is most helpful and healing for us as we travel together but sometimes it seems counterintuitive and well, too scary and overwhelming to just dive in to something, even if at some level we know it is what we want and need and have called forth to us. I also believe that nothing happens by accident and the Course finds us and meets us right where we are, in the hole we’ve dug ourself into so to speak. Its message has shown up as the better way we’ve been searching for to heal the world.
The focus this year for many seems to be on healing relationships, especially relationships that seem to be the cause of our suffering. My highest intention for being of help in healing our relationships is to take the simplest approach to what “seems” really complicated.
The joy and connection I’ve experienced in practicing the Course to heal my relationships has been immeasurable. You may relate. Or you may be in one of two camps of “still struggling” Course students;
Camp A — You are a “Would Be” Course student — You would be if it weren’t so darn hard and confusing,
Camp B — You are an ACIM Dabbler- Now and again when it comes back to your attention you dip your toe in, maybe open up the book and read a bit, perhaps gain some insight then you put it back down because again — it’s too complicated.
I thought it might be helpful and perhaps necessary to offer some perspective and insights on how I found that path of least resistance in learning and applying the Course curriculum as a means to move from being at war with myself and others, to a more consistent sense of peace, happiness, and awareness of Love’s presence, especially in my closest relationships. The Course calls them “special relationships.”
You do not have to study or practice ACIM to grow personally or spiritually or for you to heal your relationships.
When it comes down to it you are an adult, and you make your own choices. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. But for some reason you are being led to its message and Holy Spirit is inviting you in.
The Course is not a religion, dogma, or theology. So, there is no absolute right or wrong way to practice the Course. It’s arranged as a teaching device to systematically help us undo the underlying thought system that made the complex mess we’ve found ourselves in. In other words, as it states in the Introduction, “remove the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence.”
It states that “a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary.” It also says that the Course is but one version of the universal curriculum and it’s different from other versions only in form. “They all lead to God in the end.”
This means to me that we all will eventually return to the experience of Love. What it doesn’t mean is that we all have to follow the same map. Wherever you are with ACIM and in your spiritual journey is absolutely perfect. What matters most for you is your willingness and desire for inner peace.
My willingness and desire for lasting peace and true happiness was ultimately what fueled my commitment to studying and then practicing the Course. My life and relationships were a mess! As hard as I tried, I hadn’t figured out how to make it better on my own.
The Course says that all you need is a “little willingness.” That “little willingness,” which is your deep desire for love, peace, and happiness, is what opens the door a crack and lets the Light in and gives you at least a glimmer of hope and remembering what that Light is like. The Light is simple, uncomplicated, Love. The Light is our true Identity. The Light is our Oneness with God and one another.
We are not meant to do it alone. What comes up as the door is open, though, is an unconscious fear in all its crafty forms — guilt, resentment, judgment, limiting belief, sadness, and loneliness.
Fear is referred to as the ‘ego’ in the Course. What are we afraid of? We are afraid of the Light. We are afraid of who we truly are. Why? Well, since I first began studying the Course that’s been a mystery to me honestly. I’ve often been puzzled that we could be so afraid of something so wonderful, so perfect. Something that we desire so deeply.
One reason I have come up with is that it’s too overwhelming, too bright in our current capacity. God knows that it would be too fearful for us to open that door wide open all at once. Fortunately, we have patient and gentle help in the form of a loving Inner Guide. You might call your Guide Holy Spirit, Jesus, or whatever term is meaningful to you currently.
The Course is Simple
Healing is Simple
Truth is Simple
Simple Uncomplicated Love
I learned that it was only complicated because I was trying to approach it from a need to understand it instead of a willingness to experience it as the bridge and path to healing that it is.
I wanted so badly to experience Love’s presence and I wanted it for everyone. So, I tapped into my burning desire to experience Love’s presence and became persistent, (tenacious really) about identifying and letting go of all that was blocking me and keeping me stuck and entangled in the illusory ego BS. The beauty of the Course curriculum is that it gently guides us through that process.
Simply put if you continue to approach the Course (and your relationships) with fear and judgment, it will continue to seem complicated and confusing and you’ll probably want to give up. If you step back, open your mind and then lean in to the Course’s loving message and process with self-compassion, patience, and willingness, it may begin to open up for you and your pathway to healing will be revealed step by step.
Rev. Cathy Silva is a Pathways of Light minister, Spiritual Relationship Counselor, Life Coach, and Author of the upcoming book “Loving One Another — There Must Be a Better Way!” living in Punta Gorda, FL. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: CathySilva.org