Lesson 291: “What is the Real World?”  “This is a day of stillness and of peace.”

We are learning to let go of our suffering. 

If you ask in conversation, no one believes they want to suffer, but lots of us still cling to that suffering.

Just appreciate that this can be happening and we can notice our own tendencies, in order to gain greater self awareness.  We do not want to blame ourselves, but rather to gain more clarity about that to which we still cling.

We learn in the Course how to have a relationship with that suffering- how to respect it. 

Suffering of whatever kind is an authentic feeling.  Everyone’s hope is not to suffer but sometimes we get used to living with it and sometimes forget that we have a choice.  We may be so baffled about how to live without it that it seems far fetched that we can find some answer to end our pain.

We always must check into our minds if a part of us is not just comfortable living with pain, like an old friend because it is familiar.  

The Course reminds us that it is never our faults when we suffer.  Never. 

Jesus teaches in the Course that there is never a reason to blame ourselves or blame others for whatever they experience as pain.

Our purpose is to evaluate ourselves and the world, without criticism because this is what God does. 

We never want to be critical of ourselves for any suffering we experience.

This can be hard to understand because the Course reminds us that we can change our experience of pain and we can- with a clear will- allow pain to be a memory.

The Course teaches that we can be empowered within our suffering because we can change it in profound ways.  

We always want to be loving before anything else. 

Lots of us, who get enthusiastic about a spiritual path, sometimes get lost in our spiritual egos. 

We can lose sight of how everyone is equally perfect and everyone is equally worthy of being in the state of no pain,  But sometimes that is not the case for some people or ourselves, for God given reasons we don’t yet understand.  But before anything else we want to not blame because that makes the other person feel worse.

This is not loving generally.

But just appreciate that while we want to not blame people or ourselves, we still have the chance to make the situation shift into one of less struggle. 

This is the beauty of being responsible for what we think and feel.  We just have to hold this truth lightly and allow it to be within the same idea that we can stand up on our responsibility for our thinking and make it different.

We see it for what it is, and at the same time, do not blame anyone for it.  This just requires a little advanced emotional skill and this is what the Course teaches.

We need to see each situation individually.  When we are in pain, we may need to yet learn a greater sense of serenity.

We can surrender our suffering to God a million times and still be a suitable student needing yet to learn surrender. 

Needing to learn more about surrendering is not because someone is less advanced spiritually. 

We all have different times for differing lessons.  Just know that the Course has no judgment about needing to learn to surrender more deeply. 

We have absolutely no condemnation about people learning yet more depth in surrender.

We must appreciate it is a human predicament we all have.  Usually this is something we can learn in time if we so desire.  We just have to sit with a light heart about it.  We do it eventually because we can and it works when we do it.  And we just accept that we are all part of the human equation.

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