Lesson 95: “I am one Self, united with my Creator.”
This lesson say, “ Do not, however, use your lapses from this schedule as an excuse to not return to it again as soon as you can.”
The Course is a wonderful philosophy that we learn slowly through our reading and participating in groups, discussing and sharing how living the Course works as well as how we can live the Course ourselves effectively and happily.
The thing the Course asks us to do more than anything else, is to practice what we learn.
We are asked to go to whatever lengths we need to to continue the practice of learning and applying the philosophy to our lives.
If we don’t then we are missing the entire point, as the Course is for the purpose of our embodying the principles and having the philosophy be automatic in our thinking.
We want to do it all the time because then we will get better at doing it all the time. As with anything, change always rocks the boat of the ego’s world. The ego likes the status quo.
That means the ego will give us all kinds of resistance to the process of applying the Course.
And we can count on encountering incredible blocks to our progressing- it can be even hard to believe the ego has something even more outlandish than the last time to divert our attention and give us reason to forget our focus.
We can count on this.
However, we want to be sure that we don’t ever use anything that we find as that diversion into chalking up that day we are having as a lost cause.
When I had eating problems, and I used to binge regularly, that was definitely the number one reason I chalked up the day to a failure and then resorted to binging again because I felt like such a failure because nothing I could do could stop me from binging out of control.
This particular ego thing- about taking the situation so seriously- as one that is a lost cause and therefore, we should just blow off our practices for the day.
This is definitely ego drama that is as common as breathing.
That guilt we feel at not maintaining the practices that the Course is asking us to learn and apply actively is absolutely paralyzing. We can feel shame that we are not doing the job we are capable of doing and that we want ourselves to do on some level.
This can seriously impact our ability to stay grounded and happy in the moment because we are too stunned from our guilt feelings and shame that we think we are not up to par.
The Course reminds us to forgive ourselves for any lapses in applying the Course.
When we forgive, then we can feel at ease within and we aren’t sending ourselves judgement and attack energy because we have released the ego’s attachment to our guilt.
Forgiveness is absolutely necessary.
It is the only way for sure to get out of that cycle of the guilt habit, and then be able to use our inner resources to get back to the task more quickly, returning to our vigilance in applying the Course.
When we forgive ourselves, we take ourselves out of being the one being punished for our lapse in judgement.
When we do this, then we don’t have to spend our excess energy dealing with all that attack energy we have toward ourselves.
The Course asks us to be gentle with ourselves. We want to give ourselves no more attack thoughts about ourselves so that we can turn then immediately and get right back to the practice of learning how to change our thinking.
Over time, we gradually get better at forgiving ourselves and remembering our guilt is not necessary and therefore, we have no reason to act out in any way, in terms of chalking the day up to a lost cause.
This is our number one gift to ourselves.