In A Course in Miracles (ACIM), a miracle is the change of perception that takes place within us when we awaken to the fact that the world of the ego is an illusory world. By changing our perception and awakening from the dream, we become loving and forgiving. We forgive everything in the world, including ourselves, because we realise that this world is unreal. In this way we gain in strength and are able to heal the minds of others as our minds have become healed; this is because all minds are joined. A grievance is anything that prevents us from seeing the truth; it keeps us trapped within the illusion. “....For every grievance is a block to sight, and as it lifts you see the Son of God where he has always been. He stands in light, but you were in the dark. Each grievance made the darkness deeper, and you could not see.” ACIM, W139.
Whenever we choose love over hate, forgiveness over condemnation, and peace over violence, we are replacing grievances with miracles. It is simply a matter of deciding to listen to the Holy Spirit instead of the ego. Whenever something upsets us, we could go within and ask the Holy Spirit how He would deal with such a situation. Or we could simply imagine how He would respond. If we choose to ignore the grievance, to respond in a loving manner to whomever is involved ,or even just to walk away, we are most probably listening to the Holy Spirit, and a miracle has taken place.
In Lesson 78 we are asked to think of a person who has upset us in some way. We are asked to consider all the things we dislike or fear or even hate about that person. Then we are asked to call upon the Holy Spirit and ask Him to reverse our thinking about the person. We need to look upon this person as our saviour, who is here to teach us forgiveness; to teach us how to replace grievances with miracles. In fact, our perceived “enemies” are really our best teachers because we can use the situations in which they are involved to awaken. We do this by deliberately ignoring any grievances we may harbour towards them, and by purposefully choosing understanding, forgiveness and compassion instead. If we cultivate these three wonderful qualities on a regular basis, it is bound to make us a better and more loving person and to release us from the ego’s thought system, which is based on fear, guilt, judgement and condemnation.
The Holy Spirit does not see any separation between people; so He looks upon me and upon my perceived enemy as one. By asking for His help to see in the same manner, I can overcome all my grievances towards this person and replace them with miracles. This is the way to salvation. “The Holy Spirit leans from him to you, seeing no separation in God’s son. And what you see through Him will free you both....You have allowed the Holy Spirit to express through him the role God gave Him that you might be saved.” ACIM, W140.
When a person has been unkind or hurtful an easy way out of the situation would be to try to avoid them in the future. But that is not the most helpful way to deal with the problem. Going out of one’s way to talk to that person and to try to understand them is a better course of action. If we remember that the Course teaches us that any thought or act that is unloving is simply a cry for help, then trying to understand the person and showing love towards them is by far the best approach. Furthermore, it helps us too because, by replacing our grievances regarding this person with the miracle of love and forgiveness, we are marching forward and heading Home.
“....Every loving thought is true. Everything else is an appeal for healing and help, regardless of the form it takes. Can anyone be justified in responding with anger to a brother's plea for help? No response can be appropriate except the willingness to give it to him, for this and only this is what he is asking for....” ACIM, T215.
Difficult situations in life also need to be accepted with equanimity, if possible. The difficulties we encounter in life could well be lessons that we have to learn. If we are overly attached to a person or an object or a lifestyle, we may need to learn how to let go and become more detached. If we encounter things in life that make us angry or irritated, such as having to wait in a queue for a long time, the car breaking down or being stuck in a traffic jam, maybe the lessons we have to learn are patience, tolerance or acceptance. In short, by responding in a calm manner to difficulties when they arise, we are choosing not to make the world of the ego real. In doing so we are, in fact, replacing grievances with miracles and slowly undoing the ego’s thought system.
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