A Course in Miracles reminds me that I am the peace that I seek.
I do realize that any time my peace of mind is lost, it is because I, alone, allowed it to happen.
In some of the yoga classes I have taken, we chant in Sanskrit or we choose a mantra on which to focus.
One of my favorite mantras is, "I am that."
I was amazed to find a book entitled with my favorite mantra. And even more amazed to see that the book's concepts echo the concepts of ACIM too.
Note to self: Buy this book.
Whenever I am not at peace, I focus on that mantra.
Its simple enough, right?
I am that.
What exactly am I?
Well, I am beginning to realize that I am exactly what is either disturbing my peace or restoring my joy. It is my decision.
One of my favorite psychological exercises also helps me to process the ugliness that shows up in my life.
I think of someone that is bothering me, causing me stress or irritating me in some way.
Next I create a list with two columns. In the first column, I write down all of the things about this person that is bothersome to me - all of the things I don't like about this person.
In the other column, even though it may be a struggle, I write down all of the good things or things that I like or admire about this person.
Once my list is complete, I write above the first column:
"I do not like myself when I..."
And above the second column:
"I like myself when I..."
Suddenly it becomes clearer exactly why my peace is disturbed.
Can I forgive this person for the things I perceive as "not good" .... about them and myself?
Can I forgive myself these things?
When I offer forgiveness to those around me, I realize that I am actually offering forgiveness to myself, releasing myself from pain and restoring my joy.
I'm also reminded that I see what I choose to see.
We're told by so many that we see what we think.
Thoughts become things.
We actually project our thoughts into the world ahead of us. And so, through our projecting, we create our experience.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from A Course in Miracles:
"As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world."
I love this Course because it helps me to realize that if I view those in my life as limited by their bodies, if I view them strictly as egos, then that is how I view myself.
However, if I can see past form to the pure, divine Spirit in those I encounter, then that is how I view myself as well.
"Are you invulnerable? Then the world is harmless in your sight.---
Do you forgive? Then is the world forgiving, for you have forgiven it its trespasses, and so it looks on you with eyes that see as yours.
Are you a body? So is all the world perceived as treacherous, and out to kill.
Are you a spirit, deathless, and without the promise of corruption and the stain of sin upon you? So the world is seen as stable, fully worthy of your trust; a happy place to rest in for a while, where nothing need be feared, but only loved.
Who is unwelcome to the kind in heart? And what could hurt the truly innocent."
It sometimes takes all of these resources to bring me back to the joyous soul that I know that I am.
We all tend to forget. We have limited ourselves and have forgotten that it is our true nature to fly.
We are all the same in our forgetting.
But tonight, as I sit here in this quiet house, my children tucked warmly in their beds, their soft faces illuminated by the pink lava lamp on their dresser, I feel that peace.
I know it has never left me.
I am thankful for the Spirit in me. I am thankful for the love that I feel. I am thankful for the peace that I am.
I am that.