by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff
Have you ever felt locked in by your circumstances in life? Maybe it’s a job you don’t like. Maybe you feel overworked by the activities of raising a family and juggling work and home life. Or maybe you are being confronted by a chronic illness for yourself or a loved one. How do we live like the spiritual beings we are, when we feel so locked into the world?
Some well-meaning Course students would simply say the world is not real and that is that! Your body is not real and sickness is an illusion. One student said recently, “I don’t want to focus on illusions and my friend’s sickness is an illusion, but that approach doesn’t seem to help my friend who is sick.” And, she is absolutely right — that approach, frankly, is not helpful. When we deny something that we believe in, we only reinforce the thing we deny. Plus, the fact that we are experiencing the thing that we are trying to deny only makes us feel guiltier. In this way, we use the Course, whose purpose is to lead us out of guilt, as a tool to reinforce our guilt.
It would help us, and the person going through the sickness, far more to focus on the truth instead of making the problem real by our adamant denial of it. As the supplement to A Course in Miracles, The Song of Prayer says,
“There are decisions to make here [in the world], and they must be made whether they be illusions or not.” (S-1.I.2:4)
In the Course’s text, it says this,
“The best defense, as always, is not to attack another’s position, but rather to protect the truth.” (T-3.I.2)
So, when faced by the things of the world that seem to imprison us, it is time we inject the solution into the circumstance and not simply deny its existence — that is an unhelpful type of denial. True denial, from the Course’s perspective, states that nothing that is not of God has any power over you. Thus, the limitations of the world, whether they be financial, employment issues, family, or sickness, cannot rob you of your joy or happiness (which in the end is our ultimate goal in pursuing any of our worldly things) unless you let them.
A mind focused on God and His good pleasure to give you the Kingdom is the only thing you are really entitled to!
“To be in the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention on it.”(T-7.III.4)