I arrived home from Germany, flying on three flights including US customs and changing planes in Chicago O’Hare, exactly on time; and in time to go to an AA meeting. The entire trip was what I would call a happy dream. This morning, doing laundry, studying spiritual material and looking forward to a run, I felt so totally grateful for the spiritual path and in particular A Course in Miracles (ACIM). I have been set free from the world (ego hell) and live a life of happy dreams on the way to Heaven. This is a result of a spiritual path and a life which places God first.
Below I will provide some examples of what it used to be like and what it is like now. First, some quotes from the Epilog to the work book for ACIM. I mention this because I have now finished the Course twice and really feel that it has changed my life: from the hateful ego life to the happy dream on the way to heaven.
+ \”Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God (Jesus or the Holy Spirit) and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word.\”
+ \”You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach.\”
+ \”We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen”; In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do.\”
+ \”You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.\”
This morning, I am utterly certain that my life has become a “happy dream on the way to Heaven” as a result of the spiritual life. My life is a happy dream because I have learned to listen to the Voice for God, as well as turned my life over to God. AND when I am doing God’s will for me, all the world is better for it (i.e., it’s not about me and getting things to go my way).
As I read this, my memory flashed back to 22 or so years ago. I was about 28 years old and about 2 years sober. I was remembering some workshops I attended by a channel named Lazarus. I listened to the meditations about love and a higher self and I desperately wanted this feeling of bliss. At that time, I couldn’t seem to feel this euphoric love. I think my spiritual journey became a journey coming out of a total black place where I was a spiritual failure and no one loved me.
Today, as I sat at my table in the quiet early morning, I realized that I have a tremendous inner peace and freedom from thought bondage (ego hell). I never experienced that euphoric experience so often read of in books and so desperately sought by many unhappy people. Yet, I have peace. It must mean I have the safety of God and I trust it totally and am able to live in His embrace, His love and His guidance.
What it used to be like: I remember way way back, when I was a young engineer, I attended a plant dinner (a multinational corporation). I got drunk on the free wine. I was seated next to the head of the facility, a VP, and made a total fool of myself. The morning after shame was tremendous.
What its like now: On this trip to Germany, I found myself sitting next to a Director of a multinational corporation. I was sober and peaceful in myself. No verbal embarrassment occurred and, hence, no shame.
What it used to be like: When I was in my middle thirties, I went on several company week long functions at places like Hilton Head and I went on a trip to The Netherlands. I remember having such low self esteem while trying to socialize with other managers. I felt guilty and afraid for being \”different\” than the other managers.
What it’s like now: On this trip to Germany, I again found myself socializing with other managers. At this time in my life, I have been on the spiritual path for 3 decades,.I am still different from the group being: a female, a dedicated athlete, a person who eats only what fits in the God design for a body, a person who actually does spend time everyday in prayer (no matter what) and who reflects quietly on how to listen to the Voice for God as well as implement the direction.
The last night of the trip, another VP took us to dinner. They had planned ahead, as several of us were vegetarians, to have vegetarian items on the menu, and they even identified to the restaurant who was vegetarian without asking us (me and 4 Indians). The salad was wonderful The entrée was mushrooms in cream sauce with fried potato cakes. This entrée is not something I would choose to eat (because it is outside the God design eating program), but could possibly eat when in a group; and the Indians wolfed their\’s down. Yet that night, my inner self absolutely put the brakes on eating all of it. I just nibbled a bit to be polite and to pass the time while everyone else ate their meat dishes; and allowed the waitress to take my plate. Then while waiting for coffee and dessert, I slipped over to the waitress and asked for fresh fruit for dessert because I knew I wasn’t going to eat the sugar and cream laden dessert which was on the menu. I quietly got something to eat (I was hungry) without creating a scene.
I saw that the VP noticed I didn’t eat my entrée. Even earlier in the day, the VP had mentioned that he knew I didn’t drink saying (in a German accent), “You are not so much in favor of drink.” But the point is, despite two weeks of comments from my colleagues about my running and how I eat, I do not feel ashamed of myself and in the past I would have. I would have been tormented by my life choices and how they made me different from the corporate powers. Today, I feel good about myself. I am not afraid that being me will somehow make me a corporate failure.
What it’s like now: Early on Wednesday morning, doing my spiritual study, before beginning my long trip home. I was conscious of my ego thinking how terrible things could go: it’s the day before Thanksgiving, O’Hare airport is probably jammed with people and all the flights are late and how crabby I’ll be about getting home extremely late.
BUT, I consciously brought this thinking to Jesus and made another choice. I decided that the day was about peace and Christ vision (per ACIM teaching) and carrying out God’s purpose for me; letting the Holy Spirit smooth my ways. This was all conscious decision making. Now, as I said above, all my flights were absolutely on time. I got along with my colleague who was travelling with me. I spent 10 minutes at the passport checkpoint in Chicago because the officer wanted to tell me his life story; and my companions wondered what was going wrong (hehe). (This incident may well have been what God needed me to do.) I arrived home at 7:45, made a cup of tea, and went to the AA meeting, in total gratitude for the Holy Spirit. I even went to the grocery store after that. The store was not crowded with pre-Thanksgiving shoppers; but most amazingly, the shelves were not empty. So I obtained fresh vegetables and peanut butter and happily came home and ate a Spirit Flower special salad.
My life is a happy dream because I decided to take ACIM, I decided to listen to the Voice for God, I decided to follow God’s will for me; not because I am lucky or good.
I could go on and on about how happy I am with myself. This includes my running outlook. I no longer need to prove anything, say by running a 50 mile race, in order to bolster my low self esteem. My spiritual self esteem is also healed: I no longer feel less than religious sisters. I no longer feel like a spiritual failure because I haven’t experienced “enlightenment.”
I am free. I am free. I am happy. I am happy.
I think I will now go for a run!