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United or Divided: Let’s meet with the spark of acceptance.

As of this writing, November 24, new President Elect Joe Biden is being allowed to transition his new administration with the White House. But it is evident from watching the voting and election disputes that our beautiful country, lovely America is at odds with one another, Republican’s and Democrat’s.  “United We Stand – Divided We Fall” sorrowfully comes to mind.  Is that OK with you?  No matter who wins, the condemnation and division will make us miserable until we decide or at least try to understand each other and heal the division.   Understanding brings acceptance or visa versa perhaps.  We need to interview each other, meet up online and reach out to learn what we have in common.  We are the same! We live; eat and breathe and we die.  We are in the same boat on the same planet.  That should be enough to get us to the table of toleration.  What do we love?  That is the question.   

Besides those basics there is another profound sameness.  Mystics and Saints tell us of the spark that is at the center of everyone who is here, has come or is yet to come.   This innocent spark at your center is truth that cannot be extinguished.  It carries you throughout your life, a north star, the guide to constant peace within.  It cannot die and you take it with you when your leave this earthly plane.  Cherish and engage this spark, it is your touchstone, your Spirit identity, the driving force that guides you to Truth and the knowledge of what and whom you are.  It is the life force living within and without in everyone.  It is a guide for any circumstance that comes, if consulted, you will know what to do, where to go and what to say and to whom.  There will be no doubts in your holy mind because peace has entered the rock on which you stand as you go forth with the guidance given. Guilt is nowhere to be found in your holy mind.  You have nothing that you lack and nothing can endanger or put out this life spark, no circumstance is too difficult to understand and no amount of hate can extinguish its holy light. 

The spark is in Trump; Biden; Republican’s; Democrat’s; Independent’s….in everyone.  It is in those who protest Black Lives Matter and those who don’t.  It is in the shooter who kills and he who is shot.  The only difference: refusing to acknowledge the spark in us, is also in the other.  We judge “them “as immoral, criticize, and demonize others with aversion, ignoring, denying the spark could possibly be in them.  We close our minds but the spark still burns within all of us.  Each of us is responsible for recognizing, enriching and honoring the spark in ourselves and in those we condemn.  It will emerge, blossoming as we cultivate endeavor to “see” and claim its reality.  After all, it is love.

Love and the evidence it brings dissolves the barriers that cover the spark.  Look into a little child’s eyes or sweet smile.  Hear her call of “Hi” in response to your smile or wave; look into the eyes of your pet; grandchild; look at the love that comes at you.  It is a gift from the spark, the spark we share.  Love calls to love and cannot be stopped, destroyed, hurt or buried. 

We don’t know what will happen with politics but we have a life to live.  With Covid we don’t know how long or well but we can still live with the fullest amount of love we can give.  If you need to go to a protest in the coming weeks, make a sign “I love you no matter what.” Recognize the spark of love dwells in the person or persons in the next car; to the kid walking down the street; the talking head on TV no matter if you agree with them or not; in the woman in the grocery store line; the homeless guy with the sign; and the person standing or sitting next to you.  Send love; send acceptance, toleration and compassion.  Open your mind to surround everyone you see and include yourself.  Exclude no one from your love or acceptance and we will unite and never be divided by politics, religion or any circumstances life or the world brings.  I send Love you – right now!

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson: 30 – God is in everything I see because God is in my mind. Click on this lesson and then click on the arrow to have it read to you – close your eyes.

You are Loved!

Lesson 30: God is in everything I see because God is in my mind. • Foundation for Inner Peace: Publisher of A Course in Miracles (ACIM)

The Gift of an Addiction

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It may seem strange to look at our problems or addictions as gifts but they are life lessons so let’s consider them gifts and learn something on the journey.
Who runs your life? We live in a dualistic world and have a dualistic or split mind. It contains both aspects: “good” and “bad.” Remember the cartoon of Donald Duck with an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? He was conflicted over which one to listen to. We know which voice speaks for Truth or love; and we know which one speaks of condemnation and hate. And there is no “good” or “bad” either, it is just if we choose peace we listen to the voice for peace. We have the power to choose between these two very different voices and thought systems: spirit and love or fear and hate.

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All fear/hate/condemnation thoughts are of the ego and as you have probably figured out by now, it runs the world. The DNA of the ego is attack, judgment, separation, jealousy and manipulation. The proof is the ceaseless wars since the beginning of existence. We are not civilized. We attack others and declare war. We attack ourselves through addictions. The result is always guilt and anger which begets more guilt and anger and on an on.

We learn gradually on our life journey that the ego is not our friend. It is not our identity or our Truth either. Its only power is given to it when we listen to it and follow it or believe it. By taking charge of the Mind, we gradually un-do the ego and it is side lined. This is the wisdom of many psychological and spiritual practices, Buddhism, A Course In Miracles or non-dual practices.

The ego cannot change or affect the peace of love within you unless you let it. For example, the ego mind tells us we have done something wrong, we over indulged; smoked a cigarette; snapped at a friend, or ______(fill in the blank.) We feel guilty. Guilt is the trap. We go around smiling but deep down we feel terrible thinking -“if they only knew.” Feeling guilty is the ego’s ace in the hole! “Trapped, trapped like rats” said the cowardly Lion in the movie the Wizard of OZ.

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Here is a check list the next time you feel trapped and want to STOP the guilt.
1. Go to the Stately Calm Within. As soon as you realize you are suffering and your mind is going around in a maze STOP. Focus on your breath, feel your center and stop thinking thoughts just…breathe.

2. Imagine holding the hand of Love. Unconditional, all-knowing eternal LOVE, whatever that represents for you; Presence; God; Jesus; Allah; Buddha, Spirit or a person who represents Love for you. You can hold “Love” in your mind no matter what you are doing.

3. Tell LOVE what is in your heart: “Love, I really wanted that chocolate cake or _____.” Tell LOVE everything and be honest, “I was depressed because I didn’t get that job or I had a drink, or he hurt my feelings, or_______.”

4. You have looked squarely into your Beautiful Mind and given its contents over to LOVE within. The ego is sitting in the corner sucking its thumb. It will come up with plenty of negative chatter. The ego always speaks first! That is important to know because you will recognize ego as the detractor it is. Thoughts that come from love will always speak of peace. A thought of blame or guilt about yourself or anyone is the ego speaking and it causes more guilt. Let the ego judgment go. It is not True and you are still LOVE.

5. Remember this world is an illusion. It is not real since God did not create it. So relax because nothing has really happened! So smile… laugh, “heh, hah, ha, hah, ho, ho” and soon you will really be laughing. This takes the seriousness out of the ego’s sails.

6. If the ego thoughts come back, and they will, look at them, don’t believe them and remember to laugh and repeat the above steps.

Looking honestly in this manner is practicing forgiveness. * “Forgiveness is still and does nothing. It merely looks and waits and judges not.” You are looking at the ego’s disruption and withholding judgment…and waiting…for inner peace to come….and it will.

You are in charge and You are training your Mind. That is why an addiction is a gift. You get your Mind back. We all have addictions or problems in this world. It is a life long process and you are worth it!

You are in charge when you remember LOVE is who you are. Case Dismissed. You are healed, whole and innocent!

This article, in part, appeared in the Ashland Daily Tidings August 2012.

* A Course In Miracles Workbook – What is Forgiveness? pg. 401.

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