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PART II.  SECTION 7.  What is the Holy Spirit?

Lesson 281 I Can Be Hurt By Nothing But My Thoughts

  1. Father, Your Son is perfect.  When I think that I am hurt in any way, it is because I have forgotten who I am and that I am as You created me.  Your Thoughts can only bring me happiness.  If ever I am sad or hurt or ill, I have forgotten what You think, and put my little meaningless ideas in place of where Your Thoughts belong, and where they are.  I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts.  The Thoughts I think with You can only bless.  The Thoughts I think with You alone are true.
  2. I will not hurt myself today.  For I am far beyond all pain.  My Father placed me safe in Heaven, watching over me.  And I would not attack the Son He loves, for what He loves is also mine to love.[1]
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Why does this lesson make perfect sense when I am feeling good in my body, and things are going my way, and like a slap in the face otherwise?  Today’s lesson is not a new idea.  The basis of the Course is grounded on this premise – it is our thoughts that determine the effects, not the effects determining our thoughts.  If I am feeling blissful and happy, whole and well, I have remembered who I am and know that I am as God created me.

However, when my thoughts stray away from where they belong, our lessons states, I am fearful, vulnerable, and something hurts me emotionally or physically.  I am trying to apply this to something that happened last week.  In the hotel pool with foam water weights, “rowing” in the water with upbeat Jonas Brothers playing in the background, I was having a blast and strengthening my arms.  Perhaps I didn’t warm up enough; maybe I just went overboard with the rowing motion. Whatever the case may be, my rotator cuff is irritated, and I am in pain. 

This lesson puts me off a bit.  It reminds me of religious beliefs that claim that the cause of sickness is sin.  You already know how I feel about that from previous blogs! Now our lesson is saying no, not sin (for there is no sin), but my faithless thoughts are hurting my rotator cuff.  I have put my little meaningless ideas in the place where God’s Thoughts belong because nothing but my thoughts can hurt me. But, but, but I want to sputter.  This is simple.  I will rest my shoulder, take some aspirin, and it will get better. 

Our lesson says I will not hurt myself today; that I am far beyond pain.  However, I am in pain.  My shoulder will take a while to recover.  Meanwhile, there will be no more rowing with the water weights.  Still, I know that I am safe and that God loves me.  The pain means nothing in the face of forever – it is just my temporal body and not my everlasting spirit, after all. 

It would be wonderful if I could align my thoughts so perfectly with God’s Thoughts that I would never experience any pain, hurt, or sorrow in the flesh.  Do I believe that this is possible in this world and this body?  Perhaps. My belief in it does not make it so nor does my disbelief in it make it not so. As I put the Course precepts into practice it will certainly be interesting to find out!


[1] A Course In Miracles, Workbook for Students, 281. I can be…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 438