Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 68 Love Holds No Grievances
- You who were created by Love like Itself can hold no grievances and know your Self. To hold a grievance is to forget who you are. To hold a grievance is to see yourself as a body. To hold a grievance is to let the ego rule your mind and to condemn the body to death. Perhaps you do not yet fully realize just what holding grievances does to your mind. It seems to split you off from your Source and make you unlike Him. It makes you believe that He is like what you think you have become, for no one can conceive of his Creator as unlike himself.
- Shut off from your Self, which remains aware of its likeness to its Creator, your Self seems to sleep, while the part of your mind that weaves illusions in its sleep appears to be awake. Can all this arise from holding grievances? Oh, yes! For he who holds grievances denies he was created by Love, and his Creator has become fearful to him in his dream of hate. Who can dream of hatred and not fear God?
- It is as sure that those who hold grievances will redefine God in their own image, as it is certain that God created them like Himself and defined them as part of Him. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will forget who they are, as it is certain that those who forgive will remember.
- Would you not be willing to relinquish your grievances if you believed all this were so? Perhaps you do not think you can let your grievances go. That, however, is simply a matter of motivation. Today we will try to find out how you would feel without them. If you succeed even by ever so little, there will never be a problem in motivation ever again.
- Begin today’s extended practice period by searching your mind for those against whom you hold what you regard as major grievances. Some of these will be quite easy to find. Then think of the seemingly minor grievances you hold against those you like and even think you love. It will quickly become apparent that there is no one against whom you do not cherish grievances of some sort. This has left you alone in all the universe in your perception of yourself.
- Determine now to see all these people as friends. Say to them all, thinking of each one in turn as you do so: “I would see you as my friend, that I may remember you are part of me and come to know myself.” Spend the remainder of the practice period trying to think of yourself as completely at peace with everyone and everything, safe in a world that protects you and loves you, and that you love in return. Try to feel safety surrounding you, hovering over you, and holding you up. Try to believe, however briefly, that nothing can harm you in any way. At the end of the practice period, tell yourself: Love holds no grievances. When I let all my grievances go, I will know I am perfectly safe.
- The short practice periods should include a quick application of today’s idea in this form, whenever any thought of grievance arises against anyone, physically present or not: “Love holds no grievances. Let me not betray my Self.” In addition, repeat the idea several times an hour in this form: “Love holds no grievances. I would wake to my Self by laying all my grievances aside and wakening in Him.”
Notes and Personal Application (2019): Love holds no grievances. I am determined to see all the people whom I think I have a grievance towards as my friends. I say to them all, thinking of each one of them in turn as I do so: “I would see you as my friend, that I may remember you are part of me and come to know myself.” (For the sake of brevity, I will not include them all. By the end of the practice, 37 people were released from my book of grudges. I will list only a few so that the form in which I chose to apply the practice meditation is clear.)
- Georgianne, I would see you as my friend, that I may remember you are part of me and come to know my Self.
- Jim, I see you as my friend. I remember you are part of me and come to know myself.
- Cynthia, I see you as my friend. I remember you as part of me and come to know my Self.
- Bob, I see you as my friend. I remember you as part of me and come to know myself.
- Paul, I see you as my friend. I remember you as part of me and come to know myself.
I am at peace with the 37 people above, I am at peace with everybody and with all things. I am safe in this world, and this world and its people protect and love me and are protected and loved by me in return. I feel safety surrounding me, hovering over me and holding me up. Nothing can harm me in any way.
Love holds no grievances. Let me not betray my Self. Love keeps no injuries. I would wake to my Self by laying all my complaints aside and awakening in Him.
I lay every single grudge aside – whether it seems big or small – and I wake in Love. I am safe, secure, and protected. I love all, and I am loved by all. By laying my grievances down and walking away from them, I know my real and everlasting Self, the Self who is like God. The Self who becomes Love and whom Love becomes. I lay all my grievances aside – it does not matter – and I wake to love, security, and safety now and forever. Safety surrounds me and hovers over and supports me. The certainty of Love holds me up. Nothing can in any way harm me. Nothing can hurt me, cause me anguish or defeat. Love holds no grievances. When I let all my grudges go, I will know I am perfectly safe.
Prayer: I thank Jesus for guiding and protecting me and keeping me on the right path. I have followed His guidance by studying the Course, and I trust in Him to edify, enlighten, protect, and save my mind. I ask that today’s lesson be made real in my heart and that I know what to do and how to do it. I thank the Holy Spirit for making the right choice for me. I relinquish the ego. I offer only love and forgiveness. I do not forget my function, which is to save the world and thus be happy. My only purpose is the one that God gave me. Love created me to be Love. And that is what I choose to be. I have relinquished my grievances against all. I have let the resentments and hard feelings go. I choose love. I know that I am perfectly safe. I have recognized my true Self by laying the grievances aside and awakening to God. In the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): When we had our devotions today, we read from the Course rather than my personal devotional. This was an excellent opportunity for James to share his own process. It is a gift to share my process with him and with our study group and here on our blog. However, today I was given a different gift, and that was to hear an honest report of someone else’s process. Of course, this is his to share, and I will not write about it to any degree, except to share that it was a beautiful experience for me. James has been a mirror to me of my own stubborn willingness to project all of my own narcissism and need for healing to others, hiding behind their apparent need for improvement while the ego blinds and binds me to my own denials.
A particularly difficult challenge that I have had with the process of salvation is my keen awareness of the shortcomings and personal failings of others instead of focusing on my own release from the ego. The teachings about projection have been hard for me to swallow. Years ago, I shared an office with someone whose lies, poor work ethic, and pet status drove me to distraction. I would bring the situation to God in my daily prayers and supplications. I would tattle on him and expose his buffoonery to all and sundry. However, every time I would listen to the Voice for God, I would hear only one thing: “I love him.” (God would use his name, instead of the male pronoun.)
When God said, “I love him,” He was saying, “I love you, Eckie. Every time you notice the personal failings of your brother, you are failing to notice your own!” As hard as it was to accept this, I found that it was right in every single instance. What I had been doing is justifying my own failings while judging and condemning those of my workmate. The Voice for God asks us to overlook and forgive the weaknesses of others, for when we offer this, we identify with the true concept of God.
When James resisted the lesson idea yesterday, I felt compelled to set him straight. I did not trust the Holy Spirit to bring him to the truth; I barreled right into his process and bossily chastised him for not getting what was so obviously one of the most fundamental theoretical premises of the Course. If he did not understand the delineation between the body and the spirit, we might as well go back at the beginning, I lectured. We are 67 lessons in, I reminded him. If you are going to sit there and defend the ego…I droned on. At the time, I felt as if this was my duty; looking back, I can see how domineering and dictatorial I must have sounded.
Throughout the day, I caught my ego trying its best to resent him for his resistance. It must be over his head, I thought nastily – even though he is tons smarter than me in every single way. He is just a spiritual doorknob was one of the nastier thoughts that presented itself to my mind, but I knew that this was not true, so I didn’t entertain it for much more than a second. (I am only sharing it here to show you how the ego operates in my life.) All day long the things he said and did struck me as being spiritually blighted – how he interacted with our grandson, the dismissive attitude he seemed to have toward anything I said, the fact that he sat in the car while the rest of us went on a companionable little walk through the park and enjoyed the sunshine.
It was not until I resisted my own projections and withdrew my attention from the physical/emotional realm and went to the practice that I was reminded that Love created me like Itself. When I identified with the ego realm, I was steeped in resentment and blinded to all the kind, selfless, loving acts of my husband. James made a delicious omelet for our grandson’s breakfast; he treated all of us to a barbeque lunch at one of our favorite spots; he gathered all the trash and burned it so that I didn’t have to worry about it this week while he was gone…the list went on and on. But it was only when I put the voice of ego aside and listened to the Voice for God, remembering that Love created me like Itself, that I had a perfect illustration for today’s lesson.
As I learn that God is Love, my mind is freed from all uncharitable thoughts and ill will toward the failings of my beloved brothers and brought into oneness with the Mind of God! When I realize that I am created by Love, I want to fill my mind with nothing but forgiveness and love for all. Because Love holds no grievances.
In paragraph three, line one, our lesson says that when we hold grievances we redefine God in our own image. We make God out to be a big, petty, tyrant who uses his time to build cases against his creations and devise ways in which to punish them. When we make gods like our egos, we will suffer guilt – we will always have something to feel ashamed and sorry about. We will come to our Father with our heads low; we will grovel before Him, pleading with Him to spare us or punish us for our supposed sins.
We change that poor, blighted perception of God into a loving perception when we forgive and refuse to hold grievance. When we make the effort to overcome our egos and practice being like God, we are no longer betraying our true identity or the true Identity of God. We are aligning ourselves with truth instead of insisting on believing the lies of the ego. We wake up to God. We wake up to Love. We wake up and realize that the love and purity and devotion of our brothers are the only things that are the least bit real about them – their failings, betrayals, lies, and stupidities no longer loom large in our minds at all. To see their mistakes is to love them more because God is Love and forgives us for the mad ideas that lead to thoughts of sin and separation.
Today let this be our prayer, our praise, and our practice: Love holds no grievances, and therefore, neither will I.