How do we accept our incorruptible innocence, and our divine invulnerability, when we are constantly bombarded by fear, guilt or feelings of unworthiness?
Like most people who have not yet awakened to their Holy Self, I endured a long and torturous time where I just could not shake off what seemed like an immovable foundation of unworthiness and guilt. The results of my old belief in this agonizing unworthiness tainted just about every relationship I had and almost everything I did. I could rarely access the peace required to really let go of my concerns and accept the Atonement fully. Relief was spasmodic; it just did not last. I was beginning to think that I would never be able to relinquish this endless feeling of worthlessness.
More than anything I wanted to release it. Or more honestly, I wanted it to release me since I felt that I was a victim of it. But did I really desire to be done with this sense of unworthiness? Did I really long to see myself and others as sinless, as guiltless, as worthy, as innocent? The conflict I felt was proof that I must not have desired only this. Obviously, I unconsciously still found value in the sense of guilt and unworthiness I felt, because I still experienced it.
Many times I had reached a place in my process where I uncovered my guilt, and yet I did not truly relinquish it in totality. There was massive resistance to enter peace and stay there, resting deeply in my own majestic innocence. This is the peace of God. Why couldn’t I accept it, receive it and simply remain there? Why the need to keep myself distracted from this divine function…the only one which would completely liberate me from my own complaints of being “not enough?”
Finally, the answer revealed itself in my awareness. We are not both the false-self’s body identity (human) and the Holy Self. They are mutually exclusive. We can only be one of them, not both. And then I had a blinding epiphany. The one who suffered from guilt, fear and unworthiness was the same one trying to undo it!
Enter the spiritual ego. All the while believing that we can indeed suffer, the spiritual ego attempts to convince us that it has our best interests at heart because look: See how earnestly it tries to undo our suffering?
The very first sign that this is the spiritual ego and not the Holy Spirit is that it believes the impossible – that guilt, fear, unworthiness and suffering are real. Then it proceeds to “help” to heal these seemingly real issues. And it will be wrong.
The Holy Spirit looks with us and declares immediately that none of it exists in reality. He makes it clear in our mind and heart that there is just one problem. We forgot our incorruptible innocence! We forgot to say “no” to fear. We forgot to accept our divine immunity to every illusion of the ego. We forgot to turn away from the temptation of chaos – and instead, rest deeply in the changeless safety, peace and Love that ensures our uninterrupted union and healing in God’s eternal Love for us. This is accepting the Atonement. This is true forgiveness.
The one who is unwilling to receive Love’s divine correction unequivocally and rest in boundless innocence and peace, the one who delays it, and the one who tries to solve a problem it believes is real, is always the false-self. But thankfully, that is not you.
The resistance to accept and trust this divine correction – innocence and peace – is the false-self’s denial of our Holy Self. It is fear of being the glorious Child of God. This is the fierce fear of God as Love.
Many years ago I was convinced that “I” would eventually be rid of my unworthiness, guilt and suffering, if “I” tried hard enough to earn God’s Love, along with pleasing everyone. Little did I know that this “self” that was such an unrelenting task master, a shameless bully and a vicious judge, was of my very own making. I valued this self. Its pseudo mission was to attack me mercilessly to keep me in line so I would never risk discovering God’s unwavering Love and acceptance of me.
Now, I know that this false-self was made in opposition to our changeless, incorruptible and innocent Holy Self. The false-self cannot ever evolve to become Holy. It must remain embedded in the guilt that gave rise to it, no matter how hard we try to improve it. Its whole reason for being, is driven by guilt. It was made along with the body, to be an overwhelmingly convincing opponent to Love. Therefore, it is fear incarnate and cannot ever transform itself from fear to Love. There is quite literally nothing other than God’s Love. This false-self, as an idea set apart from God, is complete illusion; an hallucination of epic proportions. Nothing unreal exists.
The “I” that believes it is unworthy, that requires improving or self-esteem, that feels deprived, guilty or fearful, does not exist. Love’s pure and innocent presence is certain annihilation to this false self concept. And that is why it is terrified of Love.
Each lifetime, its ultimate purpose is to kill the body before we make the divine switch to the Holy Self. That way it perpetuates itself in time and space via reincarnation. We’re not to demonize this self, but to simply disregard it through our consistent desire to look beyond it to the Love and joy that it attempts to block from our awareness.
“The death penalty is the ego’s ultimate goal, for it fully believes that you are a criminal, as deserving of death as God knows you are deserving of life. The death penalty never leaves the ego’s mind, for that is what it always reserves for you in the end. Wanting to kill you as the final expression of its feeling for you, it lets you live but to await death. It will torment you while you live, but its hatred is not satisfied until you die. For your destruction is the one end toward which it works, and the only end with which it will be satisfied.” T-12.VII.13:2-6
I am either the Holy Self – or –I believe I am the body-self as unworthy, guilty, not enough, deprived, unfairly treated, in pain, sick, etc. We can identify exactly which “self” we identify as by observing what we value in any one moment, either Love or fear. Further, these two “selves” do not know each other and cannot communicate with each other. The presence of one in our awareness completely obscures the other. They cannot coexist together. This is why in any one moment we are either in fear or we are in the presence of Love. There is no gray area.
The Atonement and the Holy Relationship are the most powerful gifts given us to make the epic leap in our awareness from the false, body identity to the Holy Self. Symbolically speaking, there is a bridge we must cross. We begin on one side of the bridge as the false-self. Then as our trust is transferred from fear to Love we make the transition to find, to remember and finally, to know our beloved Holy Self on the other side of the bridge.
When you choose to believe in fear, guilt and unworthiness then you must value them and you will try to defend them. They serve the ruthless false-self’s agenda which is to keep your awareness from ever remembering the breathtaking innocence of your one, changeless, shared and Holy Self.
While you still desire to believe that you can be unfairly treated by others, the body or the world, then it will appear to be difficult to let go of your unworthiness or guilt because you still value and want them as protection from Love; from your Self as God created you. Perhaps now you can recognize that the belief in unworthiness or guilt is self-chosen, a self-imposed defense to losing your sense of being a private mind with a separate body.
The good news is that once we actually recognize this we can then genuinely join with Holy Spirit to give this self-sabotage over to Him to heal. He cannot heal it until we give Him permission to take away our old defenses to indescribable Love, effervescent joy and wondrous union.
Which Self Am I?
I’m going to share my own process when there is temptation to perceive fear in any form.
I made a firm commitment to consistently rest as the quiet observer of all that seems to go on in the body, with others and in the world. This way I can be the calm center of the storm rather than to misidentify as the storm itself. I am the changeless one observing the wild vacillations of the confused body-self. For that reason I have only compassion for this small self. It is futile to judge or condemn an illusory self that is born from and sustained by a fundamental investment in sin, guilt and fear.
I see the incessant baiting. I see the endless temptations for the body-self to succumb to the crushing voice of guilt, fear and unworthiness. I see the almost automatic seduction of the need to control, to fix, to solve, to get, to protect, to heal and to distract. I see this self’s addiction to false humility and false responsibility. It has an enormous “need to be needed” as a means to uphold its pseudo value.
It sees and believes in the woes of the world while tricking itself into thinking that “it,” alone and apart from God, can solve these myriad problems. Little does it recognize that both the trials and tribulations it witnesses are not real, but only seemingly there to give its own separate self a fleeting but mistaken role to fulfill.
For me, I ask “Who is the one feeling fear, feeling confused, feeling guilty, feeling victimized, feeling unworthy, feeling sick, feeling angry, feeling depressed or feeling deprived? And who is the one feeling separate from God as Love?
It could only be the illusory, body-identified self.
And “that” one is not me.
In the moment that I make a wholehearted choice to accept and declare that this “self,” together with its body, is not me, then something quite miraculous occurs. A mighty leap takes place in my mind. And I’m not alone in that quantum leap. The very moment I choose to dis-identify as the suffering self is the Holy Instant where I am being carried across an inner bridge by Holy Spirit; carried from the illusion of fear and a suffering self, to the resounding peace, safety and innocence of the over-arching Holy Self.
Suddenly there is a moment of fearlessness! And simultaneously, from this resounding peace and safety within, I trust that all seeming problems are healed. They are always healed in this peace which is the Love of God and the Will of God. There is no problem in the world which can be solved in fear… for fear is the very birthplace of all problems. This is my recent practice of accepting the Atonement.
The false-self cannot accept the Atonement, the undoing of its self. But – the Atonement’s acceptance – as the miracle – occurs in the instant we willingly dis-identify as the false, body identity. It only takes an instant, just one breath. This is a cherished now moment where we join Holy Spirit and say “no” to fear regardless of its form, and thus we make way for Love, for miracles.
“God’s answer is some form of peace. All pain is healed; all misery replaced with joy. All prison doors are opened. And all sin is understood as merely a mistake.” W-358.
“Let me not forget myself is nothing, but my Self is all.” W-358.1:7
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