Form vs Content

This will be my last post in 2008, so I’d like to close out the year with one more entry on ACIM.

“Take not the form for content, for the form is but a means for content. And the frame is but a means to hold the picture up, so that it can be seen. A frame that hides the picture has no purpose. It cannot be a frame if it is what you see. Without the picture is the frame without its meaning. Its purpose is to set the picture off, and not itself.” (ACIM, page 485 of text)

The distinction the course makes between from and content is significant. This distinction has dramatically altered the effectiveness of prayer for me. For instance, instead of praying that God guide me to a new job, I pray that God guide me to find peace and joy through the work I do in the world. Sometimes this has led me to a new job, sometimes this has led me to experience my current job differently.

According to the teachings of ACIM, the content here is peace and joy, or you might say my desire and willingness to find peace and joy in my life. Whether or not I get a new job, the circumstances of my current job change, or simply something in my perception about my current job changes, is about form. The course teaches me to focus on content; to attach to content, but not form. Rather than decide on form and then ask God to deliver peace and happiness to me in a certain way, I cultivate my willingness for peace and joy, and then follow where my heart leads me. The same thing applies to relationships, how and where I live … to every aspect of my life.

This understanding of form and content has also opened me up to new possibilities, and deepened the gratitude I feel for the blessings in my life. By focusing on the content and recognizing that God knows what form is best for me, I have been able to embrace opportunities I would have never noticed before. I have also experienced a renewed appreciation for things already in my life. An instantaneous miracle occurs when I suddenly see and embrace what is in my life right now.

We may say that we believe in the power of love, a limitless God, an ever abundant Universe, and yet we limit our opportunities for fulfillment because we fixate on the form of how that fulfillment is supposed to look. No matter how perfect a particular form of your dreams may seem to you, consider the possibility that God holds even bigger dreams for you and knows exactly how to shape the form of that dream to bring you the most peace, joy & contentment.

Daily Meditation: Today I surrender all my desires to God, and open myself to His perfect gifts for me.

Copyright © 2008, Lisa Wagner

There is no order of difficulty in miracles

Continuing with A Course in Miracles …

“There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not ‘harder’ or ‘bigger; than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.”

Accepting this first Principle of Miracles from page one of the course is crucial to living a miraculous life. Is it possible that some miracles are harder for God than others? This may sound like a ridiculous question, but it is an important one to answer if we want peace and joy to flow freely through out lives.

Every time we don’t take something to God, we are limiting His power in our lives. When we do not pray because we believe that something is not important enough to pray about or because we feel hopeless, we don’t give God a chance. When we choose not to pray because the issue is “big” and we’re afraid we may not like God’s answer, we are insisting that we know more than God does. It is our beliefs and fears that limit miracles.

As long as we are willing to stay stuck in seeing God as simply the granter of wishes, rather than the unlimited power of love that He is, we will continue to believe some miracles are more difficult than others. They aren’t. Living a miraculous life is not about asking God to intervene in our lives to make specific things happen, it’s about inviting God in to every part of our lives and being willing to see things differently. Experiencing miracles happens when we surrender our attachments to the way we believe things should be, and become willing to see things as God would have us see them. It’s not about deciding if something is too big or small for God to help. It’s about asking for God’s help all of the time, and choosing to align ourselves with His presence in our lives every day.

The course teaches us not to focus on how possible or impossible something may seem to be in this world. Rather, we are taught that when we align ourselves with God, everything is possible. Pain that you thought would never go away can be released. Relationships that you thought could never change can be transformed. We get stuck thinking that a miracle is like getting what we want for Christmas, rather than seeing love where we thought it could not exist.

Call to mind your most limiting and damaging belief about yourself. Now, suppose God was able to heal this place inside of you, would you let Him? Which is more likely, that He hasn’t known how to heal you or that you haven’t been willing to believe that He can?

Daily Meditation: Today I will ask God to guide me in every moment, and I will allow miracles to flow freely in my life. With God, all things are possible.

Copyright © 2008, Lisa Wagner

Shifting to Miracles with ACIM

These next few blog entries are going to focus on A Course in Miracles (ACIM).

ACIM is a set of three books – the text, a workbook of 365 meditations, and a manual for teachers containing questions & answers about ACIM.  To be a student of the course is simply to read these books.

What is a miracle?  ACIM teaches us that it is simply a shift in perception.  The key to making this shift is to be willing to see things differently.  When we are, and when we bring this willingness to God, then we can experience a radical shift in the way we see ourselves, and the world, that is truly miraculous.

The miracle may not change the circumstances in our lives or in a particular situation, and understanding this is important to allowing miracles to flow freely.  Living a miraculous life is not about manipulating the world of form.  It is about inviting God into our lives, and allowing Him to alter the way we see and relate to the world. By seeing the world and each other as God would have us see, we are not dependent upon circumstances.

One of my first experiences with this involved a troublesome relationship with a co-worker.  Nothing I seemed to do improved the relationship.  His resentment brought up anger in me, and I was convinced that it was really his problem, and I couldn’t help how he felt.  Then one day I decided that I was willing to see things differently.  I decided that I truly wanted a better relationship with this man, and though I didn’t know how to create it, I knew that God did.  I surrendered all of my judgements and perceptions to God, and asked Him to enter into the relationship.  I can’t explain what happened next, because outwardly nothing changed, though my whole experience with him was forever changed.  The bitterness was replaced by kindness, and we grew to genuinely enjoy each other. Within a few months he received an unexpected and exciting job opportunity, and left.

We parted as friends. Although on the surface nothing seemed to change, I know that my prayer and surrender shifted the way that I saw him, and created the space for friendship. Therein lies the miracle.  Once I surrendered my beliefs about the way things should be, and allowed God to be present, I made room for a miracle.

Daily Meditation:  Today I am willing to see as God would have me see.

Copyright © 2008, Lisa Wagner