Lesson 21 – I am determined to see things differently.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This is the lesson that tells us “a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.”

Anger is anger no matter what gradation we experience.  Most of us are very uncomfortable with anger anyway, and cannot permit ourselves to know how angry we are–the consequences of our anger are too threatening to us.

In the kind of psychotherapy work I used to do, we are invited to fully feel our emotions in the safety of the therapy room, and find out that they can run their course, be released, and we can feel relieved, re-balanced, and transformed from that process.

For example, if I allow myself to yell at someone who’s not actually there using Gestalt chairwork, and express that energy through my voice, body language, eyes, etc., then I will find out more.  I may grow angrier and feel the effects in my body: shaking hands, heat rising through my torso into my face, etc.

I may feel impotent as the person I am angry at ignores me or mocks me.  I may feel satisfied that I’ve said my piece.  I may feel frightened that I could hurt the other person, or myself through a violent gesture, or by internal bursting–a stroke or a heart attack.

Eventually, if I practice this technique and use it well, I will learn that strong feelings are energy in motion, e-motion, and that at the other side of this swell of anger is peace.  Underneath every human emotion is peace, joy and love … if we are willing to plumb the depths.  At the depth we discover our truth: we are all the same and we are just frightened that we are alone, misunderstood and deserving of punishment.

Someone told me that he learned this lesson when he was 12 years old and was on a lacrosse team.  It became clear to him that if he faced his opponent down by running straight at him,  penetrating him with a look that said, “I’m going to kill you” and wielding his lacrosse stick with fury, that he would win the game.  He fully grasped in that moment that under the veils of learning lacrosse technique and back-slapping team camaraderie was simply “kill or be killed.”  And he never went back to lacrosse.  He may not have known it at the time, but he was determined to see things differently 🙂

Yesterday’s lesson, morphed into, “I will not be deterred…”  Today I feel confident that I will not be blinded by the ego because my willingness is Greater than ego objections.  Willingness adheres to the Truth, my true Will Power, my Source.  Let the ego hypnotize and swirl and makes its magic.  Magic disappears in a poof of smoke when Light pours through.  And I am able to see … things … differently.

Ramana Maharshi offers the mantra, “I am that I am.”  I am that I am clears away debris and ego darkness.  I am that I am sweeps obstructions away.  Enough I am that I am clears space for the Light.  Seems similar.

LESSON 21

I am determined to see things differently.

The idea for today is obviously a continuation and extension of the preceding one.  This time, however, specific mind-searching periods are necessary, in addition to applying the idea to particular situations as they may arise.  Five practice periods are urged, allowing a full minute for each.

In the practice periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself.  Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present or anticipated that arouse anger in you.  The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage.  The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter.  You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.

Try, therefore, not to let the “little” thoughts of anger escape you in the practice periods.  Remember that you do not really recognize what arouses anger in you, and nothing that you believe in this connection means anything.  You will probably be tempted to dwell more on some situations or persons more than others, on the fallacious grounds that they are more “obvious.”  This is not so.  It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others.

As you search your mind for all the forms in which attack thoughts present themselves, hold each one in mind while you tell yourself:

I am determined to see __________ [name of person] differently.
I am determined to see __________ [specify the situation] differently.

Try to be as specific as possible.  You may, for example, focus your anger on a particular attribute of a particular person, believing that the anger is limited to this aspect.  If your perception is suffering from this form of distortion, say:

I am determined to see _____________ [specify the attribute] in _____________ [name of person] differently.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to me reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.