ACOL in Everyday Life

Live a Full Life

What does it take to start living a full life?

How can we live a happy and meaningful life? What do we need to do to feel that our life is really worth living? What does it mean to live a full life?

A Course of Love (ACOL) offers insightful and practical answers to these questions. It starts by pointing out the conventional wisdom about a full life:

You each have some notion of what you believe a full life to be. For some of you it would include marriage and children, for others career, religious commitment, or creative endeavors. Some would think of travel and adventure, friendships, or financial security. Most of you will think of having a long life.

We tend to think we need to accomplish something great, something the world considers “successful” in order for us to feel we are living a full and meaningful life.

Usually it implies living a busy life, in which success comes as a result of dedication and hard work. We don’t see an intrinsic value in simply being alive, in existing in relationship with the whole and expressing ourselves through such relationships.

Perhaps this heavy focus on doing has emerged as a result of our forgetting who we really are—what our authentic Self is. Our worth became connected to what we do and not to who we are.

By replacing our real Self, which is our true nature, with an ego-self devoid of intrinsic value, a full life became synonymous with external achievements.

Can you summon a little willingness to leave behind such patterns of thinking? Could you perhaps close your eyes for a moment and start feeling that you are beautiful, prized, and worthy right now, regardless of your financial situation, your grades in school, or your professional achievements? Listen to this:

You who have so sought happiness without finding it, rejoice. It is not lost. It does not require you to define it or put a name to it before it can be yours.

Have you not long lamented that if you knew what would bring you happiness you would surely pursue it? Have you not long stated that if you knew what would bring meaning to your life you would surely do it? Have you not long wished to know your purpose? To be given a goal that would fulfill the longing in you? Have you not prayed for signs or read books that have promised you a series of steps to take to get where you want to go, only to realize you know not where that is?

And have you not become impatient with advice, with teachers, and with courses of study? Have you not felt at the limit of your patience with instruction? Have you not felt the call to live growing stronger in you by the day? Are you not anxious to say: “Tell me what to do and I will do it?” Are you not ready for certainty above all else? Are you not ready to be done with studying and to begin with living?

Have you not become increasingly convinced that you have not been living, and wondered what it is you have been doing? Have you not grown weary of what passes for life in your world? Are you not simply ready to be done with the way things have been and to begin a new way?

All this frustration and impatience has been building. This buildup has been necessary. Now, like an explosion waiting to happen, it only needs a trigger to be released. With its release the new can begin.

This Course is but a trigger. These words the prelude to the explosion.

Can you let the worries of today leave your mind? Can you let the disappointments of yesterday go and be no more? Can you let the planning for the future cease? Can you be still and know your Self?

A Course of Love

This is perhaps disappointing to you, but it is all that is required. If you could truly succeed at doing this for one instant, you would experience all that is holy and be forever new. This is because you are ready for the next step, the step of being engaged with life. The step of living from love.

This is the invitation to greet this day with no worry, disappointment, or planning. This is the invitation to greet your Self and to find your Self within this day.

It requires no new plans. It asks not that you make any decisions. It asks not that you do anything new. It asks only that you be unoccupied with the old so that the new may arrive. It asks only that you listen to your heart and let your Self be heard.

I cannot tell you here what you will hear. How can I, when each of you will hear the answer of your heart? The answer that only you can hear. There is no mold, no form, no stock answer.

This is why all answers have disappointed you in the past. Your answer is not the same as any other. No matter how filled with wisdom one person’s answer may be, it is not yours.

Living a full life means to answer the call, which is unique to you. It’s not necessarily about doing, but it’s certainly about being your Self—expressing that aspect of creation that is uniquely yours.

Though we share the same Self or Christ-consciousness, the life force that animates all sentient beings, each of us came to exist as an individual, personal self in order to express a particular aspect of creation.

Thus the seeds of all that you can express exist “within” you, in the creation that is you. The power of creation is released through your choice, your willingness to express that aspect of creation.

It is quite literally true that the seeds of much of creation lie dormant within you, already accomplished but awaiting expression in this realm of physicality.

Being who you are is what you are called to do. You are here asked to live a life as seamless as that of the birds of the air. You are asked to live a life where there is no division between who you are and what you do. This place of no division is the place of unity.

The only difference between the life you are living and the life you want lies in your willingness to express who you are. All you must do is wholeheartedly recognize the treasure you have already chosen to bring to the world. Your heart speaks to you of this treasure and guides you to open the trunk and release it to the world.

A Course of Love

ACOL Second Edition Book Cover

The source of what you seek outside lies within you.

KNOW YOUR SELF and start experiencing the life you've always wanted.


The Course, Chapter 26: The Full Life

The Treatises, Second Treatise, Chapter 3: To Answer the Call

The Treatises, Second Treatise, Chapter 4: The Call to Who You Are