The Beginning of My Journey with ACOL
By Juliana Kurokawa
Editor’s Note: Juliana Kurokawa lives in São Carlos, Brazil. She is a professional translator who has recently begun translating A Course of Love into Portuguese. She says, “I could hardly believe that Spirit gave me a job in which I could also learn about my real Self!”
When I look at my pathway with A Course of Love, I can’t help but feeling thankful for realizing how patient Jesus is with us all. Now I laugh about it and there is a knowing in me that tells me that He already knew all that I would go through, was always there to give me a helping hand and to teach me, little by little, how I could be embraced in His Love.
I received ACOL as a gift from Ana Maria Fernandez, a very dear friend of mine, through whose voice I first heard of A Course in Miracles. I started to read ACOL about a year ago, but after a while I placed the book on my “to read when I have time” shelf. I looked at its purple cover every day, as it was placed at eye level, and I always thought: one day I will read it.
That day came when John Mark Stroud suggested that I might translate ACOL into Portuguese.
Love chooses perfect paths! What followed was that had the opportunity to go to Argentina and meet Glenn Hovemann and his wife Meera from the US, Sebastian Blaksley, and Cynthia Graciarena from Argentina, and Lorena Miño from Spain. The three days we spent together were filled with love and we created such a bond! I really felt the message of love through Mari Perron’s scribing of Jesus’s words. I still hold those beautiful moments in my heart with profound gratitude.
My first heart-opening experience was when I read Chapter 20, The Embrace:
Your longing now has reached a fever pitch, a burning in your heart quite different from that which you have felt before. Your heart may even feel as if it is stretching outward, straining heavenward, near to bursting with its desire for union, a desire you do not understand but can surely feel.
This is a call to move now into my embrace and let yourself be comforted. Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mine. Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right. Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist. Feel the gentleness and the love. Drink in the safety and the rest. Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words.
How did Jesus know about my longing? I remember reading it, the tears running down my face, and feeling that I had finally found a place to rest. I felt the embrace. I felt the loving offer to have my hair stroked. I never wanted to leave that place. My elder brother knew the desire of my heart and was ready to go through with me on the journey I was about to start.
In that loving embrace, I realized that Jesus has always been there with me. I recognized His loving presence in many circumstances since my childhood and throughout my life. More tears of joy ran. I felt loved, cared for. I felt like I wanted to give my life to Him and to Love’s message. I was ready to go a step further into myself.
Then I started The Forty Days and Forty Nights on the top of the mountain with Jesus. When I reached Day 8—Accept the Present—my heart was freed of my judgmental thoughts about myself for a while. I had a free heart again! All power to effect change comes from acceptance – not acceptance of the way things are, but acceptance of who you are in the present. Not through acceptance of the way you want to be but of the way you are now. . . . How freeing it will be to accept all of your feelings and not to puzzle over which are true and which are false! To realize that you no longer have false feelings. That your feelings are not misleading you but supporting you! That they are but calling you to expression of your true Self! True representation of who you are – who you are now! D:Day8:8, 28
The whole pathway was built upon so much Love! Jesus knew our fears! He so lovingly guided me to Day 38 – Who I Am. On that day, my heart stood still. We are not two beings who are separate but relating in union. We are each other’s own being. We are one and we are many. We are the same and we are different. In “own”-ership we are full of one another’s own being. We are each other’s own. D:Day38:13
I could look at my fear. I was terrified to be told that I was the same as Jesus. I understood how I had been looking up at an image that I had of Him outside of me, separate. I thought of myself as a being in need of His light and didn’t recognize it was also my own. Rationally, I knew that was the message of ACIM and ACOL all the time, but somehow this day on the mountaintop with Jesus brought a “knowing.” I was suddenly aware of that.
It was painful to let this image of Jesus go. There was suffering and much fear. I had a conversation with Jesus and I was full of tears and despair. In truth, I was saying goodbye to a part of me that still believed I was unworthy.
Then I felt His hand stroke my hair as in the beginning of my journey and a still, quiet voice telling me it would be all right. The Voice told me I could let go of the judgments I held about myself and be all embracing, that I would feel we were one heart.
I knew I could trust that Voice. I knew I was safe. I decided I wanted to move forward on my journey. I was ready to embrace this day with Jesus on the mountaintop. I could accept that I was the caterpillar, the cocoon, and the butterfly—and even the Light of God, why not? I would no longer deny my own Self. I was ready and open for Love.
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Oh Bless-ed is the Shame So Deep!
By Chris Fine
There is an unquiet that comes with the physical,
when the physical is overly desired.
Obsession means I’m never satisfied.
I want to get higher, but I can never get high enough.
For long enough.
Where is Jesus in all of this?
He seems to sit aside,
to wait patiently for me to speak with him.
So unworthy have I felt,
to speak with him.
Feelings so denied.
Love so feared.
Shame, shame, shame.
my calls for Love unheard.
Shame, shame, shame.
Then, something happens,
and I become awash with him.
finally in my ear.
I have looked at my denials,
now come to the surface,
and have seen that they are gone.
Through the love of one who Loves,
I begin to know Love.
I begin to know Jesus.
A new world for me, opens. What mysterious lands these are – the lands of milk and honey, the lands of Christ’s awakening.
These lands were unknown to me before this shame,
that I show,
that I reveal,
and give to Jesus….
He laughs, he grins,
with the kindest of eyes,
and the loveliest of whisperings,
he dances and takes me with him,
his lips to my ear…
he shows me the way.
Oh bless-ed is the shame so deep! Grateful am I that with Jesus, it has brought me Music.
[Chris Fine feels the wonder of the world through relentless application of ACIM and ACOL. She says, “What else are miracles for, but Love? And what else is Love for, but to know Self?]