Accepting Feelings of ALL Kinds
By Christine Fine
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I sing in the shower. Every morning. It’s a song of gratitude. There are so many things to be grateful for! I even made a list and laminated it so I could keep it in the shower with me. It helps inspire my morning time of thanksgiving. It reminds me of all that comes forth in love and abundance. Interestingly, feelings of thanksgiving help me accept and forgive all kinds of feelings, even those of hatred. More about that in a moment.
Actually I have been singing my morning songs even before A Course of Love (ACOL) and A Course in Miracles (ACIM) came to me. But after 22 years of reading ACIM, and now with my daily reading, immersion, and application of ACOL, my awareness of gratitude and appreciation are much greater because my awareness in general has increased. Layers of guilt have been removed.
Certain music helps me access what feels like the divine. Listening to this sound can focus the love and appreciation in my heart for whatever wonder might come to mind. Just beautiful music itself helps raise me into a feeling of gratitude and amplifies it. I recommend it to anyone interested in feeling more gratitude.
A feeling comes over me during these times of appreciation. It is healing. It is joy. Gratitude increases, and so does love, for Jesus, for these wisdom teachings, for our experiences, and for our life journeys. Tears fall, not of pain, but for the beauty of this love.
The almost cellular feeling of love and appreciation is healing. Gone are any grievances in these moments, and only awe of God/Love is in my awareness. The feeling and understanding comes that giving is receiving; that gratitude goes hand-in-hand with love.
My morning times of thanksgiving have become a backdrop that extends into life. I’m working with a close friend on her forgiveness regarding jealousy and betrayal. I spent 20 years working on forgiveness/acceptance of my husband around these two subjects, so my experience at least moderately qualified me to help her, and my actual, true forgiveness of him was reason enough to believe that I might help her along the way. And so we began with the process of forgiveness or acceptance, whichever you prefer.
First I asked for her true feelings. She hated. She wanted revenge. She wanted the other to hurt as much as she did. She wanted the other to know how it felt to hurt so much. She wanted the other to be the victim, and she the victimizer.
I told her that her feelings were valid. It was OK to feel the way she did. This was the part of our conversation that helped her the most and for which she was most grateful, she told me later. Feelings aren’t “bad.” Only when you have accepted how you feel can you quit labeling good or bad, and come from a place of peace, as ACOL says. (D:Day8.4) Feelings can lead us to forgiveness/acceptance and to the gratitude and love that can result from that.
She is a preacher’s daughter. She was taught that feelings of anger are not to be displayed. And weren’t most of us taught this? Anger could not be expressed, or she would be punished. What example would she be as a preacher’s daughter to exhibit such behavior? Not only punishment but also shame went along with the idea of acknowledging true feelings. And so of course they never could be looked at truly, to be embraced into the light of Love.
To tell her these feelings were valid gave her permission to feel them, and to allow them recognition; to allow them a place at her table, no longer pushed down and denied. This was a relief, and her gratitude was great. Healing was there. For me as well.
ACOL says: “Now we listen to feelings and understand what they have to say to us. Now we listen with a new ear, the ear of the heart. Now we recognize the thoughts that would censor our feelings, calling them selfish, uncaring, or judgmental. We examine. And we realize it is our thoughts and not our feelings that are selfish, uncaring, or judgmental. We realize this because we realize the sacred space we have become.” (D:Day12.1)
In the end, there was a changed perception, if only for some moments, that came with gratitude for her feelings, once thought to be bad, that could lead her to this forgiveness and to this love.
Christians, she told me, think suffering is necessary; that to get into Heaven, we must suffer here on earth. She saw that there’s more to it than that. She saw that feelings of suffering, of being a victim, even of wanting to hurt another or achieve revenge can be a catalyst to move us into Heaven now when there is acceptance and an intention to join in unity. It takes desire, she saw; it takes allowing love to motivate us. And it takes non-judgment of our true feelings whatever they may be, because they are valid. They are how we feel right now and they are not bad, they’re simply calling for love and acceptance. In the end, gratitude and appreciation can be felt for all the players in all the dramas of our lives.
As these feelings are allowed to be met with love, gratitude floods in. Love for Jesus in giving us ACIM and ACOL, love of others, love of love . . . all of it goes hand-in-hand with gratitude for awakening to the Light of Truth.
Every day that I spend in this gratitude, each minute, each hour, or each second, brings me closer to Heaven. Each tear of joy that drops in grateful appreciation recalls me to the Light of Home.
As it says in ACOL, “Call upon your relationship with me to aid you, as I call upon you to assist me in calling all of our brothers and sisters to their return to unity. We call to one another in gratitude. This is the attitude of the wholehearted, the place from which all calls are sounded and received, the place where the true thinking of those united in mind and heart arises. Gratitude is the recognition of the state of grace in which you exist here and remain forever beyond all time and the passing of all form. It is an attitude of praise and thankfulness that flows between us now. The light of heaven shines not down upon you but is given and received in equal exchange by all who in creation exist together in oneness eternal.” (T2:13.5)
Christine Fine lives and plays near Bend, Oregon, with an ACOL group she facilitates every Sunday. She loves writing and using the written word to transfer a feeling to the reader. If she could, she would convince everyone that, within the illusion, UFOs are real.
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By Jim Young
come, sit with me.
let yourself simply be.
plunge, if you will, to the depths of your grief.
loosen the slipknot on your weary body and ravaged soul
freeing your burdens
your anger, your pain
whatever it is that discomforts you
whatever it is you feel.
come, sit with me
open to the joy that is you
letting laughter’s release unfold your Truth.
allow yourself to bask in my love for you
healing your mind, your body, your soul.
bathe in the Light of transformation
knowing that all you have to be is you.
that I’m always here for you.
come, sit with me.
travel with me through the universe
being open in your tranquility
mindless in your solitude
resting your thoughts and feelings here beside me
and you will come to know
that we are One.
come, sit with me
no matter what the condition or circumstance
no matter what our past
it is safe now.
in Eternal Friendship the fullness of presence
is all that matters;
these intimate moments
become our Truth
authentic Love our bond.
After serving nearly thirty years in various aspects of higher education, Dr. James H. Young currently is a published spiritual author and program presenter, and a widely collected documentary/fine art photographer. www.creationspirit.net