I Have Nothing, I Have Everything: My Song of Gratitude
By Sebastian Blaksley
Note: Sebastian Blaksley, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was born to a prominent Argentinian family. Although many opportunities were available to him, he wanted to be a monk. That not being acceptable, he got a PhD in international business and communications, and was in business in the US for 11 years, as well as in London, Shanghai, and elsewhere. He then established his own company. In 2011 he discovered ACIM. In 2016 he discovered ACOL. Soon thereafter he left the business world behind and created the nonprofit Fundacion Un Curso de Amor, the organization that will soon publish the Spanish edition of ACOL.
My dear beloved Jesus, My All in All,
I have nothing. I do not have a house. I have no money. I do not have friends as they are usually known in the world. I do not have a social agenda as I used to. I do not have activities that help me feel satisfied, recognized, or fulfilled. I do not even have good health. I have nothing to give. You left me naked of everything. You stripped me like winter strips the trees of their leaves and their flowers.
You took it all, because that’s what my heart asked for. “Empty me from everything,” I said, “to fill me with Love!” And you, who are Heaven, heard the call of this heart.
You gave me everything. You undressed me, then you clothed me with honor and glory. With the beauty of simplicity. With the abundance of the stripped.
There are moments in life in which we face the inescapable need to fully trust. They are those moments when nothing comes out as we would like it to come out. The time of the attempts. The time when the sun seems to be hidden. The hour that never shines. Moments when, for various reasons, I find myself refusing to accept situations. Lack of financial security. Lack of professional activities that used to help distract my mind. My father, 80 years old, being in the last stage of cancer. These are moments in which human explanations do not serve me.
I immerse myself in A Course of Love, especially in the sections in which Jesus speaks of Trust:
Trusting is not a condition or state of being that you have heretofore seen as being an active one. Your attitude toward trust is one of waiting, as if an active stance toward trust would be distrustful. You thus will often say that you trust when what you are doing is hoping for a specific outcome. Real trust is not a trust that waits and hopes but a trust that acts from who you truly are. Real trust requires the discipline of being who you are in every circumstance and in every relationship. Real trust begins with your Self. T2:7.16
Then I understand that I have cause to trust my heart. Because the heart knows. Because the heart knows with certainty. “The discipline that is required to be who you are is a discipline that requires trust in the Self and honesty in relationships.” T2:7.19 Trusting that which I really know takes me on a path that is most natural for me. In this way, trust links me with gratitude, as when Jesus says:
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
So my beloved Jesus, I have nothing. And yet, as you took everything away, removing everything from my life, I am more and more filled. It is as if one wind took everything and another wind, which is the same wind, brought all in a hundredfold. Now I can understand, because I experience it. It is what you meant when telling us that whoever gives a glass of water to a child in Your name would receive a hundredfold.
I gave you everything, as you asked. And I was happy to do it without expecting anything in return. And you gave me Everything.
You gave me certainty. The certainty of knowing who I am in truth. The certainty of finding my way. The certainty of knowing me as eternally loved. I am and always will be the child you love. I am and always will be the reason for your joy. I am Love manifested. To know this fills my whole Being, and every day I am filled with more love. More joy. Filled with everything that comes from you. You are Love, my everything, and my Being.
Every day I feel more part of everything. And everything returns to me in Love and Truth. What you have given becomes a hundredfold in brothers, houses, abundance, joy, love, life. Everything is mine because Christ is mine and everything for me. I have given everything and I have received Everything because giving and receiving are one. In this truth lies the Freedom of the Children of God, the power of creation and the power of love. Blessed be universal Love!
Trust in our heart means trust in what we are in truth. Linking trust to gratitude, I realize that being grateful to be who I am in truth, in the circumstances in which I am being who I am right now, is always justified. As I understand this, peace envelops me.
And now I understand that I have good cause to trust my feelings, my intuitions. To trust my desires and let myself be carried away, wherever those desires take me. This is how one changes their way of living. This is how one can stop planning or predetermining things. Instead you launch into the wonderful adventure of trusting fully your Self, accepting everything that we feel and desire. To be united with them is to flow with the wind of spirit that always leads us through matters of the heart. If we dare to let ourselves be carried away by the waves of the true feelings and desires of the heart, we always travel safely, confident in what we are. Trusting the heart.
Note: Readers may also appreciate the story of how Sebastian discovered ACOL, published in The Embrace #13, https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-13-miracles-in-buenos-aires/, and his reflections on being loved, published in The Embrace #25, https://acourseoflove.org/the-embrace-25-i-was-created-to-be-loved/
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By Paula Hardin
Love, like cotton batting
As I groom my purring kitty
And I smell—
(Oh where does that come from?)
Mother’s apple dumplings
Juices bubbling hot
All those decades ago
Manifestations like these
From the cave of my heart
Mute no longer
Liberated love frolics
This is the first poem Paula wrote in many months after becoming immersed in ACOL. She said, “I was too rocking-horse tippy to write poetry. Still rough, I share with you.”
Paula Payne Hardin appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show when her first book, “What Are You Doing With the Rest of Your Life? Choices in Midlife” appeared in 1992. She is also the author of “Love After Love: Stages of Loving” (1996). Hardin directed Midlife Consulting Services and the David K. Hardin Generativity Trust in Chicago. She has trekked around the world from the Himalayas to Zimbabwe. Now an Elder, she enjoys kayaking, cats, writing, and her extended family.
Sebastian’s story is such an inescapable mirror of St. Francis I found it particularly inspiring.