Changing the way you see things is a miracle, because it changes what you see in the world as well as how you’re seeing it.
Most people probably think miracles are beyond their power, performed unpredictably by a faraway God who may or may not be listening to our prayers. That can make our prayers anxiety-provoking, because it places God outside ourselves and puts us in a passive position of hoping to receive God’s blessing only if we are lucky or special.
What we’ve learned, though, is that God is Love and only Love. We are always blessed, and God is within us. Miracles are therefore a choice. It is our decision to allow fear to be undone in our mind in order to remember our Oneness with our Loving Source and with one another.
When we remember our Oneness, anxiety cannot exist. Through our willingness to experience shifts in perception, we learn that miracles are natural, instantaneous, and available to us right now.
Let’s explore some healing shifts in perception to make room for unstoppable inner peace.
The "Ego Backlash"?
I used to get really freaked out by the idea that the more I turned to Love, the more the ego would roar at me and whip me back into place. I am well aware that the ego will pull out any evidence to “prove” to us that we are not of Love. Some have referred to this as an “ego backlash.”
Although the ego is perfectly capable of having hissy fits and doing what it can to get our attention, we do not have to fear it or a backlash the slightest bit. First and foremost, we need to acknowledge that fearing the ego is fueling the ego. By fearing the ego’s tantrums, we give it power and make it seem more real.
Think of a giant dancing balloon figure, like the ones you often see outside stores, powered by a fan so that the figure whips back and forth with the force of the wind inside it. This crazy balloon guy represents the ego: a hollow shell filled with nothing. It seems scary only when it is puffed up with moving air. That moving air represents our belief. We are the ones that choose to blow the air into the balloon figure, and by doing so we end up terrorizing ourselves. We do not have to do this: “The ego depends solely on your willingness to tolerate it” (ACIM T-9.VIII.6:1).
As our trust in our Inner Therapist* deepens, we start turning off the fan (our belief) that inflates the compelling balloon figure (the ego), choosing instead to see the Love that permeates everything. This choice deflates the ego. It loses power, and it has no shape or force of its own. The Course points out that we become “invulnerable” when we do not protect the ego (ACIM T-4.VII.8:3).
Not protecting the ego is like not blowing air into the balloon. By being willing to question and look at our beliefs with our Inner Therapist, by being willing to not believe the picture of the external world, and to deciding that we know nothing, we allow the ego to be deflated and collapsed. It quite literally has no power to hurt us.
* The Inner Therapist is the part of your mind that helps you to heal. For consistency, I use the term Inner Therapist throughout this book, but feel free to call it whatever you’d like: Inner Teacher, Inner Guide, Holy Spirit, and Higher Mind are common ways of referring to the part of your mind that recognizes your eternal reality.
- I am willing to be completely free of the belief in ego.
- I am willing to place my belief in Love.
I Can Find Peace by Mastering Love
Attempting the mastery of fear is useless. In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that it need be mastered. The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love. ACIM T-2.VII.4:2–4
What a relief to know we do not have to master our fears! This is a really important shift. We can waste a lot of time trying to work on our fears, but in truth we don’t have to “clean up shop” and conquer anxiety on our own. All we have to do is learn mastery through love, and then the anxiety falls away.
We learn mastery through love by letting the Inner Therapist choose for God for us. None of us can be our own Inner Therapist. Although it is part of us, it fully remembers Love. Since we have accepted the ego into our minds, we have forgotten the Love of God (big time). Our Inner Therapist remembers it for us. Because we have made our own fear, we have to be willing to bring it to the light of Love to be undone. Fear is only a construct of the ego, and it is unknown by God.
It is not only difficult feelings like fear that we can bring to the Inner Therapist. To truly heal, we need to bring everything in our lives to our Inner Therapist. The ego is insidious: “There is no area of your perception that it has not touched” (ACIM T-14.I.2:7). This means that the ego is not just involved in what is painful: it has a stake in what we consider good as well.
The ego will use anything to reinforce its specialness. To work toward mastery of love, practice giving everything to your Inner Therapist to be used on behalf of truth. I make it part of my regular practice to give everything in my life that I love to my Inner Therapist. I make a list of everything that is meaningful to me, or that I believe provides safety, and one by one I toss those things into my Inner Therapist’s arms. I say,
Inner Therapist, I give you:
Be specific in naming what you love. For instance, instead of saying, “I give you my relationships,” say, “I give you my spouse,” “I give you my partner,” “I give you my son (or daughter),” “I give you my mom (or dad).”
It’s important to be specific because otherwise it is likely that the ego will misuse these things by using them on behalf of its goal of separation, and that goal brings pain. For instance, the ego will use money to tell you that your safety lies in it and that if you don’t have any, you will be in trouble.
When you give money to your Inner Therapist for repurposing, it becomes something neutral. You learn that your true safety comes not from money but from Love, and what you need will be provided.
Waking Up and Remembering Love
Our Inner Therapist uses whatever we give it to promote our waking up and remembering Love. When I go through this laundry list and give over everything to my Inner Therapist, including the things I love and any fears that may be present, I get a sense of peace that is better than anything this world could give me.
If you find yourself reluctant to give something to your Inner Therapist, pause and ask why. Chances are that this resistance indicates an unconscious belief that you’ll be asked to sacrifice something. This is never the case. God asks no sacrifice: only the ego does. It is important to look at any fear that comes up with your Inner Therapist by your side.
One way of mastering love that resonates with me comes from a prayer of Ho‘oponopono, a Hawaiian method of healing, which I learned about from the book Zero Limits, by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len. This particular prayer uses four phrases that evoke the Course for me. You can repeat it silently in any stressful situation:
I love you.
Please forgive me.
Each phrase contains deep meaning behind the words. My Course-inspired interpretation of each one is:
- “I love you”: This is a statement of recognition that there is no difference between Love and myself. I joyously acknowledge that I remain as Love created me.
- “I’m sorry”: This is a statement of radical responsibility. I’ve misused my creative will and made a mess. I take complete responsibility for what is coming from my mind.
- “Please forgive me”: This request is self-fulfilling, like asking for a miracle. We have already been forgiven because we have never left our Source. Think of forgiveness as “for giving” to our Inner Therapist. I am willing to give this stressful situation to my Inner Therapist in order to receive a miracle instead.
- “Thank you”: It is done!
These four simple phrases can help you pursue mastery of love. It is a huge relief to realize that you do not have to master anxiety. Anxiety falls away, because it is not who you are.
Copyright ©2018 by Corinne Zupko.
Reprinted with permission from New World Library
From Anxiety to Love: A Radical New Approach for Letting Go of Fear and Finding Lasting Peace
by Corinne Zupko.
Author Corinne Zupko undertook her study of psychology out of necessity when debilitating anxiety threatened to derail her life. Seeking ways to do more than temporarily alleviate her symptoms, Corinne began to study A Course in Miracles (ACIM), mindfulness meditation, and the latest therapeutic approaches for treating anxiety. In From Anxiety to Love, she shares what she learned and gently guides you through the process, helping you undo anxiety-based thinking and fostering mindful shifts in your thoughts and actions. Whether struggling with everyday stress or near-crippling discomfort, you will find that Corinne’s approach offers a new way of healing from — rather than just coping with — fear and anxiety.
About the Author
Corinne Zupko, EdS, LPC, has coached, counseled, and educated thousands of individuals at national conferences, in the classroom, in workshops, and in the therapy chair. She teaches weekly meditation classes for corporate clients and cohosts the largest virtual conference of ACIM in the world through the organization Miracle Share International, which she cofounded. Visit Corinne's website at https://fromanxietytolove.com/