Lesson 217 • August-5

(197) It can be but my gratitude I earn.


Practice Instructions

See Practice Instructions Review VI

Commentary

The salvation described by the Course is unique in the way it combines total responsibility for our own salvation with total dependence on God. My Self is what "saves" me, yet that Self is discovered only by recognizing that what I am is not any result of my own action, but the gift of God in creation.

There is a line in the Text that says, "Give thanks to every part of you that you have taught how to remember you" (T-13.VII.17:8). The gratitude we feel as we begin to awaken to what we are is due to the Self that we are discovering. I am the one who gives thanks; I am also the One to Whom thanks are being given.

It is very hard to understand all of this until you begin to experience it. I vividly recall one particular time in which it seemed to come to crystal clarity for me, for a few moments at least. I became aware of a loving part of myself that was continually moving me and motivating me in the direction of inner peace and Self-acceptance. It was something that had always been there, more than a part of me, the reality of myself. I was simultaneously aware of another part of my mind that had begun to open up to that love, and in that moment, I felt a deep and inexpressible gratitude to myself for being willing to receive that love. I was aware both of being the giver of the love and the receiver of it, and in that moment the little self I had always thought was me felt swallowed up in this much larger, constantly moving, tide of love.

This peculiar gratitude to my Self can find expression in many little ways. Sometimes when I have taken the time for a quiet meditation, one in which I feel strongly renewed, I find the gratitude welling up, and I say, "Thank you." And I am not sure whether I am thanking God or myself. I am grateful to myself for having readied myself to receive this Course. I am thankful to myself for reading it, and continuing to study it and to apply it. When a line from the Course pops into my head at just the right moment, I can thank my Self for it.

The Course teaches that we all are already awake; the truth lives untarnished in our right mind. And it is this right mind, this Self that is the only part of us that has reality in truth, which is teaching us and calling us home. This right mind is the home of the Holy Spirit; He is part of us as well as part of God. His Voice is the Voice for God, yet it is also the Voice of my Self. It is my Self that brought the Course into the world. It is my Self that drew me to it. It is my Self that is bringing me to awareness. Everything that nudges me in the right direction is a gift from my Self.

Let me be grateful to my Self today. Let me recognize that I am deserving of my own gratitude. Instead of being annoyed with myself, impatient with myself, harsh on myself, discouraged with myself, or untrusting of myself, let me offer myself my own gratitude. And let me realize that my own gratitude is all I need and want. Let me understand that when I have learned fully to be completely grateful to my Self for what I am, I will have completed the journey, and will have learned, at the same time, to be fully appreciative and grateful to God for the gift He has given me: my Self.

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