I gladly make the "sacrifice" of fear.
See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:
- Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
- Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
- Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
- Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
- Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Practice suggestion: Think of some resentment you are holding about someone. Because you find it hard to let go of this resentment, there must be some perceived payoff in it. Perhaps you think it buys you a sense of righteousness or a sense of entitlement, but if you didn't see some sort of payoff in it, you'd easily and quickly let it go. Now realize that the real result of this resentment is fear. That is its real "payoff." As you consider letting your resentment go, repeat these lines:
I gladly make the "sacrifice" of fear. I freely let Your Love come streaming in.
Yesterday's lesson ended with the thought "What loss can I anticipate except the loss of fear?" and today's lesson picks up on that idea. So I'm going to lose, but all I will lose is fear? I can live with that! Losing fear is no sacrifice. I will lose my fear with pleasure.
It may seem as if I am being asked to give up some pleasant and valuable things. All I am really being asked to give up is "all suffering, all sense of loss and sadness, all anxiety and doubt" (1:1). Attachment to things in this world, things that are fragile and that will not last, always brings with it suffering, loss, and anxiety. I may not realize it but the ego's secret attraction to all such things is not the pleasure they bring me, but the pain. When I recognize that ego motivation, surely I will wisely and sanely let my attachment go.
And when I let go, God's Love comes "streaming in to [my] awareness" (1:1). Do I want that today? God's Love streaming in to my awareness? Do I perhaps, this morning, long for such an experience? Then let me gladly sacrifice my fear. Let me simply give it up. Let me recognize that in clinging to anything besides the goal of God I am clinging to fear, and let it go. Yes, my Father: today I am willing to make this "sacrifice." Today I am willing to stop being afraid of Love.
I feel as though I need to remind myself that in letting go of these things I am not letting go of anything real. I am not really letting go at all. I am having an illusion of giving something up, but I never had anything real in the first place. All I am doing is "letting go of self-deceptions and of images [I] worshipped falsely" (2:1). This is just "a debt we owe to truth" (2:1). It is just being honest! And as I acquiesce to truth, truth returns to me "in wholeness and in joy" (2:1). The deception has ended and Love returns to my awareness. The fullness of the gift that is eternally mine—love—resurfaces in my memory. It makes a kind of natural sense that when I pay my debt to truth, truth returns to me.
When "fear has gone…only love remains" (2:4). "I gladly make the 'sacrifice' of fear."