Helping not Fixing

 ​​​
Jim DeMaio
Helping Ministry 
17352 Terry Ave (Parsonage)
Port Charlotte, Florida 33948
(941) 875-5162
Editor to Second Edition: Chris Kavanaugh
Website: Helpingministry.com
Email: Jim@Helpingministry.com

*A Course In Miracles is a spiritual psychology that was scribed by a clinical psychlogist while chairing the department at Colombia University in New York city in the late 1970’s. See ACIM.org for more information.






Section I. The Voice of Love or fear

The Voice of Love speaks softly and only at your invitation.  It is your Higher Self. Mindfulness, Higher Power, Spirit Guide, and True Self are other names that have been given to it.  Most importantly, the Voice of Love provides acceptance and respect to everyone without exception.  It’s important to listen to the Voice of Love instead of fear.  This Voice guides you to a peaceful, joyful life - while fear sabotages every step you take.  You learn to choose Love through experience.  The Voice of Love will help you face each and every fear you are experiencing - if you allow it.  The accumulation of these encounters is what helps all of us to mature.

The voice of fear avoids the truth at any cost.  I refer to it as the false self.  This path keeps all of us immature.  The voice of fear does not require any effort.  It speaks without your conscious decision, while the Voice of Love always requires a choice by you to hear it.

I call the Voice of Love the True Self, which can actually be experienced from within.  It may be seen as my True Self being willing to hear the Voice of Truth.  It would seem that they are two separate entities but my experience of the process helps me to grow in the realization that they are One.

When inviting the Voice of Love to whisper to you, you only need ask yourself one simple question – “What is the Truth of the matter at hand?”  If you ask this question honestly and listen quietly for the answer, you may notice there is a clear answer.  It comes to you in the form of your True Self – what is right for you (and everyone else concerned) at this moment in time.  This is the Truth, given to you through your True, Higher Self, or what I call the Voice of Love.

We all need support and encouragement on a regular basis to stay with the Voice of Love.  We aren't used to it and are unfamiliar with its guidance. Support comes with people, place and things that help us to listen.

I believe the Creator is the source of the True Self.  The other voice is one we experience as fear - and we have made it.  This is a problem we all share in - we don’t like facing the fact that we have made all fear -this is why we run from it but don't need to. We need love in support of our efforts to face fear.

Many of us experienced fears alone in our childhood, and an identity with fear developed (our false self).  The false self runs from what is happening, descending into a fearful, self-made pit of confusion.  In this pit, what is real seems unreal, and what is unreal seems so real.  While in the pit of confusion, we will get everything backwards.  The Voice of Love liberates us from the false self with its caring and guidance.  It brings us to peace and joy with good orderly direction.

You share fear or Love with others based on which voice (True Self or false self) you have chosen to follow.  Whenever we share fear we make illusions.  Usually they are about ourselves or others.  Eventually you begin to recognize the ideas that we have made are illusions.  This process begins with a feeling of discomfort.  It doesn't feel right.  Other common manifestations may occur; anger, or a sense of feeling down.  Sometimes your awareness of “something being wrong” is hidden by the experience of gratification.  Sometimes it becomes a destructive, addictive behavior.  (This is not limited to the misuse of drugs or alcohol, but can include other behaviors as well.)  These are all manifestations of fear-based thinking.  It can be difficult to face the real cause – fear.  This disillusionment can be a painful process.  We will come to realize its a process to recognize that the feelings and behaviors are not a result of what is going on around us, but rather a choice to live in, and with, fear.

When you share Love you are co-creating with God and building the Kingdom of Heaven with your creative Source in your mind. This process is fulfilling and pain free.  Love produces an experience of pure happiness.  If you are unhappy, it is a signal you need to choose again and return to the True Self.

People are either loving you or needing your Love (being fearful) when they communicate with you.  When someone loves you, you can sense their caring.  When your Love is needed – as expressed by someone else’s fear - you must know how to help (instead of joining in their fear with a fixing mentality).



Section II. The Only Mistake

We usually don’t question our belief that we are separate from each other.  This is considered a fact, not a belief.  This mistake leads to the next: the belief that we are separated from God.  Many of us think this belief is erroneous, while others defend this belief vigorously.  The belief in separation can be exposed as an illusion if you are willing to question it.  This experience of connection is a faith walk rather than an intellectual pursuit.  It requires just a little bit of willingness to let things happen naturally, rather than trying to control an outcome.

This process of faith begins with the idea that God, or our Source, is always experiencing us and wants us to experience Her.  I am using the feminine form for two reasons. First, we tend to relate quite comfortably to an image of a motherly, nurturing female. Second, if we think of God only in male terms we reinforce the illusion of men being superior to women.  Some of us even tend to think of a male God as judging us or wanting something from us like a punishing father that we might have experienced growing up.  It is important to recognize that Creation, or Source, are actually words used to express our human ideas and concepts – they represent our attempt to describe that which cannot adequately be described.  I can try to describe the amazingly beautiful sunset I saw last night, but ultimately words will fail me, for there is no way I can give you the full experience of that sunset. When we talk of God, The Voice of Love, True Self, or any other description or name we give to our internal understanding and experience, we unknowingly limit what we are trying to express, but words are still useful in conveying meaning.  I believe that gender specific references to God can limit the true awesome potentiality that is actually limitless.  Learning to be comfortable with male and female references to God moves us quickly to a position where we come to see that ultimately no gender is needed at all to describe God.  Gender references can point to thinking that comes from a belief in separation and is actually fearful.  In the Eastern traditions, this is referred to as 'non duality, no obstruction, no separation.'  If God is not separate from us - then He wants nothing - and She provides everything we want.

I agree with the Course in Miracles that we did not create ourselves and that “ideas do not leave their source”. As you progress in listening to the Voice of Truth within, your fear lessens and you begin to feel peace and a sense of connection.  This connection is constant and Eternal. (It has always been, is, and will always be.)  We get blocked from this realization by our fear, which keeps us from experiencing the natural flow of reality in its connectedness. A Divine plan for our lives can only be revealed to us if we are willing to listen to the sense of Truth that we have within us. This is the true Nature of our True Self.  Pay attention to that small voice of True Self – it is the Voice of Love guiding you.

The next step is actually obeying what the Voice of Truth tells you to do.  You can experience great joy in the connection with your True Self if you follow it as a guide.  I believe that God’s greatest gift to us is free will.  If you use your free will to make wise, loving choices you are aligning with God’s Will.  You experience pain if you listen to the voice of fear and make selfish, inconsiderate, and fearful choices.  It is never too late to listen and follow your True Self; in fact, I believe all of us will listen and follow sooner or later.  You will find that when you listen to your True Self (the Voice of Love) - what unfolds for yourself and others is actually better than what you could have imagined.  At first, this requires great effort, but after the practice has been repeated and becomes a discipline, it becomes effortless.

I do not ask that you believe me, in fact, I encourage you to test it out.  In this way, you will have questioned and verified, and as a result you will Know.  Knowing the Voice of Love, and the power to manifest Love for yourself and others, comes through facing fear and choosing Love.  Once you Know the Truth, you can choose to reject fear and join Love.  This process of Knowing works by experimentation.  After you have applied Love in the face of fear you will then have the real and concrete experience of increasing Love and diminishing fear, and each time you make the choice for Love, the process proves itself again . We are free to follow fear again and experience the results. The way back to Love is always open.

When we start this process we are not used to discernment: distinguishing between the voice of fear and the Voice of Love. There will probably be a great deal of fear that you have not yet faced.  As you face it, the Voice of Love gets clearer and more understandable.  Although the voice of fear is compelling at first, if you listen to the Voice of Love instead, the voice of fear loses its power.

Isolating gradually leads to losing touch with yourself, your True Self.  Sharing with others and getting out of yourself is the key to success in bringing forth the True Self and becoming less afraid.  In a real sense, sharing with others is actually getting in touch with who you really are.  We need support in turning from fear to love.

Two examples of someone waking up to their True Self can be seen in movies that influenced me throughout childhood: A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Alistair Sim, portraying Scrooge “waking up” on Christmas morning, and Jimmy Stewart, portraying George Bailey, also awakening to what was really of value.  Both of these awakenings occurred after each faced their fear of death, a big one for all of us. Their previous problems seemed to disappear after their awakening.  In each case, both men were isolating with their fears: Scrooge over the meaning of Christmas, and George Bailey with the loss of the bank deposit. They both came alive with Love with the help of others. When we listen to the truth we are actually turning from fear.

Truth is the source of your connection with the Creator and with others. When you listen to fear you are actually decreasing your connection with your Higher Power and others.  As life unfolds you encounter many unexpected occurrences.  You sometimes experience events as painful, relating to loss, disaster, or personal tragedy.  Over time, you gradually realize you are not in control of anyone or anything, not even what might happen to you in the future. This is when you are most likely to listen to fear, because you are afraid of being hurt again.  In an effort to protect ourselves from painful experiences, we withdraw from others and isolate. This can manifest by physical isolation, but it can also manifest through some sort of addictive behavior, which is a form of isolation (present in body, but not mind).  If you reject fear and listen to your true Source, Love, you eventually discover that while you cannot control what happens, you can control how you respond.  

We ultimately have only two responses – Love or fear.  You always have a choice; fear or Love.  In life’s difficult moments you must decide: either in fear, by isolating yourself, or with Love, by choosing connectedness and asking for help.  Isolating from others gives you the misperception that you are separated from your Source.  Even worse is the idea that god is angry with you and means to punish you.  We tend to rationalize each disaster that occurs in life as God punishing us for something we have done.  God does continuously offer correction for us, but only through Love, never through fear.  The Voice of Love’s correction is a choice through our free will.  We are punished by our sins, not for them. I believe that God does not see us as sinful, but we sometimes see ourselves that way.  God never punishes us, we punish ourselves – and that occurs because we have a True Self, and we have chosen to do something contrary to what our inner Voice of Love tells us.  We may experience anxiety or even death as a result of that poor choice. The anxiety comes from knowing the right thing to do in Love, but choosing the fearful, selfish action, and as a result we 'punish' ourselves with anxiety.  Punishment is what we do to ourselves and others in a vain attempt to regain control.





Section III Shame


Our belief that we exist apart from God results in shame, or a feeling of being inadequate or incomplete.  Shame needs guilt to keep it propped up in our minds.  Every mistake could easily be corrected if we were to forgive it.  The trouble is, we have a very poor concept of Forgiveness. “Forgive and forget” is the world’s idea, which only increases our sense of alienation from each other.  Allow each error to be enlightened by the Voice of Truth - and we connect to each another.  This is because all error begins with an incomplete idea of our self.  The voice of fear sees us as a body trying to become something of value.  The Course in Miracles sees the body we made as a communication device but not as our identity.  The Voice of Love knows us as Children of God and having inestimable worth.  The physical body is the primary symbol of separation.  The connection with each other through the Loving Mind of God is the experience of the True Self.  This awareness is the end to the illusion of worthlessness.  It’s not about sin, but it is about error. It’s not about being guilty through fear, but instead, becoming responsible through Love.  Guilt blinds us and deafens us to the Voice of Truth.  Love begins with accepting yourself exactly as you are now, and continuing to listen to the Voice of Truth as you grow and accept the Higher Self. 'The world' wants you to remain the same, but this is a losing proposition in the experience of constant change.  The Voice of Truth helps you feel peace amidst the winds of change, somewhat like being in the eye of a hurricane – calm, while the storm is all around you.  All is peaceful, all is well.

If you will protect your peace of mind, then you will experience that calm Oneness.  It transcends the body, relieving the pain and suffering which emanated from shame.  Out of fear, we mistakenly believe that we are unworthy, and that somehow through our past actions and thoughts, we have separated from God, and that we cannot become One with Love now.  We sometimes actually believe that we have hurt our relationship with God - that we have hurt God.  As God is perfect Love, we cannot possibly hurt perfect Love, but we can, and do, sometimes hurt ourselves through guilt and shame.

It’s important to listen to the Voice of Love instead of fear.  Love guides us to a peaceful joyful life, while fear sabotage's every step we take.  We learn this is true through experience.  The Voice of Love will help you face each and every fear you are experiencing.  The accumulation of these encounters is what helps you to grow in Love.  The voice of fear avoids Love at any cost.  This path keeps us immature.  The voice of fear does not require any effort.  It speaks without your conscious decision, while the Voice of Love always requires an effort known as volition.  You must choose it to hear it.

We all need support and encouragement on a regular basis to stay with the Voice of Love.  We aren't used to it, and are unfamiliar with its Presence.  The Voice of Love created us, and is therefore Real.  The other voice, the false voice of fear, develops as fear is encountered and not dealt with - either because of a lack of support, or some other misguided reasoning.  Facing fear is the way we mature, while running from fear causes us to descend into the pit of confusion.  In this pit, what is real seems unreal, and what is unreal seems so real.  We get everything backwards while in the pit. We are more likely to listen to the  Voice of Love as it liberates us from pain and fear, with its caring and guidance when there is adequate support,

You share fear or Love with others based on which voice you have chosen to follow.  In sharing fear, you build illusions, but eventually you experience a sense of disillusionment with these very same illusions.  When you share your Love with others, you are co-creating with God and building the Kingdom of Heaven with your creative Source.  People are either Loving us or needing our Love (showing fear) when they communicate with us.  When someone Loves us we can sense their care, just as when someone is afraid of us we can sense their fear even if it is being denied.





Section IV Forgiveness


When you become disillusioned and willing, you can see the Truth of the matter.  It requires that you release the tiny little explanation that your fear clings to.  When you release your own viewpoint, usually a narrow perspective, you can become open-minded and practice the sacredness of forgiveness.  Now you are able to remember, and don’t need to forget.  You will remember more of the event through the Voice of Love.  It will be more than what your fearful judgments want you to remember.  This can lead you to a point of seeing a bigger, more complete picture, and finally to a new understanding.  As you experience the new understanding, you will discover where your illusions were wrong, about yourself and others, and this will open you up to the rest of the story which is the point of forgiveness.  Forgiveness looks at all the facts, not just the ones that serve a fearful explanation.  You may have said in the past:  “I just knew they wanted to hurt me!”  It’s hard to forgive when you are afraid.  This is why we ask God for help in the process of forgiveness.  In doing so, we are asking for help with our fears.  If we are willing to be corrected then we will feel less fearful.  This requires some willingness to admit that we do not have the whole, correct, perspective on the matter. Forgiveness is our job, not God’s. She will help us with the correction of Love, but we are the ones that have to be willing to let go of our incomplete understanding and judgment.  Asking first for Her correction, the way of Love, is a great way to begin.  This is commonly known as prayer or asking and listening to the Voice of Love.

This is the true value of all pain. I believe it is the only reason we experience emotional and spiritual pain, which sometimes can manifest physically.  It can tell us, if we are willing to unpack the” gift” of pain, that we see the need for Love’s correction.  Most of us have repressed or packed up fears, long ago and stuffed them into the back closet in our mind.  When we turn our heart and mind back to God we allow Love’s correction - the unpacking of the painful gift of fear.  People frequently tell me they do not know how to pray, when in reality they pray regularly and often.  They are actually very prayerful people because they are simply turning to the Voice of Love within for correction and not running in fearful self-righteousness away from God’s correction. So, I might approach you and ask how you know your statement 'they were trying to hurt me!' is true.  After awhile, the Truth of the matter might become clearer, if I was willing to help, by listening to your hurt.  Your correction towards Love can take awhile.  It occurs as a result of a process that includes someone who cares enough to help but not fix.  I have become the helper, but not the fixer.

Fixing happens when we mistakenly try to “solve” someone else’s problem by doing something for them, even if they haven’t asked us for our fix.  Fixing is dysfunctional.  This implies we see the other person as unwilling or unable to help themselves, and frequently demonstrates our own impatience or frustration.  We incorrectly think people need to be fixed.  We think it is easier to just fix the thing for somebody who is struggling, but we unknowingly send a message that we think the other person is not capable.  Actually, we are all capable, we just need help to see that we can do it, If we think someone else needs to be fixed, it is really us that needs help.  When we have the help, the tension, our driving need to fix or the belief that I can't succeed is relieved.  

Help comes by listening, understanding, and setting boundaries, which provide the opportunity we need to reflect on what is actually going on - seeing the Truth in any given situation.





Section V. The Truth


God is the Truth. Since we are part of God, we also have the Truth, but we experience trouble recalling it. When we rely on our five senses we perceive. That is, we take in stimulus from our senses and we interpret the stimulus, arriving at a perception which becomes our understanding. We often become confused with too much data to process at once, or we listen to fear and become distracted from Truth and interpret the data erroneously. The bottom line is that we need to share our thoughts with one another to check for the accuracy of our interpretation of the Truth. The more open to correction we become, the closer we are to remembering the Truth. If we remember the Truth about ourselves, we then become open to Forgiveness; seeing the Truth about another.

Section VI. The Holy Spirit -The True Self

The voice for God is the Holy Spirit. Holy is also Wholly, that is, inclusive of all creation. Spirit speaks within each of us. Spirit corrects our misperceptions of Reality. It knows the Truth and our fear of the Truth. It never imposes itself upon us, but is always ready to respond when we invite it to guide us. Our True Self is one with the Holy Spirit. They are One voice. There is only one True Self, our real identity. It is different from our personality. Personalities are learned identities. They are based on biology and learned experiences.

The True Self loves everyone it meets. Everyone loves it. Awareness of this True Self is the goal of spiritual growth. You might be thinking:

“I do not Love everyone I meet and I know they do not all Love me.”

This thought is actually very loving. It’s honest and sincere. Love depends on the willingness to look at the truth of the matter. There is openness and maybe even a little courage involved.

Our disbelief about the Reality of Loving everyone and being Loved by everyone exposes our false self. It's not the false self that Loves or accepts Love, it is the True Self. The True Self knows this is true while the false self rejects it. Rejecting Love doesn't mean not receiving it. Love is always received, just not always accepted. When Love is accepted, it is because you have seen the ego's attempt at refusal through fear and chosen not to believe in it and have chosen in love instead. The results are peace and joy. We get seduced back into the false self constantly where we again experience suffering, until we are once again ready to make the effort to listen to the higher self: the True Self. So our original observation about others –

“…and I know they do not all Love me.” - is actually a revelation about ourselves.

There is much fear in our opposition to the idea of everyone Loving everyone. This fear is often largely unconscious. This is because it’s rationale for not loving is based in illusion which cannot withstand an honest and open mind. Fear always seeks protection. Keeping your thoughts unconscious can seem like protection. Fear’s hiding place comes to an abrupt end when something in the conscious world connects to what is hidden in our unconscious. That is why symbols and rituals are so helpful. Places in our memory can be symbolic. For me, the mountains are peaceful. My boyhood experience hiking in the Catskill mountains left a great impression on me. My memory of the the family walking down the trail to the dam never fails to bring me to a peaceful place in my mind. The dam was made when a railroad crossing over a stream was destroyed and the fallen slabs of concrete caused a large pool of water to be damed in the stream. This made a great place for swimming and bathing. My ritual is returning to those mountains whenever I can. Since I can’t afford to go every year, even bringing back into memory the clear, strong sense of the experience is a form of ritual, helping me to feel peace. You might feel great peace on a secluded powdery beach, waves lapping rhythmically at the shore, with seagulls calling softly, or perhaps being in the mountains, but it is helpful to recall a place that triggers a memory of peace.

The True Self succeeds even when fear is trying to ‘protect’ us from Loving and being Loved. This 'protection' takes many different forms. Sometimes people stop you abruptly when you are helping them. They change the subject, leave the room, or quit communicating.

For example, If I say “I Love you.”,

and you respond by saying “You’re crazy, you can’t Love me, no one Loves me!”,

my True Self has still succeeded in communicating to your True Self. You might hear your ensuing defense, the voice of fear, but the act has still been accomplished nevertheless and your True Self has received the love in spite of your false selfs refusal the accept it.

We get very defensive when speaking about Love. This is because we have all been hurt. That is, we allowed our fear to enter a relationship and misunderstood or judged someone. As a result of our fearful misunderstanding, we ended up feeling hurt ourselves. This has all come from the false self. Pain never comes as result of communicating through the True Self. It is a truism that those who are most defensive are those who hurt the most. People need to discuss whether or not it is a good idea to Love because their belief in Love has been shaken. This will lead to the exposure of the false self and hopefully open up the voice of the True Self. This might take time because there is so much fear that needs to be cleared away.

The important issue is whether or not we are willing to listen to the inner voice of the True Self. Ultimately, there is only One Universal True Self, so there is automatically perfect agreement among us when we listen to our True Selves. If we are still in disagreement, then we know there is more work to be done in dialogue. If we are patient and steadfast, we come closer and closer to the Truth. What we both thought was true yesterday has now changed and evolved over the course of our dialogue today. One Pope and his circle of friends once thought Galileo was wrong. After more dialogue, today’s Pope thinks differently. There were many before him that were open to the Truth but dialogue with the Catholic Church went about slowly because of fear. The True Self stands on its own after all the fear is exposed. In Eternity there is only Truth. Fear does not exist in Reality. Fear dies along with the body when we pass to the next level or when we experience serenity in the here and the now. It is in the present moment that we enter the great reality of eternity. It can also be stated that we enter the great ruth of the eternal reality. Fear is completely absent in this state.

The idea of One True Self may also be difficult because we live in a world that seems to demonstrate plurality: billions of people, millions of species, an endless variety of ideas. So when we think of unity, it’s hard to believe the seeming plurality is only One. It cannot be comprehended on a physical level but you may have experienced it in an intuitive way. Maybe you have felt “at One” with the sea when on a long sailing adventure or “at One” with the team during an intense basketball competition. Maybe you felt this way when you succeeded in loving someone and felt love in return.

Love is the spiritual experience of unity. When we try to hold hans in a circle of friends we see many but we experience a unity during our Loving prayer. When we experience love in any circumstance we feel its unification; we are no longer separated and alone. We feel, think, and are one.

Try living as if everyone you meet is a part of you. The people you like are the parts of yourself that you enjoy while the people you dislike are the parts of yourself that you have trouble accepting. Try living with the belief: We are One. I believe you will be happier and your life will make more sense when you are willing to allow this idea. Our belief system of separation fosters despair. We are reluctant to try anything new. We want proof an idea is true first before changing our belief. Even then, it remains difficult out of habit. Spiritual learning only comes from experience. Proof comes from the new experience that follows living on faith. Try believing without knowing first. Evaluate the belief by the results that you have experienced after your experience. If you are having a more peace and joy then it might make sense to continue with the belief. It is not important to figure it out but continue to believe if it’s working for you. This is why beliefs cannot be explained. They can be shared. Trust provides us with a unifying experience. It allows us to imagine what the True Self really is. I call this Unity, or the True Self, because it speaks the truth.

The Unity of Creation = The True Self.

The True Self is a perfect creation of God, the source of Truth. Each of us is like a single carat in a diamond so large it extends everywhere, and it’s total carat weight cannot even be calculated. And while our distinctively individual carat is beautiful and brilliant, the entire diamond can only be fully appreciated as a whole. We tend to perceive only the aspects of our portion of the diamond, frequently forgetting that we are but a part of a larger diamond, while God realizes the whole diamond at once.
God would be incomplete without God’s creations. God needs us to be complete. Each of us is an extension of God. Can the beach be complete without every grain of sand? Trees are only complete and functional with their leaves. Can you sail without the wind, the current, or a promoting force?

God holds in Her Mind the complete picture of our being, just as we can see the whole beach, a summer tree in full bloom, or the sailboat racing on the sea. Just as our identity is seen by the Creator and is at One with the Creator, so too is our origin. We did not create ourselves. When we think of the Truth we get in touch with God’s Mind. She holds our identity in Her Mind. When I can admit the Truth, I am connected to this same identity. Sometimes it takes courage because I might have some form of fear to overcome. It is our True Self who comes into our awareness with this honesty. We hear our Voice of Love when we seek the Truth. Unfortunately, most of us are strongly attached to our fears. Much of the time we operate from our fears. Spiritual growth is the process of exposing our fears. It takes our whole life to give up what we thought was our separated self. Our human sense of identity or personality is our style of being. If we were never taught fear there would be no false personality, only uniqueness, our aspect of the True Self. Few of us were raised in this belief. For most of us, fear has conditioned our sense of self from the moment we were born until we reached maturity. This fearful conditioning and its resultant thought system are what I call the false self. Our sense of being separate from one another is the primary belief of the false self. Another way of saying this is:
Separation comes from being afraid of the truth.

The false self relies on its perception of the body as “proof” that we are separated. Our limited or false perception of the body comes from our fear of God. We may be experiencing shame and guilt and create a false idea of what we are. The ideas that we create out of fear are illusions, while the thoughts that are created from Love are the true Reality. We may be afraid to see Reality and prefer what we have made with our illusions: money and power are two big examples. Our illusions of separation produce even greater fears. We may even start to think that we are affecting our Unity with God. This arrogance begets our fear of punishment. This is when we imagine a punishing god. It is really arrogant to think that it is possible to change what He Created. From this arrogance comes our belief in sin. Forgiveness makes clear that our false idea of sin (that we can change what god created thus making god angry) is not really possible. We can hold all kinds of false beliefs but that does not make them true, in fact, Truth does not require that I see it or believe it, but it is still Truth. If we stop to evaluate our results, we would see that false beliefs do not work for us. There is no doubt that we are constantly in error, needing the correction that God provides through the True Self. Every error will be corrected with Love sooner or later for each of us. To the degree we allow the correction is the exact same degree we will suffer less.

Happiness is something everyone wants but often it is substituted with the illusion of gratification. An illusion seems real. This is especially true when we start with a Truth and end with an illusion. Happiness produces lasting joy based in Truth and Peace, while gratification can only give short-term pleasure without meaning. Happiness being accomplished by pleasure is an illusion. We may be satisfied by pleasure, but it is not fulfilling without meaning or truth. What would you like more: empty pleasure or fulfilling joy? We become willing to replace joy with pleasure when we understand which is better. Pleasure is actually incomplete while joy is fulfillment. Joy brings pleasure to reality with meaning.

Let’s use the following story of a college student as an example:

Jake, a freshman, arrives on campus, ultimately looking for his happiness. He has not yet learned how to be happy. One night he sits down at his desk and begins to study when he hears his buddies joking and hollering in the hallway. He gets up from his desk and goes down the hall to speak with his friends, and they convince him to come play basketball. He reasons he can hang out with them first, and still do his homework later.

Although he planned to do both, he returns to his dorm too tired to study and goes to bed with a guilty false self because its plan did not work. Left unattended, the guilt from that night does not help Jake. Soon he tries to avoid the anxiety it creates by covering it up with more gratification through overeating, casual sex, compulsive computer gaming, etc.. He finds himself doing even less work for his classes. Over the next few weeks Jake is consumed with pleasure seeking to mask and avoid his guilt. He does not correct his mistake and begins to fall seriously behind in his work. When his grades fall the guilt increases and he projects it onto the school and his teachers – it’s their fault, not his, he rationalizes. He goes to the bar with his friends and starts abusing alcohol. His sense of what is going wrong is further clouded and finally lost by his drinking. Jake stops attending morning classes altogether. His friends become concerned and try to talk with him. He reassures them that he will get back to morning classes and put in more effort into school. He tries halfheartedly, but now it’s much harder because he is even further behind in his studies. He finally gives up, stays in bed all day, stops eating, sees none of his friends, and finds himself getting physically sick. Desperate and fearful, he takes a semester off, deciding to go on vacation at the Grand Canyon. Arriving, he decides to hike down to the bottom to see the Colorado River. He buys the supplies he needs, notifies the Park officials of his hiking plan, and sets off. When he finishes the long, winding trip down to the base of the canyon he turns around and looks at the imposing and seemingly overwhelming rocky trail back up. Dejectedly, he wonders why he went all the way down this trail only to have to face the long, arduous journey back up. This was not the experience he was hoping for. Knowing there is no way out but back up, he begins the rugged trip to the top. When he finally arrives at the top of the canyon he suddenly feels an unexpected, remarkable reward for his efforts. Looking at the Grand Canyon from the rim before the journey was satisfying, but actually going down and climbing up the path along its walls brought him a sense of knowing the canyon. It was his commitment to do the actual hard work of the hike that finally put him directly in touch with the joy of nature. At that moment, life changed for Jake. His True Self continued to function even when his ego failed him.

The next semester, Jake was back at school. He now had an awareness of what didn’t work – his avoidance and pleasure-seeking behaviors, which only made his situation worse. He invested the hard work and effort to develop the positive trait of self-discipline towards assignments. He even joined a study club, recognizing it was helpful to work with others who had the same goals. It was there that he met Julie. She was able to share a similar experience with him, something Jake had just discovered for himself: life is more fun and peaceful if you follow the Truth and make an effort rather than trying to find the easier, softer way. Julie, too, knew the hard-won discipline of self-Love. Self-Love involves the commitment to do what is right for yourself in the long run, versus the sacrifice of the Truth for instant self-gratification with short sightedness.

When you are afraid, you look everywhere except to Love or the Truth. You keep looking elsewhere because you believe in the illusions you have made. If you choose to ignore the True Self you depart from happiness and peace. There is no better way to know you have left the Truth than by the amount of anxiety you feel. In this sense, your anxiety is actually a gift. It’s not comfortable. You really cannot cut yourself off from God but it seems you have when you ignore the Truth. The sooner you look at yourself the better. It's easy to become terrified. In your panic, you rush off into irrational thinking. You make the mistake of listening to what the voice of fear tells you to do to avoid your anxiety. The True Self wants you to face your panic. You often cannot make up your mind so you waffle between Truth and fear.

You may cry out for God to fix it. You want Her to make it all better just as your mom did when you were a child. God wants you to correct your error and choose Her voice, the Voice of Love. Until you do so you will not hear Her. Love requires your choice for it. Love cannot impose itself on you. This is why people sometimes report that god is not answering their prayers. Fear tries to impose itself, and will succeed if you let it by doing nothing to become mindful. Fear often masquerades as something pleasurable, something you find appealing at the moment. The temporary pleasure beckons you to escape and you follow it into the valley of fear. Maybe it’s money, drugs, a belief system, or some other illusion which appears to fix your problem, but your fear is still waiting to be addressed. You may feel you are trapped in an impossibly difficult canyon. The descent down was easy but the climb up looks frightening. You might feel uneasy. You think about turning back. The journey back up is much harder because you have your fear to overcome. It is steep and resistant. You do not want to put in the effort. It’s now easier to continue down the road that your fix has given you. The farther you go the more convinced you become that it’s the wrong way. Finally you accept that it’s your fear that has to be overcome in order for you to make any progress. Sometimes you get all the way to the bottom of the canyon, exhausted, before you cry out for help. It might be those who have loved you and have passed away who respond first to your cry. They will encourage you to listen to the Truth again. The sun is going down now and you wonder if all is lost. It’s then that you hear the gentle voice of your Mother God telling you to take your rest. When you obey Truth you sleep through the night. If you blame Her for all the pain you have experienced (fear), you will suffer from insomnia.

When your rest is finished, you see your situation in the new light of the rising sun. Now, imagine you can see the river and a little boat coming out of the light toward you. God will not be abandoned. Sometimes you try real hard to leave Him, but He refuses to leave you. God’s great wind propels you across the endless river to the other shore of your unconscious being. When you arrive at the other solution (Love), you can walk ashore and begin the faith climb back up the canyon. At first, the incline is winding and gentle. The farther up you go the steeper it becomes, but you do not care. It actually feels good to put forth the effort because you know it’s right for you at this moment. You know you have listened to the Truth. Your strength to climb actually increases after each faithful step. The confusion is gone. You realize you are back on track, working in Truth again. You may feel a great sense of gratitude, and think something like 'Thank God, I have reconnected with Life!' When I have returned to the Truth after facing my fear, I actually take a moment for a prayer, for example “Thank You - Spirits of Encouragement, Thanks Mother/Father God. In gratitude I continue my work and encourage others to do so also. Amen”. When you experience thinking that is other than the Truth, you have made an illusion. Confusion comes from these illusions –sometimes called the “grip of fear”. We all have been conditioned to follow fear. We believe we have to, because in the midst of this fear, we think it is the only way. Fearful thinking does not require effort or much volition. We start thinking it is the easier, softer way. Actually it’s much harder and exhausting. Caught in the “grip of fear” we do not realize there is a better way. In the end, everyone will listen to the voice for Truth because that’s all there is. Fear is really only an illusion we have imagined. The question is; do you want peace and joy now or would you prefer to wait a while longer?

Last week I was at a community breakfast meeting and the gentleman sitting in front of me was constantly tapping his hand on the table. He did not seem to be able to relax. He was obviously impatient, but he was not saying anything. Maybe he was worried it would rain before he had a chance to cut the lawn. Maybe he did not agree with what he was hearing, yet he lacked the courage to speak. His unconscious behavior told me he was fearful of something, either something happening now, or something in the future. I knew this because fear is always looking to ‘do something,’ even if it is unconsciously tapping the table to avoid ‘being in the Truth.’ The man at breakfast had lost his identity, his Truth in the moment, and was neither happy, nor at peace, because he was paying attention to some fear (illusion) he had. Perhaps he believed that his neighbors would consider him lazy or irresponsible if he didn’t get the lawn cut that afternoon Or perhaps he believed that because the speaker’s opinion was different than his, he would be ridiculed for speaking up about his own ideas.



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Section VII The False Self

When you listen to fear while trying to follow the Truth you become confused. Fear produces an opposite view to Truth. The fearful part of your mind is the false self. The false self gives you a false view. Sometimes a little bit of Truth is twisted by your fear into something that just isn’t true. An example of this is when you feel separated from God. It only seems like you are, but you cannot be separated from your Source. When we are under the illusion of separation, we are capable of attacking others for their errors. All attack actually comes from fear. We hold ideas of aggression towards others because we are really in a battle with ourselves. Because we do not see this Truth, we project our inward battle outwardly, and we develop an idea of an “enemy”. We grew up with the notion of good guys vs. bad guys – democracy vs. communism, freedom vs. slavery, or simply good vs. evil. We can easily identify those whom we would consider “bad guys” – like Hitler or Jeffrey Dahmer. While it may seem hard to understand, I believe there are only good guys, including Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer. What I mean is that given the right stimulus and upbringing, I believe that we all are capable of the atrocities these men committed, but we are unwilling to recognize it because it makes us far too uncomfortable.

It is much easier to believe that I am nothing like Hitler, and would never do the things he did, because I need to protect my illusion of separation. If I acknowledge that I am still dealing with fears, and can easily get lost in them, then I must also acknowledge that I am similar to Hitler and his fears. I may not know about his experience of the truth buy I can no longer judge him as worse than me. I only know my own experience of illusions and what it takes for me to awaken. I can try to understand them as I have tried to understand myself. If I ask for help I may understand myself and that is the case that is my responsibility. This understanding and the dropping of judgment will lead me to the same type of understanding with others. Since it is impossible for us to change what God created – which is All Good – we must acknowledge that this permeates our collective Oneness. Christianity calls this Oneness of all people “the One Son of God”. I believe all of us are included with Jesus as the One Son of God – this is not gender specific. Finding that One Son in ourselves allows us to find it in anyone, even our so-called enemies.
When you lose your identity with the truth you feel separated from God and from others. This is your illusion of the false self. Your false self has no real existence. It’s an illusion that only occurs in this experience of life, that is, one of time and space. Time and space are linear. Time has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Space implies distance, from near to far. Time and space do not exist at all in eternity. Everything is right here, right now, in the eternal moment. You are really in eternity now but do not realize it because your false self cannot accept it. You are actually afraid of reality which is eternal. You prefer your perception of reality, which is illusion's view based on separation. We are more comfortable seeing things as separate, and this can be seen by our word choices. Phrases that compartmentalize like “my family life” versus “my spiritual life”, show how we divide up our life into little segments and spaces, rather than acknowledging the whole as a constant, ever present reality. It’s all one life, and it’s always happening right now, right here.

The more you Love, the more understanding will come to you and the less afraid you will be. Please be patient for this understanding. It takes effort to turn from your illusionary view and be willing to discover something different. That Truth is the understanding that in reality, the eternal now, everyone loves.

Your journey can be understood as traveling through fears. You may think you are making progress towards Truth, but if you remain in your fears, letting fear control what you do, then there is more work to be done. You might be tempted to give up(a negative and unhealthy response), or you might consider changing your mind and taking guidance from a different source. Think of the example from the previous story - when you were going down the canyon in fear, you experienced the illusion. You felt lonely, upset, and frustrated, all indicators of fear. All of these blessed emotions can help you to wake up out of your illusion. I call them blessed because without them you would never awake. You wake up by facing your emotions, not by medicating them with drugs, food, or some other behavior to distract you. It’s not about a descent into the canyons of hell, or the climb up to spiritual redemption, it’s waking up to the fact that no matter what you feel like, or where you may perceive yourself to be on your journey through life, you are a Perfect Creation of God now and forever. Your own journey emotionally down and then up is the awakening to your True identity, the realization that you are a Perfect Creation. You relate to the false self because you made it and are consciously aware of it. Your True Self waits for you to become conscious. The Truth awakens you. In order to awaken, you must change some of your beliefs. When you were going down the canyon, did you believe that God would not help you? Did you think you didn't need any help or that it was too late? Did you imagine you were being punished by God or that He decided you needed a little pain to get you going in the right direction? These are all indicators of living in fear. Love provides another path. Self-Love is the beginning. When you Love yourself you realize:

God never punishes, only helps - even when you do not understand how.

It’s hard to turn from fear to the Truth, because under your illusion of fear, you believe you are alone, afraid and in the dark. Support and encouragement from others will help you. It often takes other people to help remove the illusion of being cut off from God. When we connect with others, we once again understand that the Voice of Love was there all along, just waiting for our decision to listen. It’s never too late, but it’s better to let go of your fears as quickly as possible and enjoy life more now!



Section VIII. Love Sends You In The Right Direction

Fear sometimes seems to be the only choice. This is when you feel overwhelmed. You may feel terrified as your experience of fear and emotional pain increases, still not able to see the truth of the matter. You may believe you are all alone. Loneliness is actually a blessing in disguise because it tells you that you are clearly mistaken. No matter where you are or what you have done, you cannot change the Unity of Creation. You may feel alone but that doesn't make it true. Pain tells you that you made the mistake of choosing fear. You can awaken, if you are willing to think again. You always have the opportunity to accept another experience (your true identity) and leave behind what you thought (the illusion). At moments like this, you may think you do not know what to do. Ask others for help. We need each other for salvation. Listen to those who will encourage you, or pray for the help you need. You may need encouragement to listen to your True Self or even believe there is such a thing. I remember as a young teenager traveling on the subway from Long Island to Manhattan. I learned from my father a code of behavior riding the subway. He taught me not to look at, or talk to, anyone. That code was always present in my mind when I would go to the city. Sadly, I always felt lonely on those trips because I believed I was alone. Ironically, when I got to the busiest stop,42nd Street and Broadway, I felt the loneliest, even though I was among hundreds of people. Of course, the entire time I was never alone. It was only because I was listening to my false self that I felt so lonely. Whenever we feel this experience of loneliness, if we are willing to question our unpleasant feelings, they can become a gift. Our True Self can open this gift, by remembering the truth of the matter:

Our True Self is always connected to all of Creation.

My false self tries to tell me I am either less or more important than others. In the end, it doesn’t matter which way I see it, because both experiences are ones of separation rather than unity. For example, I grew up with infantile paralysis, which affected my right leg. My leg atrophied, and shrunk to a size that I interpreted as inferior compared to other kid’s legs. I felt lonely and separate from others. Since this took place in early childhood I grew up feeling inferior, and even shameful, in relation to my playmates. Shame was the feeling that brought up the issue of my identity. Feeling “not good enough” was my experience of shame. Limping in my big brace, I experienced so much shame that my mind was constantly forced to confront my self-identity. Eventually I had a kind of reverse reaction to my shame at about age 12. I couldn’t stand feeling shameful any longer, and I was tired of feeling inferior, so I decided to try feeling superior. I used my religion as a rationale. I convinced myself that my religion was superior to all other religions, and somehow that made me better than other people. But my pompous religiosity failed to relieve me of my mental anguish. I came to discover that both sets of beliefs, inferiority and superiority, are really the same thing: a mistake in judgment and a resulting feeling of separation.

In my inability to find happiness through the Catholic religion I finally looked for a lasting solution to the way I saw my body – a true solution from my Spirit, not just one from my fear. Our human identity is based on our physical experience of our body. When we consider the alternative to the physical we can allow the Holy Spirit to instruct us. I am most grateful for my experience with the polio virus because it gave me a great opportunity to see my false self early in life. I had attempted to find release from my shame by trying both the inferior and superior avenues of self-judgment using my mind. True self-acceptance from my Spirit became the real answer, and finally, relief followed. I began the process of finding out the spiritual truth about myself. That spiritual Truth became clear to me over time:

We are all Perfect Creations of God.

I can bring this understanding back to my church, and so can you. Looking for an answer outside of yourself will only keep you unhappy, even though you may strive to feel better. There were times on 42nd Street when I felt inferior, and times I believed I was superior. The Truth was then, is now, and always will be, that we are really all equal in the spiritual world - connected as One Being with our Source. Understanding this idea took me some time and a little bit of willingness. In my personal struggle, I had become suicidal by age thirteen, and it was in those depths of despair that Mother God showed me my Truth. She took the atrophy in my leg and turned it into a golden path to Her. I kept looking at my smaller leg and foot and asking myself “Why?”. I heard the True Self tell me to consider what I was looking at. I knew God was not punishing me. I was simply confusing my body with my identity. The Voice of Truth kept encouraging me:

Consider again… - You are not just a body!

The body is just a communication device, and that’s all! My false self took its meaning from my body. I saw my body as proof of separation. I wanted to die because I felt so different and alone until I realized the spiritual Truth: not a body but a thought in the mind of God. The Course in Miracles makes this distinction very clear. That turning point in my mind, from the illusion of separateness to the Truth of unity with God brought about my healing. It took a long time because I often drifted away from the Truth. Discipline is hard to acquire. It requires some effort to be willing to allow that distinction. I am confidant of the peace and joy that will be experienced.

At home, most of my family thought they were expressing love to me by showing pity, but not my father. He tried particularly hard to not feel sorry for me and my little handicap. He allowed me to risk new behaviors which built confidence in my physical abilities. He treated me as an equal as much as he possibly could. I recall helping my dad in the garage when I was only seven. I learned the different types of wrenches as I passed them to him while he tinkered with the car engine. By the time I was thirteen he had me take the lead with important jobs. I remember how proud I was that the roles had now reversed, and he handed me the different wrenches as I changed the starter on the family car. His great encouragement helped me feel that he knew my pain. I realized later in life that the reason he could identify my fear was because he recognized his own. I desperately needed to know I was not just a body, and yet my dad was secretly afraid that maybe that’s all he was as well. I could feel his pain too, and I wanted to fix him. I did not know how to help him or myself. I often tried to change his mind but my own confusion was blocking the way. In those days, we didn’t know that it was okay to talk about such things, so instead he sang Italian operas to me as we worked together. Expressing fearful concepts is important in order to be able to change them, otherwise we just repress them and consequently live in fear. I found prayer to be extremely helpful in confronting my fear. The more I prayed, the clearer it became to me that my body was only a vehicle and not my spiritual identity.

My experience of having a body different than others took me where I needed to go in order to face my fears; first physically, then emotionally, and finally spiritually. Once I faced all of them I could see the truth of the matter. I learned that is what forgiveness really is - seeing the Truth.

My false self relates on an empirical level, in the area of my perception. That is, my body with its five senses are what my false self uses to justify its existence. I have my own unique interpretation of what I see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. My false self sneaks in right after my sensory experience to convince me of its view. I often don’t see my fear and I end up with a false, or missed, perception. Frequently, I find when I am in conflict with someone I judge them. My false self does this all the time and becomes closed-minded. If I remain arrogant with my feelings of superiority, I am unable to share with others or to consider their perceptions. If I am feeling inferior, it is because I am afraid that I might be wrong. When I think I am wrong and believe I have no value, then I am also in error. Either way, my false self controls me, causing separation and shutting down any dialogue. My True Self, however, is always open for discussion. It reminds me that I am continuously apprehending knowledge. Physical sciences base their understanding on measurable sensory input –“hard facts” so to speak. Philosophy and Theology are constructs of thought and emotion, rather than physical data, and it is in this softer, less tangible domain that most religious concepts are understood. Both areas of investigation have validity, yet sometimes each questions the methodology of the other. It has been said that science and religion are simply two different languages saying the same thing.

This is why there has been such a battle between the two over the centuries. If both sides stopped judging each other, they would see how science can become the foundation upon which religion rests. Science and religion both seek the truth. The eminent physicist Stephen Hawking wrote a beautiful book called A Brief History of Time. After reading it, I was left with the profound impression that science is the study of what we do not know, using a set of tools, the nature of which, we do not fully comprehend. This is strikingly similar to our religious pursuit of all things spiritual. We do not know the truth consciously(mind) so we try to perceive it(body). If we are willing to listen to our True Self (Spirit) then we will continually have our misperceptions corrected until we come ever closer to the truth. Ultimately, we grasp the hand of God reaching out to us, and He delivers us into Reality, free of error. If you meditate on these ideas for a moment, you will understand the spiritual Truth at work, no matter which language you speak.

I vary the use of He with She because you can relate better to God if you’re willing to examine and use both your masculine and feminine aspects. Your masculine traits include your aggressive nature, the social quality of extending outwards, and your feminine traits include being open, nurturing, and receptive. God demonstrates all of these qualities, and as you are created in Her image, you possess all of these qualities as well. All traits are necessary and available to you in order to better rejoin Reality. Her Reality is based on Truth instead of misperceptions. You may perceive the Truth only momentarily, but God is constantly in the Truth, because God is Truth. Since we frequently forget the Truth, we must follow our inner Spirit back to it. We regularly become distracted by our misperceptions. We usually think we know all about a situation and do not listen to our True Self. It’s this close- minded attitude that is our biggest mistake. This is why it often takes us so long to reach for God’s hand. Are we willing to be open to what is beyond what we think we know?

Your false self cannot avoid all of the Truth. It tries to avoid the Truth of the matter to protect you from what it fears. All of its fears are based on your past experiences and not the matter at hand. Life is a continuous letting go of what you think is going to happen (a thought based on your past) in favor of what you see more clearly. Some of the Truth is so apparent you cannot deny it. The trouble begins when we think we know the whole story and are not willing to be shown the rest.
How did all this happen? There is and always was only one Reality, God, who Created in peace and joy. You are an inseparable part of that Reality. Because Love is involved, God asked us to accept Creation. God is still waiting on our answer. Many of us have taken a long time to consider God’s question. We wondered what else there could be and found the answer to be pain and suffering. We want to accept God’s Creation but fear keeps getting in the way.

Some of us are paying more attention to this request than others. There is a remarkable film made in 1996 called Phenomenon starring John Travolta as a blue-collar worker in a small town. The film depicts quite well the difficulty we have in accepting Truth. John’s character, George Malley, experiences a radical change and exhibits an amazing amount of insight into the needs of others. He develops Extra Sensory Perception, or ESP, including telekinesis – the ability to move objects with his mind. He also grows continuously in his awareness of the Unity of Creation. When he tries to explain his insight at the local fairgrounds, many people are only interested in his telekinetic powers, but one little girl is interested in what he is really trying to say about the Phenomenon. She senses something new and different is going on, and she asks him to explain what is happening to her. By way of explanation, he points to the vast colony of tall and beautiful Aspen trees which surround the fairgrounds and extend far off into the mountains all around. He describes that while they look separate from each other, they actually are interconnected by their roots and are really part of one giant colony. His analogy suggests that although we seem to be separate we are really connected because that is how God created us. Just as the marvelous Aspens extend down the mountain appearing as many, but really one, so too do we extend from God's creative mind seemingly many, but actually all One.

We also notice that the crowd at large is interested in something else, wanting only a magic show, unable to see a greater Truth unfolding. An important point in the movie is that it does not matter whether one has the deeper interest like that of the little girl, or if one is attracted to the more external curiosities. This is the difficulty John Travolta’s character George had to face. It’s not about who’s right or who’s wrong throughout the film. Every stage of unfoldment is relevant. It is much more important that they started a dialogue, which allowed them to overcome their fear of each other, as well as their fear of the Source. The poignant message in the film is that we must do the same. This is the only way we will truly accept each other. We must listen and be brave enough to share. The more energy we put into our dialogue, the greater our mutual understanding. Understanding the truth of the matter is our forgiveness for one another. Then and only then will our minds heal so we can be free to Love.
God, which is Eternity, is Truth. God experiences no pain when you delay in accepting the Truth; but you experience what you consider pain. How much “time” you use to decide if you are in complete agreement with God’s Truth is up to you. Since Her Creation is Truth, as long as you seek something outside of Truth, you experience the sensation of “time”. If you want nothing else than Her Creation, you enter into Truth, eternity, the present moment. Our use of “time” can be understood as the false reality that we have made to replace the Reality God has Created. Some religions call God’s Reality Heaven - which is Eternal.
The “time” you are experiencing, of clocks and calendars, keeps you from experiencing Heaven. You can shorten your time away from Heaven by choosing to Love. You can also learn about the false reality you make which seems to separate you from God, by examining the choices you make in fear. Every moment of your life can bring you closer to Eternal peace and joy. This finally becomes the Eternal moment. During this process you only go forward, or closer, to God and Eternity. While it may seem like you are going backward, or further from God, this is only fear getting in the way. Fear causes you to delay in seeing Reality and blocks you from living in Heaven Eternal.

Fear changes our perception of the world. My dad worked for over twenty years in the Maintenance Department of the NYC Transit Authority. Some evenings he would come home very upset, complaining about the homeless who live in the subway system. Often, people who live in this underworld try desperately to reestablish their autonomy using a delusion provided by their false selves. Some subway dwellers convince themselves that they rule the underground as their kingdom. They mock and curse the Transit Authority workers because they represent reality, which clashes with their illusion of a private underground kingdom. They resent subway employees for having the good fortune of a job, while frequently being denied work themselves in the above ground world, mostly due to a lack of education or the color of their skin. His supervisor told him to ignore any rude comments, but it wasn’t like my father to ignore anything. My father found himself caught between serving the City of New York and dealing with these underground dwellers, who, though less fortunate, were still citizens. I guess he was afraid of losing his job and not having another way to support his twelve children, so he kept his mouth shut at work and brought his resentments home. I could hear hatred coming from the voice of a man that tried to love everyone. In his anger he would let racial slurs fly. This was painful for me, particularly when he used the word ‘nigger.’ My dad’s prejudice changed how I saw him.

Later, in college, my best friend happened to be African American, and he shared his own painful experience of racial prejudice with me. When I confided with him about my father’s pain and frustration, my friend Bob understood. I recognized the bitter anger in Bob’s voice when he vented about “those who ruined things for all of us”. It was the exact same tone my father had used, and I finally understood and no longer judged him. I also understood my friend’s pain better. Even now, it helps me to write about it. I still carry pain in my heart because prejudice continues today as we judge one another for a variety of irrational reasons. I share openly with my children the damage done by prejudice. By discussing the pain it created in my father, and then in me, my children now contribute to my healing, and suffer less of their own pain. My dad never talked to me about his pain, or I to him about mine, and I quietly carried it in my heart as I grew up. He, unfortunately, carried it in his gut, where it eventually grew into a huge tumor and ultimately killed him. While my father has passed on, he inspires my children and myself; as do all the others who have left this life. I believe all spirits provide us guidance on our pathway to Knowledge, or Truth.

Some of truth is so apparent we cannot deny it. The trouble begins when we think we know the whole story and are not willing to be corrected. Take for example the perfect world God created. God’s creations are perfect but fear has taught us to see so much that seems imperfect. We hide His perfection from our full awareness with our fear. What we see with the eyes of fear is very different from what love would behold. God’s creation is Reality while the makings of our fear seem real to us. I call this reality with a small r because it is a reality that limits us. Language sometimes confuses terms. We must become more aware of what we think. Are we thinking with fear or love? Taking care of your thinking is the same as taking care of yourself. It will determine your mental, emotional and physical health. Fear has lead us down a path where we think the passing from the body is the end of our existence rather than the fulfillment of our spirit. We choose to believe in death even though God created us in Her likeness: eternal beings, perfect in every way. The longer we live the greater this awareness becomes. Eventually we will see that we are not a body with a certain lifetime. We will come to understand that we are spiritual beings using our bodies for an important purpose: to communicate through fear to love. We are afraid to accept our spiritual identity because of guilt and self-judgment. When we are open to the correction of our perceptions we will stop being so hard on ourselves and progress with the Holy Spirit’s help, to love ourselves. We hear the voice for God in our True Self. God guarantees that we will lose nothing and gain everything there is in Reality. Our belief in death is what makes us so afraid of God. We think He is going to find us guilty of rejecting Him. We can never reject God but we can be afraid. It’s arrogant to think we can get past God. He loves us too greatly. When we are afraid we do not think very well and therefore do not receive messages very well. Understanding comes with love not fear. Why do we keep choosing fear?

When Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid came out in 1969 we witnessed an attempt to get us to look at our love of the good and bad guy syndrome. The Paul Newman and Robert Redford characters are charming. We do not see them as the bad guys at all even though they are stealing and holding people up with guns. We are willing to judge the railroad and modern progress as the bad guy. Butch and Sundance never grow up and reconcile their differences with society. Their female friend, played by Katherine Ross, tries to help them wake up. She is unsuccessful because of the low self esteem both of these two charming men suffer from. It is only toward the end of the movie when they are robbing a bank in a very poor town that our identification with these “good guys” goes sour. Now we want them to stop stealing and can understand the military being called to stop them. Our dilemma worsens when we see that they are going to die. The good guys are killing the good guys. In the mist of our confusion we notice there are no bad guys and the charming fellows are going to be wiped out. I cried during this scene because my subconscious was remembering a spiritual truth: there are no bad guys. The bad guy in my life, my father, was what I knew in my heart: a good guy. Up to this point I always knew who the good and bad guys were. The traditional old formula of good and bad was based on the notion that people like to identify with the good guys consciously while identifying with the bad guys unconsciously. We consciously want to live but unconsciously want our bad guy slain. This is where our death wish stems from and why we are seduced by fearful thinking. Fearful thinking tires us out and we soon want to give up. Our depression grows unless we love again. Thanks Paul, Robert, and Katherine for helping me to begin to understand the Reality of no bad guys with your imaginary movie characters.

Will You Stop Giving Up?

Will You Stay Until the End?

When you want out of this life you are ordering the body to die. Every time you give up loving you begin the self-destructive process of letting disease consume you body and mind:

“Computer, auto destruct code…”

If you remember this scene in Star Trek, Kirk orders the Enterprise to self-destruct rather than enter into enemy hands. You can see how we do this to ourselves all the time. Just as in the movie we need someone else to confirm the self-destruct code. Kirk finds his first officer and chief of engineering. We easily find someone to quickly agree with us so that we cannot change our mind. The computer has been programmed for multiple confirmations. It’s important that we care about each other enough to refuse the destruction code. We do this by refusing to accept their giving up. By not giving up with them, or on them, we are expressing love. We have recently seen in the movies where the Enterprise is destroyed and the crew is rescued by another ship. There is no death.

People being born into the world are taking over the work left behind by their ancestors. The former and the latter are one in the same. Form changes but we do not. Can we become aware that we might refuse to give up and finally bring this work of salvation to an end? I am asking you to stay and choose to love yourself now. It is by loving ourselves that we bring this cosmic work to an end. If you return to star fleet command without completing our task then we will return in another form to conquer…

Space and time, the FINAL FRONTIER

We think God’s going to punishment us for not completing our mission. When we think of our loving Father in that fearful manner we reject our true identity. We stop using our faith and rely blindly on our perceptions. The result is confusing our bodies with our identity. We turn to the body to define who we are and why we are living. We are neglecting our true spiritual identity. We do not need a religion to do this for us. The truth is inside each of us now. The result of this body-identity error is fear of getting ill, or growing old, or being inferior. We believe through the experience of our body that we can be attacked and ultimately be killed.
This is the reality we have made instead of accepting the Reality that is offered to us. The world everyone complains about, even though we made it full of crime and disease, pain and suffering, is the idea of the world that we give the computer the command to destroy. We are distracted in this work. Eventually we will grow tired and give up. The Reality God offers to us is the joy and peace of following the truth. We can join God in Her creation act. Every mistake we make in fear becomes an opportunity for correction. In experiencing her caring non judgmental correction we develop a yearning to join Her in self love and love of others. Are you willing to be corrected?

When we pass away and leave our bodies, only fear is lost. It takes faith to believe that there is anything beyond our body and this world of perception. Once we believe in the next phase of existence we feel good and right. It satisfies a need that we have for meaning. I believe when we pass, we become aware of Reality. Our knowledge is more complete and we are ready to help those who are still in this world. We inspire them to choose love instead of fear. We reach them through love. This is why every time we love we are extending creation. It’s love that is eternal and is connecting us from this life to eternal life.
When Luke Skywalker flies toward the Death Star in The Empire Strikes Back he tries to use technology to find its vulnerable spot. He cannot track it. So he turns off the device and listens to his inner voice, the FORCE. It offers him a course correction so he can hit his mark. The correction I offer is:

there is no evil except the evil we want to believe in

If we continue to see others as enemies we will never triumph. Our fathers fought the war to end all wars, stopped the Nazi threat, out spent the nuclear powers and ended the cold war. Yet we still carry the guilt and shame of world hunger. We still have the problem of thinking there will not be enough. We still struggle to share and only because of this belief, thousands of people die from starvation and disease every day. We live on one planet and we are all brothers and sisters. This is so well known that some, who needed to be shown how and were never taught, mock it. Now they mock because they have no place else to put their guilt. Loving has always been more powerful than fear. We need to learn what loving is. Then we will gladly share with each others abundance

When we believe in the reality we have made we are only imagining there is something different from the Reality God created. Our sense of reality is an illusion while the Reality God made is real. We can easily see this as we get older. The world looks different to us at age nine than at age 3 and even more different at 21. This changing sense of what the world is keeps changing thought throughout life. What God has created does not change but our appreciation for it does as we get older. Greater awareness changes our experience. We begin to experience what heaven really is by allowing ourselves the awareness of it. When we get so wrapped up in what we have made and what we think it is, we become confused. This confusion is observed in the two voices within us: the voice speaking for the truth, which God created, and the voice fearing the truth.

We are all familiar with the faultiness of perceptions. When someone goes to the circus and enters the room full of mirrors and becomes lost trying to find the way out is an example. Perceptions can fill our minds with confusion. The voice for truth knows what Reality is as well as the confusion within our minds. It leads us out of the confusion and back to the state of peace that we feel when we are in the one mind with our True Self and God. We are guided out of the room with all the mirrors to the safety of crowd and our parents.

Eventually we will experience the correction of all illusions. We will realize that the illusions we have made for ourselves have no value. We all have the same problem with following illusions instead of reality. We will overcome this through the experience of the end of pain instead of running away from pain. Eventually we all will arrive at the point of truth because illusions will be exposed entirely (the end of pain). The question is: do you want peace and joy now or would you rather run away from the truth because it seems too hard?

While you are running the inner voice of truth is speaking to you and correcting your illusions. Allow your brothers and sisters to join you in this. Share with them your confusion and listen to them share with you. This was the original reason for church. Modern religion is struggling to become real again and assist us in our task. Traditional religions are afraid of the changes involved with this awareness and clutch to their dwindling control through fear. Modern and traditional will come together to face the fears involved and see that our only task in life is to accept our True Self, the identity God gave us before time began.
Taking a moment out to listen and reflect instead of fixing could be very helpful. Usually we are in such a big rush to fix the other person’s problem that we don’t give ourselves a chance to think. This attitude will produce resentment in the other unless it changes to a helping attitude. When we try to help someone we believe he is capable of fixing himself.



SECTION IX. THE THREE WAYS OF HELPING

There are only three skills to learn in order to bring that helping attitude to anyone:

1) Listening for understanding

2) Encouragement of the fearful as a safe and supportive person

3)Setting boundaries with inappropriate behavior

1. LISTENING FOR UNDERSTANDING is the most difficult skill to learn. The idea is simple enough:not understanding helps someone to understand. The trouble lies in our habit of fixing, with our impatience and failure to give the process the time needed. It comes down to letting someone explain themselves to you. The less you know at the outset the more you are able to help and the more you will know at the end of the process. The mantra in this skill is:

I don't understand; please help me to understand you.

Fixers want to demonstrate their support by telling people they do understand and are happy to share how they went through the same thing themselves. Even if you have had a similar experience you definitely did not go through the same thing. You are not the same person. The willingness to understand communicates care, as does patience and the investment of time. No quick fixes here..Sometimes you might have to check your own motives. Do you really want to understand or do you want the problem cleared away? You have limits, make them clear in the first place.

The person who needs your help is often confused or otherwise upset about their circumstances. When you listen, even to what is very familiar to you, the other person begins to stabilize by having to think and process their situation in the very act of telling it to someone else. Even if they say to you, “you've probably heard this all before”, they will still benefit greatly in organizing their thoughts and delivering them to you in a meaningful way. This is the first reason why listening is so helpful.
The second reason has to do with the understanding part of the process. As someone tells you their story it might make sense to them but not to you.

“The only thing I could think to do was get drunk,” might be an example.

When you let them know that this doesn't make sense to you the story teller might see that their own behavior doesn't, at this point, make sense to them either. The story teller might even want to discuss alternative with you then or later. It must be stressed that it is not your job to offer the alternatives. That is what fixing is all about. But it is helpful to say that you would like to hear what the story teller sees as the alternative or why that seems to be the only answer. Telling his story helps him to learn his story. You might think this is the job of a therapist. But it doesn't require you to know anything to be of help, just have the willingness to be helpful.

2. ENCOURAGEMENT is literally sharing courage with someone.

“I just don’t know what to do; will you help me?” is an example

Do they really want help or are they begging for a fix? Remember we are conditioned to fixing and being fixed. Our initial response here is going to be very important: One possible response could be:

“I am glad you do not know what to do!” (Your false self has run out of ideas)

“Please imagine you do know what to do. “

Give yourself a chance. Refuse for a moment the idea that you do not know. Share whatever comes up with me is the idea behind imagining you do know.

This response may not make sense at first unless someone remembers that the mind is split between the True Self and the false self. It’s only the false self that does not know what to do as it approaches the real issue. The ‘I do not know’ response is only the resistance of the false self. For example:

“I do not know; why won’t you tell me?” (I do not have a True Self).

It may be tempting to think that you can save time and fix but you would only be confusing the matter. If you were to tell the other person what to do at this point then your whole attempt to help him get in touch with his True Self would be ruined. This is because you are trying to do it for him instead of helping him to get back to his True Self. He must have the experience of going into his mind if he is to experience the transformation from his false self to his True Self. Fixing is what your false self-wants. It actually lowers the self-esteem of the other. I call fixing hatred because the very worse act is committed against your brother or sister- you are teaching them that they do not have a True Self. You are raising yourself above them by lowering them into your fears. They think they can’t help themselves. Hating others is our conditioning. This is why loving others seems to be so hard. It could actually be the easiest, most natural way to act. Patiently we press on and say:

“I believe in you. Please do not give up on yourself.”

I am trying to encourage the person to change his mind by believing in him. I am not trying to get him to see it my way. Since when do I know what is best for him? Only the false self has such a belief. I am only trying to get him to see it his True Self-way. I look for him to tell me the way it is. I don’t know but he does once he’s willing to change his mind from being afraid to know. It is fear that keeps our minds confused. Someone not afraid, and that's the helper, can lower the fear in the other by believing in them and patiently caring to want to know more. It’s like trying to watch videos from your VCR set on channel four and having your television set to channel three. Sometimes it tunes in images because it’s close to the right channel. The individual is allowing the truth (that he has a True Self that does know what to do) to come through another person. A little bit of encouragement makes a big difference.

“Look how close you are. Don’t give up now”, might be an encouraging response.

Allow it to become clearer is what I am really saying. The false self does not want us to see the issue because it’s afraid of the change it will involve. Once the person moves through this fear a little more and is willing to see it (the television channel moves to four) the picture is clear to the True Self. Until you realize that the problem is your lack of belief in yourself (tuning in the fearful channel) nothing will play right or clear; just like the video you stuck into the VCR that is all static on the wrong television channel.. You are only trying to encourage the other person to correct an error: he is choosing fear. He is thinking that he does not know, what he is able to know.

I am encouraging him to change his judgment about himself. He has made the judgment that he is not a perfect creation of God and does not know what to do. We are the perfect creation of God that does know. It’s just as if we found our mistake and changed the television channel to four. Wow! We got a perfect picture.

I do not know what to do with his problem and I do not want to know what to do. I just want to help him believe in his other channel that he can choose and make his picture clear. I am helping him with the process not the content. Process is the way something is done while content is the message itself. So when you are helping someone be patient, give him time to share even if it’s negative. Stay focused on the process. The goal is his recognition of his True Self. Everything in life is meant to bring us to this goal.
3.BOUNDARIES are only needed when something doesn't feel comfortable. Setting boundaries is the crucial way to help someone change. It is the only way when you feel uncomfortable with the way someone is behaving. Boundaries are critical because failure to use them will encourage the behavior and you will get more uncomfortable until you push the other person away or you yourself need to leave without helping. The more inappropriate the behavior may appear to be the more profound is the call for help. Boundaries will allow you to use the situation for great help.

Attack is the mistaken belief that the other person is the enemy and separate from us. It's the failure to see that we are in this life together. People want love and peace but when they are afraid they sabotage this goal. So it’s important to respond with help. Setting boundaries instead of punishing informs the person of a better way to be in a relationship. The key is using the boundary immediately. If you know that a boundary is loving and not punishing you might be more inclined to act rather than endure your discomfort.

If you are so uncomfortable that you are unable to help, then it is time for a break. I refer to these breaks as timeouts. Timeouts ought to be as short as possible as the dialogue is being suspended not ended. There are two rules to follow with time out: tell how long you need (120 seconds is usually enough) and always grant someone's time out. During your timeout think only about calming yourself down. You are coming out of a timeout with a set play, dialogue is not competition. You do want to get back as soon as possible even if it is to agree on a time that is convenient for both of you. Relieve pressure don't demand someone's time or attention.

Boundaries always have two parts to them: the refusal and the invitation. When you respond by telling the other person to do something you are engaging in control. Control is the product of fear not love or helping.

The Refusal

When someone is behaving in a way, that you become uncomfortable with, they do not know what they are wanting from you. If a man yells at a woman he is asking her to be intimidated. He is probably looking for respect and he doesn't realize that his behavior is making that very difficult for her to do. The refusal changes all that. The refusal acts as a report to the man about the woman. It tells what she thinks is going on, how she is reacting emotionally and her refusal to participate.

“I refuse to be intimidated by what you are doing” (helping part a)

This is very different from:

“You are intimidating me” (fixing)

The refusal is about her behavior not hers. This requires courage because we are afraid of the other person's reactions, especially if they are not use to boundaries. This is precisely why the second part of the boundary is so important to accompany the first.

The Invitation

Without the invitation the refusal makes an impression of rejection. An attempt at a boundary without the invitation is like standing someone on a chair, putting noose around his head and then kicking the chair out from underneath him. It is cruel and unusual punishment. The invitation changes all of that. In it you are inviting the person we are choosing to help into a behavior with yourself. In our example the invitation might be:

“I would like to hear more clearly what you have to say.”

This is inviting him to the place he actually wanted to get to in the first place. And if not, it’s an invitation to a place that will work for both of you. The invitation should never involve something you don't want to do. It is offered from love not fear. If there is too much fear, just take a timeout.

Boundaries require some thinking. Without mindfulness they are impossible. This is the primary reason why people will try to fix. The second reason is that none of us are at all use to boundaries. Most of us grew up with rules of control. A great deal of unexamined fear is involved with control. So boundaries are new to all of us, especially the person getting the help.

Boundaries give up control and offer real help. When you set boundaries you are not trying to make someone feel good, or get them to stop their behavior. You are informing someone who has been inappropriate what you are willing and unwilling to do or think. It offers them another way and respects their choices about themselves. If you do not respect someone’s autonomy you are not helping him or her. Since we live in a society that is in love with control, autonomy is often severely violated. When the Japanese made a decision to build a better car than the USA they created a management style that respected and valued autonomy. Quality circles value the opinion of every person working on the assembly line. This maintains the workers’ autonomy and keeps them interested in the product they are producing. We in the west need to learn to set boundaries because our autonomy is severely challenged by the fearful methodologies of today. Boundaries are unusual and often rejected in our society. Since boundaries are not normative it’s important to allow the other person some time to accept the boundary you have shared. The longer the other person thinks about it the clearer the truth of the matter may become. In any case you have removed yourself from the inappropriate behavior. You will have relief. The relationship may be on hold or in rare cases, even end, but you are no longer contributing to something that is not working. It may take a moment or longer for the boundary to be processed since it is not what the individual wants to hear. If the boundary is respected the inappropriate behavior will cease and the two of you will go on to enjoy your relationship. If the response to your boundary is disrespect, it is important that you set the next, new boundary immediately that responds to this disrespect.

Boundaries Come in Packages

Repeating the same boundary does not respond to the growing inappropriate behavior. It’s always tempting to repeat yourself but remember that is the easy-softer way. The new boundary has the same goal as the first: to keep respect for yourself and the other person secure. Again, give the other person a chance to respond. If disrespect continues then it must be addressed. Yet another boundary is needed and must be employed as soon as possible. Only the false self wants to wait and see what will happen next when someone has been inappropriate. It fearfully ignores the True Self's response of love. Boundaries never cause hurt to someone but they may trigger someone’s pain. His pain comes from his attachment to some idea, place, person, or thing. Your truth is helping him to detach which may be a painful but nevertheless a healthy experience. This may all begin when he experiences your boundary. You may feel guilt when the person you care about is in pain. It is important to check this guilt out. Is this my fault or is it his issue that I have triggered? What is the truth of the matter? Honesty in asking these questions will explain things. This pain could be turned to healing if the other person is willing to accept the boundary or change his behavior. Let's look at the boundary the good man makes with the angry Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

Dorothy tells the wizard of Oz::

“You’re a bad man.”

The wizard corrects her:

“No, I am a good man, just a bad wizard.”

The wizard has set a boundary in his thinking: he will agree that he is a bad wizard but he will not join Dorothy in thinking he is a bad man. This is Dorothy’s inappropriate behavior as she prepares to throw in the towel on her long, tiring journey. He offers Dorothy another way to look at him that he can agree with: that he is a good man. This keeps hope alive for their relationship. If he doesn’t set the boundary their relationship is finished. Now Dorothy has a decision to make, she can reject the correction or she can think again and come closer to the reality of her situation. The relationship will continue to be difficult for Dorothy if she does not change her mind because she has judged the little old person. If she changes her mind she can be open to his help: ‘I am a bad wizard.’ Believing in magic has lead Dorothy on a wild goose chase. Now she has a brother, who is finally willing to tell the truth. He has redirected her toward reality. She only called him a bad man because she was frustrated and her false self reacted. He has not been bad. They have both been following their false selves that have taken them astray. Think about this scene again with the wizard only saying half of his line:

“I am a good man.”

This would be tempting for him, as he would not have to admit his failing as a wizard. This would be argumentative as he is merely disagreeing with Dorothy’s judgment. A defensive response is not a boundary. On the other hand if he only says:

“I am a bad wizard. You are right!”

Then he has offered Dorothy no help. He has merely placated her, a defense mechanism. Defenses are used as a means of control when we are afraid. We see this in Dorothy’s case. She lets go of her notion of magic. She faces her True Self symbolized by the good witch from the West, but only after letting go of the wizard’s magic. You are taking care of yourself when you set boundaries or accept them from someone else. You are considering your position and a change in behavior or thinking. Boundaries are always do-able since they are about your behavior not about trying to control or change someone else.
Let’s look at another example. Notice that at each level the inappropriateness is addressed. The other person could stop if he chooses. The boundary setter is having nothing to do with the inappropriate behavior and taking very good care of self. The responses in this example are only examples of what might be done. There are many different possible responses. The only thing important is that the boundary responses have two parts:

1) The Refusal makes clear what is being asked of you and declining to participate in it..

2) The Invitation shares a more appropriate behavior that you are willing to do that addresses the need in the relationship.

An example of a Package of Boundaries

Tom is at home with his spouse Alice. She is in a bad mood and starts screaming at Tom at the top of her lungs. Tom interrupts her and tells her that he will listen to her tell him what is wrong but he will not listen to this volume level. (1st boundary) She changes her volume but starts to quietly call him some nasty names. Tom tells Alice that he wants to know what it is that she believes about him but he is not interested in responding to name-calling. (2nd boundary) She loses her temper again and he interrupts again telling her that he will not continue to be with her but will return in twenty minutes and walks into another part of the house. (time out) She follows him and tells him she is not ready to take a break. He tells her that he will not stay in the house and will let her know where he is staying in the morning where they an have breakfast. (3rd boundary)This example went all the way to a physical separation but only in gradual stages. In each case Tom was setting a different boundary and never repeated himself. The path kept changing but the relationship was maintained even to the point of the time limited physical break. When they were still trying to dialogue Tom tried to maintain the dialogue with a statement about what he would listen to. It’s tempting to prematurely terminate a dialogue with someone and use his or her excitement as an excuse to run from the problem. Remember problems have to be addressed sooner or later. When you are uncomfortable with the other person, set your boundary accordingly. To have left the house and not informed Alice where he was going would have been threatening and not have helped. Nor would it have addressed her need for communication.

Tom actually called for a time out two times but as two boundaries to cope with Alice’s anger. Time outs require a time for the return to be announced. Taking a time out is up to the person who needs it. Do not ask for permission for a time out. Announce that you are taking one. Remember to tell how long the time out will last or you will not have a boundary but an attempt at control. It’s nice to have agreement in these circumstances. When there is disrespect you may have to take a time out when you need it. Do not wait till you are angry for a time out. Time outs are needed when the communication is going nowhere because fear has met fear. They are meant for people to recollect themselves to participate more effectively without so much fear. Consider yourself during a time-out not the other person. Remember the purpose of your time out was to move out of your fearful self to your True Self. It’s always easier to criticize than to look honestly at yourself. Many of us will try to change for someone else (superficial change) like quitting alcohol consumption only to begin again when the pressure to quit from someone else is off. The illusion of changing someone else takes place when communication is incomplete. It takes courage to tell the truth. It may require some powerful energy to work through the issues involved. The bottom line is whether the two people trying to communicate have maintained respect for each other. Do they continue to see each other as

PERFECT CREATIONS OF GOD

People only change when they are convinced that their previous behavior has less value than their new behavior. Helping someone to have a better experience goes a long way in helping them to change. No one enjoys attempts at control. Going to Alcoholics Anonymous or some other supportive fellowship might be perceived as having more value than returning to drink only after that fellowship has been experienced. The value is apparent when you are in the experience.
If I do not see yourself a little more as a PERFECT CREATION OF GOD then I am not succeeding in helping you.

Most men are conditioned from childhood to try to fix females. I believe this problem exists out of the fear of being inferior to women. This is especially true where a little boy does not see enough of his father and his mother is not careful about his autonomy. I call this fixing behavior hatred. Even though the fixing may be exercised in a caring way it is still hatred because there is a message that the other person can not fix himself. The idea of the perfect creation of God has disappeared. It has been replaced by someone’s needed belief that they are the ‘great gift’ to the poor wretch that cannot fix himself. Helping someone on the other hand is the belief that someone will become aware of their own need to change; that they can do it, and you are only helping them realize their ability to fix themselves rather than fixing them yourself.


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