The study group I lead is coming to the end of our study of the Text. This morning, our reading was Cameo 30 "As You See Him You Will See Yourself". This poses the question - how do we navigate the things of the world when we know they are only illusions...and yet "this unfortunate necessity for interpreting illusions remains" while we still believe we are in the world?
For me, this brings up my work as a bodywork therapist. The work I do as a craniosacral therapy practitioner, massage therapist, and even a reiki practitioner in most cases is focused on treating the bodies of my clients. And yet, as a student of A Course In Miracles, I know the body is not the truth of who we are.
I love the guidance we receive from Jesus in reading this Cameo. The answer is not to stop doing this work with people who are coming to see me in support of their physical well-being. And it's certainly not to tell them it's all an illusion! Thank God, because I really care about my clients and I see the benefit they receive from the work we do together! This work feels like my way of joining with another, my way of expressing love and care.
The answer is for me to recognize I am working with an illusion. For me to remember the truth of who this person is - a perfect Son of God. And Jesus says "Try to say a prayer for your brother while doing this and you will call forth and experience a miracle instead."
"As you see him you will see yourself."
This is where it got interesting for me today. I'm called to the work I do because of my own lifelong struggles with anxiety. Most of my clientele are drawn to me because this is my focus in my practice. In a way, my personal experience with anxiety strengthens my ability to offer a safe and compassionate healing space and presence for others.
Over the past two years of intentionally studying and practicing ACIM, I have experienced healing in deeply profound ways. Recently, however, my anxiety has been heightened and difficult to navigate. I've been frustrated and tired of feeling like I get completely derailed by these fearful thoughts and stories. Gah!
Today I had a phone conversation with someone looking to schedule their first visit. They shared how their anxiety has worsened over this past year. The physical effect their fearful thoughts are having on their body. How it's affecting their life. I could see myself in almost everything they said!
As I see my brother, I will see myself.
As I spoke with this person, I held this practice in my mind. In writing Cameo 30, Robert Perry speaks of holding an "overriding consciousness" during moments like this. As I meet this person exactly where they are at and support them in a way they can accept, I also hold a "highly intentional thought foremost in mind" that we're "discussing only illusions".
When I got off the phone, I took a moment to be in silent prayer for this person. To remember that in truth this person is a perfect Son of God. Already safe and healed and whole in the Mind of God. And as I remembered this for them, I also realized I was remembering it for myself. And suddenly the anxiety I had been experiencing all day settled. My chest relaxed. My stomach calmed. And my spirit felt lighter.
I pray for you, and thus call forth a miracle for you and for myself.
Resources: Cameo 30 (ACIM CE p1862), related commentary from Course Companions, COA Study Group Leader discussion guide