A Course in Miracles is designed to lead us out of fear, and I have been working with this for over 30 years. You would think that I would be living a fearless life by now, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I have made some great progress, true, but I still notice all sorts of fear thoughts in my mind. I notice fear of love, fear of physical harm, fear of redemption, fear of loss. There is a conference and silent retreat I really want to attend, but its high on a mountain. Why would anyone do that? I have an absolute terror of heights. I tried to move through that fear once, and it didn’t work for me.
What I did learn from the Course is that there is nothing to fear. This must be true, because there is only God, and God is not fear. So where does this sensation I experience when I look down from a great height (or even a lesser height) come from? If fear is not real why do I feel it? If it does not come from God, where does it come from?
There are only two possibilities from which to choose. Always, there is only God or ego. Since fear did not come from God, it must be made by ego. A Course in Miracles says, “Only your mind can produce fear.” (OrEd.Tx.2.80) So fear is something I made up in my mind, a part of the vast illusion of time and space. I made it with my belief, and the only way I can undo it is to look at that belief and decide if I want to keep it, or let it be corrected.
I did not find my release from fear of heights by traveling up a mountain, because the mountain was not the source of my fear. Trying to back my fear of heights down, and force it into retreating, is like trying to heal through treating the disease. I might get some relief from a particular disease, but disease will simply return in the same form or some other. It is the belief in sickness, suffering, and death, that must be healed to affect a true and permanent change.
Fear of heights is the same. I can try to get rid of that fear, and maybe I will have some success, through regression or hypnosis perhaps, but if so, I will only have affected a symbol of the fear. The fear itself will simply find another symbol through which to express itself. When my mind is healed of the belief in fear, then fearful thoughts will have no place to make a home, and so will not return.
These symbols of fear, like the fear of heights, can be helpful though. As long as my stomach knots up at the thought of being in the mountains, I know that I am still upholding the belief in fear. Seems odd though, doesn’t it? Why would I keep that belief when I know the Holy Spirit can easily heal it? All I have to do is ask for that healing and mean it wholly, and it is done. I know this from experience. Some of my most stubborn beliefs have completely vanished when I lost all desire for them, and I didn’t have to do anything but ask.
There is only one reason to hold onto a belief. Obviously I believe it will serve me, that it holds some value for me. I remember having the thought, “If I am no longer afraid of heights, I will come back up here.” That thought scared me to death, and I decided, in that moment, not to give up my fear of heights. It was, in the circular thinking of the ego, the only thing protecting me from heights. I know this doesn’t make sense, but when has sense and sanity been a prerequisite for ego thinking?
Then there are the more obscure reasons for holding onto fear, the ones I don’t acknowledge, because they make me nervous. The ego says that fear is not in God, I am in fear, and therefore I am not in God. It says that if God is not in fear, then fear is a place I can be safe from God. God made me invulnerable and whole and safe. Fear proves I have succeeded as my own re-creator. I have undone what God did, and that I am in fear, proves this point. I am more powerful than God. I don’t sit around thinking these things, and in fact, I avoid thinking them as much as I can, but they are part of the ego reasoning for hanging onto fear.
Here is how I am using the symbols of fear. I notice a fear thought in my mind (whether it is one that seems really big like the fear of heights, or something so seemingly minor, I almost miss it), and I look at it closely. An example showed up this morning. I was taking my morning walk and I thought about something that happened at work. The more I thought about it, the more anxious I became. Pretty soon I am defending myself to my boss, and am having a fierce argument with him. When I noticed what my mind was doing, I had to laugh.
Byron Katie has a quote that starts with, “Defense is the first act of war.” I really see how true that is when I have fearful thoughts. My original thought was, maybe I didn’t handle the situation correctly. If I had stayed alone in my head, I could have questioned this thought and questioned the implications, which were about my self worth and my fear of losing my job. I would then have moved toward accepting healing of the belief in fear. But instead, I brought my boss into my mind and started a war with him. No one got healed.
So once I looked at the thought and its implications, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me see this differently, and to heal my mind. That is always my second step. I cannot use the ego to undo ego thinking. I need help from outside the ego thought system. There is only ego and Holy Spirit, and so it is to Holy Spirit I turn, when my mind is obsessed with untrue thoughts. He always answers, because that is His function. Unlike me, he never becomes confused about His function.
My third step is to accept His answer. I do this by wanting it more than I want to have my answer. I accept as much of His answer as I can, at any particular time. It may not be complete acceptance, but whatever I can do is enough. It used to upset me that the problem would seem to return over and over, but I now understand that it is just a matter of time and willingness, and each step is important to the finish. I will be given ample opportunity to revisit the problem, and each time I go through this process, I am willing to accept more than before. My willingness grows with my practice.
Another thought I had recently about fear is that I am 63 years old, and I am tired of living in fear. I decided that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being afraid. That decision came from the practice I have done in the past. I had let go of enough fear, to believe that it was possible to mir without fear. It was a great realization for me. With that decision I set in motion a process that is helping me to let go of even more guilt and fear.
Every thought is a prayer, and that prayer was to mir a fearless life. So, the Holy Spirit has gently brought to my attention areas of my life that evoke fearful reactions. Some of them are long held beliefs; beliefs I didn’t even realize were there. Some reactions I did not even recognize as fear, and He showed me these. Each time I notice a fear thought, I look at it with the Holy Spirit. I choose for God as often as I can, and ask for willingness to do so, more often.
I am encouraged by the realization that, in spite of appearances to the contrary, I am not undoing anything real. Fear is not real. It’s just a thought in my mind. I am also encouraged to realize that it is not necessary for me to look at each effect separately, and one at a time have them undone. Each effect is simply the one mistaken belief appearing in different forms. So I ask for healing when I notice a fear thought, but I know that eventually, I will have undone the belief completely.
Once when I was feeling the press of fear on my heart, I asked the Holy Spirit for help. This was His message to me:
“When you see some form of fear in your mind today, Myron, remind yourself that God loves you. He loves you with a love that is complete and unchanging, that is unaffected by your imaginings. He delights in you and all that you do. He doesn’t know judgment, only love. By using the ego’s fearful moments in this way you are allowing the root of fear to be shaken loose. Each time you do this, fear’s hold on you is permanently lessened.”
I wrote out that message and pinned it to my remember board where I could see it often. Thank you, God. I love you, God.
Rev. Myron Jones is an ordained Pathways of Light minister. She is the author of the recently published, *Hey, Holy Spirit, It’s Me Again*. She is also a CMC Supporting Member. She was one of the featured speakers at “The Gift of Lilies” conference that will be held in Chicago, IL on April 26, 27, & 28 of 2013. Y
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This article appeared in the August 2012 (Vol. 26 No.6) issue of Miracles Monthly. Miracles Monthly is published by Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. CMC is supported solely by people just like you who: become CMC Supporting Members, Give Donations and Purchase Books and Products through us.