When we speak of “healing,” it helps to be clear if we are referring to an attempt to cure a physical illness, or attempting to let go of our misperceptions and awaken to the truth of who we are. I will refer to one as ”curing an illness” and the other as healing.
Curing an illness clearly involves fixing something that is “broken.” Healing is not about fixing what is broken. It is about recognizing that the cause of all our suffering, both mental and physical, is our mistaken belief that there is something wrong with us. Correcting this misperception is learning to recognize and accept what is real and let go what is not. It is about recognizing that what is causing my pain is not about the real me – it is about my unreal belief about me, the image I have conjured up about all the things I misperceive are “wrong” with me.
Healing is acceptance of the simple truth that we were created from a perfect love with the purpose of extending perfect love. This is most difficult to accept when we are seemingly in the midst of a physical challenge, questioning if we are about to “lose” the thing we most easily identify with – our body. For it is here that it seems we are asked to sacrifice what we still think is real for a belief we are not quite ready to own.
It is not a loving feeling to ignore our pain when there are medical means available to cure it. And anything we do that does not seem loving does not serve our desire to awaken. What we must do then is to decide which course we will pursue, curing our illness or healing our belief.
The key to this apparent conundrum is to remember that the “plan” for my healing, our awakening to the truth is already in place, held for us in the Presence of our God Self. It is in a constantly evolving state depending on the choices we make day to day. But it is not something we have to plan or be responsible for in any way. Our only function is to listen and trust.
The plan for our awakening is neither about staying in the world, or letting our body go. It is about choosing to be separate from the Presence of Love or a part of It. And that choice must begin with the willingness to accept love for ourselves. And we may be certain that the plan the God Self has for us will lead us to peacefully and joyfully discover the love within us.
In ACIM Jesus describes our awakening to the truth as a “journey without distance, from a place we have never left.” In other words, it is surrender of a belief that something happened that never really happened at all. This is not something we can do from the place in our awareness where we see ourselves and the world from inside the image we have made of a guilty being that is disconnected from all that is around us. This is why God has placed in our one Mind the Presence of the God Self as the means to get “past” the ego’s perception by holding the awareness of our perfectly whole and undivided Self.
Over and over he asks us to, “see the truth in your brother.” He does not suggest that we teach him how to correct his misperceptions, merely that we see past the misperceptions and only acknowledge what is true about him. This is what he calls “forgiveness.” He cautions us that the ego will always try to keep its misperceptions true by correcting them; a process he refers to as trying to bring light to the darkness in an attempt to make the darkness real.
Seeing only what is true is obviously not an easy thing to do. Our inability to do it consistently is a perfect opportunity to hear the ego resume judging us. Several years ago as I was caught in the mire of this conundrum, Brother said to me: “Please remember, you can place all your thoughts into two categories. They will either be reflecting the peace and Love of God, or – nothing will be happening.” They will either be “real” thoughts or thoughts that have no meaning and so may simply be dismissed. Judgment of what has no effects is meaningless.