Hi everyone,

My day yesterday represented a breakdown and breakthrough.  Like all of you, I have diligently practiced these last 59 lessons.  Whatever diligently means to each of us, for me, it’s that little bit of willingness to see things differently and to move toward accepting the Atonement.

There are many days I feel overwhelmed.  On the cusp, if you will, or better yet, facing those branches in the road where I either choose the ego or the better way, another way of looking at the world.  That overpowering sense of conflict between what I will with God and what I wish with ego pervades, dominates my consciousness.  OK, on the breakdown and breakthrough.

During the Wednesday study group and toward its end, it hit me that I had been fighting depression for many moons.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I felt so much raw emotion.

What impacted me was the seeming power of the belief in the ego thought system, that it will give me what I want, that I can be in a state of denial so deep and profound that I am not even aware of it.  Putting on a happy face, pretending everything was OK, you know, that façade, that mask we humans choose to wear to protect ourselves from being vulnerable, from being exposed.

I have never thought of myself as depressed, ever.  My Mom was in that state for decades and it felt as though there were nothing any of us four daughters could do or say to help her extricate herself from staying that way.  She often threatened to commit suicide, heavy stuff when we were trying to live our lives in our 30s and 40s.  All of us often got impatient with her, fed up, saturated with her old tapes that she played on a continual basis…about how Dad was a monster, how he left her after 30 years of marriage for a 26 year old, how he abandoned her financially, how she was living at the poverty level, etc.

Well, I am Mom.  The person I never wanted to be and by that I mean, how could I accuse her of being maladjusted, frustrating, etc., how could I despise her for playing those tapes….when I have done the same blasted thing in my mind?  Reviewing over and over what has been done to me as the penultimate victim and, also, as I have gotten older, the victimizer.  Self-hatred, therefore, depression have reigned.

That realization caused me to cry.  I could hardly compose myself as we uttered our gratitude at the study group’s conclusion.  I was buoyed by the comments of fellow participants who were loving without fixing, compassionate without false empathy and encouraging without pity.

I can focus on what Jesus is stating today in the review of the five lessons, of course, they are all true, but I realize I must face the darkness, I look at it, it feels horrible and so raw and filled with embarrassment and shame, but today, well, it’s a NEW DAY!  I take the time to be still, I place all my idols, all my specialness on the altar.  I place my need to be right about everything on the altar.

Slowly, but surely, I will find myself in a state of mind where I have totally and unequivocally accepted the Atonement.  Do I want to see my brother sinless?  And…do I want to see myself sinless?

Only by making this my number one priority, accepting that we are all sinless, guiltless and fearless in our Oneness will I experience true liberation and peace.

Love to all,

Gayle

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