Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sacrifice vs. Surrender

I am hosting a page on facebook for studying "A Course In Miracles" (ACIM). I have studied this text before, but decided to revisit it for 2010, as I seek to move forward in a deeper spiritual journey. By studying ACIM with others on facebook, I get the benefit of the group feel - the power of minds joined to help each other, without any one individual dictating what others should believe. As I work through the exercises, I can feel the strength of numbers helping me to grow, knowing that we are all in this together - and I don't just mean the ACIM group...I mean we are ALL in this world TOGETHER...and we are ONE! The sooner we remember that and let down our need to have our way be the only way, the sooner we will have peace, within our own hearts and in the world at large.

One concept that stood out to me this week was the contrast of sacrifice and surrender. We sometimes intermingle these concepts as if they are similar, worrying about surrendering because of what sacrifice it might bring. ACIM teaches us that sacrifice is not necessary, that it is not of God, but only man's doing:

"Sacrifice is a notion totally unknown to God. It arises solely from fear, and frightened people can be vicious". (Text,3.I.4)

"Surrender" in our world sometimes has a negative connotation of giving up or admitting defeat, being beaten. Surrender often implies a loss of freedom, yet in the spiritual sense, surrender IS freedom. It is simply a release from all of the bondage and baggage that our human earthbound ways have taken on in error, a remembrance that sacrifice and struggle are entirely unnecessary. We have concocted illusions that have made us feel unworthy, and have assumed that sacrifice would be required in order to clear ourselves, in order to earn back our worthiness. So we punish ourselves with pain, thinking that it well serve as penance. In Christianity, for example, the cross represents sacrifice by Jesus. We are told that Jesus had to sacrifice for our wrongdoing, yet the message of Jesus was that sacrifice was all in our minds - that we could heal ourselves by simply remembering that we had that ability - that our pain was all in our minds.

The sacrifice idea becomes a very powerful tool to control us - to keep us feeling badly or that we have a debt to pay, to hold us down from true freedom and our Highest Selves. When we surrender to God, we are not bowing down in weakness as has often been portrayed; rather, we are lifting up into our strength and greatness, showing faith that we can move mountains, as we were told we could do, but seldom remember or believe. People and organizations that gain their power through fear and control do become vicious at times when we begin understand that sacrifice is unnecessary, when we circumvent them to surrender to our Higher Power. They can attack or heavily criticize in their fear, trying to whip us back into submission to their ideas, but others will know there is truth in our thoughts and actions, so we must hold fast and bringing others along in love and peace.

So make a choice to surrender - to ask God to reveal your true strengths and gifts. Accept that you are a Divine being - creating your experience, creating miracles - and return to that rightful place where you were created to live perfection. Give up the idea of sacrifice so that you can surrender to living and loving without judgment, without the need to be right, without the need to control others. Accept your power, and it will be the end of your suffering.

BE the light of the world...

CLICK HERE to view or join my facebook group for "A Course In Miracles"

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