In this world it is very natural to worry about our loved ones. We don’t want them to be hurt or to suffer in any way. Yet what if this worry is somehow hurting instead of helping?
For years my mom has struggled with severe migraines. One night I was lying in bed thinking about her and how it upsets me to think that she is in pain. I love her so much and want her to be safe and protected. Then I had a stunning realization: that feeling protective of her body, wanting her to get medical help, and worrying about her physical state are all forms of attack (not real love). By worrying about her body, I am saying that she is limited to a body and reinforcing the belief that she can be hurt.
I love her and want to save and protect her, but in worrying about her body I am attacking her. It is fear masked as love. Whoa!
I immediately recognized that I don’t want to keep any fear or attack thoughts because I want to be truly helpful. Otherwise I am reinforcing the error in both our minds, rather than bringing it to the light to be undone. I do not know, however, how not to see my mom as a body. Here again is the importance of willingness!
Find your willingness to see the person you are worrying about differently, to come to know who you both really are, and give it to your Inner Therapist.
If I decide by myself that I’m not going to believe in my mom’s illness, that is going to come across as denial and may not provide the compassion she may need. It is also a form of “level confusion” (ACIM T-2.IV.2:2), meaning that I am taking on the Inner Therapist’s job of looking past the illusion by myself, even though I still believe in it.
Always be willing to use your Inner Therapist’s vision instead of your own. The body’s eyes deceive. As you side with your Inner Therapist’s vision, you align your mind with the Love in the other person, thus reinforcing it in yourself. Your Inner Therapist sees only what is true, which can result in healing for both you and the other person.
There is a difference between the ego’s use of empathy and “true empathy” (ACIM T-16.I). To the ego, to feel empathy means to pity and feel really bad for someone else. For example, when my mom is hurting, I’m hurting. I’m completely identified with her pain, not with her truth and light. Joining in suffering means we’re holding ourselves and the other person to the pain of the ego and actually are not allowing healing Love in.
Here is the alternative to the ego’s use of empathy. When my mom is hurting, I notice empathy arising in me, and I give my capacity for empathy to my Inner Therapist. I ask that my capacity for empathy be used for healing and for awakening, rather than reinforcing the belief that we are separate bodies:
The capacity to empathize is very useful to the Holy Spirit, provided you let Him use it in His way. His way is very different. When He relates through you, He does not relate through your ego to another ego. He does not join in pain, understanding that healing pain is not accomplished by delusional attempts to enter into it, and lighten it by sharing the delusion. (ACIM T-16.I.1:3–7)
To use true empathy, notice when empathy and worry arise, give your capacity for empathy and worry to your Inner Therapist, and be willing to see only what is true in the other person, which is Love. The ego in you can only join with the ego in another. But when you are willing to side with your Inner Therapist, the Love in you joins with the Love in another, and you are both healed as a result. This reinforces your experiential knowing that your Inner Therapist is really there, and that you and the other person are not bodies.
“Yet of this you may be sure; if you will merely sit quietly by and let the Holy Spirit relate through you, you will empathize with strength, and will gain in strength and not in weakness” (ACIM T-16.I.2:7).
This is how you can heal others. Love them so much that you are willing to allow your own mind to be healed. Accepting the undoing of fear in our minds can touch others without your saying a word to them.
When you are caught up in worrying about another person, this meditation can help. Healing can happen when we see through the eyes of our Inner Therapist instead of the body’s eyes.
Begin by taking a few mindful breaths, in and out, noticing the rise and fall of the belly as you breathe. The breath is our anchor to this present moment, so if you find your mind wandering, simply bring it back to the sensation of the breath.
Drop into your feeling of care for this person, noticing the loving feelings that flow from your heart. Say to yourself,
“I can be most helpful if I am willing to see the truth in another, rather than siding with fear.
“If I am seeing suffering of any kind, I’ve chosen to listen to the voice of separation. To see the truth in this other person, I need healing for my own mind.
“Regardless of the situation that this person is dealing with, the truth remains unchanged. He or she is already perfect.”
Turn to your Inner Therapist within and say,
“Help me see only the truth. Help me focus on the fact that this person is already healed. I care so much that I am willing to allow my own mind to be healed with a new perception. I am willing to release my perception of their body and have it be replaced by a perception of their true wholeness. I am willing to side with the truth.”
Take a few deep breaths as you conclude your meditation.
Copyright ©2018 by Corinne Zupko.
Reprinted with permission from New World Library
From Anxiety to Love: A Radical New Approach for Letting Go of Fear and Finding Lasting Peace
by Corinne Zupko.
Author Corinne Zupko undertook her study of psychology out of necessity when debilitating anxiety threatened to derail her life. Seeking ways to do more than temporarily alleviate her symptoms, Corinne began to study A Course in Miracles (ACIM), mindfulness meditation, and the latest therapeutic approaches for treating anxiety. In From Anxiety to Love, she shares what she learned and gently guides you through the process, helping you undo anxiety-based thinking and fostering mindful shifts in your thoughts and actions. Whether struggling with everyday stress or near-crippling discomfort, you will find that Corinne’s approach offers a new way of healing from — rather than just coping with — fear and anxiety.
Corinne Zupko, EdS, LPC, has coached, counseled, and educated thousands of individuals at national conferences, in the classroom, in workshops, and in the therapy chair. She teaches weekly meditation classes for corporate clients and cohosts the largest virtual conference of ACIM in the world through the organization Miracle Share International, which she cofounded. Visit Corinne's website at https://fromanxietytolove.com/