Throughout many spiritual teachings, we are told that peace and joy is intrinsic to who we are and that they are our inherent right. Avatars such Jesus and Buddha spoke about the fruits of these gifts and the beauty of Self-realization. So why is it so difficult to experiential understand how to attain peace and joy?

Peace and joy, being what we are don’t have to be “attained”…they must be recognized. However, the conditioning of the world and it’s beliefs have clouded out the visibility of peace and joy in us right now. The way to discover peace and joy again is to remove the blocks to the awareness of its presence. Below are 5 top blocks:

Blaming – Every time we blame someone for the way we feel, we are declaring that THEY are the cause of our upset. Believing that is true, they become source of our perceived problem.  We remain helpless and become victim to our own perception. This is a no win scenario.

“Understand that you do not respond to anything directly, but to your interpretation of it. Your interpretation thus becomes the justification for the response.” – A Course in Miracles

If freedom from upset is what we desire, we must be willing to be wrong about what we perceive as the cause of our problem.  Through self-inquiry and honest contemplation we will find that all suffering is mental. And what upsets us is not what anyone has done to us but rather our interpretation of what has happened. We are at the effect of stories and scenarios that cross our mind’s eye. Relinquish the propensity to believe the story (regardless of the evidence that has been built) and suffering is relinquished with it.

Guilt – Guilt is a failed attempt at redemption by hurting or shaming ourselves enough to redeem us from our perceived transgression. “Maybe if I feel bad or suffer enough I’ll be forgiven” is the ego’s logic. However, God, being Love doesn’t condemn. Martyrdom is not necessary.

“I do not call for martyrs but for teachers (of Love). No one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners.” – A Course in Miracles

Peace comes from the essence of innocence that we all embody, regardless of actions and deeds. The purpose of forgiveness is to come into the recognition that “all things happen for good” – ACIM, as they should, and are meant to be. This isn’t always seen or understood from the limited perspective of the ego, but it is known from the vast understanding that God Wills everything. Jesus is a symbol of someone who understood this and ONLY saw the innocence (the Christ) in others. There are no mistakes, only misperceptions.

Anger – A Course in Miracles says “Anger is never justified. Attack has no foundation.” Anger binds you to the belief in vulnerability and the need to protect oneself from attack. But it doesn’t work because at the point of anger you’re already hurt, and the choice for anger is self attack. You can’t have peace if you’ve chosen to attack yourself.

Attack has no foundation because there is no need for protection. As an extension of Source (child of God), we share in our Creator’s attributes including invulnerability. However, our invulnerability can’t be experienced until we are willing to be vulnerable. This is the basis of ACIM Workbook lesson “My safety lies in my defenselessness.” As long we believe in our need to defend we are believing ourselves into vulnerability.

People Pleasing – The common experience of all humans is a deep seeded sense of unworthiness. This is because we have been conditioned to believe we are “separate” beings. Believing in this separation, we carry a longing to be loved and feel whole. In our attempt to fill that need we often seek the approval of others.

People pleasing is an act of doing something we would not otherwise want to do, but do it in the hopes we’ll be liked or loved. It is a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) form sacrifice for another with an underlying expectation of reciprocity; “You should love me be because of all that I do for you.” 

Who and what we are IS Love, IS complete and whole. The unconscious attempt at sacrifice only deepens the false belief that we can find what we’re looking for in others; approval.

The awareness of Love’s presence, however, can only be found in BEING who we are, as we are and this may or may not gain the approval of others. Nonetheless, approval is irrelevant in the face of Love which makes no conditions.

Judgment – Every time we judge against something or someone we hold a position; stand point. We unintentionally create a perceptual split between ourselves and what we’re judging against. Judgment creates a psychological wall that says “I’m different from you” or “my opinion is more important than the reality of what is.” Judgment creates an experience of separation, which is the cornerstone of all suffering.

Peace is the result of feeling whole, and connected to all things. The experience of feeling complete comes with the acceptance of all things as they are, not according to personal opinion.  The opinion defines the persona, not you; for you are Spirit.

All of these patterns of thinking, Blame, Guild, Anger, People Pleasing, and Judgment, can be summed up into one; FEAR. Fear will always function to block the awareness of peace in every moment. And the only tool available to us to overcome fear is forgiveness (the central teaching of ACIM). The level of peace we experience is directly proportionate to the degree in which we can forgive and “Watch without judgment.” – ACIM

JOYn me for HIS EVERY ACTION event!