When we grow up in environments that feel unstable in any way, we develop coping mechanisms to maintain some semblance of stability. It’s a natural survival instinct. Then as adults we erroneously keep using the same strategies to keep us safe when they are no longer necessary and no longer serve us. Most addictions are rooted in escaping the pain caused by carrying these out-dated life strategies into our adult lives.
12-Step advice tells us, “Let Go and Let God.” Buddhist teachers tell us to be awake, aware, and accept what is present. A Course in Miracles tells us that peace comes from our belief God has a plan for us that will align us with joy and happiness far beyond anything our egos tell us will do the same.
The wisdom is all around us. A friend shares with great awareness his fear of not being liked and how this results in maddening, hoop-jumping mind activities to manage people’s perceptions. Another friend feels unjustified in taking a sick day when her boss shames her for taking it. I remember a time when I disliked meeting new people because I was crippled by fear of the unknown. What if instead we simply accept ourselves, what is, and what will be?
Lesson 139 in ACIM offers us atonement for our judgment of ourselves. We may think we need to discover who we are, to understand, to judge, to pursue change, but the important truth is simply that we are ourselves.
“Uncertainty about what you must be is self-deception on a scale so vast, its magnitude can hardly be conceived. To be alive and not to know yourself is to believe you are really dead. For what is life except to be yourself, and what but you can be alive instead? Who is the doubter? What is it he doubts? Whom does he question? Who can answer him?”
Let us not judge against ourselves and deny our value. In earlier lessons of the Course, we are asked to accept the mission of happiness. We are asked to accept that we are miracles created by love, for love, as love. We are asked to accept the same is true for everyone, as we are one. “Today accept Atonement, not to change reality, but merely to accept the truth about yourself.”
I am me, created to be joy and peace, just like you. Everything else is self-generated noise.