I am willing to perceive the Holy Spirit in your mind there is nothing more loving I could doACIM Q&A Day:  I struggle with the idea that being spiritual means loving everyone. Especially since there are people in my life who don’t make me feel good when I am around them. How do I handle them in the most loving way?

This is such a great question as teachings on “choosing love” are shared often. Whatever are we to do about those difficult people??

I would ask you, “Who is the one trying to love everyone?” “Who is the one deciding that being spiritual means loving everyone?”

Guess what the answer is… it is our ego! The ego is our small self – our separate identity in this world. When I’m identified with Corinne, I’m identified with the ego. When you are identified with {insert your name here}, you’re identified with the ego.

If we’re looking at this teaching of “choosing love” from the perspective of the ego, there HAS to be conflict in the idea. For how can you truly love everyone when you don’t feel good around certain people? And….what is your definition of “love”?

We can’t love everybody when we’re identified with our ego.  The ego can’t “love” unconditionally because its purpose is to block love (the Love of God).

Love for everyone comes THROUGH us as we’re willing to hand over our perceptions, thoughts, and feelings to our Inner Teacher (the Holy Spirit) to be reinterpreted for us. Loving everyone comes naturally when we are looking to the Holy Spirit to be our guide, because the Holy Spirit is teaching us to remember that Love is what we truly ARE.

This doesn’t mean that you need to stay in close proximity to those who you find challenging. Nowhere in “A Course in Miracles” does it suggest that you need to stay in situations that are uncomfortable:

“Turning the other cheek does NOT mean that you should submit to violence without protest. It means that you cannot BE hurt, and do not want to show your brother anything EXCEPT your wholeness. Show him that he CANNOT hurt you and hold nothing against him, or you hold it against yourself.” ACIM Sparkle Edition pgs. 104-105

How do we show someone that we cannot BE hurt? By turning to the Holy Spirit in our minds, and being willing to see the Holy Spirit in their minds. In that place, we come to learn that Truth remains unchanged despite any appearances that our bodies’ eyes see.  Our task is to continually be willing to exchange our perceptions for the Holy Spirit’s vision, as we can be sure that our own perceptions are faulty (but we can also be sure that we’ll “never lack correction” (from Workbook Lesson 194)). As we allow the Holy Spirit in our mind to reach to the Holy Spirit in the mind of another, we learn that there is nothing more loving than this that we can do.

So, the good news is that you (as your small self) do not have to worry about loving everyone. Whew! All you have to do is be exactly where you are at. If it feels right to remove yourself from the situation, do it, and bring everything that is coming up for you to the Holy Spirit in the process. If it feels right to set boundaries with another, do it, and bring what is coming up for you to the Holy Spirit.

At first, we decide from the ego whether we need to fight or to flee and THEN we ask the Holy Spirit to fix the situation for us. Eventually we learn through experience that we need do nothing of our small selves but give the thoughts/perceptions we have to the Holy Spirit and trust the Holy Spirit will re-translate our perceptions and will even direct us if there is something that It would have us say or do.

The Course asks us to examine every belief we hold. You can bring your feeling/belief/thought of conflict in the idea that “being spiritual means loving everyone” to the Holy Spirit, too.  Ask the Holy Spirt to show you through experiences what it really means to love everybody.  For this is the BEST teacher you can ask. 🙂