Dare to Be Happy
By Daniel Tipton*

Keeping Things In Perspective

With ACIM, I used to take things to extremes or take things too literally. This is not to say that it does not literally mean what it says. It is very adamant that there are no exceptions to it's “laws”. In other words, I can't be peaceful or forgiving most of the time and call myself healed. What I am attempting to say here is that, given the fact that I am in a human body, I am automatically still in a state of learning. I am “not there yet” so I require learning on another plane than the goal I am aiming toward.

ACIM says that the purpose of the body is to render the body unnecessary. However, while I have a body, the body is very necessary. It is an indispensable tool in my learning. I used to run into trouble because ACIM often takes different perspectives, many times switching between them in a single paragraph. We are given the perspective of our true identities or the ultimate goal, but it also takes our perspectives, or where we currently are in our learning. This has caused me confusion, because I used to feel like a failure if I was not “achieving” the ultimate goal.

What I believe ACIM does is it gives me a glimpse into my great potential. I feel that this glimpse into the amazing outcome of all this work is crucial for motivation. I am not given the perspective of a healed one to make me feel bad or like a failure. It is to put things in perspective. It is to get me to say to myself “there is another way”. This is the shift in perspective that I believe ACIM works so hard to get us to. Saying the world is not real does not mean I am failing if I participate in the happenings of daily life. It is only to help me see that yes, this event seems to be happening and causing stress (or any unpeaceful feeling), and that is alright. However, there is another way and another choice is available.

One of the things that I loved about ACIM right away was that it speaks absolutely and it is completely un-apologetic about its requirements. Yet, it teaches me like a gentle, patient, compassionate, empathetic older brother. It tells me that the curriculum is not negotiable, but I am given all the time that I may need to find my way. I completely understand and appreciate this approach, because I am sure that my sensitive, defensive ego could not handle it any other way. I generally do not like being told what to do, but a gentle suggestion helps me feel like it is my own choice, and allows me to experience with an open mind.

This absolute language can be misunderstood. I like to look at my progress as a balancing act. However, what I am trying to do is shift the center of balance to a higher place. I have the perspective of my elder brother but I also have a life on this planet to live and make the most of. The awareness of my true nature keeps things in perspective. It takes the unnecessary drama out of the play, and it removes the possibility of a victim role. I am thankful for this because those things certainly would slow my progress.

We have a glimpse of the end result of this journey, but it will not be without set-backs. I have much I still need to experience, but I need to know why I should even bother. ACIM has filled this desire to need to know the purpose of my life. I no longer question my own existence, which can be quite depressing. I know why I am here now. ACIM has shown me what is possible if I stay diligent and allow God's love into my heart and mind. I am not here by accident. I am here on purpose. The key is not to be resentful of where I am in my learning. I am going somewhere, but just am not quite there yet. That is perfectly acceptable.

This short scene from the movie “Gladiator” always gets me. I liken it to saying we are on our way home, but we are not there yet...not yet.


~ Daniel Tipton

*Daniel Tipton resides in Omaha, NE and is a member of the Course in Miracles Society. He is in his second year of the 2 year ACIM Ministerial Program offered by the Daniel TiptonCommunity Miracles Center and he is one of the founding members of the new Miracle Cell Men's Team. Daniel attended the 2011 Annual ACIM Conference in San Francisco and is currently working on a masters degree in Counseling at UNO. He will be assisting at the 2013 ACIM Conference which will be held in Chicago. More Conference Information here

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