The first time I arrived in the attic with Jesus, I sat with him for a couple of hours. I had so many questions and having access to him was such a gift. I wanted to go back the next day, but was super busy with no time for meditation. Then it was back to work on Monday for a full week in the corporate world and raising my son as a single mother. My life was beyond hectic and I didn’t know when I was going to be able to get back there with him, but it’s all I could think about.
I was doing about two lessons per week in the Workbook because that’s all I could squeeze in. I would schedule meetings with myself every day in a small conference room so I could do the lessons at work. Of course, other “urgent” matters would arise and I would have to skip it about three days out of the five. I would think, “At this rate, I’ll finally be through the lessons five years from now.” I would get mad at myself, and all of the other people who were “taking me away” from practicing the lessons.
At work, I had a notebook that was dedicated to work related things like meeting notes, to-do lists and project tasks. However, I started filling it up with unforgiving thoughts as I became more aware of them. Any time I didn’t feel at peace at work, I would jot down what I believed to be the cause of it and hand it over. I would ask Jesus to please take it from me because I valued peace more than whatever wasn’t. For some reason, for me, seeing it on paper took it out of my head and I could see it with him so clearly. I could hand over most of it quickly and peace would return. However, there was one person at work that seemed to be a common theme in my notebook and I was never fully willing to hand it over. I believed she was a horrible person and she was wrong for treating people the way she did.
She would bring my co-workers to tears at least a couple of times a week. No one wanted to be her target because it was so painful so everyone would be extra nice to her, only to be beaten down and attacked by her time and time again. A girl that worked for me seemed to be a target more often than others. Not to mention I was a target on more than one occasion, mainly behind my back which was the worst. I had already been working at the company for over three years and this attack/victim story was so prevalent. I knew that because I was still seeing it as a problem, I was not handing it over.
That Sunday I finally had the time to sit with Jesus in the attic. I was weary and tired from the week and felt like I was failing in my forgiveness lessons, doing the workbook lessons in the Course and finding time to sit with Jesus in the attic.
When I arrived in the attic, the first thing I said to Jesus was, “I’m sorry it took me so long to get back here with you.”
He said, “I am always with you.”
I said, “Oh yeah…I forgot. Oops.” We laughed.
Since the previous week held such acute pain about the girl at work, I thought I’d bring that up first. I told him about it (like he didn’t already know) and asked him what I was doing wrong. Why can’t I see past her behavior? He pointed me to the text. “Let me be to you the symbol of the end of guilt, and look upon your brother as you would look on me.” (T-19, IV, B, 6)
I was like, “You mean I’m supposed to look upon this girl as I would look on you? I don’t know if that’s possible.” I asked him to help me with this. I knew that I could not do it by myself. At that moment, he pulled me back ever so slightly and played a movie of the office that we watched together. It was a compilation of scenes where she was acting self-righteous, like she was the queen of the office. I saw her strutting around treating people horribly. As I watched the movie with him, it shifted from a nightmare to a comedy. All of a sudden, everything that seemed so serious before was now hilarious. I started laughing hysterically for about five minutes. My stomach was hurting and I could barely breathe. It was an awesome release.
I knew from studying the Course that everything was an extension of love or a call for love. Until I was willing to step out of my victimhood, I couldn’t even see that what she was doing was a call for love. I thought it was more of a call for a slap across the face. Now I saw it all so clearly. I was filled with so much gratitude for Jesus for showing me this and also, believe it or not, for her. I saw what a gift she was that she played this role for me to see that I am not the victim of “other people”.
He reminded me that everything is happening in perfect order for my awakening. I can trust in that and the more I become aware of it in all things, the more open I will be to let him show me the truth. He also reminded me that I don’t have to be in the attic for him to show me. He can show me in the moment, if I am willing, so I don’t become so weary and tired until I have time to visit him in the attic again. He then pointed me to the Manual for Teachers.
“The simplest level of teaching appears to be quite superficial. It consists of what seem to be very casual encounters; a “chance” meeting of two apparent strangers in an elevator, a child who is not looking where he is going running into an adult “by chance,” two students “happening” to walk home together. These are not chance encounters. Each of them has the potential for becoming a teaching-learning situation. Perhaps the seeming strangers in the elevator will smile to one another; perhaps the adult will not scold the child for bumping into him; perhaps the students will become friends. Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough. Salvation has come.” (M-3, 2)
After I was finished reading, he said to me, “No one is in that office by mistake”. “Of course!” I said, “Every single person that comes into ‘my orbit’ is there for my awakening. There are no chance encounters! Everything is happening in perfect order. I really hope I can remember that.”
The other thing that popped in my mind to talk to him about was how, no matter what time I left in the morning, I was always late for work by five to ten minutes. My commute was over an hour each way due to traffic so why can’t I get to the office on time? Why am I always late? I had so much guilt about it and in the past, I’ve had extreme reactions from my managers about being late. Everyone at my job now didn’t care, but I still did, so people would make fun of me about it and that would perpetuate the guilt.
I would be so tense sitting in traffic, wishing it would move so I could be on time for work for once. When I would listen to the ACIM CDs, I would feel much calmer, but still freaking out inside because I didn’t want to be late. Jesus told me that he would sit in the passenger seat of my car all week while I was driving to work. He said he’d help me with it. I felt relieved.
We sat in silence for a bit together. I felt so free and had so much energy. What a transformation.
I then asked him why we were in a dark attic and why I can’t see anything but the oil lamp and his face. Is anything else in this attic? He told me he’d show me next time.
The last thing he wanted me to keep in mind was this: “When you unite with me you are uniting without the ego, because I have renounced the ego in myself and therefore cannot unite with yours. Our union is therefore the way to renounce the ego in you.” (T-8, V, 4)
I knew how I felt at that moment and how I felt before I went into the attic. Total opposites. If the ego is what is making me feel crappy, I don’t want it. I thanked him for such a beautiful experience of freedom and opened my eyes.
Love & gratitude,