The Power of Truth
Shared by Marcella
I decided a few months ago that I was going to set a goal for myself spiritually. After reading “Setting the Goal” from Chapter 17 in the Text, I found myself open and receptive to what it was asking me to do. Though I had been learning in my study group that it is about special relationships, I saw great value in individualizing it and extending it to other aspects of my life on this journey.
Since then, I like to think of it each morning as setting my goal for that day to Truth. (Anytime I write about the Truth, I like to capitalize it, to make sure I distinguish it as having a holy meaning.) For me, Truth means asking Holy Spirit to show me in every situation what to do and what to think and what to say. Sometimes listening for the Truth means to not do anything at all, until I am sure that I have the right guidance on how to act. Truth means finding the Love that surrounds every situation, every conflict and every human interaction. Then, I can act in a way that brings peace to myself and others. Truth has changed my days from being worried and often depressed, to being loving, helpful, and happy.
Two weeks ago, my family and I were at the local middle school where my son, Brady, was to play a basketball game early that morning. Before the game, many families had collected in the cafeteria because they were taking individual and team pictures. We spotted Brady’s best friend, Jackson, and his parents on the other side of the room. My husband was excited to see Jackson as he had just spent about five days with him while serving as a parent chaperone on a camping trip our school district provides to all 5th graders. My husband had spent so much time with this boy, and yet had not met his mom and dad.
My husband, who is a natural extrovert, wandered across the room to say hello to Jackson and his parents. I remained back with my other son observing.
As I watched my husband interact, I got a distinct feeling that they were not as friendly as my husband was being. I felt a cold wave come over me. I have often felt in the past that I have been able to “read” people in these situations. In my mind, they were being distant. Maybe even rude. I immediately felt the judgment on my part coming on. I felt put off and maybe even mad with them. To me, it felt like they had an air about them that said they were above us. Their lack of eye contact and body language was showing my ego that they were disinterested in my husband’s efforts to engage with them. It’s hard to explain just how put off by them I was.
As the morning went on, team pictures were over…and it looked like my son was going to be playing against his friend Jackson, who was on the opposing team. We all collected in the nearby gymnasium. There were several games going on at once and it was very noisy and crowded. But for me it seemed like the loudest presence in that gym was my sense of the hostility of those parents who I felt had offended my family.
As I reflect on this situation, I realize that the whole time I felt angry and put off by these parents, I knew exactly what was going on within my deepest thoughts. The day before, I had read Section I in Chapter 24, “The Hidden Belief in Specialness.” I was reminded of how my specialness creates my enemies. I felt like Holy Spirit was reminding me that these people were innocent and not deserving of my hate, no matter how I tried to justify it (and I was). And so I asked Him to help me with it.
While I was still feeling defensive, I was also willing to admit these feelings were harmful and not the Truth. I wanted only to see these people as innocent, holy Sons of God. At one point during the actual game, I bowed my head and repeated silently these words from Lesson 107 of the Workbook, “Truth will correct all errors in my mind and I will rest in Him who is my Self.” I kept Holy Spirit in my mind the whole morning long, just asking for his help. I sincerely wanted only to see the Truth in these two people.
The next day, I realized my feelings of resentment and dislike of Jackson’s parents were completely gone. I feel like Holy Spirit simply took these harmful feelings away. It amazed me that I didn’t have to do any more work on this. My feelings of extreme dislike (hate), had disappeared. I knew Holy Spirit had taken them from me and I felt lighter in my being. I gave Him my willingness, and He did the rest.
I have learned how powerful my willingness to change my mind can be. What is more, I have learned that Truth is a power beyond my own. I had set my goal of Truth many months ago and stayed connected with it in my heart during my daily life. And then, in the midst of this challenging situation, Truth came in and swiftly saved me from harmful thoughts about my holy brothers. Truth prevailed here and gave me such grace that I felt set free from my own judgments.
I am reminded of the beautiful words of Lesson 196 in the Workbook: “Let us take this step today, that we may quickly go the way salvation shows us, taking every step in its appointed sequence as the mind relinquishes its burdens one by one. It is not time we need for this. It is but willingness. And what would seem to need a thousand years can easily be done in just one instant by the grace of God.”