A corollary of last week's lesson is if there is never any reason to worry, there is never any reason to become defensive.
If I perceive myself as attacked, I need to look very carefully to see if sticks and stones can break my bones, while any other kind of attack can really hurt me.
Men and women have not always been civil in the realm of politics. Sometimes they have reduced themselves to the lowest level of attack mentality. The question is: what kind of mentality do I reduce myself to if I become defensive or start defending myself?
Like worry, defensiveness works against me. If I am defensive, I am not anchored in my spirit. If I am not anchored in my spirit, I am coming from weakness. If I am coming from weakness, how much more am I likely to be attacked and how much less am I likely to be supported?
Operating in the realm of politics, if I am never attacked … so much the better. On the other hand, is there a way I can see things which keeps me out of defensiveness?
What if my joy actually remains intact despite the appearance that I am being attacked? What if in reality I can only attack myself by believing that the seeming attack of others is really about me and can hurt me? What if in truth any apparent attack is not about me at all and hurts nobody but the attacker?
With this week's lesson, I dedicate myself to learning that I never have to be defensive and that defensiveness always works against me. This week I train myself to experience my safety not in defensiveness, but in joy.
My morning meditations this week will be dedicated to imagining situations which could come up during the day to which I would react with defensiveness. With each situation that comes to mind I visualize myself consciously choosing to access my joy and feel my joy instead of lapsing into defensiveness. While visualizing myself avoiding defensiveness and holding my joy in each situation, I tell myself the statement of this week's lesson:
"My safety lies not in defensiveness, but in joy."
Then each hour during the day I stop whatever I am doing and take a few minutes to think of situations where I did or could become defensive and declare about each:
"In this situation involving (someone's name or other specifics) my safety lies not in defensiveness, but in joy."
Finally as I retire each day I review my progress, not worrying about the times I forgot to substitute my joy for defensive tendencies; and feeling very, very good about the times when instead of becoming defensive I was able to stay with my spirit in joy.
The device which more deeply prepares freedom lovers for success, A Course in Miracles , talks about our ultimate need to free ourselves from every kind of slavery:
You have been told to bring the darkness to the light, and guilt to holiness. And you have also been told that error must be corrected at its source. Therefore, it is the tiny part of your self, the little thought that seems split off and separate, that the Holy Spirit needs. The rest is fully in God's keeping, and needs no guide. But this wild and delusional thought needs help, because, in its delusions, it thinks it is the Son of God, whole and omnipotent, sole ruler of the kingdom it set apart to tyrannize by madness into obedience and slavery.
Also available free of charge online:
Course in Relationship Miracles
21 April 1995