ACIM reiterates many times that WE ALONE ARE THE CAUSE of our own suffering. We are not ever at the effect of the world. We are the cause of the world, the dream, and everything we feel and think and experience. Nothing happens without our consent, and we cannot even be hurt unless we ourselves hurt ourselves.
When you take this to the extreme, it means that YOU ALONE are responsible for EVERYTHING you experience, and NO ONE ELSE has anything to do with it whatsoever. There are no causes in the world, your brothers NEVER cause you (God is the cause of you), and you cannot suffer unless you choose to.
You can't even die unless you choose to. NOTHING can happen without your decision. And Jesus is completely literal about this. If you do not CHOOSE to suffer, suffering CANNOT happen to you. Sickness cannot happen, nor can death. You have automatic innate power over death and suffering at all times, and ONLY YOU can bring them upon yourself.
"If you deny Him, you bring sin, pain, and suffering into your OWN mind, because of the power He gave it."
This puts 100% of the responsibility on your shoulders. Which means that if you are ever tempted to believe that something is happening for a reason OTHER than your own contribution, you are in a state of being mistaken, and now you need correction. Because it is ONLY your contribution that is causing everything.
This sounds easy enough. You just need to realize and recognize that every time you are unhappy, upset, suffering, in pain, sick, angry etc, it is because you are making it happen. If you would just stop hurting yourself you'd be totally invulnerable and healthy and happy all the time. No joke.
What becomes seemingly difficult is the many ways that we might not recognize what we're doing, or that we're even doing anything at all. We can become so used to blame, and reaction, and emotional triggers, and powerlessness, and believing other people actually do stuff, and that it seems impossible we can be responsible for everything.
In fact it runs very deeply. Every single thought you have, every attitude, every belief, are all part of the confusion that "its not me doing it" and "they are doing it to me." In every way, it is really you, who are an immortal being who can never even be changed at all, becoming confused and believing that something outside of you is changing you against your will. This can NEVER be true.
Every time that we lose sight of being THE CAUSE, we fall into temptation. We deny the truth and project causality outside of us. And this is the same as projecting sin. Then we find others or the world to be the cause of us. And this is a defense against the healing God placed in our minds. It's a way to avoid being healed by displacing the problem and its source outside of ourselves.
We talk about teaching others, and helping others, and having relationships, and performing miracles and so on, but the foundation of all this is simply YOU BEING YOU. Are you attacking yourself, or aren't you? If you aren't, you are not under attack. If you are, you are your ONLY worst enemy. This is all due to the suicidal self-destructiveness which comes from believing you are sinful. Are you trying to destroy yourself and others, or are you extending creation?
If you were to temporarily remove the entire planet, and all the people on it, and leave just you floating in space by yourself, whatever is going on in your experience is SOLELY caused by you. There is nothing else to cause it. This really tells you that ALL your forgiveness work is ENTIRELY an inside job. IT has nothing to do with others. It's you versus yourself. Is you trying to master yourself. It's your mind playing tricks on itself. It's you alone affecting yourself insanely.
Weaning off of all the reasons, excuses, explanations, justifications, beliefs, projections, and all other forms of displacement of responsibility, is not easy. We have a lot of habits formed, a lot of assumptions made, and a lot of belief in being vulnerable. We position ourselves as victims on a minute-by-minute basis. We might think it's not even POSSIBLE to question whether these things are happening to us. That things can seem so extreme and lopsided that it seems impossible we can be the one causing it.
But even those things which seem convincing, tempting us, secretly our dissociated choice, we have to dig out ALL of them, to question every single mental activity which is leading you away from your invulnerability. Even the notion that if you are being responsible, other people can still do stuff to you, cannot be true. Even the notion that even if you're doing your best, you will still die, cannot be true. Even death itself CANNOT have power over you if you decide NOT to die. "You are immortal and you cannot die."
The aim here is that you become "strong in the truth". That you stand in your own light. That you know yourself and be true to yourself. That you be so certain of what you ARE, that you don't for a second displace yourself, make a bodily identity, project cause outside of yourself, or believe any temptation that you are threatened by the world. This is how you be the light of the world, by going WITHIN to the light that is in you, so that it can extend.
Ultimately it boils down to one simple thing. You are the one who is making your life hell. It's not anyone else, and its not the world. It's not your neighbors, not your boss, your politicians, your celebrities. It's not certain races or countries or the weather or food or where you live. It's not external activities or events or space or time. It's just YOU. You are the one who is doing it to yourself. Holy fuck!
Salvation has been placed IN YOUR MIND by God because he knows that the PROBLEM is in your mind. And so the solution is in your mind. Your mind is what needs to be corrected, and that is all. This will take care of everything else. You are the one who is against you. You are the one who keeps giving YOUR power away to others. You are the one who keeps losing yourself and confusing yourself with things which are not you. And you are the one who can use the power of your decision to get out of it.
"You are immortal and you cannot die, but you can confuse yourself with things that do.""It means that nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace. But it also means that nothing outside yourself can hurt you, or disturb your peace in any way.""It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself. Even in this world, it is I who rule my destiny. What happens is what I desire. What does not occur is what I do not want to happen."
"Unless you have hurt yourselves, you could never suffer in ANY way"
"Who could be hurt in such a war, unless he hurts himself?"
"Nothing can hurt you, unless you give it the power to do so."
"If you will listen to His voice, you will know that you cannot either hurt or be hurt"
"You cannot be hurt, and do not want to show your brother anything except your wholeness."
"I AM responsible for what I see. I CHOSE the feelings I experience, and I DECIDED ON the goal I would achieve. And everything that SEEMS to happen TO me, I ASKED FOR and received as I had asked."
"It is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside him. It is impossible that the happenings that come to him were not his choice. His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident."
"The secret of salvation is but this: That YOU are doing this UNTO YOURSELF. No matter what the form of the attack, this STILL is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, STILL is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is STILL true."