The decision to be punished
Being abused is not fun. Being punished or victimized or attacked is not fun. Being hurt by others, or by anything, is not fun. Being in pain and sickness is not fun. All forms of suffering suck bad.
Every episode of being hurt by the world always looks like you being victimized, against your will. You seeming not to choose it, not wanting it, and doing nothing to ask for it, yet alone deserving it. It always appears unsought and unfair.
When you look only at appearances, every abusive situation looks completely awful. Children being abused. Babies born with disabilities. Parents killed in a car crash. Someone being shot. Murder and rape and all manner of horrors.
However, when you read A Course in Miracles, we're told something which may not seem possible, yet alone true - that you are always doing this to yourself. Not matter who seems to be doing what to whom.
"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."
In all seemingly un-asked for scenarios of suffering, it always seems that the problem began with attack by another. You were apparently doing nothing and minding your own business. Then along came the horror out of nowhere. You seemed to not even remotely choose it. You did nothing on the physical level to ask for it or to make it happen. You are a genuine victim.
However, such attacks in fact begin long before they ever manifest. And to realize this will take a lot of willingness and healing. Just even getting past the misery could take a lifetime. But hiding behind every experience of punishment is a secret decision, which happened in your mind long before the punishment happened.
Everyone who has believed in separation from God, attacked themselves first. They believed in their own sin and guilt. They tried to crucify themselves. Long before any abuser came along. each of us was responsible for deciding that we deserve to suffer and be punished. We chose to insist on a willingness to allow ourselves to be hurt. We literally wanted to be hurt. Or even worse, to die, because the belief in sin demands death.
"They do not realize that, to deny God, is to deny their own identity, and in this sense, the wages of sin IS death. The sense is very literal; -- denial of Life perceives its opposite, as ALL forms of denial replace what IS, with what is NOT. No-one can really DO this, but that you can THINK you can, and BELIEVE YOU HAVE, is beyond dispute."
Having decided you are sinful - the original sin, for trying to attack God, you quickly believe you no longer deserve love. Or even to live. You believe you should suffer and die to atone through the ego. To pay the consequences for what you did. And NOW you start to seek out ways to suffer.
Deciding you should suffer, you now attract, choose, hire, coerce, opt for and want, various people, scenarios and problems to bring the penalty to you. You elect freely and seemingly unconsciously to incarnate into defective bodies, broken families, abusive relationships and all manner of tortures. You arrange it all.
As each form of suffering comes to you, as you asked, and looking solely at the physical way by which it happens, it gives no hint that you asked for it. Especially not that you want it. Each blow is enacted by another body. Each attack appears unasked for. Stuff goes wrong seemingly chaotically and at random. Then the world seems to decide it's your time to die. Sucks to be you.
Who would suspect that you asked for this? That you consented to death, no matter how it came? Who would see the secret wish to suffer hidden behind the face of innocence?
"No one can suffer loss unless it be his own decision. No one suffers pain except his choice elects this state for him. No one can grieve nor fear nor think him sick unless these are the outcomes that he wants, and ***no one dies without his own consent***. Nothing occurs but represents your wish, and nothing is omitted that you choose. Here is your world, complete in all details. Here is its whole reality for you. And it is only here salvation is."
No-one, not even the person suffering, thinks that they started all this. It always seems to begin outside of you, beyond your will. And then you can point fingers of blame and say, you abused me, you hit me, you hurt me, you punished me, you screwed up my life, you did this and I didn't choose it. Its all your fault.
And now the other is a scapegoat. Secretly someone you hired to hurt you on your behalf, they now take the blame for being the one who did it to you, so no-one notices the contract you signed. Ands so long as the projection of blame remains, it completely hides what you are doing to yourself. All power and responsibility is projected onto anyone except you.
You won't want to ever look at the fact you asked for this, so long as you don't see one key fact: You believed you deserved to suffer BEFORE you suffered. Before you were attacked, you attacked yourself. You believed it as soon as you left God. The denial of God was the denial of entitlement to forgiveness, happiness, health and life. You threw it all away and wanted life to suck.
And THEN you masterminded a lifestyle of awful things seeming to happen to you, inducing suffering while trying to achieve an illusion of redemption. You think if you suffer enough you'll pay off the debt. How much is enough? Only permanent suffering and death is an acceptable fee for your ego.
You chose everyone in your life. You hired them to not love you. You wanted to be sick. You wanted to be attacked, hurt and abused. Terrible lack of self love and respect happened before you brought a ton of bricks down upon yourself. You hated yourself.
Every hurt, every punishment, every abuse, every attack, IS in fact the working of your psyche to guarantee that you get what you think you desreve. It always appears that other agents are doing this to you, so that you can hide your death wish. But it is ALWAYS you that is deciding to orchestrate ALL forms of suffering. Your mind makes it happen.
"For you would not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that YOU were dreaming. Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they COULD have no effect on you, unless you failed to recognize it is YOUR dream. This single lesson learned will set you free from suffering, WHATEVER form it takes."
The ONLY WAY to be set free from ALL forms of suffering, is to recognize that in every case, the power of your decision begins the whole process. You decide you deserve to suffer, then you project abusers and punishers and prison guards, all of whome you hate and blame, in order to to hide how YOU feel about yourself.
"If to love oneself is to HEAL oneself, those who are sick do NOT love themselves."
You can only suffer by choosing to. If you do not choose to, you CANNOT SUFFER OR DIE. Giving away your power to another to be the fall guy to disguise your self hate, is the only cause of ALL your problems. Choose to love yourself, and you will reclaim immortality.
All abusers, attackers, haters, hurters, punishers, terrorists, murderers and enemies must be forgiven. And to forgive them is a recognition that they were NEVER the starting point of any suffering. Spacetime began and ends with your decision. Nothing EVER happens without your consent.
"I am in the likeness of my Creator. ***I cannot suffer, I cannot experience loss, and I cannot die.*** I am not a body. I would recognize my reality today. I will worship no idols, nor raise my own self-concepts to replace my Self. I am in the likeness of my Creator. Love created me like Itself."
"The emphasis this course has placed on that idea is due to its centrality in our attempts to ***change your mind about yourself***. It is the reason you can heal. It is the cause of healing. It is why you cannot die. Its truth established you as one with God."
"Yet you CANNOT crucify God's Son, for the Will of God cannot die. His Son HAS BEEN redeemed ***from his own crucifixion***, and you cannot assign to death whom God has given eternal life."
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