Change Takes as Long as it Takes

Releasing Doubt Through A Course In Miracles (ACIM)

as open to learning as a childI am a long-time student in A Course In Miracles (ACIM). In the early years of study, I drove with the Course at the center of my chest, locked it in place with a seat belt. I thought the book radiated Love. I slept every night with it under my pillow. I heard that was how Edgar Cayce learned from books. I took it on holiday, I did not want to miss one practice session. It came with me on every canoe and camping trip. I felt incomplete without it near. I read it on still lakes, on public transit, while waiting for clients. I lugged it everywhere in my purse. I bought timing gadgets to remind me when to do it. I always wrote the daily lesson reminders on the palm or back of my hand.

A Course in Miracles (ACIM)I had the lingo, I knew the lessons. I talked endlessly about it with Course students. In my ACIM groups I would dissect the lessons or the text and tell you what they meant. I would go around quoting its pithy lines. Yup. I knew the Course. I got it. I would happily, gently , correct you when you didn’t.

During those years I had many beatific experiences. I was led and guided. Occasionally I was bathed in Light. Yet on a day-to-day basis, I often experienced some form of guilt, or turmoil, and/or frustration about my practice. I wasn’t in peace.

child-like wonderAfter a few years of study, my family (totally alarmed by my obsession), tried to “help” me by saying such things as, “Are you still reading that same book?” “How long is that course?” I felt defensive because I secretly wondered if they were right. Why was it taking me so long? Maybe I was not doing the lessons thoroughly, or with complete sincerity. Maybe my progress was stunted because of the days when I would simply forget what I committed to do.

“You are resistant,” said my spiritual ego, and I believed it.

It never occurred to me to weed out those nagging thoughts and offer them to the Inner Guide. I was caught in the “I-know” mind. I was so bedazzled by a time-line, that I stood over myself, willing myself to grow. In doing so, I blocked my own Light.

Eventually, despite my interference, I evolved enough to hear a different Voice. I had closed my inner eyes; decided how long it should take and had shut out the Light. Thankfully “I” could not control its eternal Shine. “I” did not have the capacity to stop the Light coming through my inner lids.

Did the Holy Spirit chide me about timing or measure my progress? Never. All during this time of practice with the Course the only thing I was offered was inner guidance and reassurance. I was not yet ready to wholeheartedly listen.

self doubtI now take my doubts into the Silence for help, for correction. I now see how innocent was my belief in the voice that told me I was too slow. I understand better that I was learning to see everything I once believed differently. I needed the time it took to evolve.

It simply takes as long as it takes.

it takes timeI continue to evolve and so must you. Whatever your practice, however long you have been at it, stand back from the voices that chide, that fear, that guilt.

Take another look. Contemplate your intention. What it is you seek? If it does not seem to be happening, bring your fears, your doubts, your concerns to Inner Wisdom. Let the answers unfold and arrive in bursts of clarity.

As strange as this answer may sound, our spiritual growth takes as long as it takes. So pull in a full, deep breath, and continue to apply those daily lessons, whatever yours are. You will discover that it is the application that grows you.

Peace to you.

*Note: I teach the daily lesson and text reading from The Course in Miracles (ACIM) every Thursday morning at 10:30 EST at ACIMgather on Paltalk. You are welcome to join us.

About ellen

Ellen Sutherland shares her work through her sites:, and her book: "At Your Heart's Pace",
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