Sunday, January 1, 2012

Toss Your Resolutions

You know you’re going to break them. You do it every year. So why not try your resolutions the Course in Miracles way? What’s that? The easy way. You forgive yourself for your flaws, and then your Higher Self breaks through and effortlessly takes care of the problem. When we are in the flow of divine love, change is easy, delightful and carefree.

Usually New Year’s resolutions involve putting your nose to the grindstone and giving something up. Most resolutions come from a withering sense of failure. Our determination to change only lasts awhile, until we are beset with recurring self-criticism. Permanent change doesn’t come from pumping ourselves up with affirmations and visualizations focused on obtaining things. Those can help move us along, but the only lasting change comes from loving ourselves. But how do we love ourselves when at our core there is massive self-hatred? Our self-hatred goes way deeper than we even realize. The self-loathing we are conscious of is only the tip of the iceberg. Affirmations are done consciously but they often don’t attend to the unconscious maliciousness that’s running the show. Affirmations to be healthier and wealthier may make us feel better for awhile, but then the subconscious snake springs forth to bite us. Many of us have worked for years on our financial prosperity, our health, and our relationships with minimal progress. That’s because we use positive energy to combat negative energy. In this world of duality, where there are always opposite sides to every condition, both sides have to eventually show up. We stay positive, positive, positive only to get frustrated and give up.

A Course in Miracles gets us around this trap, this never-ending cycle of positive and negative swings. The primary tool is to forgive ourselves for thinking we are small, separate selves, born to die, struggling every day to make our way in a difficult world. We are dreaming we’ve lost our connection to God, but we can wake up. We are the holy children of God and we don’t have to sacrifice and struggle. When we forget who we are, the One Self, we think we’re flawed, lacking, and alone. This makes us scared and we do all sorts of things to ward off our fears. We are afraid of not having enough money, so we make a resolution to put more money into our IRA. We are afraid of getting sick, so we resolve to cut out sugar. We are afraid our relationship will fail, so we resolve to stop saying mean things.

Then we break our resolutions and feel worse than before. The only thing we ever need to do is forgive ourselves for forgetting who we are. Then everything else falls in place. A Course in Miracles reminds us in Lesson 96, “Although you are one Self, you experience yourself as two; as both good and evil, loving and hating, mind and body. This sense of being split into opposites induces feelings of acute and constant conflict, and leads to frantic attempts to reconcile the contradictory aspects of this self-perception.” Hence, we affirm, visualize and make affirmations to change our circumstances in a desperate attempt to improve ourselves. But those things won’t bring lasting healing because attempts to change the body or the world are a denial of Truth. “Until you have accepted this (that you are Spirit only, not both Spirit and a body) you will attempt an endless list of goals you cannot reach. If you are spirit, then the body must be meaningless to your reality.”

How do we forgive ourselves? Forgiveness is an attitude, so we can do it through anything that reminds us of our True Nature. We can say, “I forgive myself for identifying with my small self. Holy Spirit, help me to see my True Self. I choose love instead of fear.” Forgiveness does not attempt to change the outer world, but to change the mind that is dreaming it is a body in a fearful world. Then problems that appear to be outside of ourselves automatically clear up. When we ask the Holy Spirit to change our perceptions, the world will appear to change, because we have chosen love instead of fear.

This year be kind to yourself. Forgive those New Year’s resolutions before you make or break them. Your only task is to recognize your divinity, fully own it, and let the Holy Spirit take care of the details. This is the easy way. Plus it’s the only way that ultimately works.

There’s more information about finding your True Self in my book Breaking Free: How Forgiveness and A Course in Miracles Can Set You Free. It is available through Barnes and Noble, Amazon and at

By Lorri Coburn, MSW

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