You are the light of the world. Light is stronger than darkness because it extinguishes it.
Can the sun be extinguished? Clouds can cover it and make it obscure, but it still shines. The light within you cannot be extinguished. It can be covered over but it is still there. It awaits your recognition and acceptance. This is not a statement of pride, arrogance or self-deception. You have not thought of yourself as light because you have been taught otherwise but can learn the truth about your true identity.
We have a split mind. One part of the mind gets upset and feels like a victim. The other part contains the light and love of your spirit. If you feel upset, it is the ego, the false self, you are listening to and have misidentified with. You are NOT your ego. Everyone makes an ego for him/herself, and the ego convinces us that the body is who we are.
We obsess over the body — dress it, feed it, wash it, have its needs met, take it to the doctor and dentist and to concerts and plays to make it happy — and then drug it for pains with aspirin, Tylenol or various drugs or alcohol.
In this world of form, our identification is taken over by the ego and it keeps the distractions going so we will never awaken. It does not want you to know that you have a mind and a light within that cannot be extinguished or damaged. Of course, we take care of the body because it is our learning device, but at some level we know the body/ego is not who we are.
If someone cuts you off in traffic, do you lose your peace? If you are angry and feel defensive, you have lost your peace and are in the ego's corner. Ask yourself whether it is worth getting upset about. Do you like the feeling of being a victim or a martyr? Sometimes we do.
When someone says something upsetting, just imagine whatever was said as bouncing off your light. Just smile. See it as either love or a call for love. Go within and ask your light/spirit/self if there is something to say or do. If there is, it will come from love; maybe you'll send flowers. Holding on to grievances only hurts you.
For inner peace, look at the ego but withdraw from its advice or directives. Little by little, as you choose to recognize the light within, the fewer ego thoughts you'll have and more beautiful moments of peace will be yours. The ego is nothing more than a thought, a belief. Don't associate with its fear and it will vanish. You can be hurt by nothing but your thoughts. The thoughts we have under the ego's direction cause pain and separation. Who is in charge of running these thoughts? You have an inner decision-maker that chooses which voice to hear.
What would you see in the world? The choice is yours, but learn and do not let your mind forget the law of seeing — you will look upon that which you feel within. If fear is within your heart, you will perceive a fearful world; if envy is in your heart, you will be envious; if love is in your heart, you will look out upon a world of love through the light of forgiveness.
You are light, and nothing sticks to light. Train your mind and say: "Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world."
Listen to love and laugh at the ego. Be like Teflon — everything brushes off easily. Forgiveness does likewise. The light in you forgives everyone and everything. What could life's problems and lessons be for, if not for the light of the world's forgiveness? Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, remembering your identity as the light of the world.
Sally McKirgan facilitates the Ashland Daily Tidings Inner Peace column and a weekly "A Course In Miracles" study group. To view four years of Saturday Inner Peace articles, see www.dailytidings.com and search Inner Peace. Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to firstname.lastname@example.org