I have finished something that has taken me more than 20 years to accomplish.
You’re thinking weighty here, aren’t you? Substantial. Meaty.
Like authoring a book. Building a dream home. Retiring in your 40s.
I’ve finished reading “A Course in Miracles.” Just the Text portion, that is.
You are holding your applause, aren’t you?
For those of you not familiar, this tome is a course in spiritual transformation. It is single-spaced, lengthy and written in language difficult for even the most advanced word nerds to process.
Beyond the Text portion, there’s a Workbook section and a Manual for Teachers.
So I have some ground to cover, still.
And yet, the feeling of accomplishment at finally making it through a book I was drawn to over two decades ago was rewarding.
Yes, I know. That probably sounds silly. Two decades to read something is not a Wheaties box moment.
As I look back, I bought this book because Marianne Williamson was a favorite author and she touted ACIM as a lifesaver.
Quite frankly, when I first started reading it, it felt a bit out there. A teensy bit insane. Just plain weird.
I read some of the Text in my 20s and finally gave up. Put it aside. To be revisited here and there in my 30s, during which I was busy getting married, birthing children, with my career. Oh, let’s face it. My 30s were a wash for ACIM. It was the furthest thing from my mind.
And then came my 40s. I picked it back up. Lo and behold, I was tracking with this crazy text.
Don’t get me wrong. It still makes my brain hurt at times. But I was spiritually that much more open, that much smarter, that much hungrier.
So, when I closed the book a couple of nights ago, knowing I had read a significant first portion of it—I smiled. Felt a sense of accomplishment. Not only at getting through it but at the changes that must have occurred internally to allow me to be in a place of better understanding its message.
I remembered who I was in my middle 20s, reading this in my studio apartment. And I saw who I am now, in my middle 40s, still plugging away.
Many times, we measure our growth in terms of numbers in our bank statement, size of our home, relationship status.
It was a recognition that becoming a spiritual warrior is a long, tough climb. Maybe not even a constant climb. We take breaks.
I took those breaks but have not given up. And the progress I do not see every day became apparent when looking through a lens of 20 years. In the same way, grunting through planks in barre class does not seem to yield results in the short term. But, our svelte selves six months later attest to the hard work.
That’s all for today. Not earth shattering, even in my small corner of the world.
To any and all on a spiritual journey out there, I feel your pain. Meditation is tough. Reading about spirituality in a world that does not reward it can be tough. Practicing your beliefs in a world where egotistical idiots sometimes reign supreme can feel impossible at times.
But, as we look back, it will have made a difference. Even if only to our soul, and hopefully to others we’ve met along the way.
I wish I could say I’m looking forward to the next milestone. Honestly, today I am not. The Workbook takes diligence and some days feels tedious or silly.
At those times, I will remind myself that any consistent practice reaps rewards. More of the slow simmer type of reward than any one Big Bang.
But I think I’ve just seen that is OK. Something to be celebrated, even.