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How can I overcome feeling "alone" at my Christian school?
Question: I wanted to share with you a recent detour in my awakening. I've started teaching at a private school, thinking how wonderful it would be to spend my day with children. This is a "Christian" school and I asked the woman who hired me exactly what their "spiritual" expectations were regarding their teachers. She said she just wanted the teachers to have a "spiritual life." No problem. So I spend the day reading and hearing announcements about "God's love," good, about "loving one another," good, and then about "satan," uh-oh, and about "the only road to salvation,” uh-oh. Nobody else seems to be having this issue that I wrestle with. They don't seem to bristle at the underlying threats in the message, they don't even think about questioning. I join study groups; can talk the talk, but instead of feeling better, the tears are flowing again. I'm lying to myself, I can't make myself go back to sleep. So I will stay where I am, but I will teach the children only of God's love; the joy, the peace, and the truth of who they are. I feel at peace with this but I ask for your help/prayer in the hopes that I can meet more of those who seem to be at this same place where I am, or at least the strength to feel okay with feeling "different" and trust my inner voice. I want to be okay with being alone again, remembering that I'm never alone and don't want to rely on the presence of other bodies for my comfort. I welcome any advice you may have on how to get there.
Answer: We perceive the world through interpretations based on what we believe. The sights and sounds and words fit into arranged categories and concepts, and upsetting emotions are the result of faulty interpretations. "Satan" and "the only road to salvation" and "sin" and "hell" have a charge for you only because of the interpretation you have been giving to them. Each brother and sister you meet deserves gratitude, for they offer a fresh opportunity to see them from the Perspective of the Holy Spirit. To maintain this Perspective, the mind must be emptied of false concepts and faulty interpretations.
Your seeming situation is a precious opportunity because the language around you is a direct Call to see differently. "Satan" is ego and is simply a belief in an opposite to God's Love. This belief made the world and though it is not advisable to "fight" satan, it is important to raise satan to light in one's own mind. This does require attentiveness, discipline, vigilance, and what the Course calls "mind training." There is nothing inherently good or bad about certain words. It is the interpretation that is either right-minded (peaceful) or wrong-minded (upsetting). The "only road to salvation" refers to Atonement or the Correction in mind offered by the Holy Spirit to the belief in separation. This "only road to salvation" is content and not a specific form, therefore this way is universal in application. "Sin" is an error or a mistake. "Hell" is the illusion of perceiving a self separated from God. As you release past associations and connotations from the words spoken by your brothers and sisters you will see that they are indeed speaking the words your mind requested. And your Perspective on High will Answer them in miraculous and healing ways, for you will hear the Holy Spirit speaking through them and Answering your own Call for healing. Each encounter is a fresh opportunity to interpret ONLY with the Holy Spirit and is vital to Awakening. Your brothers and sisters are right because Christ is always present. Only misinterpretation brings tears of sadness, yet each person you meet comes to you bearing the gift of the Holy Spirit. We can only behold the gift without the lens of judgment clouding our vision, and the past is judgment. Each encounter is a chance to meet anew, fresh, clean and spontaneously in the moment. No "body" or "environment" threatens our peace—judgment is the obstacle. No person or word or theology is threatening, yet we must pluck the poisonous interpretation that would see "somebody" or "something" as separate from our Christ Self. "Take in the stranger" means to recognize that there is no “stranger" to the Christ Mind—nothing apart from Oneness.
Peace & Blessings, David