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Does my brother's pain exist?

Question: Last night, my boyfriend of four years and I broke up. He has had an unusually troubled childhood, and I'm sure my friends and family will be happy that I "got away" from such a cynical, childish person. But now all I can think is that all the things that disgusted me in the end—the dirty house, the dark clinging attitude, the irresponsible behavior and his seeming pain, were really just his belief in the lack of love.

Why is the "seemingness" of things always dismissed in ACIM? If he experiences pain, then I don't care if it's not real—it's still cause for my concern! It seems that if I followed the Course principles, I could just go do my lessons and feel happy and loving while he rots in his own self-created hell. Or maybe his pain really doesn't exist on ANY level, and therefore I should just not give a crap about other people's suffering.

I hope you understand the issue I'm trying to get at. Or maybe this is all just ego talk, and I don't even know what I'm saying? I don't know any more. Perhaps you can see through all this better than me. Thank you so much for your love and patience!

Answer: Thanks for sharing what is on your heart. Your question about the perception of pain is a good starting point in clearing the mirror of the mind. This mirror must be cleared of false beliefs and concepts and thoughts if you are to radiate the Light that is ever Present. Pain is always a misperception, for God has nothing to do with pain. If God is real there is no pain. If pain is real there is no God. The illusion of pain always stems from wrong-minded thinking, and this is what must be exposed and released to experience lasting peace and happiness.

Concern is another word for worry, and this emotion has nothing to do with compassion or true empathy. Concern is an emotion that is painful and arises from a desire to be right about a particular person, situation, or event. One aspect of such concern is the belief that something false has already happened. Another aspect is the belief that past events caused the fear and pain. This misperception gives reality to the past and denies the Present Solution offered by the Holy Spirit. When you pray for a miracle you are praying for a change in your perception. Even when you seem to pray for "another," this is still the case. If you seem to have continuing concern for a brother after asking for a miracle, you are not allowing the miracle to be as it is. Miracles do not create or really change, they simply look calmly upon the false and see that it has no consequence. Miracles offer only Joy, and when Joy has come all pain is over now.

The concept of leaving someone behind is a strange belief, for in God's Love there is no such thing as leaving. The ego is the belief in possession, and what seems capable of being possessed also seems capable of being lost. Loss is the ego's story and originated with the belief that it is possible to separate or "fall" from God's Eternal Love. This error seems to be acted out and repeated in human relationships, just as the past seems to repeat. The miracle Awakens the mind to the awareness that the past is over and only a blessing remains.

Pain is correctly perceived as a Call for Love, and this is always one's own Call to release the false perception of pain. Looking through a glass darkly never brings peace, happiness, love, or joy, so any seeming upset is a Call to empty the mind of false concepts and thus clean the mirror. This is the mind training that is required to accept the Atonement and remember God. Atonement is the awareness that the separation never happened. Until this Correction is accepted, the world will seem real and the unreal emotions of the ego that are one with the world will seem to persist in awareness.

Let the feelings come up into awareness. Then, with deep honesty and sincerity, give the thoughts and judgments and interpretations and feelings over to the Spirit. When darkness is raised to Light the darkness is gone. Do not protect the darkness, for the Spirit will not dissolve what has not been willingly offered for release. You have the Answer within but have been unwilling to let go of the ego definition of the problem. The Holy Spirit must wait until you see that you have had a perception problem based on belief in the ego. Until this point is reached the "problems" will seem to be projected to the world and to brothers that seem apart from the mind. They are not. There are no problems apart from the mind. Healed perception will spring to awareness the instant the misperception is seen exactly as it is and not concealed or projected as "something else."

All illness was mental illness, and all perceived pain was nothing but a faulty formulation of Reality. Reality is Love, and Love is created Eternally Perfect. Love has no opposite.

Love & Blessings, David