I have been overwhelmed.

For months and even years I have been frustrated with the lack of abundance in my life. I spent a lot of time with especially Days 1, 2 and 3 of the Dialogues of A Course of Love (ACOL): Accept Me (Jesus/Christ), Accept your Self (which ultimately is the same) and Accept Abundance, yet nothing seemed to happen.

And then it happened.

Two months ago I decided that I wanted to go to the USA. I longed for the real dialogue and interaction that I experienced a glimpse of in my participation on the ACOL USA Facebook page. Even though I had no money, I expressed my desire to go on this site. After the annual Course in Miracles conference in Las Vegas the Course of Love group was going to have their first meeting, and I wanted to be there.

Two days later I got a Skype call with an offer to sponsor my attendance at the conference. Some time later I got an offer from Joe to have my rather expensive hotel accommodation sponsored. I was going to be his room mate. I had no money, but bought a ticket on my credit card.

As my accommodation agreement in Swellendam had come to an end, I drove up to Pretoria to stay with my friend Shan until I was to fly to America.

It so happened that my mother finally died during this time after a long period of dementia or Altzheimers or whatever you want to call it. It was a relief. The whole family came together, and an era was concluded. It also meant that a little bit of money became available, and this covered my credit card payment.

After a total of almost 30 hours in the air and on airports I arrived in Las Vegas exhausted. The next day I walked into town to try and find a connecting device for my laptop. I had tried to find one at the airports, but somehow South Africa apparently does not count as “international” when it comes to electric adaptors! I enquired at a kiosk along the road. Upon being asked I replied that I was in Vegas to attend the Course in Miracles convention. “Performed any miracles yet?” the man asked playfully. “Well, I haven’t walked on water yet,” I replied, “but you never know!” We both laughed. I had no inkling yet of what was to happen.

It turned out that the distance to “Best Buy” was much more than I had anticipated. So I decided to have some breakfast and turn back.

As I sat eating, an Eritrean man entered. We started talking. He offered to take me to “Best Buy”, and advised me that I could take a bus back.

“Best Buy” didn’t have the adaptor, but I had a great time admiring and desiring an iPad! I caught a bus and offered payment with a $10 bill. “Don’t you have change?” the driver asked. “No, sorry” I replied. “Oh well, no problem” he replied and offered me a free ride. The next day Rose was very helpful and found a store where I could find a new connecting cord for my laptop. It would be $19. I walked there, found the cord, and was given it for free. Rose also organized me an American SIM card for my phone. In case anybody wants to know, the number is 702-409-1855.

I decided to do a bit of gambling. After all, I was in Vegas! After winning $35 (about R520) to supplement my meager supply of dollars, I called it quits. I was happy, but also not. Something bothered me.

That night I dreamed of my son Johan. When I woke up, I was deeply despondent and depressed. I knew immediately what had happened. Johan had worked at a casino, and at the time I could see that it was not doing him good. He got drawn into a dark underworld, and ultimately he committed suicide. At a subconscious level it all came back to me, and the dream brought it into consciousness. It was extremely painful as the guilt and regrets surfaced. I had thought that I had long ago worked through Johan’s death, but clearly here was something that I had not allowed myself to feel fully yet.

And so, although I was excited to meet Mari, the “first receiver” of A Course of Love, and other people I had met through Facebook, I did not share the general feeling of joy and anticipation that pervaded the opening of the conference. I felt terrible.

The next day I had the kind of dialogue that ACOL speaks about, and that I had come to the USA for to experience, first with Christina and then with Mari. I allowed all the emotional turmoil to surface, and allowed myself to be absolutely real. What a joy to be so completely accepted for who I am! Mari offered me some coffee, but there was nothing to stir it with. Eventually the only thing she could find was her toothbrush, and I used that (the handle!) to stir my coffee! For me it epitomized the letting go of all social convention and inhibition, and was a highlight of my visit!

The effect was miraculous. I was a different person, or rather, I was Me. The depression had gone, and I felt a deep sense of joy. Such is the healing power of authenticity and realness!

I started interacting meaningfully with various conference participants and ended up being so busy engaging that I didn’t have time to catch up on my e-mail, FB and other “admin”. I could feel abundance emerging.

On Saturday night a number of us were invited to Glenn’s apartment. John Mark and Sally were playfully discussing giving and receiving, and John Mark plucked out a $100 note and gave it to Sally. The next moment several bank notes were passed around, and a general discussion about giving and receiving ensued. I mentioned that, although I seemed to have no problems giving, I had great difficulty receiving.

Not long after that somebody came up to me and passed me a whole bunch of notes that had unobtrusively been donated and collected. I was overcome and started crying. I felt a deep emotional disturbance as my deep belief in lack – and the underlying feeling of unworthiness – surfaced. According to this belief what happened here should not happen!

I realize that I haven’t quite got the timing in order, but so what. So much happened in such a short time that it is difficult to remember the exact sequence!

At some stage Glenn told me that he felt guided to gamble on my behalf. He had never gambled before.  That evening he went with John Mark and Cindy to gamble. John Mark got back @500 for the $100 he had given to Sally, and Glenn and Cindy came away with $2 000, which Glenn gave to me. That’s about R30 000, and most likely to cover all my costs of touring through the USA for the next month! Once again I was overwhelmed.

As I met new people, or shall I say friends, the offers started coming in. I received invitations to stay in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix and various places in Florida and the East Coast. And, of course, I already had an invitation to stay with Glenn in Nevada city in California and with Mary and Paula in Florida. I can now easily tour around the country without any concerns about accommodation! Or anything else, for that matter.

“Once you accept God’s plan as the only function you would fulfill,” says ACIM, “there is nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort.” ACOL basically says the same. Not long ago I had been accused of being “rigid” for taking this literally. Of course, that accusation had only been a reflection of my own doubt.

As my sense of joy and abundance increased, I could see the effect on those around me. The theme of the conference, “Change you Mind, change the world”, was literally becoming reality! From a world of utter lack I moved into a world of joy and abundance, yet the only difference was me! The “cost”? The willingness to let go of a remaining remnant of guilt and regret and the belief in lack, and to be absolutely real and authentic.

And so yesterday I traveled with my new found friend of about 20 hours, Elizabeth, to Phoenix. On the way we visited the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. What an amazing experience! This morning I woke up in her beautiful home in Phoenix right next to a lake. Magnificent! And we have had magnificent dialogues already. Tomorrow she is taking me to Sedona for some hiking in what is apparently a magnificent area. It is also where my room mate and dear new friend Joe lives, and we hope to visit him too.

I didn’t attend many lectures at the conference. What really inspired me was meeting and engaging in dialogue with so many people who are serious about spirituality: not some intellectual New Age or religious garble, but a deep commitment to living Love. People committed to allowing the world to change through inner acceptance of our oneness and inherent divinity.

I did, however, attend Mari’s presentations. They were phenomenal. At the end of the first presentation the whole audience rose in heartfelt applause. The second presentation felt different. Almost a kind of awe. I had tears in my eyes. Afterwards I heard of several people who had been deeply affected – not so much by her words as by her heartfelt authenticity. Fortunately Rose took videos of everything. I have a sense that this is the beginning of an unstoppable worldwide change.

In love and gratitude

Douwe

Filed under In the Light of Darkness