BY MARY-ELIZABETH HARMON
Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes
I had to laugh at myself:
Less than a week after writing about walking on water (meaning, rising above the messiness of the world to maintain my inner peace), I had a moment (OK, many moments) of feeling quite annoyed. Less annoyed than on one day in June 2021, but more so than any day since.
Wanting to use my mind power on projects, I wasn’t willing to derail my plans by staying irritated.
But more than that, I understand that our moods and emotions snowball, and since compounding annoyance wasn’t my goal, my task was to turn the way I felt around.
You can have a grievance or a miracle,
you cannot have both.
Citing A Course in Miracles
Since January, I’ve been getting daily video lessons from A Course in Miracles. While the concepts haven’t been wholly new to me, some have been extra sticky, thanks to the way they’re worded in the text or discussed by teacher Marianne Williamson.
The stickiest concepts—ones I’ve repeated to myself the most—are 1) the lesson that “There is nothing my holiness cannot do,” and 2) a truth that’s become my ace in the hole for when I start feeling “some kind of way”:
I can have a grievance or miracle, not both.
By reminding myself of that, I’ve nipped some irritations in the bud before they grew into full-blown annoyance. And when it was too late like last week, I leaned on that truth to feel ungrieved, if that’s a word, by the end of the day.
When you find yourself holding onto grievances—indicated by bad-feeling moods and emotions—choose a miracle instead.
According to A Course in Miracles, “A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.”
It also says, “Love holds no grievances.”
To be clear, you and I—made in the image of God—are love in human form.
“To hold a grievance,” the course says, “is to forget who you are.”
While that’s enlightening, here’s what holding onto grievances means to me practically:
Holding onto grievances is to inflict suffering on ourselves.
Choosing miracles is a choice to end suffering—better yet, a choice to come alive—by softening our thinking or changing our focus.
Though making miracles—feeling the love—isn’t always easy, you’d think choosing them would be natural. But to lesser or greater extents, we humans have a funny habit of choosing to be right, …
At the cost of not fully enjoying our lives.
Watching the news risks me holding onto grievances. So unless my mother calls me to see a story about something up my alley, I don’t watch the news. But some mornings ago, before she’d muted the TV (she watches with headphones), I started tensing up in response to something that caught my attention.
“Mary,” I said to myself, “you can have a grievance or miracle, your choice.”
And I chose to feel better by thinking about breakfast.
Years ago, I would think about heart-melting puppies to keep my emotions from going south.
Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for kind people, products and businesses in food, fashion & more. Subscribe to her newsletter here.