Intense Emotions – How to Move through Them with Grace

As you accept Awakening through forgiveness as your sole purpose in life, all of your unconscious beliefs must be raised to the light and released. The ego’s fear of being undone will rise to the surface of consciousness, as it must. It will seem to result in many intense emotions, over and over again, until the mind has released ego-identification once and for all. Only then can true happiness, joy, and peace be a consistent experience that is truly known.

In the video below, David speaks to this experience of intense emotions and offers loving and practical guidance for how to move through them with grace.

After watching the above video, click on any of the subjects below regarding the most common experiences, emotions, and blocks that arise on the spiritual journey.


Spiritual Answers to Modern-Day Problems:

Common Experiences, Intense Emotions, and Blocks

Question and Answer resource

Click on any of the topics below for a list of questions and answers and additional resources within our Q&A directory. You can also click  on the Q&A image above to explore this section of the Q&A directory in general.

Common Emotions:

Anger, Jealousy, Frustration, Irritation, Rage
Depression, Apathy, Hopelessness, Loneliness
Emotional Rollercoaster/Feeling Insane/Split Personality
Fear, Concern, Anxiety, Terror, Insecurity
Guilt, Shame, Unworthiness
Sadness, Grief, Regret
Self-Hatred, Suicidal Thoughts

Common Experiences:

Changes in Bodily Experience
Confusion, Disorientation
Dark Night of the Soul, Disillusionment
Desire for Independence, Autonomy
Desire for Solitude, Hermitage
Doubt, Skepticism, Low Faith
Drugs and Hallucinogens
Evil, Dark Spirit Possession
Miraculous/Mystical/Psychic/Revelatory/Light experiences
Perception of Attack, Victimization
Progress Feeling Stuck, Slow, or Inconsistent

Common Blocks:

Ambition, Competition (Worldly OR Spiritual)
Analysis, Intellectualization, Metaphysical Ghosting
Denial and Repression
Future Planning and Goal-Setting
Guru and Cult Thinking
Hypothetical Thinking
Spiritual Ego (Pride, Superiority, Competitiveness)
Wanting to be Liked, People-Pleasing
Wanting to Help, Change, or Convince (False Empathy, Unhealed Healer)


Healing Anger and Rage

Many people who begin to study the Course discover that, while there may be initial experiences of profound joy and love that arise, they sooner or later have feelings of strong irritability and even rage coming up for what seem to be disproportionate reasons. Many students say that it’s almost as if their life is now getting worse because of the Course!

Know that if you are experiencing something to this effect that you have done nothing wrong, and that the unconscious darkness is simply arising up into consciousness so that it may be released forever. The light is pushing everything unlike itself up into awareness, because of our deep calling for the Love of God it was made to hide.

It will seem more and more as if there is no specific “external cause” for the anger, for it is all self-hatred. This is the way it goes. The full extent of self-hatred must be looked upon and exposed before it can be released entirely, as Jesus discusses in the Course.

Be glad that what had been submerged and repressed is being given permission to resurface for release. You are doing nothing to cause the darkness; it is just time for it to come up because of your willingness not to protect it any longer. The temptation to project can seem intense at times, yet remember that nothing is ever held against your perfect innocence and the form just seems to look the way it seems to look.

Watch David’s videos below for a deeper clarification of what this anger is about and how to deal with it. While it will seem that the cause of the anger and rage is outside of us, it is solely in the mind, and it is the ego’s rage at God for not granting its world reality. Expressions of anger can be useful initially to break through patterns of repression and denial, but ultimately it is the underlying thoughts and beliefs that need to be released.

Remember that the rage that comes up when we really begin to watch our mind is not personal. It is the collective ego raising its ugly head in its last defense against God and the truth. You’ll find, when you look closely, you’ll see that the ego has invented its own god—a god like the one we see in the Old Testament. And who would want to know that kind of a god? Those descriptions are terribly dark; he’s vengeful and full of rage himself. It’s not surprising that there are millions of proclaimed atheists, for this picture of god is not pretty.

So, we need to let all that rage up and see what’s underneath. Surprisingly, when we uncover all of this rage within our mind, the “aftermath” is pure light and love. The journey through the darkness to the light can seem so overwhelming and daunting at first, but the Holy Spirit is in charge of the overall plan and guides us surely, step-by-step along the path He knows we will follow. In truth, we have already walked the path, and we now are but reviewing mentally what has already gone by. Our success, therefore, is inevitable.


Dive in and Go for It!

In this powerful video below, David goes directly into the non-compromising practical application of the Course. He emphasizes that, ultimately, it’s all about love, oneness, gratitude, and practically speaking, following guidance in order to experience presence! Experiencing Love’s presence is our only purpose on earth and the celebration bell is ringing all the time! We get constant opportunities to see where darkness, sadness, shame, and guilt come up that block us from this eternal celebration, and these opportunities are precious! Practicing the teachings of A Course in Miracles allows us to look at the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence and transcend them.

Chapter 13 of A Course in Miracles says that, “You are not guiltless in time, but in eternity.” T-13.I.3.2 In the Manual for Teachers, Jesus states that God created you with free will in Heaven, but that there is no free will here in the world. People are grateful to have choice and say that choice is freedom, but actually, choice is of the ego. In Heaven, there is nothing to choose between, and here, we are asked to give our concept of choice over to Spirit and say, “decide for me.” Only the Holy Spirit’s use of choice brings us into a state of true freedom and true free will. ACIM is like the Serenity Prayer that talks about the things you can change, the things you cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference—and the Holy Spirit is the one that has the wisdom to know that difference!

The Course emphasizes that you must actively will into awareness the Kingdom of Heaven. Presence, reverence, and devotion to this purpose must be carried out in front like a torch. This purpose is an attitude that carries you throughout the day. We have been addicted to time and now, in order to be led by Spirit’s purpose, must admit that. For as long as we believe in linear time, we will feel guilty. We will feel guilty regarding our relationships, finances, health, etc.

Let Spirit be your adviser in all matters including your finances. Let His guidance lead you day to day, moment to moment. You are the Christ, and Christ is not a manager of money! ACIM is drawing us into an experience of peace of mind and the desire for that experience must be out front if we want Peace. We must trust that Spirit will use everything that comes our way for that experience of peace. The Holy Spirit was the answer to the belief in time and that answer can use any symbol the ego made. Spirit tells us, “You need help to see the vision of Christ,” and guidance is our means to see it. The Holy Spirit’s use of judgment helps to unwind our mind from the ego belief system and take us higher and higher into Christ consciousness, into full awareness where everything is out in the open and nothing remains unconscious. It is a glorious state of mind! For that experience, guidance is of utmost importance and everything is very easy when experienced simply as given by Spirit through guidance.

Don’t repress or deny the darkness, rage, and hatred, but simply be willing to look upon their full extent. Because unless you do so, you will not be willing to let them go. We cannot go into true forgiveness and joining with Spirit until we’ve cleaned out all the rage. Fortunately, everything we perceive can be used to help us face that rage in the mind: audios, music, movies, relationships, etc. We can realize that this is the purpose: to join with Spirit and watch our mind. We’re asked to pay close attention to our feelings and emotions. Relationships and living in community are great opportunities for the ego to flush up out of its hiding place, because our brothers are our mirrors in which we see the reflection of ourselves as long as the perception lasts!

With “as long as the perception lasts” Jesus is hinting at what is to come: the real world, true perception, the quantum field, the happy dream, and the end of “inner and outer.” For “mirroring” will not be a concept to last forever when you give yourself over fully to this path! Festivals, experiential retreats, relationships, community, etc., all are designed to bring you out of your ego comfort zone and its box of false security. Spirit uses those symbols to call us out of the box; to help us transcend the box of limited thinking. What a joy it is to awaken!


Facing Fear and Intense Emotions

Fear and other intense emotions can feel overwhelming at times as we accept the Holy Spirit’s purpose for our lives (Awakening). The path is one of negation of blocks and so it is important to get in touch with the blocks so that they can be removed. From this perspective, fear and other strong emotions should be welcomed as they arise, for with the Holy Spirit, they will be moved through with grace and released from our Holy Mind. Our only job is to be willing to trust Spirit.

Question for David about fear:

Hi David,

I have taken a 10-week adult school class “intro” to ACIM. I enjoyed it, but given my disdain for religion, I had a hard time getting past the Christian references. I wasn’t ready. Recently, in a used bookstore, I found Marianne Williamson’s book Return to Love. She reinterprets the Christian terminology into a way I am more comfortable with. I believe I am getting over that wall of terminology, and am finally ready to read the entire Course.

But I have some concerns I am hoping you can help me with. Every time I read ACIM material, I feel resistant to doing the work, because of the inferences to all my fears being brought to me in my ego world in order for me to heal them. I’m afraid that if I start the Course, I will be overwhelmed with all my fears and I won’t be able to handle them, which would bring me less inner peace.

I’m afraid that in order for me to heal, God will create the loss of my job, loneliness, hardship, and everything else I have fears about in order for me to heal them. This makes me afraid to start the Course.

My other question has to do with a special relationship that I ended last September. This girl was the embodiment of unconditional love, except that she had some “personality” issues that I don’t feel I can live with. This is not a judgment against her, it’s against me. I don’t think I can handle her (my?) ego in the relationship. But every time I read the Course, I feel that she also embodied everything I need to heal through. All those things I interpreted as “flaws” were actually God saying, “Ok, here you go. Heal this. Forgive.”

Every time I read the Course, I feel I should get back with this girl, and attempt to change it into a holy relationship. But I have such intense feelings that I won’t be able to do it. That I will start, once again, my downward spiral into severe suffering, because if I don’t succeed at changing my perceptions, that is what will happen.

I don’t know what to do. When I pray, and read ACIM, I feel I should be with her. When I remember what our relationship was actually like (“special”) I feel nauseous at getting back together with her.

Please help! Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.


David’s Response:

Hello Beloved One,

Thanks for writing and sharing what’s on your mind. The resistance you feel toward reading and applying the Course and the fear of being overwhelmed and unable to handle the ego’s fearful emotions is common when you make the turn toward the Light.

Authentic spiritual Awakening is going through the darkness of ego belief to the Light within. The ego belief system has projected a world in which you seem to exist as a body and seem to be dependent upon a job and environment and people for survival. The true vastness of Divine Mind has been pushed out of awareness and forgotten.

To turn this seeming situation around and bring an end to the amnesia about Heaven, it is necessary to forgive, to release the false beliefs and thoughts which seem to produce a fearful world that God did not create.

Since God did not create this world of separation, conflict, competition, and striving, there is no point in believing and fearing that God “…will create the loss of my job, loneliness, hardship, and everything else I have fears about in order for me to heal them.” The ego made the world as you perceive it, and withdrawing faith and investment in the ego’s belief system is how your perceptions are changed and your mind is healed.

The ego would have you believe that the fear you experience is a fear of the loss of things in this world. Yet everything of this temporary, changing world was made by the ego to offer as a substitute or alternative to God’s Eternal Love. The fear of God is the ego’s fear of Eternal Love, and the mind that identifies with the ego IS afraid of Awakening to Eternal Love.

The ego is the belief in loss and sacrifice, and it tells you that God demands the sacrifice of what is real and valuable. It tells you that you have fallen from Heaven, separated yourself from your Source, and can never go back without being punished for the sin of separation. None of this is true, for the ego is not true. Yet while the ego is believed to be true, the hallucination of fear seems to continue.

A Course in Miracles is one of many paths that can help one unlearn, undo, and release the ego. Awakening is inevitable and forgiveness is always the means, regardless of what the form appears to be. If you read and apply the Course you will discover that you have and are Pure Love and that this recognition “costs” nothing. There is no loss in remembering Who You are. An insane belief in loss and sacrifice dissolves in the Light of Truth. God is unconditional Love, and to know God is to know One Self as Christ. It cannot be a sacrifice to give up nothing and to experience One Self as Everything.

Your second question, regarding the special relationship, relates to the same Awakening dynamics I have just spoken about. In Truth there is only One Mind (Spirit exists as Perfect Oneness), yet in this world every “body” seems to have a private and separate “mind” of its own. The belief in private minds and private thoughts IS the ego. Each seeming interpersonal relationship, therefore, presents an opportunity to accept the Union or Oneness or Wholeness of the Divine Mind Which God creates Eternally. Spirit is All that can BE Known.

The ego, an impossible belief, sponsors an illusory view of relationship: bodies together and minds apart. Given to the Holy Spirit’s Purpose of forgiveness, all ego beliefs and misperceptions are exposed and released to the Light within.

You wrote: “…every time I read the Course, I feel that she also embodied everything I need to heal through. All those things I interpreted as “flaws” were actually God saying, “Ok, here you go. Heal this. Forgive.” This is the Holy Spirit speaking to you. You cannot heal what has been pushed from awareness, what you have not allowed yourself to feel. The ego is unconscious. The ego is what you believe about time, self, and the world. The ego is what is assumed to be true yet remains unquestioned. The relationship with this girlfriend is a wonderful opportunity to go through (or expose) the darkness and fear produced by false belief, and recognize the Light of Love within. The fear of Intimacy is the fear of Divine Mind, the fear of Union with God. The ego would have you believe that the fear is a fear of “loss of self,” because the ego IS the false identification of “self.” In Awakening the ego seems to be “undone,” yet the Joy of Being Awake reveals that the ego was never “done” in the first place. God did not create the ego. Only the Spirit God creates is real. Atonement is the realization that the separation never happened because an opposite to Love cannot exist. Accepting the Atonement is our sole responsibility.

If you choose to read and apply the Course and use the relationship opportunity which is before you, the ego will be rapidly flushed into awareness and exposed. This is an act of faith in the Holy Spirit. You will experience many miracles by accepting the Holy Spirit’s Purpose as your own. The happiness and freedom of this Purpose is your healing. Be glad, for it is impossible to forgive or release the ego until it is raised to awareness. Darkness must be brought to Light to disappear. Error must be brought to Correction within. When the ego temptation arises to blame your girlfriend or “self” for intense fearful emotions, this is the Call to forgive and release the ego. This is the Call to release the illusion of a “self” that God did not create. The aim of all events, encounters, and circumstances is to forgive or release the belief in what never happened. :>)

Love & Blessings forever Holy One.


Find more deep teachings by David Hoffmeister at ACIM Online Video.

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