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					                            The Worry Bubble
                                 Amy Barrington

Occasionally, it seems we get “lucky” and utter something wise. A little gem of
wisdom comes forth from SOMEWHERE, as we mill about in this dream, shining
in the memory like a gleaming crystal catching the light along an otherwise flat,
hot, black strip of lifeless asphalt.

I remember one such gem. I was in high school, about to go on my very first
date with a boy who was also dating for the first time. We were both quite
nervous about it, and somehow we managed to confess our fear to each other. I
told my friend that since we were both scared, our fear “canceled out”, and there
was no need to be afraid at all. What I didn’t realize was that I had essentially
described what happens in a holy instant. My friend and I had brought our fears
to the light, released them in a state of union in the mind together, and in that
union we were operating from a place, however briefly, beyond the ego.

J teaches us in “A Course In Miracles” that the ego’s insane thought system does
not stand a chance of survival when we join with a brother in union and recognize
that we are of One Mind. It was by allowing ourselves to RECOGNIZE that we
could feel fear together that we realized, albeit subconsciously, we really were
not separate at all. We did not STAY in that state of fear to wallow in it. Rather,
we recognized it, brought it to the surface, and laughed together about its
meaninglessness. Our nervousness was forgiven and dissolved by way of the
miracle. We displayed a willingness to open what are usually locked tight
thoughts and feelings. And so it is with quite literally all of our perceived

The fear over a first date is, obviously, only one of COUNTLESS fear episodes in
my life. We all walk around with a string of problems, a list of worries, a host of
fears, surrounding us all the time. My worries are different from YOUR worries,
right? Certainly, my worries are my own. I own them. They are MINE, and I
keep them to myself! You have your own worries, and you keep them over there
in YOUR worry space. We all have what I like to refer to as our own personal
“worry bubble”, and within that worry bubble, our worries and fears are ALWAYS
sized to ensure the bubble is filled to capacity. It does not matter what the
worries are, in particular. The only thing that matters is that we keep it full.

I believe this is how the ego seeks to ensure our continued belief in separation.
The worry bubble never shrinks, for the ego would never allow that! The worries
themselves may shift and vary in intensity, or so it may seem, but the worries
themselves blow up to fill our bubble, or rather preoccupy our thoughts.

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Here’s a personal example I’d like to share with you: My doctor ordered a
medical test for me to further explore some results which came back a bit
suspicious. The additional testing showed nothing abnormal. However, on the
same day I received that GOOD news, I also received the bill from the hospital. I
was being billed for “medical” rather than “diagnostic” services, which meant
significantly more money out of pocket for me. My point is this. If the test results
had shown a problem, would I have been concerned about the bill? My worry
bubble would have been filled with health fears instead of managed care games.
However, instead of allowing the worry bubble to SHRINK upon hearing the good
news about my test results, the worry merely shifted over and inflated to
maximum with more meaningless dribble along the lines of, “Can you believe I
now have to pay out of pocket for that test?”.. Hmm.

J tells us in Lesson 79 from ACIM:

“No one could solve all the problems the world appears to hold. They seem to be
on so many levels, in such varying forms and with such varied content, that they
confront you with an impossible situation. Dismay and depression are inevitable
as you regard them. Some spring up unexpectedly, just as you think you have
resolved the previous ones. Others remain unsolved under a cloud of denial,
and rise to haunt you from time to time, only to be hidden again but still unsolved.

All of this complexity is but a desperate attempt not to recognize the problem and
therefore not to let it be resolved. If you could recognize that your only
problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the
answer because you would see its relevance. Perceiving the underlying
constancy in all the problems that seem to confront you, you would
understand that you have the means to solve them all. And you would use
the means, because you recognize the problem.”

As J states above, if we could perceive “the underlying constancy in all the
problems” that seem to confront us, we could accept the answer. Why would we
accept the answer by seeing the underlying constancy? J says we would accept
the answer because we would see the answer’s “relevance”.

J tells us in ACIM that we are capable of quite literally only two emotions, and
they are love and fear. We have assigned many illusionary shades of pain to
fear, but what we must ultimately realize is that fear itself is illusion, as it is not
God’s Will for us ever to be fearful. J describes fear as merely a “call for love”,
which tells us that at the ROOT of fear is indeed love, just as my friend in high
school and I discovered when we released the meaninglessness of our worries

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On page 247 in the Text of ACIM, J states:

“I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but
continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this
exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. The other has many forms,
for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in
common; they are all insane. They are made of sights that are not seen, and
sounds that are not heard. They make up a private world that cannot be shared.
For they are meaningful only to their maker, and so they have no meaning at all.
In this world their maker moves alone, for only he perceives them.”

Certainly, only I alone perceive my worries in MY worry bubble. They exist in my
“private world”, as J calls it, and hence stem from nothing but fear. We each live
in a worry bubble, walled off from our brothers in the confines of our projected
fears. Attempting to solve them one at a time is quite literally futile when the
problem as a whole is not recognized.

It is by realizing that ALL of our problems, no matter what form they seem to
take, somehow relate to a belief in bodies and a sense of separation that we then
can see the constancy among them. What is that constancy? Fear. What is
fear? A call for love. What is a call for love? LOVE!!! If we can feel love in
everything, the Answer is already present.

If we’re all afraid, is there really anything to fear? Doesn’t merely recognizing the
fear among us cancel out the fear? I believe it does. We can remember for each
other. We can enlighten each other’s minds by joining with J and by seeing only
the Christ within our brothers – by looking PAST his fear straight to the love and
light that he is.

Interestingly, the term “cancel out”, in variations, is used fourteen times in ACIM.
Here are a few examples:

From ACIM’s Text, page 39:

“The way to correct distortions is to withdraw your faith in them and invest it only
in what is true. You cannot make untruth true. If you perceive truly you are
cancelling out misperceptions in yourself and in others simultaneously. Because
you see them as they are, you offer them your acceptance of their truth so they
can accept it for themselves. This is the healing that the miracle induces.”

From page 626 in ACIM’s Text:

“Remember once again the day you want, and recognize that something has
occurred that is not part of it. Then realize that you have asked a question by
yourself, and must have set an answer in your terms. Then say: I have no

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question. I forgot what to decide. This cancels out the terms that you have set,
and lets the answer show you what the question must have really been.”

From ACIM’s Workbook lesson 137:

“Healing might thus be called a counter-dream, which cancels out the dream of
sickness in the name of truth, but not in truth itself.”

So, as we allow J to show us that underlying constancy to the multitude of
problems we believe we have, we offer the willingness to perceive the relevancy
of the One Answer. We must be willing to gently surrender our notion of what
constitutes a solution to a problem and accept that, even if the answer is not
immediately evident to us, it is ALREADY provided. Lesson 80 in ACIM states:

“If you are willing to recognize your problems, you will recognize that you have no
problems. Your one central problem has been answered, and you have no other.
Therefore, you must be at peace. Salvation thus depends on recognizing this
one problem, and understanding that it has been solved. One problem, one
solution. Salvation is accomplished. Freedom from conflict has been given you.
Accept that fact, and you are ready to take your rightful place in God’s plan for

When my high school friend and I laughed away our fears, “canceling them out”,
and found freedom from worry, where did that happen? Did we write notes to
one another? Was it something that took place on paper? Did the transition take
place somewhere in the air as the sound waves from our voices traveled
magically across space? Of course not. The transition from fear to laughter took
place in the Mind we share. By recognizing our shared feelings, we realize our
oneness. As J explains in the Text on pages 483 and 484:

“This is the function of your holy relationship. For what one thinks, the other will
experience with him. What can this mean except your mind and your brothers
are one? Look not with fear upon this happy fact, and think not that it lays a
heavy burden on you. For when you have accepted it with gladness, you will
realize that your relationship is a reflection of the union of the Creator and His
Son. From loving minds there is no separation. And every thought in one brings
gladness to the other because they are the same. Joy is unlimited, because
each shining thought of love extends its being and creates more of itself. The
light that joins you and your brother shines throughout the universe, and because
it joins you and him, so it makes you and him one with your Creator. And in Him
is all creation joined. Would you regret you cannot fear alone, when your
relationship can also teach the power of love is there, which makes all fear
impossible? .... What teaches you that you cannot separate denies the ego.”

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So, how do we apply this to our daily lives? It does take practice. When we start
to feel the worries stack up, let us merely remember that perceived problems
stem from calls for love and the illusionary sense of separation. As we surrender
to the Holy Spirit and ask for Guidance in all that we do, let us feel into that sense
of love and connectedness that we have with each other, RIGHT HERE. It is
there we will remember our real interconnectedness in the One Mind, in each
interaction and thought, and as we do, I believe the worry bubble itself will begin
to SHRINK rather than merely shake its contents around within it. Ultimately,
when the oneness is remembered in entirety, the worry bubble will no longer be a
memory at all.

pop! : )

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