Archive | February 2016

The Jagged Edge

“What if you looked within and saw no sin?  This “fearful” question is one the ego never asks.”

-ACIM (T-21.IV.3)

About four months ago I dropped my phone.  I was careless and didn’t pay attention when I set it down.  It thudded to the floor and my stomach lurched an uncomfortable lurch and I was afraid.  I was afraid my mistake was going to be costly.

I picked it up gingerly and assessed the damage.  Clean cut through the middle was a single slice of cracked destruction.  I was heartsick.  I chided myself over and over regarding my carelessness.  Thoughts of having to replace it, the inconvenience of time and the cost made me feel worse.

I tested it out to see if it worked and amazingly, it did.  I didn’t dare remove the screen protector sheet covering the cracked screen.  I was certain this was helping to hold the screen in place and preventing it from breaking more. I figured as long as it worked, I would leave it as it was.

Eventually, the time came to replace my phone.  Before leaving for the store the screen protector needed to be removed.

I was scared.  I didn’t like being confronted with my error so acutely.

As the protector was slowly peeled away underneath was smooth, perfect wholeness.

My phone had been unscathed this whole time!

I couldn’t believe it.  I had agonized for months about its brokenness and it was in one complete smooth piece.

A few weeks later I made a connection.  My heart is exactly like this phone.  It is whole and smooth and complete kept apart from me by fear.

I’m too scared to peel away the fortress my tiny self has built up around it.  I am afraid of the jagged edges I think I see.  These edges are full of stories of fear and guilt and doubt.

I’m starting to see through these painful illusions.  The fortress isn’t protecting anything.  It isn’t holding my heart together.  I must look within myself and peel away the fortress of fear one layer, one moment, one jagged edge at a time.

Will I find more destruction or simply uncover the wholeness of my heart that never left me?

 

Rejoice in Where You Are

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

-Lao Tzu

While I deeply admire the teachings of the Tao and Lao Tzu, this particular nugget of wisdom used to make me so angry.  How in the world could I feel content when the way things were frankly sucked.  No matter how many times I ‘centered’ myself or listened to the stillness within, every time I opened my eyes and surveyed the landscape of my life, there was much to be unhappy about.  I was far from rejoicing.  I was hopeless.  A hopeless, hapless individual who was incapable of contentment.

The world would never belong to me.

My spiritual path has led me in many different directions.  As I uncover pockets of peace, I open to new ways of looking at the world.  Any one of us has the capacity to ‘be content with what we have’.  It isn’t a matter of loving our circumstances, it’s learning to accept them exactly as they are.  When you stop fighting what is, you become walking, talking freedom.  You don’t have to be Buddha, Jesus or Lao Tzu to do this.  You only have to be open to a new way of perception.

It all comes down to where you believe your experience of the world originates.

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.”

-Carl Jung

I have found when I believed the outside world causes my pain, I am without hope.  When I let go of the world and my expectations for it, even if it’s only a tiny sliver, that is when healing alights and washes over me.

Using logic I will never find contentment.  Using soul-judgment I am reassured that all is exactly as it needs to be.

It doesn’t matter if the world belongs to me or not.

Let the rejoicing begin.

I Trust The God in You

Years ago there was a boy at my school.  He was different.  He didn’t have friends and he was lonely and sad.  I was only five at the time but I could feel his sadness.  I wore it like a cloak and my small shoulders collapsed under its weight.  I couldn’t tell the difference between his sadness and mine.  Our hearts felt the same to me.

“To empathize does not mean to join in suffering, for that is what you must refuse to understand.  That is the ego’s interpretation of empathy, and is always used to form a special relationship in which suffering is shared.”  (T-16.I.1-2)

-A Course in Miracles 

When you feel the pain of others, it is only a distraction from Who-You-Really-Are.  As if your own pain and suffering weren’t distraction enough, you now have this mistaken belief that you must save others from their pain.  This is wholly impossible.

If you try to ‘save’ somebody you are usurping the power of God.  As a tiny self, you can’t know what is needed to show up in the external world to move others towards salvation.  Your only role is to GET OUT OF THEIR WAY.

For the longest time I believed my extreme sense of intuitive empathy was somehow my ‘gift’.  I erroneously believed that if I sensed another’s despair it was MY responsibility to fix it.

Exactly who did I think I was?  Why did I believe that I knew what was in the best interest of someone else?  Over time this belief has worn me down.  It is a tremendous responsibility to believe that others are yours to save.

I can only save myself.

Others belong to God.

I trust in God so completely that I see clearly that you can save yourself.

You are that amazing.

You already have everything you need inside you.

I can walk with you, but I can never carry you again.

I can let you go because you don’t walk alone.

You have God.

I’m no expert but that seems like a better deal than any guidance my tiny little self could ever give you.