It may seem strange to look at our problems or addictions as gifts but they are life lessons so let’s consider them gifts and learn something on the journey.
Who runs your life? We live in a dualistic world and have a dualistic or split mind. It contains both aspects: “good” and “bad.” Remember the cartoon of Donald Duck with an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? He was conflicted over which one to listen to. We know which voice speaks for Truth or love; and we know which one speaks of condemnation and hate. And there is no “good” or “bad” either, it is just if we choose peace we listen to the voice for peace. We have the power to choose between these two very different voices and thought systems: spirit and love or fear and hate.
All fear/hate/condemnation thoughts are of the ego and as you have probably figured out by now, it runs the world. The DNA of the ego is attack, judgment, separation, jealousy and manipulation. The proof is the ceaseless wars since the beginning of existence. We are not civilized. We attack others and declare war. We attack ourselves through addictions. The result is always guilt and anger which begets more guilt and anger and on an on.
We learn gradually on our life journey that the ego is not our friend. It is not our identity or our Truth either. Its only power is given to it when we listen to it and follow it or believe it. By taking charge of the Mind, we gradually un-do the ego and it is side lined. This is the wisdom of many psychological and spiritual practices, Buddhism, A Course In Miracles or non-dual practices.
The ego cannot change or affect the peace of love within you unless you let it. For example, the ego mind tells us we have done something wrong, we over indulged; smoked a cigarette; snapped at a friend, or ______(fill in the blank.) We feel guilty. Guilt is the trap. We go around smiling but deep down we feel terrible thinking -“if they only knew.” Feeling guilty is the ego’s ace in the hole! “Trapped, trapped like rats” said the cowardly Lion in the movie the Wizard of OZ.
Here is a check list the next time you feel trapped and want to STOP the guilt.
1. Go to the Stately Calm Within. As soon as you realize you are suffering and your mind is going around in a maze STOP. Focus on your breath, feel your center and stop thinking thoughts just…breathe.
2. Imagine holding the hand of Love. Unconditional, all-knowing eternal LOVE, whatever that represents for you; Presence; God; Jesus; Allah; Buddha, Spirit or a person who represents Love for you. You can hold “Love” in your mind no matter what you are doing.
3. Tell LOVE what is in your heart: “Love, I really wanted that chocolate cake or _____.” Tell LOVE everything and be honest, “I was depressed because I didn’t get that job or I had a drink, or he hurt my feelings, or_______.”
4. You have looked squarely into your Beautiful Mind and given its contents over to LOVE within. The ego is sitting in the corner sucking its thumb. It will come up with plenty of negative chatter. The ego always speaks first! That is important to know because you will recognize ego as the detractor it is. Thoughts that come from love will always speak of peace. A thought of blame or guilt about yourself or anyone is the ego speaking and it causes more guilt. Let the ego judgment go. It is not True and you are still LOVE.
5. Remember this world is an illusion. It is not real since God did not create it. So relax because nothing has really happened! So smile… laugh, “heh, hah, ha, hah, ho, ho” and soon you will really be laughing. This takes the seriousness out of the ego’s sails.
6. If the ego thoughts come back, and they will, look at them, don’t believe them and remember to laugh and repeat the above steps.
Looking honestly in this manner is practicing forgiveness. * “Forgiveness is still and does nothing. It merely looks and waits and judges not.” You are looking at the ego’s disruption and withholding judgment…and waiting…for inner peace to come….and it will.
You are in charge and You are training your Mind. That is why an addiction is a gift. You get your Mind back. We all have addictions or problems in this world. It is a life long process and you are worth it!
You are in charge when you remember LOVE is who you are. Case Dismissed. You are healed, whole and innocent!
This article, in part, appeared in the Ashland Daily Tidings August 2012.
* A Course In Miracles Workbook – What is Forgiveness? pg. 401.