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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Wrong again!

Sigh...I hate being wrong when it comes to my physical health for all kinds of reasons...but I know it is all ego based.

The Personalities of Ego

I believe, that not only do I have an ego in  me...a little self that tries so hard to convince me that I am separate from the world, and at the mercy of those around me...I have two of them. Two egos?

Well I believe the ego in most of us is insane and mine is suffering from a dissociative disorder.  It has a split personality. :)  Sometimes it comes out as  Shamer ego...knocking me down and keeping me down with reminders of all the nasty things I am and all the wonderful things I will never be.  It reminds me constantly of the things I did wrong!

Other times Redeemer ego comes out of the recesses.  He does the opposite of Shamer. He  tries to build this idea of me up in the eyes of others with ways I  can compensate for losses, "be better" than someone else...or at least be proven right when Shamer was proven wrong. He gets me into so much trouble with his ceaseless need to "do", to "win", to  "own", to "gain" and to prove myself to this world that Shamer feels so inferior in.

I absolutely despise the both of them lol.  Shamer leaves me feeling the way I feel now but Redeemer never stops. He is too persistent for my liking.

Do you see where this is going yet?

Do you remember my little arm problem that I have been complaining about?

No fracture! 

I decided to ignore Shamer and listen to Redeemer. I spent way too much time thinking about this...and avoiding all the risks associated with the only way I would know for sure.  I had to pull up my Redeemer ego pants, push the voice of Shamer aside, take a deep breath and I had to go back in there!!!  lol.  And I did, if for no other reason than to get out of my head.  I was not going to stop thinking about this until an x-ray was done and a fracture was ruled out.  (But man...I am still not convinced...just too much pain 12 days after a fall to be just soft tissue....did I say that Redeemer was pretty persistent. lol)) 

Anyway...the poor doctor assured me it was not broke because I could pronate and supinate ( hurts to supinate) but I looked at her and out it came, "I don't care!  I want an X-ray!"  (In my mind I was thinking...could be a hairline fracture or a longitudinal one...I would be able to make those movements then and I didn't wait eight hours for a "just a bruise" diagnosis).  So ...I was hell bent on not being dismissed.   I am not sure from where it came...the place of Being or the place of  being frustrated and p###$# off lol.   ...but I was assertive and I got my x-ray!

The results were negative. She came back in to tell me basically that it was "just a bruise". Ugh!!! One thing Redeemer ego cannot stand is to be called "wimp" and I feel I have just been called one...big time! Ego is really getting quite the tuning , isn't it?

And I, now just a red faced Shamer ego,  had to walk out of there with my tail between my legs....again!  All those doctors which were branded and herded together to become the "they" in my health care dilemma won again.  "They" 2,899,000,000...me ( my ego)  0...well maybe 3 lol....oh the shame.

My True Self...however, takes no score. It is not one bit interested in who is right and who is wrong, who calls themselves the doctor and who calls themself the patient, if the arm was  fractured or just bruised, and if my ego got slapped around or not.  It sees no battling personalities  in my mind.  It is beyond all that stuff. It just is.  I want to be "just is" lol

 Man!  There has to be some big learning in this.    I will get to that later.

Monday, May 21, 2018

No complaints What so ever



Thanks for everything.  I have no complaints what so ever.
-from a story told by Eckhart Tolle in Transcending the Ego Video

I am still  such an ego maniac, a thought junkie, a chronic narrator, a roving reporter, a little prisoner stuck in the confines of the personal self, the heroic victim in the  tragic story I alone am writing  and  I am still for the most part very much asleep. Sigh!

I realize that I am not yet where I want to be.  I am having trouble waking up and staying awake...no matter how annoying that buzzing alarm gets. I am almost there, it seems, I begin to wake up and just as I am crawling out of bed, I fall back to sleep again. I seem to be caught on a "enlightenment wheel" lol. Another big pathetic sigh! 

Body Focus

I think I have come so far...and I have...but every now and again I get reminded of how far I have to go.  This arm is reminding me of the obstacles I have before me. It bloody hurts and it is so annoying.  I get pulled back into body focus  and will sometimes get lost in the discomfort.

Mind and Story Focus

But the pain  is benign in comparison to what happens in my mind to spin a story around it.  I get the pain and I think, "Oh it hurts again.  There has to be a fracture.  I wish they would have x-rayed it when I went in nine days ago.   It took me so long to get the courage up to go in when I did. I hate going in there. And like always, my health seeking attempt turned against me."

The thinking will continue to expand to, "I can't go in again.  I think I would rather have a fracture. What will happen long term with a mal union if there is a fracture there? Can I live with that? But the pain...can I live with that?  Man...I live with the chest pain on a regular basis.  This is minimal in comparison."

It goes on..."It would be worse if I got it x-rayed and there was no fracture, wouldn't it? I would then have another "unnecessary ER record"  stuck to my massively large chart, giving them ("them" being all physicians who I have rounded up, branded and herded into one big coral...stereotyping at its best, lol)  even more reason to  adhere to their assumptions about me, 'Fat Folder Syndrome; hysterical hypochondriac, attention seeker or someone with a factitious or conversion disorder.' My future or my family members' future cardiac complaints will then be possibly dismissed when help is needed most. Is my arm worth that?"

The thinking continues to grow into a whirlwind. "I can't expect them to take my complaints seriously just because of a few bruises that are almost faded when they never took the chest pain seriously, the pelvic pain seriously, the loss of eyesight seriously, the severe vertigo I had that time seriously, the fainting seriously or me seriously. I mean...if they did take me seriously wouldn't something have been done about it? My chest pain, even after my sisters' heart attacks, is still such a reality for me but no one hears me.  How am I to  think that they will believe me that my arms hurts when someone else basically tells me the usual story, "These tests or assessments show that it shouldn't therefore it doesn't"? "

I know then that I am out of the present moment. Time becomes my opponent.  I leave the future and am dragged into the past by my desperate little mind, "It has been such a hard journey.  Over twenty years I tried to get help for what most of me knows is very real.  And I still don't have it...even after my sister died of a sudden SCD and two others infarcted in their early fifties, years after I first presented with what appeared to be cardiac symptoms...I am still here living with this, unable to work or do few of the  things I used to love to do. Everything has fallen apart around me.  I have lost so much and I continue to lose so much but still no one hears me.  There is no hope for ever getting any medical help for my health.  And it takes too much out of me to try. It is all so unfair.  I am such a victim to my tragic life.  I don't want this suffering anymore.  I give up trying."



Accepting What is

It is with this 'giving up' that I finally ironically find what I have been looking for... a certain peace in acceptance...I feel myself settling in to what is.  " This is my reality now. It is what it is. As Eckhart Tolle says,   Reality is relatively very benign compared to what your mind is saying about it. (2018).  I can get out of my mind. I will let go.  I will let others believe what they need to believe about me to appease their own egos.  I accept the lack of diagnosis, the lack of help, the lack of support and find my way to the healing that really matters. It is all good."

Then I find myself in the right place, getting to what is really important.  I lose my attachment to ego and physical world things. I feel the veil moving between me and this "transcendent dimension'' (Tolle, 2018) I wake up and I I feel a certain peace.  It is all so lovely...

Ego not done with me yet

That is until...I move my arm a certain way or wake up in the middle of the night to the throbbing and the darn thing starts all over again, "This shouldn't hurt this much.  It must be broken...."     and on and on and on...it goes.  :)  Ego is not done with me yet.

I know there is a very good lesson in hurting my arm.  If I didn't I would just be waking up on a pseudo level.  I wouldn't be dealing with the pain and frustration I stuffed about my health seeking adventure over the years. It is like a big fur ball caught inside me that I need to cough up.

 I don't need to build story around it but I do need to experience the feelings, sit with them, express them.  I haven't done that.  When in ego I numb with story telling, I complain which is equal to resistance and I feel sorry for myself. When in that other beautiful place I ignore the knocking at the door. I shut out the feelings.

I think it is okay to step out and just sit with these feeling for a while. Let them be too.  Maybe this arm is taking me there.  :)

I still don't know about going in to get it x-rayed.  The practical part of me knows I should. still not sure what part that is though...the ego or the true Self. Hmmm!  We will see.  For now, it is just good to see what I am doing in my mind.  :)

It is all good.  It really is.  

References

Creative Manifestor (2016, May) Eckhart Tolle: Transcending the Ego. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7QQqJcx4uI                                                           

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Inside

Outside,

the world

is noisy and chaotic,

full of voices

calling out my name,

hands

grabbing at my flesh

as they cling to me

in desperate need

of something

I don’t know

how to give.

 

Outside,

the world

is fast and pressured,

with clocks

reprimanding me with

their sharp ticking speeches,

“Get moving!

Keep doing!

Get it done!”

 

Outside,

the world

is a blurry collage

of faces

that rush past me

with their grievances

and their pleas for help.

My hand is so weary

it trembles

when I lift it up

to wipe away a tear

from one of those lovely faces.

 

Outside,

the world

is not accepting

of the fatigue and pain

that is claiming

my body

and my mind,

telling me

to just push past it

so that I do not complicate

the constant momentum

of things.

 

Inside,

the world

is different.

 

Inside,

the world

is quiet and peaceful.

 

Inside,

the world

is slow and still.

 

Inside,

the world

is full of  abundant Love.

 

Inside,

the world

is accepting of “what is”.

 

Inside,

is where

everything is real.

 

Inside,

is where

I want to be.

 
 
Dale-Lyn 2010

It is funny how I am running into all these poems now that I wrote so long ago.  They speak to the same issues I am dealing with now...the same learning.  :)

The Gift of Challenge

"This is the gift I give you," Life says. "A tailored made set of challenges, just for you."
-Eckhart Tolle (from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWx1JJTaGa4)


Turning Our Noses Up at Free Tuition

Hmmm!  I love this idea that each of us are given a set of challenges in which to process through, learn and grow.  If we were given free tuition to the university of our choice, would we not be grateful?  We would more than likely accept that it will be challenging and down right difficult at times but we would look at this opportunity to learn and emerge victorious on the other side as a blessing, wouldn't we?  Why then do so many of us complain and blame life for being difficult when it offers us challenges?

So often we look at life as this unfair punisher that is randomly throwing unfavorable circumstances at us, sabotaging us, "picking on us" while favoring others in the class. We look at the circumstances it offers us, sometimes, as unfair punishment.  "Why are you doing this to me?" we may shout out to the universe.

Curriculum Design

We don't get it.  We don't see that every life challenge we encounter is a gift, a precious gift that was picked out thoughtfully by a loving parent of many, many children, just for us. Each of us, each unique expression of the One source that is Life, are given a tailored made set of challenges to process through.  What I am given to experience may be different than what you are given.  Some individuals on this planet seem to suffer excruciatingly painful and difficult challenges, while others seem to pass through life with so few.  Why?  Because what I need to express Life fully and to bloom like the crocus does in spring...is different than what you need, what the person on the other side of the globe needs. Each of us have a different curriculum design to help us achieve the same outcome.





The Real Challenge is in Our Resistance 

The greatest difficulty we have with life is not the circumstances but  our resistance to the challenges or life lessons they offer us. We tell ourselves that life should be a particular way; we compare with others who seem to have it easier; and  we dismiss the thought of others who may have it worse.  We say, "No! It shouldn't be this way.  That person shouldn't be that way.  Life should be easy!!!!"

Life, like a challenging degree, is not meant to be easy.  In fact, it can be down right difficult! But it is difficult for a reason.  Each challenge we encounter is a growth lesson.  If we resist the lesson ...it won't stop the Teacher from rattling on...it won't make the lesson go away.  We will still need to learn what is being offered...and the lesson will not go away until we do. Sigh...we need to stop resisting.  We need to settle in our seats and accept the gift of challenge being taught.

That doesn't mean we have to like it or say it is easy when it is not.  Accepting "what is" is the first and most necessary step into learning, growing and changing life circumstance.  Accept first.  Appreciate next...and then you will be shown when, how or if change is required.

All is well!




Friday, May 18, 2018

Ego Hisses

Man, I found this from a few years back and it kind of speaks to what I have been writing about recently.  I think I wrote it way back when I went off work the second time after getting sick again. I was so frightened then ...knowing the insurance company  wouldn't support me for their own ego reasons and terrified over how I would manage. At the same time, I knew I had to go. I was being pulled away into something greater, regardless of my fear.  Illness was simply the catalyst as it is now.

I went through the door then but I didn't stay there.  I found myself pulled back into ego's world with its senseless demands that take me away from health, rather than toward it. Now I go through the door again, knowing that I won't come back once I do.  No more fighting and struggling on this side of it. I am going home. I am going to be with the peace I long for, the peace we all deserve :)

Ego Hisses

whispers from that place of secrets
become screams in my ears
twisting, turning messages that
express the truth I fear
I suddenly decide to listen
to stop, head stilled to the side
while I decipher all the wisdom
and put away my pride

ego hisses at me with its
desperate pleading cries
to ignore the truths I’m offered
calling them foolish, new age lies
it warns me of the darkness
the desolation I will face
if I go forward with these directions
and leave this warm, familiar place


yet I find myself moving onward
pushing ego’s carcass to the floor
and taking slow, hesitant steps
I move through the open door


I don’t know what I will be facing
what is on the other side
but I know the door has been opened
and it is open very wide.

Daley Lyn, Nov 2013
 
All is well.

 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

It is all good.

For what is life except to be yourself, and what but you can be alive instead?
-ACIM W-139

A bit sad today.  This morning  would  have been the last morning  I taught if I didn't give the students independent study...so I may not see them again.  I will still have time in the office for the next few weeks. Others will be in clinical.

I will make my leaving quiet and unnoticed. When all others are away at clinical, I will walk around and say a proper good bye to the place that I spent so many hours in over the last 14 years.  I will miss it and I will so miss the teaching.

It is a loss, but a necessary one.  The pain I had over the last few days was validation for the necessity of this loss. I don't need anyone else to validate that for me.  I know. 

And it is okay.  It really is.  What is so cool about all this, is that I am learning to be okay with loss and the "big,"bad" things in life.  :) That right there says a lot.

A chapter in my life ends today.  It certainly was an interesting one, let me tell ya.   :)  A lot goes on in fourteen years: divorce, leaving, new homes, children growing up so quickly you can't keep up, illness, health seeking that only turns against you, a sudden loss of a beloved sister, the opportunity to care for a father in the last years of his life and to be there when he made the final transition, cancer in a younger sister, heart attacks in two others, seeing the beings you love the most and were so committed to protecting loose themselves in drugs, recovery, slips, recovery, relationships that begin and end leaving so many life lessons behind, pets that come and go, money in bank accounts and then money no where to be found, hope than a severing of a trust in ego- systems that one believed were there to support, and so many winters and so many springs as the faces of the students who sat in front of me kept changing.....And it was all so good because it just was.  It just was.

Now I move on and not so much literally.  I remove another veil of ego illusion and see a little clearer at least what lay beneath it. I find what is really important. No one can take that away from me.

It is all good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on!
- Robert Frost


The Veil

I am fully aware that there is still a veil between me and Self...as flimsy and tattered as it may be getting. :)  It is still there.  I am still allowing mind and body to rule at times.  I forgive both though I work hard to get past that veil ego holds up.  I am not "succeeding" at the moment.

Right now body is shouting and screaming...and mind is creating story around it. Sigh!!!

I am working very hard to finish this course I am teaching knowing that it is my last course.  I have not much to offer these days to nursing students...being that I am no longer a "Registered" Nurse but I do have some hard earned writing wisdom I can share (as well as some hard earned life wisdom...sometimes they go together.:)) So it is fitting that the last course I teach in this context is Critical Reading and Persuasive Writing.

Anyway...I made a commitment to put in extra hours to assist my last bunch of nursing students to write a very good paper.  They wrote an emotional one together to keep them inspired and motivated on the rest of their professional journey. This task  required editing on my part and lots of extra hours but I felt it was important.  Now they are writing a technical paper and I made a commitment to review each draft before final submission...that is 24 papers and each review takes over an hour.  24 hours I am not getting paid for or rewarded for in any external way. Sigh!!! lol.  I want to uphold that commitment. I want to help.  I want to leave knowing that I did all I could to help.  That is my nature.  Pathological? Maybe.

It is not going smoothly. Body and mind are obstacles for me.  My arm throbs after a few minutes typing.  (There is something definitely going on in there.)  And the chest pain started yesterday.  I knew I was doing too much...but I ignored the "4" the "5", the "6" warnings and skipped right up into a 9 last night before bed so I could continue reviewing these student papers until late in the evening. It was bad but the whole mental thing goes on when I have it, you know?  "What's wrong with you?  They don't think there is anything wrong with you so stop it...suck it up...keep going...stop being such a wimp"  I have to get past all that before I will allow myself to take the nitro.  Well I did manage to weave my way through the mental chatter...the body was determined to be heard.  The pain  got really loud so I took the nitro and it worked on the first shot...thank goodness. As usually happens when I have these "clusters", I woke up with it again in the morning and took the nitro again...relief.

There is a little battle going on in me ...What do I listen to when spirit can't be heard? Body or mind?  Body won those two battles but if mind can't beat it, it joins it. It steps in to build story around the body.  "Crazy fool!  Look what you are doing. Chest pain again!  And you are all alone in this...you can't even tell anyone about it. No one is helping you with it...and here you are helping others.  What is wrong with you? You are allowing others to take advantage.  You must see yourself as valueless. etc etc" On and on and on it goes. Oh man.

On top of that I have family obligations.  Trying to get my daughter into university.  The residence fee was due yesterday and we put it off til the very last minute because I had no way to pay for it...had to use credit again.  Yuck! And issues with my son showed up.  I need to drive D.'s son today between the bouts of chest pain and I am worried about that.  All this while I review all these papers...It feels like  too much for my body and my mind.

Truth is...I am just tired of all the battling and struggling going on in me and around me. I am tired of the loss ( I am actually very sad about leaving the classroom).   And all I want is peace.  I would take the pain if I could do so peacefully.  :)  I would take the loss if I could do so peacefully. I would work myself to the bone if I could do so peacefully. This veil seems to be waving between me and the peace I want. Man I just want peace.

Anyway...I vented...and I will post today ...just to vent.  I will remove it tomorrow.
All is well.
.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Locked Up?

All this freedom, but I still feel like I'm locked up.
Piper Kerman from Orange is the New black; My year in a Woman's Prison.

I see the sun coming through the clouds and it gives me hope. I am always looking for slices of hope and chunks of relief throughout my day.  I will take whatever I can get and am grateful for it. :)

Two Worlds

I sometimes feel overwhelmed by life on the outside....I am not only seeing  two selves in me but I am now seeing two worlds...the world out there and the world in here.  I like the world in here but I have to function in the world out there...well so my mind tells me.

Out there it feels like I am expected to carry a to do list around with me that is as long as the street I live on. I am told that I am a failure because I have so few things checked off on it.  The guilt, shame and fear sometimes settles over me like a dark cloud.

In here there are no lists and no need to do anything. I just have to Be and I feel this unconditional love and acceptance for that Being.

Prison on the Outside

Unlike the insides of Litchfield prison where Piper and the gang hang out, the outside world is the one that imprisons me, full of high walls, locked doors, bars on windows so I can't see clearly, a need to defend and attack, and many things to be afraid of.  The world in here is the one that frees me...full of expansive space and light.

Sigh...one world I know is just a figment of my mind and one is so very, very real.  I  still find myself stuck in the unreal one and that saddens me.  :)

I sometimes feel guilty for the crimes I committed that put me here and keep me here: My addiction to thought has led me to do things that I regret like get sick, get lost, become a member of the "mob" and do what I could to fit in, even if it was not what my heart wanted. I somehow dragged others down with me(my children)...and that saddens me even more.

Freedom

Yet in those moments when I find a way through the walls of this prison and can go in to the space of freedom...I suddenly  realize that I  have been innocent all along...there is nothing to serve time for. It was all just a scene from a Netflix binge.  I can take off the orange and be my Self.

Hmmm!

I am seeing the sun again and there is something so freeing in that light...like it offers the key to unlock the doors of the busy world so that we can enter the quiet space of the inner one.  Man...I am raving, aren't I? 

It is all good.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Truth Behind Twisted Limbs

Sickness is a defense against the truth.
ACIM

My arm is bothering me to some degree.  I think it is meant to be for the learning. :)

I had told myself after my ER visit that I would not allow the discomfort to get me down...I would agree that it is just soft tissue injury and thus move and use my arm despite the pain certain movements cause. I have done that.  Now that the swelling is going down and the muscle is relaxing enough for me to actually palpate the bone effectively...I am feeling what may be  some "abnormalities". The pain, instead of easing is the same or possibly worse, especially when I touch those spots where the abnormalities are. Something is going on in there.

To add insult to injury, as I was getting out of the lawn chair yesterday...I and it fell backwards onto the ground. The  chair folded up around me accordion style and the arm of which slapped me right in the sore spot. It was probably a very funny scene to witness but Don knew better than to take out his phone to videotape me.  My swear words were probably warning him of the consequences. :)

I awoke this morning definitely feeling "it" more intensely.  What is this "it" I am feeling?  According to ACIM, it could be nothing more than a defense I am creating against the truth.

WTF (front door)  are you talking about?

I know...all this talk about Truth and Self...defense and attack... may sound like mumbo jumbo to many of you.  It may be flying over your heads or feel like banana peelings under your feet. You may be inspired by it...or you may be entertained by "the ridiculousness of it" or even insulted by it.  You may get it or you may be thinking , "There is something really wrong with this woman!" That will all depend on where you are in your own understanding of waking up. If you are not there...it will indeed just be crazy talk to you...feel free to laugh, or sign off.  :)  I am okay with that.  If, however, it reminds you of a bit of truth you may have inside...please read on.

Learning from Twisted Limbs

Illness and injury according to a Course in Miracles, like time  are defenses ego creates and uses to prevent us from understanding the Truth of who we are. As long as I feel physical pain and I focus on that pain...I am identifying my self with the body.  I believe I am this body and what happens to it is actually happening to me. Thus  is your true identity preserved, and the strange, haunting thought that you might be something beyond this little pile of dust silenced and stilled. For see, this dust can make you suffer, twist your limbs and stop your heart, commanding you to die and cease to be. (ACIM W-136:8:4-5) I forget who I really am when my limbs get twisted.:)

Ego (the unhealed mind)  wants us reminded of the body, feeling it, and identified with it.  It wants us thinking we are the body.  So it creates sickness, injury and death.  Physical pain puts us back in body focus.  As we get closer to knowing who we are, ego gets frightened. It wants to pull us back and away from that Truth into 'physical world' things. Illness and injury become wonderful excuses. If we stay there in them, we do not have to experience the loss of the world we create in our minds and have become so pathologically attached to.  We may use pain, illness, injury as excuses for not going farther into our Self discovery. Sickness is a decision....It is a choice you make, a plan you lay, when for an instant truth arises in your own deluded mind, and all your world appears to totter and prepare to fall.  Now you are sick, that truth may go away and threaten your establishment no more. (ACIM-W-136: 7:1,3-4) 

Isn't it ironic?

Isn't ironic, that as I was getting closer to discovering this Truth and feeling frightened of it...I have this fall where I actually felt I was being pushed down?  Isn't it ironic that I had to deal with very real visually validated  pain just as I was reaching these lessons in A Course? ?  There was a 24 hour period since the fall where all I thought of was my arm and whether or not it was broken. I was, for the first time in a long time, very, very body focused.  I actually questioned, during that time, if all this waking up stuff was nothing more than a bunch of crap. :)

I see the irony now as I read this lesson.

Healing

What will my healing entail? An x-ray to be sure there is no fracture?  A splint or cast to immobilize? I don't know.  That may or may not be necessary to help the arm to heal but it is definitely not what is needed in true healing.  Understanding what sickness and injury are is the first step into healing. No one can heal unless he understands what purpose sickness seems to serve.  for then he understands as well its purpose has no meaning. Being causeless and without a meaningful intent of any kind, it cannot be at all.  When this is seen healing is automatic. (ACIM-W-136:1:1-3)

I got it! I am not my body or what happens to it.  It is here to serve me, I am not here to serve it. I will be where I want to be when I don't feel the body at all...when I do not feel ill or well...when I don't feel pain or relief from it...when I don't feel the body at all Hmm! Man...I always tend to do my learning the hard way.  :)

All is well.

References.

ACIM(2007) Workbook for Students. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume. Third Edition. Mill Valley: Foundations for Inner Peace.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

 
Happy Mothers Day to All Mothers Everywhere!
 
 
Have a Wonderful Day!


What are you defending and from whom?

Innocence is its own defense.
-Ben Franklin

I wrote a big long spiel yesterday about a fall I had recently.  I deleted it because of the "poor me" nature to it but what I wanted to say, that might actually have some value, is that I learned a little something about my defenses from that fall. 

Defences?  The fall showed me that I was defending the valueless against  attackers that I created in my mind. This resulted in some less than positive consequences.

Most of us know that the more we tense up and resist a fall, the more likely we are to get physically injured.  That is why babies and intoxicated individuals seldom get seriously injured in minor accidents or falls.  Defense is synonymous  with resistance. While I was falling I was clinging to protect my camera...to defend it against the impact of the ground. I made the ground the enemy. I may have saved the camera but I, not the ground, did a number on one finger as a result.  I was fighting to defend my body too against the impact and "I"  seriously hurt my arm as a result.  Again I made nature the enemy when it was my resistance that was.

What we may not know, is that defending our identity or sense of personal story is another form of resistance that leads to a different type of injury. Yesterday's story was an attempt to defend my pride and my identity against personal and social opinion and I slipped away from knowing who I truly was when I did that.  I made the Self the enemy. I was clinging to what I thought I knew, creating a monster out of the universe when the monster was simply my expectations. I did not see the truth: that if I defend myself, I am attacked. (ACIM, w-135) Attacked by what? Myself.

Say what, crazy lady?

When we defend anything...we are operating from fear based illusion. Ego creates a vicious cycle of fear that we will be attacked, creating defense, more fear, more defenses etc.  Defense is frightening.  It stems from fear, increasing fear as each defense is made. (ACIM. W-135:3:1-2).  We believe that we are very vulnerable to attack and attack is all around us.  We must, we tell ourselves,  be prepared to protect and defend against such attack.  So we are always on guard, ready, waiting for the fall so we can resist and fight back. We seldom pause to ask ourselves this very important question:

What are we defending and from whom or what?

We lock our car doors as we leave the parking lot for the safety of the store.  We double lock our house doors at night. Some of us even have weapons tucked away in our bedside drawers, just in case.  We protect our family with the right amount of life insurance.  We pay taxes to ensure there is enough border protection between us and the country beside us and that our resources are kept away from all the "thems" of the world. We spend more time, more money, more energy on protection and defense than we do on creating healthier happier and more peaceful communities, and lives. Does that make sense to you?

It doesn't to me...especially when I see that each defence ends up hurting us in the  long run.

What are we defending?

We are defending things that are valueless and that will perish anyway: things of form, bodies, identities. We defend our material belongings, sometimes with weapons that will destroy life.  Hmmm.  We defend our bodies believing them to  be vulnerable and weak, at the mercy of life forces, when the only thing they are at the mercy of is our unhealed minds. And we defend our identities...who we think we are...even at gunpoint.  We cling to this idea that we are a certain religion, political affiliation, nationality, gender, social status, belief system that needs to be defended against all the other separate entities out there. We may "lay down our lives for the cause." When the cause is nothing more than ego smoke.

From whom or what?

We can tell ourselves we are defending against "our enemy"...but who is the enemy?  If we are all One...who can the enemy be?  The Self? God? Every time we attack someone else in the guise of defense...we are attacking ourselves. Why can we not get that?

Defenses are of the ego and the ego's enemy is the Self.  It will do what it can to deceive us and pull us away from the truth of knowing who we are.  So it creates and perpetuates fear so that we spend our energy defending and attacking.  That keeps us from the Truth.

What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present, and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? (ACIM W-135: 18:1)

The good news is, that if we catch ourselves defending...we can know that the defenses  have something ...not   valuable to defend...but valuable to hide.  What was hidden during my resistance to the fall was this simple truth: I am not a camera owner or photographer.  I am not this body.  I am not this identity.  I am so much more. It took a few nasty bruises to get that into my head.

Beyond each defense is the truth.  Let's put down our arms and see it. We need no defense against the truth of our reality.

All is well in my world.

(ACIM workbook ...Lesson 135)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Pack Only What is Valuable

When your values are clear to you, making decisions become easier.
Roy E. Disney (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/roy_e_disney_183365)

 Distinguishing the Valuable from the Valueless.

You are packing your bag for an amazing  journey. Looking out at your life, you have to make some choices.  You have to decide what to take with you as you move on into the next chapter, and what to leave behind.  You want a meaningful life...one filled with true joy, peace and love, therefore you want to choose only what is valuable.  You do not want to fill your back pack with heavy valueless things that weigh you down. How then do you ensure that you are making the best choice for yourself and the world? According to Lesson 133 in ACIM, there are four criterion to follow in deciding what is valuable enough  to take: choose what is timeless and eternal; choose what doesn't take from  someone else; choose only what ego doesn't want and finally, choose that which leaves you without guilt or fear.

Huh?

Will it last forever?

The first thing you want to ask  before you pack that item into your mental bag is, "Will it last forever? " Everything of true value is not dictated by the laws of time.  It is time less.  Do you want to fill your mind and life with things that will perish?  Do you want to concentrate on materiality that is constantly changing, weakening, dying like bodies, material gain, social recognition, and even our thinking itself? Do you want to live like that, valuing the temporary and perishable over the eternal?  So what is eternal?  Self...the real Self ... is eternal and timeless.  Joy is timeless; peace is timeless, Love is timeless; wisdom is timeless; God is timeless, What is is timeless. (Mooji, 2014)The timeless and eternal  has no form, no weight to carry. This is what you want to fill your bag with. "Things", on the other hand, aren't timeless.  If your choice  has a form...if it is of time, it is not worth the space it will take up in your back-pack. Put it down.  It will not serve you or the world. It will not last.  Choose only that which  is timeless to carry with you.

Am I taking it from someone else?

Secondly, you must ask: "Am I taking this from someone else? Whatever you choose should not be subject to loss of any kind...yours or someone else's. When you take from someone else you still do not see you are taking from yourself. There is no gain in that"  Who seeks to take away has been deceived by the illusion loss can offer gain. Yet loss must offer loss, and nothing more." (ACIM,W-133:7: 4-5).  Do not pack your bag with things you felt you took from others.

Does the ego want this?

"Does the ego want this?" is the third question you should ask. Remember that what you really want is not what the ego wants.  What the ego cries for is something you do not need.  The ego actually doesn't even know what it wants but deep down you know what you want.  You want Love and joy and peace...and these are foreign to the ego though it pretends to know what things will bring this to you. Don't listen to ego.  As soon as you recognize ego is reaching for something it tells you to   pack...put it down and know it will not serve you or the world. It is valueless.

Will this choice leave me feeling guilty or fearful?

Finally you must ask, "Will this choice leave me feeling guilty or fearful?" If you feel anything remotely resembling guilt or fear know that you are giving ego what it wants rather than what will serve you best.  Any decision that is complex or difficult leaving you confused and ashamed...is not of Spirit.  It is of ego. "If you feel any guilt about your choice, you have allowed ego's goals to come between the real alternatives." (ACIM, W-133:11:2) Choose again. Choose Love.

Is this valuable or valueless?

These four criterion will bring us to the only choice we have to make really.  " Is this valuable or valueless?".  If it is timeless, giving, empty, simple, egoless and without form or fear...it is the right choice to make.  Pack your bag with those things and you will be sure to live the life you were intended to...right here and now.

All is well.

References

ACIM (2007) Work Book for Students. ACIM: Combined Volume. Third Edition, Lesson133,pages 245-246. Mill Valley: Foundations of Inner Peace.

Mooji (2014) Set Your Heart Free Satsang. Retrieved from http://mooji.org.




Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Hope

Hope is like the sun, which as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burdens behind us.
Samuel Smiles (from Brainy quotes: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/hope)

 
Specs: 1/30 f 14, ISO 100...manual mode.
And no, this isn't one of my 3 % I discussed in yesterday's entry.  :)
 
Enough with the darn crocuses
 
Yes...I am a bit obsessed these days.  Why?  Because crocuses remind me of hope and we all need a little hope now and again.  I know I do. 
 
Though words are never adequate to explain Life, what beautiful message do these flowers speak of?
  • "Keep reaching for the light." They constantly reach towards the sun even when they are hidden below earth and snow, even when skies are overcast with spring rain...they know the light is there and they reach toward it. We must remember that light is there even when we can not see it.
  • "Nothing can keep you down for long."  These little guys were literally underneath 4 feet of snow.  They had to get through layers of earth, ice and pine needles to blossom.  Looking out at a wintery day, one would never guess the likelihood of these little guys overcoming such obstacles and they never doubted it. Their ingrained fortitude did not allow them to stay down.  If they can get through nature's obstacles we can get through our own.
  • "We are all meant to blossom." These lovely little flowers add beauty and hope to the world.  That is why they are here.  And we are meant to blossom into our full potential so we can do the same.
  • "Make the most of the moment you are in."  The life span of the crocus is very short. They emerge.  They blossom. They add beauty and hope and then they die. This is life for all of us.  Embrace the moment and revel in the beauty and magic of it, the sun and the rain, the joy and the pain...Let the things of this world   come and go gently into it and from it, just  as the crocuses do.
How lovely is that?
 
All is well in my world.

 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Picture speaks a Thousand Words...

Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.
-from my day planner that is telling me I am or will be late for blood work.  :)


Specs: shot in manual mode; 1/250; f8; ISO 100

Specs are not spectacular

You probably do not care how I shot this do you? My desire to put specs down is me  compensating ego for its effort.  It wants me to sound professional.  It wants others and myself to see me as something special because I carry a big camera around with some big glass on it, when I am nothing more than a person who likes to take pictures. It is often ego that gets me to pick up my camera, to plop myself down somewhere and to set the mode, choose a lens, frig with the dials and ISO and white balance. 

Ego often tells me how I must shoot if I am to maintain this "image" or this idea of myself as a photographer. I do not feel anything like a photographer unless I shoot in manual mode ( sometimes aperture priority) but what does a photographer actually feel like anyway. lol.  It is all image...until I begin shooting, that is.

Ego is not the One that takes the picture

Then something else takes over. I can't see well so I actually can't see what I shot...I can set up the composition, use the right technique at times and "luck in" but I am not taking the picture...not really.  I get absorbed right into the lens it seems and my very limited eye sight and photographic skill is replaced by something I cannot even begin to understand or describe.   Ego slips away so the world, in all its contrasting beauty, can slip into my camera to be stilled.   I just push the shutter release.  My willingness to Be there, does the rest.

Far, far from perfect or professional

I may shoot over 100 frames in one sitting of anything and everything around me...doesn't matter what.  I will usually delete about 15-20 % because they are absolutely horrid! (And for me to delete a pic means they are horrid because I  have hope I can restore almost every one of "my babies" with the magic of post processing.) I take the rest to light room for better viewing...the only time I can actually see what I shot clearly is on full screen. Then I do what I learned to do to develop. It is a labor of love.

When done, ego may slip back in to judge my work with a very critical eye.  I manage to supersede that with a "feeling" I get when I look at a particular pic.  Of all the 100 pics I shot, there may be 2-3 that speak to me, like this one did (and it required little editing). It was a pic meant to be taken and meant to be shared. 

I don't know why I like it, or the other 3% of my pics that I feel called to...but I know I do.  My eyes are drawn to it...I sense the light in it, almost feel it...almost see the movement towards the space in  2/3 of  the frame. It pulls me in.  It may not do that for anyone else at all lol...I don't know; it doesn't matter.  I just know it was a moment meant to be captured  and someone, just me maybe, is meant to be pulled into it.

I feel warm and grateful when I look at this pic with all its imperfections. Grateful for capturing a moment that touched me so; for being reminded how beautiful, in all its contrast, the world is and for knowing I am a witness to it and a part of it.  I am grateful for the reminder in every such pic I get that This moment is all there is...That reminder creates a peace in me. ...a peace which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7 NKJV)

Hmmm!  So ego deserves a little gratitude too for getting me there even if it was for its own twisted reasons.  :) So I put my specs up and pretend to be something I am not.

That is much more than you needed to read, I am sure.

About the story of the little crocus that found itself far away from the crop?  Well I think I see a children's story in the making.  You will have to read more about it then.  :)

All is well.