I love how life offers up exactly what it is I am focused on – as if some mastermind sent out a memo to the Universe that said, “She’s working on this now. Send all the stuff you’ve got on _______.” (Today, it is clinging.) Today’s ACIM lesson, I do not perceive my own best interests, is about that. It is about recognizing that in my attempts to control (ego), I have stipulated that life should unfold a certain way (my way!) and that if it doesn’t (or probably more accurately, when it doesn’t because it rarely does), then there will be hell to pay.
That part is accurate – there will be hell to pay because I have put myself in hell by trying to dictate how life should happen. Today’s lesson says, “If you realized that you do not perceive your own best interests, you could be taught what they are. But in the presence of your conviction that you do know what they are, you cannot learn. The idea for today is a step toward opening your mind so that learning can begin.”
When I think I know how things should happen and they don’t go that way, I have tossed out my happiness. Once I determine that the events that I find myself in the midst of are “wrong,” I shut down and try to avoid them. I procrastinate. I get upset . I forget that all I really need to do is witness life with curiosity without the need to control it.
Returning to The Untethered Soul (see the last few days), Singers says, “The question is simply, ‘Do you want to be happy?’ If the answer is really yes, then say it without qualifying it.”
I think of myself as fairly easygoing. I don’t think I am controlling or tyrannical. But like all humans, I have my preferences. Singer reminds us that “In truth, the very responsibility of having to hold it all together is itself a form of suffering.” Just as I realized yesterday that being attacked is something I need to let go of because it is a way to continue my victim status, so is the effort of holding it all together.
And other people don’t seem to have gotten that memo about how I want them to behave.
Singer says, “You want people to be steady enough so that you can predict their behavior If they aren’t, it disturbs you. This is because you have made your predictions of their behavior part of your inner model.” (As in, this is how things are in my world.)
This explains volumes with regard to the challenges of friends and family who seem attached to the status quo and who don’t always adjust well when we change.
In reminding us that we do not perceive our own best interests, the Course says, “If these exercises are done properly, you will quickly recognize that you are making a large number of demands of the situation which have nothing to do with it. You will also recognize that many of your goals are contradictory, that you have no unified outcome in mind, and that you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals, however the situation turns out.”
If it’s true that I have conflicting goals (and I’m sure it is), then no matter what happens, I won’t be happy.
What I know for now is that I am certain to encounter situations that ask me to grow. I am certain to bump into things I would prefer were different. But what I am starting to get is that life is much easier if I just accept what is without clinging.
As Singer says, “There’s nothing you can make up inside your mind that can ever be considered reality.”
It is also the place where Love is everywhere; where Peace reigns supreme; Joy is ours. From last night’s Tuesday night ACIM reading, “Perception’s basic law could thus be said, ‘You will rejoice at what you see because you see it to rejoice.’ And while you think that suffering and sin will bring you joy, so long will they be there for you to see. Nothing is harmful or beneficent apart from what you wish. It is your wish that makes it what it is in its effects on you. Because you chose it as a means to gain these same effects, believing them to be the bringers of rejoicing and of joy.”
But to get there, I have to give up clinging. I have to let God run the show and ask my guide (the Holy Spirit) for direction. Miracles are our natural inheritance, but they are NOT up to us to orchestrate.. “They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.”
“Reality is changeless. Miracles but show what you have interposed between reality and your awareness is unreal, and does not interfere at all. The cost of the belief there must be some appearances beyond the hope of change is that the miracle cannot come forth from you consistently. For you have asked it be withheld from power to heal all dreams. There is no miracle you cannot have when you desire healing. But there is no miracle that can be given you unless you want it.”
So today, I set the intention of allowing life to be what it is and to bring me whatever I need to let go of clinging. Singer advises, “When your mind is disturbed, don’t ask, ‘What do I do about this”’ Instead ask, ‘Who am I that notices thins?’”
So witness, don’t cling. Then let God have His way with you.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.