As much as I tell myself I want to heal my life, I find that I regularly slip into avoidance behavior. It is the home of addiction. It is hell, and even though I “know” that the path to healing it is to face it, it is the great battle of my life. I fritter away chunks of my life as if I have nothing to do, all in the name of escape. It’s a story I’ve told for too long and I am tired of it.
Yet, being tired of it doesn’t stop me from the behavior.
I’ve been yearning for God. Every Tuesday, even on days where I feel like it would be nice to stay home for a change, I find myself grateful for my ACIM group. We are nearing the end of the text (we are in Chapter 30), reading about idols and illusions, and as I find myself feeling upset and restless in my daily life, I recognize how much healing I still need to do. The psychic pain is way too familiar, like a skip in an old 45 that repeats a line of music over and over again. I know that is fear, which means it is illusion, yet despite “knowing” this, the line repeats. I witness myself yielding to the very temptation I swore I would eschew.
This morning, in my quest for a prayer to publish on the church website, I came across this line from the Course in a prayer I had written: “You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality. Is it your decision to do so?”
I tell myself that answer is “Yes!” and yet find myself courting escape (dreaming of exile). The incongruence is shocking. Some part of my mind still believes in the lies of the ego. It’s like I equate believing in them with salvation, even though yielding to temptation is anything but!
This is a frequent topic of conversation at our Tuesday night group. Perhaps part of the attraction of coming together is the opportunity to recognize how un-special we are. To be human is to be insane in many ways. Ego wants to convince us (me) to hide, to escape into hedonistic pleasures to avoid the psychic pain of being present with the fear, yet in truth, it is just a trick to perpetuate the illusions (“the ego’s maxim, ‘Seek but do not find.’”). As we read last Tuesday, “You do not want whatever you believe an idol gives.” And therein lies the problem – on some level I still believe that the “idol” (anger, hatred, indignity, or whatever) gives me something I want. It justifies vengeance; it is the excuse for preserving attack. It is the hook that keeps me tethered to ego and unaware of my connection to the Divine. Intellectually, I know I am not separate from God, but sometimes it is hard to feel.
I really need to get back into meditating, or at the very least, re-establish my habit of daily writing.
I find that I have a list of grievances lately, which cannot be good. The irony of trying to escape that which is trying to help me grow is that when I avoid, the Universe just sends me clones. It’s like some bad horror movie where shooting the monster results in ten replicates taking its place. I find myself wondering what it would take to be in service to God each day and even though I “know” that God’s work is everywhere, my mind still tells me it is someplace other than where I am. I still delude myself into thinking that shooting the monster will eradicate the bastard. It’s like I forget that if I don’t remove the cause, I can’t stop the symptoms from reoccurring. Cutting out the disease does little to cure the problem if I haven’t eliminated the source of the sickness.
I take myself with me. Until I heal what is plaguing me, it will continue to haunt me no matter where I go.
I came across a quote by Joel Osteen: “You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.”
I seriously need to remember that.
“Beyond all idols is the Thought God holds of you. Completely unaffected by the turmoil and the terror of the world, the dreams of birth and death that here are dreamed, the myriad of forms that fear can take; quite undisturbed, the Thought God holds of you remains exactly as it always was. Surrounded by a stillness so complete no sound of battle comes remotely near, it rests in certainty and perfect peace. Here is your one reality kept safe, completely unaware of all the world that worships idols, and that knows not God. In perfect sureness of its changelessness and of its rest in its eternal home, the Thought God holds of you has never left the Mind of its Creator, Whom it knows, as its Creator knows that it is there.”
I am still bumping into my trust issues because I can’t see how things are working out.
That’s the crazy thing. I think that what is happening is happening to be. I fail to notice that life is happening for me.
My avoidance behavior is a failure to see what God would have me see. It blocks the beauty. It blocks the goodness. It’s crazy, and it keeps me from enjoying my life. “Salvation is a paradox indeed! What could it be except a happy dream? It asks you but that you forgive all things that no one ever did; to overlook what is not there, and not to look upon the unreal as reality. You are but asked to let your will be done, and seek no longer for the things you do not want. And you are asked to let yourself be free of all the dreams of what you never were, and seek no more to substitute the strength of idle wishes for the Will of God.”
And I resist it because I am unwilling to “forgive all things that no one ever did.”
But seriously, I am tired of fighting it. I could see peace instead of this.
The only question is if I’m ready to decide for peace. Please Lord, help me choose peace instead of hell.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.