I find myself both amazed and ashamed by the juxtaposition of synchronicity alongside the stress I allow to default to bad habits. I suppose I am learning to let God handle the details, but I still lack grace in the practice. When I allow, when I let go of trying to control, things DO seem to work out, but somewhere in the interim I find myself fretting over the uncontrollable and consequently wasting time and energy. When I am stressed out, I have a hard time reaching for practices that could be exceedingly useful. When I still WANT to steer things in the direction I think they ought to go, I bump up against my “don’t fuck with me” attitude. My gentleness flies out the window. My kindness disappears in the face of those who mistook it for the opportunity to take advantage of me.
Yet somehow even that is perfect.
Yesterday’s Course lesson was, There is another way of looking at the world and today’s is I could see peace instead of this. Both of them are reminders that I am the determiner of my perception. As today’s lesson says, “Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.”
We teach others how to treat us and I suppose I am teaching that I deserve goodness. It isn’t a bad thing to demonstrate that I won’t be taken advantage of. Yet what was it in me that was so afraid of asking to be treated fairly? I see the fear lurking in the background, that schoolgirl child who never could ask for borrowed money to be repaid because of fear of not being liked (by kids I didn’t particularly like – say what!).
The “culprit” in the current offending situation is the rental house formerly known as my son’s. In an attempt to create a win/win last month, I gave the tenants a break on the rent in exchange for labor. Make no mistake, I was looking out for my own best interest. I was saving myself money. But I think they thought that the exchange meant I was more of a marshmallow than I am willing to be. Setting the record straight was not necessarily pretty. I am not certain (not affirming!) the situation is 100% resolved but my unwillingness to put up with crap is definitely cemented. This is no small feat, for I have a long history of being “too nice.”
Somewhere in the middle of my money worries, God stepped in to show me it would all be alright. One of my listings that has been on the market for three month suddenly got two offers yesterday. And I finally figured out the “problem” I’d been having trying to print labels for my postcard mailing list. It was not a totally unproductive day despite my avoidance tendencies. I just don’t particularly like playing enforcer. I am irritated when people fail to take responsibility and do what they are supposed to do.
That’s likely a mirror.
I don’t have to like that reflection but it might be helpful if I quit fighting it and just look at what it is trying to show me. The Course tells me, “Reflections are seen in light. In darkness they are obscure, and their meaning seems to lie only in shifting interpretations, rather than in themselves. The reflection of God needs no interpretation. It is clear. Clean but the mirror, and the message that shines forth from what the mirror holds out for everyone to see, no one can fail to understand.”
As I sat in meditation this morning, it came to me how much easier it is to allow God to handle the details. I felt so much happier realizing that I didn’t need to be miserable simply because the day didn’t unfold as I would have preferred. “Your brother is the mirror in which you see the image of yourself as long as perception lasts. And perception will last until the Sonship knows itself as whole. You made perception and it must last as long as you want it.”
I could see peace instead of this. It was as easy as willingness. Willingness that I don’t necessarily have to like.
This morning is my search for inspirational quotes I came across this one by William James: “Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.”
As I read the quote and realized that I start each day with things I don’t like – exercise and meditation – I knew that even though those are things I dislike, not “hate,” just forcing myself to do them is still progress. And somewhere in the mix, it feels good to know that there was no point in time when I felt inclined to compromise my toughness in favor of niceness.
This is teaching love. This is teaching respect.
“Your brother’s holiness is sacrament and benediction unto you. His errors cannot withhold God’s blessing from himself, nor you who see him truly. His mistakes can cause delay, which it is given you to take from him, that both may end a journey that has never begun, and needs no end. What never was is not a part of you. Yet you will think it is, until you realize that it is not a part of him who stands beside you. He is the mirror of yourself, wherein you see the judgment you have laid on both of you. The Christ in you beholds his holiness. Your specialness looks on his body and beholds him not.”
Part of what I am learning is to let go of guilty judgments. All are innocent. There is another way of looking at the world, and it is much more peaceful than being pissed and upset.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.