How many mornings have I thought I had adequate time to reclaim my old habit of daily writing, with sitting with God, with the pitapat of the keyboard as I settle into contemplation? Too often! Too often, I have arisen early enough so that theoretically, I should have had adequate time to wedge the activity in, only to discover that extra hour has passed and with it, the sweet window of possibility. This morning is such a morning, and I try not to watch the clock knowing that the day encroaches quickly and that I must be suspended outside of time to allow peace in.
Or at least, that’s how it feels to me. Believing that is a “magic thought.” It is a clever attempt to avoid taking responsibility for what I do not like. It is endowing reality with a power separate from what I gave it.
In my head, Ingrid Michaelson loops, “All I can do is keep breathing. Now.”
Start where you are. That’s all we ever can do and it is pointless to try to do anything else, but as Tim reminded me, once again last night in our ACIM group, quoting Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
In our reading last night from The Manual for Teachers, the Course said, “Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts.”
The chasm between how I want to behave and what I actually do is greater than I’d prefer, but being upset about it is futile. It is just another replay of what the Course refers to an ego’s maxim, “Seek but do not find.” It is a form of crying over spilt mink, lamenting the past – just a “poor me” refrain. It is a ruse to avoid being accountable, a magic trick to deflect attention away from the man behind the curtain and getting sucked up into it only keeps me stuck. Perhaps it is because I am reading, Sarah Knight’s “Get Your Sh*t Together” that I realize that I have been shirking my goal of daily writing. Knight says there are three steps to getting it together: strategize, focus and then commit.
Somehow, I never learned there steps. Being a seat of my pants kind of gal, I feel accomplished when I manage to plan out a vacation. Although goal setting and planning isn’t one of my strengths, I am old enough to have mastered at least a haphazard execution of my objectives. Every day, I have the goal of writing before I start my day, and it has become a rarity that I accomplish that goal.
That belief is what the Course refers to as a “magic thought.” A magic thought, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Course’s definition is the belief that something separate from God has power. “All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles.” It is the belief in separation, and not just the belief in separation as a fact, but also that we’ve (I’ve) somehow outfoxed God. The Course says this arouses fear and guilt: fear because we’re afraid God will figure out what we’re up and guilt for having usurped God’s power.
Which is hysterical.
“A magic thought, by its mere presence, acknowledges a separation from God. It states, in the clearest form possible, that the mind which believes it has a separate will that can oppose the Will of God, also believes it can succeed.”
And somehow, I believe that I am so powerful and important that it all matters. It does not. God isn’t pissed that I got sucked into the illusion once again. It’s laughable. It’s wasted energy, but it’s no skin off God’s nose. It is but a war against myself.
“The war against yourself is but the battle of two illusions, struggling to make them different from each other, in the belief the one that conquers will be true. There is no conflict between them and the truth. Nor are they different from each other. Both are not true. And so it matters not what form they take. What made them is insane, and they remain part of what made them. Madness holds out no menace to reality, and has no influence upon it. Illusions cannot triumph over truth, nor can they threaten it in any way. And the reality that they deny is not a part of them.”
And so, as I find myself wanting to judge the writing or the not writing, the lack of focus and the tendency to beat myself up for not having made progress in the “right” direction, I discover that this too is just another opportunity for forgiveness – for letting go of what never happened. In the end, it is all of learning to let go of thinking I know anything, or that I control anything, or that I NEED to control anything (a biggie for me!). As the Manual for Teachers says, “The form of the mistake is not important. What is important is only the recognition of a mistake as a mistake.”
If I don’t recognize the mistake, then I am stuck in the illusion. I am endowing it with a power it doesn’t really possess. It’s like going to a magic show and thinking the woman was really cut in half.
It was an illusion! “The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control.” In other words, it is the belief in separation – thinking that something “out there” has more power than God.
Way to return to victim status, girl!
In the end, none of it matters – writing, not writing, forgiveness, failure to forgive. I can’t change the changeless. I can’t separate myself from God and I can’t make illusions real. It’s all just hide-and-seek, and I can enjoy it, or not.
All I can do is keeping breathing. All I can do is keep breathing.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.