I awoke feeling guilty this morning. Maybe it was because for the umpteenth time, I find myself in the same old, same old situation where the list of things I “say” I want to do does not begin to come close to the actions I have been taking. As I mentioned the other day, I am reading this book called, This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True by M. J. Ryan. I find myself face to face with how very much I lie to myself. I find myself face to face with the inner saboteur (ego). As the year rushes to a close, I am noticing the many, many ways I will have “failed” this year. I see how many commitments I still have to meet as the opportunities to meet those obligations this year dwindles.
Guilty. I feel guilty, just as the saboteur wanted me to. That’s how ego works to stay in charge.
As I went through today’s ACIM lesson, I kept remembering “Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.”
The saboteur doesn’t know shit.
I was chatting with a friend of mine yesterday and he told me, “I don’t think you play enough.” The comment was the result of me admitting a certain sense of resentment when there are things I “should” do and I am feeling resistant towards needing to turn my back on the things I “want” to do.
My friend graciously pointed out to me that I was creating separation. Yes, yes, I was.
As I peel back the layers to look at it more closely, I see my old victim script lurking in the background hoping I won’t notice its presence. Fear is hiding and I have been using the excuse of (fill in the blank) to keep myself from looking at it.
I told my friend, “I play plenty. It’s secret play.” They are the moments stolen from the “what I want to do” column and put into the “avoidance” column. My play is secret play. My play isn’t the expression of creativity or divine expression (true play is always in the “things I want to do” column) – my play is, more often than not, ego treks away from “work.” I am playing solitaire, or watching TV, or downloading books, or recipes. I’m goofing off, not accomplishing anything, but it isn’t the sort of thing that refreshes exactly. It’s saboteur play – a.k.a. avoidance.
Wayne Dyer always used to say, “You can never get enough of what you don’t want.”
Yesterday, we had a class at work – the annual “core” class required to keep realtors abreast of changes in our forms and requirements. My boss generously provided breakfast. I ended up feeling like I had a tapeworm because for whatever reason, I was hungry. I tried ignoring it and eating a “reasonable” amount, but after a while, I’d find myself reaching for another breakfast taco. I know I ate more than anyone else. It was embarrassing and explains why I have put on five pounds lately (in direct opposition of my goal of losing weight).
As I notice the fear that wants to come and hijack my best intentions, I have to seriously forgive myself and return to the Course. I have to quit reaching for what Ryan calls the emotional brains defaults. “The emotional brain isn’t very smart. It understands ‘pleasant’ or ‘painful,’ and ‘safety’ or ‘danger,’ the patterns for which were created when we were very young. It propels us toward pleasure and away from pain.”*
I think about the many, many things I want to accomplish and then feel shame/guilt for avoiding them. I have been organizing/consolidating my e-books lately. Many of them were on my old laptop and now that it is nearly a year after the purchase of my “new” one, I am getting things moved over to it and, more importantly, to my Kindle (which I bought nearly two years ago to replace the “good one,” as in much more expensive with more storage space, when I dropped that one. I bought the parts to fix the “good” but never did). I finally purchased a memory card for the cheapie Kindle so it has decent storage on it. Anyway, the amazing thing about going through and moving all those thousands of free ebooks that I downloaded is how many of them are “solutions” to problems – how to write/publish a book, lose weight, get organized, make money. I’ve never even looked at most of them.
You see, the saboteur within tries to convince me that the answers are “out there.” But I am not working on the things that I claim are important to me because it is easier and more pleasant to not work on them.
Ryan says, “…In order to actually do something new, you have to get clear on why you are willing to expend all that energy.” Because isn’t that the rub? It takes energy. It requires effort. I have to return to Mel Robbins 5-Second Rule.
So, as I venture forth into the day, knowing that if I continue to stay sitting on my couch and write for the next few hours I will be at cross-purposes with my stated goals, all I can say is that I am glad it is Tuesday and that my ACIM group meets tonight. I am glad that forgiveness is on the table. I am glad that I a simply undoing what never was. “Prepare you now for the undoing of what never was. If you already understood the difference between truth and illusion, the Atonement would have no meaning. The holy instant, the holy relationship, the Holy Spirit’s teaching, and all the means by which salvation is accomplished, would have no purpose. For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams, from which you waken easily to knowledge. Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.”
In the end, I remember that doing or not doing is not the point. Miracles merely save time. The game is rigged and even though I sometimes forget, there is nothing I can do to make the separation real.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.