Part of the value of practicing these Course lessons is that I am more confident in who I am. This evening, Jay and I are being evaluated for worthiness regarding the purchase of our new home. Owner financing is a different beast than going through a bank. The bank is only interested in your financials. With owner financing, the seller knows going in that the financials are an issue so they look at circumstances, they go to the core of who the buyers are. I get it. I’ve been there and I’ve been bit in some cases. I no longer do lease options for just that reason. I’ve had too many home trashed because the “renter” had no idea of how to be a home owner and changed their minds about the purchasing part once they realized all the damage would be their responsibility.
Anyway, Jay is stressed to the max and I am not. Not that I don’t still have a crapload of tasks to complete before they arrive. Mostly cleaning, though I am buying some hanging flower baskets for the front to spruce things up a bit. We purchased a new welcome map yesterday. The old one was so beat it couldn’t make anyone feel welcome. We’d bought a new one before but because of where our house is situated, we collect a lot of debris – stuff from the whole street collects in our yard – it sucks, but also the way the wind whips through, it will carry off a light welcome mat; which is what happened to the last one.
Anyway, here are today’s review lessons:
My mind holds only what I think with God.
(135) If I defend myself I am attacked.
(136) Sickness is a defense against the truth.
© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598
If I defend myself I am attacked. I am particularly grateful to this lesson because it has helped me let go of the impulse to defend. To defend myself is to operate from guilt, to make the sin real, so to speak. If someone calls me ugly (or stupid, or disreputable, whatever) and I defend myself then some part of me if basically endorsing that assessment. It is why I can’t get all stressed about this evening. I know who I am. I know that I am reputable. I know I have integrity. No one else’s opinion can change that and I refuse to allow anyone else’s opinion chip away at my self-confidence.
I asked Jay why he was so stressed and he started going through his to do list. I told him, “look, I know who we are and if we don’t have every little thing we want to do completed before they get here, it’s okay. We are still packing and cleaning and fixing little things. We are allowed to do that.”
I know who I am. I know who you are. It is only when I don’t know that, or rather when I forget that that I feel the need to defend myself. Plus I think of it as a pheromone, like being afraid of dogs – they sense it. If I feel the need to defend myself, I am asking to be attacked.
Sickness is a defense against the truth. I think we need to catch ourselves, or at least I do. I need to notice how I am using certain things to eschew responsibility. Sickness falls in that category. It’s not alone in the category, but it is one of the members. All ego ruses serve some purpose. Sickness is a defense against truth – a way of fooling ourselves so that we don’t look too closely.
Now, I know that’s not a popular stance. No one deliberately goes around courting illness as a means of escape. I know tons of people with one disease or another and not a one of them made a conscious deliberate decision to be sick. Not one.
I don’t think the Course is trying to infer that you did. It’s not about blame and it’s certainly not about escalating guilt. What it is saying is that the ego (which identifies itself with the body) devised sickness as a means of protecting itself against truth, against owning what is happening. They are a means of protecting oneself.
Look, I get it. When I was in third grade I absolutely hated going to school because I thought my teacher was mean. She regularly ridiculed kids and she flat out called me a liar when I told her I was born in Holland (“New York?” she asked. “No, Holland,” I answered. At eight, I wasn’t savvy enough to say, “No, as in The Netherlands, you bozo!”) Of course, maybe she didn’t call me a liar. I was a sensitive little kid, so it’s possible she was perfectly lovely about it. All I know is that I ended up sick and missing a bunch of school. It got me out of her crosshairs.
All I know for sure on this topic is that I absolutely believe that all illness is a backdoor solution to a problem that seems unsolvable through other seems. It is the ego’s way of getting what it wants through perverse means. Like, it never occurs to us (me, my ego) to just ask for what it wants and so it comes up with this elaborate scheme to solve the problem.
My back has been bothering my for days and all I can do is wonder what purpose is being served. Something, or it wouldn’t be happening.
Yet those of us who identify with the body (most of us, most of the time) have a hard time separating the suffering from our need to escape facing the truth. I don’t think it’s all that important to figure out why. Why is just a hook to try to hang blame on. It increases guilt and so can be highly counter-productive.
Why is not important; the important thing is are you ready to let it go? Are you ready to heal?
I write about this like it is directed at physical sickness, but I am of the opinion that it applies to all areas of our lives where we are not experiencing wholeness – it could be physical, but it could also be emotional, financial, in our careers – they are many, many ways to be sick.
For me, part of what I have been healing is financial and it’s connected to my willingness to own who and what I am. It’s about owning the truth of who I am.
Update: we met with the seller. He liked us. He barely looked at the house. So, I guess we will be getting the house after all. Of course! Because I felt secure in who I am, who Jay and I are.
It’s all good.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.
P.S. Done is better than good.