Last week had been rather challenging for me. Sometimes, it feels like its just one thing after another without the time for me to catch my breath in between. They say that we choose our challenges before we are born. Now, I am not sure where I stand on that whole choosing beforehand thing, but I would like to have a word with that fool who chose all of this! And they also say that we are here to grow. Whoever “they” are. I just need a break!
Anyway, enough of venting… Lets humour the idea that we are here for growth.
In the past, I have dabbled with stuff, personal growth stuff not drugs. Drugs never really appealed to me. And for that I am grateful. I know those who are addicted to drugs. I have found it hard to understand what they are going through and what got them into drugs in the first place. It was easy to judge. I had an uncle who died in his early 30s due to alcoholism. And he was one of the nicest of guys. I wonder about him often and what led him to addiction to the point it cost him his life.
Lack of love.
Lack of self- love and a whole lot of self-loathing which leads to self-destructive behaviours.
Lack of love from others who are meant to care. (They are fighting their own demons.)
And where there is no love, there is a whole lot of fear. Fear is ego’s favourite weapon. It can drive a sane person insane. I have been a victim of fear many many times. It has brought me to my knees. Fortunately, when you are on your knees, you surrender to something bigger than you – whatever you call it, god/universe/spirit. And once I surrender, then I have been guided.
I was guided to a book called “A return to love” By Marianne Williamson which is based on a spiritual text called “A course in miracles”. The most premise of the text is:
There is only fear or love. Only love is real. Everything else is an illusion.
We are operating somewhere on that spectrum of love and fear. One may be closer to love or to fear. The closer one is to love, more at peace they are while fear can lead one to neuroses of their own mind. I have experienced both at one point or another. At this point, its worth stating that love is love, no need to confuse it for romance. They are very different, one is fleeting while the other is always present, sometimes quietly and sometimes loudly.
How does one identify whether they are operating from love or fear?
When we are in fear, we are in defence and with a large side of judgment of others with self criticism and self loathing as the secret sauces. When in love, there is nothing to judge or defend. So I have judged very harshly, sometimes myself and sometimes others. Judgment for a long time was my first line of defence and still, it was me who was hurting.
When judgement is no longer the way…
Putting my pride aside and not listening to the ego – for the ego has me convinced that the other person doesn’t care. Ego is very self centred and convinced that life and everyone is out to get me in some way, shape or form. It makes the other person wrong. It judges their actions on the surface as it chooses to see what it wants to see – the way that person is wronging us, not how they are suffering. There is no compassion when ego is running the show. I have judged far too many times in the past and made others wrong. This time, I am willing to learn and choose differently.
I can send love, and constantly choose love over fear. I can have compassion for myself and the other and release all judgments. I can pray for the other person and wish them well. I can choose to be a witness to their light not their darkness. For when I focus on their light, may I remind myself of my own light and them of theirs. Does that mean, the other will listen and respond in a new manner towards me? Maybe. Maybe not. I can’t control what the other person chooses to do, that is their choice. I can only choose for myself. I can choose to respect their choice without any hurt or judgment or blame. And I can still respond from love.
Going back to me dabbling in the personal growth stuff… I have picked up the Course previously when I was in a lot of turmoil, and when I felt better, I stopped. Naturally, ego won then. Now, I am a bit more wiser and stronger. I know what I need to do. Its something I have ran away from many times in so many ways in the past. Commitment.
In the name of freedom, I haven’t really truly committed to anything in my life. Now, I want to be free from the ego traps, there is a strong desire and call for ego-death. And commitment for once feels like the path to be on, that will free me from the ego traps. So I commit to studying the Course. Not just studying, practicing.
I commit to ways of love.
I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Marianne Williamson’s book, A return to love:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”