Sunday, April 14, 2013
The Quiet Place Where I Really Live Is Wonderful
I thank all those who responded to my message last week. It was helpful and reassuring to hear from all of you. It also got me to do some real soul-searching.
I think I’m beginning to “… see the light” when it comes to dealing with pain. First there is physical pain: sharp/dull, throbbing, nausea or aches. That pain just is. Period. Then there’s the corresponding mental “pain:” worry, the “why me’s,” the dread of a medical test result, the anxiety over medical costs, the frustration over not healing fast enough, the helplessness and guilt of being dependent on a caretaker, the irritation of having to change a routine because I cannot physically do the old pattern anymore. All of this mental anguish precipitates in me constant stress, which exacerbates my ability to heal. What this does to my body is like sitting in my car in the driveway and revving up the engine for hours on end to 5,000 RPMs. Although I’m not going anywhere, I’ll wear out the engine.
All these mental pains, aches and “stressers” are where miracles (i.e., a change of perception) occur according to A Course in Miracles (ACIM). I can be peaceful, calm and free – yes, even in the throes of my pain. When my head is in the right place, my pain and discomfort just become royal pains in the ass, so to speak. Because I am not my body, pain ceases to dominate me.
Miracles and healing in ACIM occur in my mind – the source of all my problems. It’s the same in AA. After my compulsion to drink had left me I was faced with the real healing from working the Twelve Steps. That healing dealt with finding me – the real me. In turn that meant I had to deal with what and how I thought. I had to change my thinking. I know from events I experienced in AA, when I change my attitude (AA-speak for ACIM teachings about my perceptions), my universe changes. “Why not live like that all the time?” ACIM asks. Good question. Why not live that way?
I don’t live that way because I don’t have the discipline to control my mind from its constant wandering, its constant chatter, and the constant drama it conjures up.
I remember this story about an 80 year-old man who asks his doctor, “Will you please lower my sex drive?” “Really!” Says the physician. “Yes. It’s all in my head.”
All my “stuff” resides in the universe that exists between my ears. Like the old man, it’s still all in my head.
I remember when I was getting out of debt and cleaning up the wreckage from my drinking. Maureen, the CPA who was helping me by controlling my budget and paying my bills, had managed to begin a savings account for me. After a while I had about $200 in there. Then I needed tires in order for my car to pass its annual inspection. Cost? About $200.
I was delighted!
Maureen was horrified.
For her it was simply pitiful that I had to wipe out my newly accumulated savings for tires. For me it was the first time in decades that I was able to handle an emergency without getting into more debt. I was able to shop for a better deal, rather than simply settling for going to the only store where I still had some credit. Life rolled on. My savings account began to build again. I felt very good. My head was just in a different place than Maureen’s. It made all the difference in the world.
Recently, I have experienced – only slightly, but terribly significant – the real me, my True Self. I have had a couple of instances where I found in me this “place” of peace, quiet, and calm. I am in a room in my mind filled with light and it pulsates with my inhaling and exhaling. As I inhale the light becomes a unified “blob” of brilliance. As I exhale the light expands and I recognize individual people there – people who have been very significant to me. They are simultaneously individualized and yet are all simply One. I am part of them, yet distinct at the same time. It is very hard to discuss, but it is very wonderful to be there. Pain, discomfort, worry, fear, resentment, anxiety, envy, self-pity are no where to be found.
I love it there! And I’ll continue exercising the mind discipline to get there more often.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#2 April, 2013