Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Power Of The 3 R’s

The problem I have with a problem is not the problem. The problems I have with a problem are the problems I have with my problem. When I have a problem, I am to address and “solve” it. Correct?
But many times I don’t.
Although I’m positive nobody else does this but me, many times when I have a problem I worry about it, I find ways to blame you for it, I obsess about it, I wonder why it is I always have problems like this, I get angry because I’m always having to solve my problems, I’m jealous of you because you never seem to have any problems. Then, finally, I sit down, make some decisions, and solve my problem.
In short, a problem isn’t my problem. My problem is the problems I have with a problem. My worrying, obsessing, delaying, fretting, getting angry, blaming in the face of this problem – all these are my problem. All these are fruits of the perceived reality that exists only between my ears – the perceived reality of Felix, my ego mind.
I am becoming more and more aware of Felix’s voice as opposed to a sense of me that is willing to see events and people through Christ eyes. I cannot, however, get to that Christ eyes point by myself. In fact, I cannot get to that at all. I can only be willing and ask. But to do that I have to train myself to ignore the constant chatter of Felix, still my mind and ask for Christ eyes. I’ve had issues in doing that because I believe I didn’t know how.
Recently, I have learned a couple of things from a friend in A Course in Miracles (ACIM), as well as from someone who is teaching me how to implement the principles of the Course. What I’ve been doing now I learned last week from my good friend, who uses the acronym of the 3 R’s: Recognize, Release and Relax.
As mentioned, I am getting a little better at recognizing the voice of Felix and the attending emotions of fear, frustration, anger, hurt, and resentment. When I feel these feelings or listen to the justification, criticism, logic, defensiveness or blame that is the content of Felix’s chatter – I now (since I recognize it) can say: “That’s enough, Felix. Thank you.” But how do I release these thoughts and feelings and still my mind? From my teacher I picked up a little technique that has been very effective for me. After I thank Felix for his unsolicited opinion I ask myself 3 questions: Who am I? Who is with me? What do I want?
I am answering these questions with something like this: Who am I? I am an integral part of God as is [this person or the people in this event]. I am light and love and gratitude and creative energy. I am exactly as God created me. Who is with me? The Holy Spirit is here with me. I am not alone. I am surrounded by God’s love. What do I want? I want the Peace of God with no shame or guilt. I want to see with Christ’s eyes. I want True Vision and I am willing and wanting to see this situation or person differently. Then I relax and listen – not to the loud voice of Felix, but for the quiet whispers of the Holy Spirit. I don’t have to do anything or say anything. I just think of myself, the situation, or the person with loving thoughts while listening for whispers and guidance.
Practicing these 3 R’s, as imperfectly as I am learning how to do it, seems to be really helping me train my mind to do things differently.  My wife has even commented several times: “Are you all right? Are you angry with me? You’ve been awfully quiet.” She is noticing something as I’m trying to train myself to break the old cycles and patterns that have controlled me for so long.
After all, the Course tells me: “This is a Course in mind training.” It is a Course in learning to undo my egoic thinking – the kind of thinking my Felix enjoys. I did a very similar process while getting sober through the help of Alcoholics Anonymous: Do something different for long enough and your thinking will change. Specifically, what old timers would say was “You don’t think yourself into a new way of living. You live yourself into a new way of thinking.” They taught me to practice new behaviors one day at a time. After a while, I found I had lived in a new way for 90 days, or 180 days, or 365 days. I had several instances where people who had known the old, drinking me finally spoke up and told me how different I was. They wanted to know what had happened. Sometimes I told them, if I trusted them enough. Sometimes, I just smiled and thanked them.
Great feedback!
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.
#4 August 2014

Copyright, 2014

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