Saturday, January 3, 2015

Dealing With My World Of The “Yes, Buts.”

The early lessons in ACIM’s Workbook for Students at first seem like a bunch of hooey. “Nothing I see in this [room, place, etc.] means anything.” “I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me.” “I do not understand anything I see in this [room, place, etc.].”
But when I really begin to think about it, these rather odd lessons teach me to distrust my egoic thinking – the thinking of Felix – about, well, everything.  I already believe I am not a body. If I am now to believe I am not the thoughts of my egoic mind, then who the hell am I? That can be very frightening. I’ve heard some say about A Course in Miracles (ACIM) that for it to make sense to them they have to “…take it with a grain of salt. Surely, the Course cannot expect me to really practice ALL this stuff ALL the time.”
But the Course does expect me to really practice ALL this stuff ALL the time. That is, if I want to enjoy the Peace, Calm, Joy, and Love of God.
These initial lessons expose me to the “Yes, buts” that are still very much alive in Felix’s mind. This is where he lives – in the world of the “Yes, buts.” The “Yes, Buts” allow Felix to reinforce the illusionary world he perceives. It allows Felix the opportunity to convince me I am special and the “rules” that apply to everyone else do not apply to me. The pain and disappointment that follow from my poor decisions are not really my fault. People, things, and events “out there” are what caused the pain and disappointment. I’ve got to keep on truckin’ and hope everything else (except me) changes.
Last week I stated: “Since the world I see is illusionary, it doesn’t really exist in the mind of God. The “sins” I think I have committed are not recognizable by the God of my understanding. They are simply errors of judgment. They are simply wrong or unhelpful decisions I’ve made. They are only decisions that reinforce – to me – the “reality” of my egoic or illusionary world I perceive.”
I went through this same process as I got sober. I tried to “think” my way out of drunkenness with the same cognitive mind that had allowed me to justify that I had to have alcohol in my system 24-hours a day in order to feel normal – and never consider the possibility that that behavior was rather abnormal. Slowly, over the first six months of following the 12-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I began to enjoy simply being “one of the herd” – just being a normal, albeit recovering, alcoholic.   The “Yes, Buts” began to disappear. I found myself saying things like: “Thank you for sharing. You may be right. I’ll give that a try.” That gift to me was not mine. It was my Higher Power doing for me what I hadn’t been able to do for myself.
I’m really grateful that I went through all I went through in AA before ACIM found me. A lot of barriers, refusals, egoic self-images, and stupid mistakes were beaten down, crumpled up and thrown away during my early recovering years. Perhaps the critical thing that happened was that I learned to find little bits of me in all who shared – rather than searching for those tiny parts that didn’t fit me and focusing on them. Recognizing the little bits of me in others inadvertently crucified most of the “Yes, Buts” that were still lurking inside.
If I want to eliminate my enjoyment of the Peace, Calm, Joy, and Love of God that now comes to me at times, all I have to do is let loose the “Yes, Buts” and fertilize the because-I’m-special thoughts that lie so close to the surface of my mind. So, the Course does expect me to really practice ALL this stuff ALL the time. That is, if I want to continue enjoying glimpses of the reality of the Peace, Calm, Joy, and Love of God.
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.
Once again, I wish each of you a fantastic 2015.
#1 January 2015

Copyright, 2015

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