Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Unbelievable Importance Of My ”Story”

In last week’s message, Msg-1-Jan-2017 “Don’t Think So Much Sometimes…Just Do], I mentioned I was beginning the 365 daily lessons of A Course In Miracles (ACIM). I was recommitting to them the same way I did with the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). I worked through these early Lessons before – at least intellectually.
This time around these same early lessons are affecting me viscerally.
Lesson 10: My Thoughts Do Not Mean Anything and  Lesson 11: My Meaningless Thoughts Are Showing Me A Meaningless World.
From Lesson 11 (emphasis mine):  1 This is the first idea we have had that is related to a major phase of the correction process; the reversal of the thinking of the world. It seems as if the world determines what you perceive. Today's idea introduces the concept that your thoughts determine the world you see. Be glad indeed to practice the idea in its initial form, for in this idea is your release made sure….
4 … The introduction to this idea, in particular, should be practiced as casually as possible. It contains the foundation for the peace, relaxation and freedom from worry that we are trying to achieve.
Lessons 10 & 11 are an affront to my rationality – just like AA was. Early in my sobriety, I was admonished, “Don’t think, Don, just do what you’re told – just for today go to a meeting and share, pray, work the Steps, work with your sponsor, and the rest of your life is none of your business. Never forget that your way of thinking got you into these rooms in the first place.”
Not very flattering is it?
Lesson 12: I Am Upset Because I See A Meaningless World:
1 The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself….
5 What is meaningless is neither good nor bad. Why, then, should a meaningless world upset you? If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless; you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. Beneath your words is written the Word of God. The truth upsets you now, but when your words have been erased, you will see His. That is the ultimate purpose of these exercises.
Why does the thought of a meaningless world upset me? Because I love drama. I love my story – not my superficial story but my values-based story. My superficial story is my name, my history, my careers, my marriages and my children. My values-based story is the lessons I think I’ve learned that propel me to love humor, root for the underdog, find meaning in my life through lessons learned, value the spiritual side of life, admire simplicity, and respect the environment. These are values that require me to do what I believe is right whether or not anyone notices. I tell myself all these values help me frame the world in ways I can understand it. However, all my values-based story is really doing is defining the world I see so I can then interpret, react, and respond in ways that are consistent with this very same story – all of which keeps Felix very much alive.
Lesson 13: A Meaningless World Engenders Fear:
2 Recognition of meaninglessness arouses intense anxiety in all the separated ones. It represents a situation in which God and the ego "challenge" each other as to whose meaning is to be written in the empty space that meaninglessness provides. The ego rushes in frantically to establish its own ideas there, fearful that the void may otherwise be used to demonstrate its own impotence and unreality. And on this alone it is correct.
The fear or upset I feel is the apprehension that my values-based story is all made up. There are instances where I have remembered occurrences in my childhood that I believe truly shaped me. However, my brother has no remembrances of those instances. Hmm.
ACIM is telling me that my story is all made up; it is my creation. Felix made it up because it “fits” what Felix wants me to believe: Felix is really real. I must let my story go if I am to find peace, serenity and joy. But, if I let my story go, who am I? How do I define myself to myself? That’s scary.
I am finding myself avoiding doing this. I believe my value-based “story” is who I really am. That’s what my ego, Felix, thinks. However, that is not reality. Believing what Felix wants me to believe is what is keeping me from experiencing peace, serenity and joy. I
As I’ve stated before, “I have to understand, on a visceral level, who the “Me” or “I” really is when I am speaking or thinking. The “I” that says to myself, “I really need a newer, more reliable car” is a different “I” than the one that says to Spirit, “I can’t do this anymore; help me perceive things the way You see them.”
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening to me and getting to know me – warts and all. As always, feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.

#2 Jan 2017
Copyright 2017

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