Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Spiritual Trap

I fell into a spiritual trap recently—for the hundredth time. In my quest for enlightenment, I somehow got the idea that I have to be perfect. Perfectly non-judgmental, always forgiving, and never showing a trace of anger, fear or sadness. After all, we spiritual seekers know this world is an illusion, and if we’re reacting to it we’re not awake.

But, as usual, I had it all backwards. An old friend of mine recently viciously betrayed me with severe consequences at this earthly level. Doing forgiveness work has tremendously decreased my reactivity and allowed me to awaken some more. I didn’t fall into hating him, and I moved through the trauma relatively quickly, while in the past I would have ended up on antidepressants.

However, the trap I fell into was judging myself for grieving. I shut off the tears and intellectualized my feelings. “I know on the soul level he loves me and did this to help me with enlightenment. We’re still together in truth, on the soul level, so it’s all ok. I shouldn’t be feeling this way because I’m just buying into the dream, the story, the illusion.”

Yes, the truth is that it’s already healed because it never really happened, since this life’s a dream. This betrayal is just a passing story and we love each other deeply. Most of the time I do feel this peace. Most of the time I get it. But at other times it just plain hurts like hell. I miss my friend, feel grief-stricken that he hates me, and get afraid that I have to wait until after death to reunite and heal this situation.

How harshly we judge ourselves for having human emotions! I finally climbed out of the trap by crying and letting the tears be there without comment. There are so many references in A Course in Miracles that indicate that when we are sad, afraid or angry that we are mistaken and caught in the dream. This can feel like we are denied permission to have emotions, and then we heap guilt upon ourselves for having them.

We need to forgive ourselves for still having feelings, because only by accepting and loving ourselves as we are do we get to the other side where there is no sorrow. We will never get to truth by condemning ourselves for how we feel or for how long it’s taking to get over our issues. Our Self, with a capital “S,” loves our small ego self without judgment, and by receiving this love, we remember our Self.

Where are you judging your feelings, saying, “I shouldn’t feel this way.”? What issue do you get mad at yourself for still having? Can you just forgive and love yourself for where you’re at?

--Course students, if you know of any verses that seem to give us permission to feel, would you pass them on to me? The Course speaks often of non-duality, the pure Truth level where there’s only joy, peace and love. Thus, it can seem like we’re being chided for feeling bad. That’s not the intent of the Course, but the ego loves to use Truth to bash us when we’re down.

Love and Light, Lorri Coburn

1 comment:

  1. My theory is that Helen and Bill were very skilled at embracing their feelings. So Jesus didn't need to teach that to them. This is the closest that I've come to him valuing feelings. I would love to know where else he does this.

    T-13.III.7. And yet he is not crucified. Here is both his pain and his healing, for the Holy Spirit’s vision is merciful and His remedy is quick. Do not hide suffering from His sight, but bring it gladly to Him. Lay before His eternal sanity all your hurt, and let Him heal you. Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from His light, and search your mind carefully for any thoughts you may fear to uncover. For He will heal every little thought you have kept to hurt you and cleanse it of its littleness, restoring it to the magnitude of God.

    Schucman, Dr. Helen. A Course in Miracles (p. 241). Foundation for Inner Peace. Kindle Edition.

    LESSON 333. Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here. Conflict must be resolved. It cannot be evaded, set aside, denied, disguised, seen somewhere else, called by another name, or hidden by deceit of any kind, if it would be escaped. It must be seen exactly as it is, where it is thought to be, in the reality which has been given it, and with the purpose that the mind accorded it. For only then are its defenses lifted, and the truth can shine upon it as it disappears. Father, forgiveness is the light You chose to shine away all conflict and all doubt, and light the way for our return to You. No light but this can end our evil dream. No light but this can save the world. For this alone will never fail in anything, being Your gift to Your beloved Son.

    Schucman, Dr. Helen. A Course in Miracles (p. 1151). Foundation for Inner Peace. Kindle Edition.