Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Endless Goals

Have you spent years trying to improve your life, only to end up frustrated? I’ve heard many people say, “Oh, no! Not that same issue again! It always seems to come back to my mother, or that trauma I had as a child!” Why do I keep having trouble with money, my job, or my weight?

When I was working as a psychotherapist I had the expectation that at some point, all childhood-related  issues would feel resolved. We’d be fully formed adults with no more problems. But the opposite seemed to happen--the proverbial layers of the onion never ended. It was as if the onion was a universe within a universe within a universe.

Why is it that we keep going round and round and round? A Course in Miracles gives us the answer, stating that the nature of the ego is to feed us endless lists of goals and tasks. Once one goal is accomplished, we are on to the next one, ad infinitum. We are satisfied momentarily, only to be frustrated the next.

A Course in Miracles tells us, “Although you are one Self, you experience yourself as two...Until you have accepted this, you will attempt an endless list of goals you cannot reach.” (Workbook, p. 169)

The ego wants us to stay unaware of our true Self, for in our recognition of the one Self comes the death of the ego. We are not our ego selves, the small selves preoccupied with problems and barriers. We are the Self, peaceful and joyous. This Self is productive without thinking, loving without judging, alive and free without trying. But we’ve forgotten What we are, thanks to the ego’s distractions. When we get quiet and calm down our thoughts, our forgotten Self surfaces on its own. It’s there all along, but we are too busy solving problems to be aware of it.

Once we understand that it is the nature of the ego to fool us into forgetting our Self, we can let the ego go rather than follow a road that never ends. Simply watch the ego shenanigans at work, and make a decision to not buy into them. The ego dissipates when we do not feed it.

When we let go of the ego, our issues resolve effortlessly. We complete projects more easily, without effort and strain. Problems drop away. We get more done with less stress. It’s the mystical, magical nature of our True Identity, which delights us continuously with its prowess.

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