Thanksgiving time brings up memories of my upsetting past family gatherings and the difficult times we went through just relating to each other and trying to be loving. There were so many times when I wanted to give up on everyone in my family and go off on my own.
That desire to give up and get out is so common. It was so strong in my mind. My go-to reaction so often was not fight OR flight – it was fight THEN flight … and often, I had the thought, “I’m never coming back here again.”
I just had to give myself the right to run away in order to keep from doing it. And, in my mind, I would often shut people out and be so petulant, like a child. Now, when people act that way around me, I can have a great compassion for them, even though I don’t like it.
I feel grateful that I’m feeling in my heart an ever-increasing spiritual maturity. I used to put SO MUCH pressure on myself to have a level of perfection in my daily activities that really was of no value at all. It just made me uncomfortable. When I didn’t meet the standard, I’d be so angry with myself and then I couldn’t stand that, so I’d project it out on to others and blame them for how I felt.
I’ve come to understand that blaming others for how I feel is a very slippery slope to unhappiness. Happiness comes from taking 100% responsibility for how I feel with ZERO blame. It’s a good habit to get into.
Yesterday, I was talking with my BFF, Laurie, and we were talking about how to mentally and emotionally deal with the craziness one observes in life. She said that she’d recently learned a phrase that was helpful to her: “Not my circus, not my monkey.” It really made me laugh.
It’s good to laugh rather than be angry. I’ve tried it both ways and I prefer to laugh. A Course in Miracles tells us the that every problem we have is because we forgot to laugh. Now, it’s time for us to remember to laugh.
Perhaps when life strikes you as crazy, and you feel the choice between anger and laughing at the absurdity of our attachments to our judgments and opinions, you can remember that it’s not your circus and it’s not your monkey.
We are perfect Love. Harmony is our natural state.
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