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I’m writing this on Sunday morning, and here in the US we’ve got the Labor Day holiday weekend. I’ve been with family all week at our home on Deer Isle off the coast of Maine and some are leaving today. There’s a flurry of activity in the house as some are packing to leave and some are packing for a day trip to a nearby island. When family gets together, I always get to see if I still have any buttons that can be pushed. I discover any hooks I haven’t yet unhooked.
Lately I’ve been aware that there appear to be two ego patterns that are the most insidious, but I also know we can relinquish them to the healing of the Higher Holy Spirit Self, and that working together with spiritual friends it’s much, MUCH easier. Together, we can remember to laugh.
One habit is that of pushing the button of guilt and the other is the button of shame, which is so tied to the belief that we’re fundamentally bad.
These buttons gets pushed so easily because they’re the biggest ones we have. So often, we don’t even know that we’re doing it.
It can be so casually done: “While you were out having fun with your friends, I worked on getting the house cleaned for the party.” Someone can say that casually, with the idea that they’re just stating the facts, not trying to trigger anyone’s guilt. But if it’s the facts and it has no purpose to trigger, why say it at all? Why not just say: “Did you have fun with your friends?”
Families and work colleagues have such strong habits of button-pushing that people don’t even realize it’s there. I did it this week myself. Example:
We had such a full house this past week that I slept on the porch on a blow-up bed. I love the outdoors and sleeping outdoors, so it was no sacrifice for me. I can look up and see the stars and hear the birds at first light. I absolutely LOVE it.
It does get down into the mid 50’s sometimes at this time of year, so I like to have a sleeping bag under me and one over me as insulation, in addition to blankets, etc. I had organized my bedding that way, but then in the middle of the night I got up to go to the bathroom and I was a little cold, so I was going to reorganize the blankets because I wasn’t feeling the insulation on top with the sleeping bag. I took everything apart, but couldn’t find the top sleeping bag. I concluded my brother had taken it to use with my nephew, who was sleeping on an air mattress in the house.
The next morning, my bro asked me how it was and I said, “It was great, but a little cold,” and I explained what happened. It triggered his unconscious guilt and he felt bad. I was totally okay with the whole setup. I had gone right back to sleep after sorting out what happened. Yet, I could see that I had made a tactical error in telling my brother. I really knew my error when I overheard him telling someone the story later, and that he’d felt bad about it. I said, immediately, that it was no biggie – I was hardly affected, went right back to sleep. All is well, but I know that I triggered his unconscious guilt and I had to look at whether or not I did it on purpose. I concluded that I had. We did that little ego guilt dance together.
And that’s where my spiritual practice comes in.
I got to practice forgiving myself – in other words, not judging myself for having been unconscious to the effect my words would have on my brother.
I also called upon the Higher Holy Spirit Self to “undo all the consequences of my wrong decision” to say something to my brother.
You see, it wasn’t necessary to say anything to my brother. I really can see that I only did it because I was “secretly” annoyed that he took the sleeping bag without telling me. I made him responsible for how I felt, and that triggered his unconscious guilt.
This is PRECISELY how we push people away and cause our relationships to deteriorate.
When we have special relationships, they deteriorate so easily because they’re not actually founded and grounded in Love. Holy relationships are built out of taking responsibility for our missteps and errors, and acknowledging that no one else is responsible for our feelings or our choices. This is what cultivates spiritual maturity, to have holy relationships that are unconditionally loving.
A Course in Miracles tells us that when we ask the Holy Spirit to make our relationships holy “The temptation of the ego becomes extremely intense with this shift in goals.” Jesus warns us that the majority of people will break off the relationship rather than see it through to holy. Most would rather have the special relationship. The holy relationship requires REAL fortitude and GREAT willingness and it is worth EVERY bit that we go through because our mind IS healed in the process.
Ego belief is that we’re fundamentally bad. Spirit knows we’re fundamentally and ONLY good.
Ego belief is the unconscious guilt that we’re bad and should be punished.
Spirit knows that this world is a dream in which we’ve done nothing wrong, and that punishment never heals anything, it only wounds.
When we’re convinced we’re fundamentally bad, we’re actually going to seek out situations and relationships that confirm our belief. The answer is our spiritual practice.
I’m all about the practical application of spiritual teachings, because that is the thing that has worked so well for me to liberate from the relentless cycles of fear, pain, hurt, anger, revenge, worry, doubt, jealousy, helplessness and hopelessness.
I learned the power of working with other like-minded souls when I was studying to become a Science of Mind Practitioner and Minister. Several of us formed a prayer circle back in 1997, and we’re still praying together every week for 22 years. We’re “besties” and we’ve watched each other learn, grow, and transform. We never have any discord within our group. We’re completely unconditionally loving and supportive. And, we tell each other the truth, we just don’t add any judgments or guilt inducers.
This is what we’re working on in my classes. It’s why people come on retreat with me again and again – because we’re not just talking about it, thinking about it, reading about it, and listening to classes, we’re rolling up our spiritual sleeves and partnering UP with the Higher Holy Spirit Self to get it done!
Just today, I got another e-mail from someone in class who is having an amazing and miraculous healing at the level of the mind and seeing it demonstrate in their life in unexpected and beautiful ways. They’re working with Spirit and not against Spirit now, and that is making all the difference.
Willingness isn’t just something we say. Being willing MUST be demonstrated. Faith without works is dead. It’s nothing. The power is in our loving choices that are the active demonstration of our willingness.
My willingness wasn’t there with my brother initially, but it got ignited, and I do KNOW that all the consequences of my wrong decision are undone by Spirit because I’ve asked for it and accepted it. That’s my willingness.
We all make errors we can learn and heal from. Making errors is not the issue. Letting them stand without working with Spirit, that’s the issue.
The folks in our community are amazing and miraculous and they inspire me every single day!
Real people. Real miracles.
Practicing the ACIM Lessons, walking the talk and living the Love, that’s where the healing is generated from. It ripples throughout our life and can bring us happiness each day. If you’d like to some inspiration, check out my podcast. I have a number of episodes about healing the unconscious guilt – click here to get them now. You can also search for any other topic you like.
Yes, it does take a great willingness to move through things quickly, but it’s so gratifying! We’re demonstrating the power of Love to heal our minds and our lives, and every problem we think we have. When we prove God works in our life, our faith is strong!
Let’s make the most of every opportunity for our healing and awakening, and remember to laugh when we forget. Every day I offer “My Shot of Spiritual Espresso.” I write spiritual inspiration and record a prayer for our healing. Prayer is a power tool for our liberation. We use technology to transcend time and space, and deepen our spiritual practice and connect with each other. Our spiritual practice is our path of liberation, and that’s beautiful to share!
We’re all on a journey of developing trust, and there is so much help for us in the invisible. We are never alone. I Love you and I thank God for you. We bless each other with our willingness to rise in Spirit and come back into our right minds. Together, we’re answering our call to BE the Love. YES!
Have you transformed a relationship from special to holy? Please tell us about it and share in the comments below! Thank you!