Today my retreat comes to an end, although I won’t be home for another 2 or 3 days.
I still get to connect with several friends, spend the night again in Ashland, Oregon on the way north, and be in a quiet car enjoying my thoughts as I drive back to Sea-Town.
And there will be many thoughts…that’s for sure.
That’s been what it’s like so far through life.
But there’s also something else, and this is phenomenally important if you want peace.
Noticing that thinking is not you.
On our last night of retreat, our little group elected to watch Oprah interview the fantastic and inspiring Michael Singer.
If you’ve been around Grace Notes for awhile, I put in quotes by Michael regularly.
Watching him on video, I was inspired all over again. There are many reasons, but one of them is that he has a juicy, tough, difficult, painful betrayal story.
He was falsely accused of a crime.
And yet…it was not painful at all.
He used it as an opportunity to grow, to lose the pieces of him that did not really matter, the ego-centered fearful pieces, the ones afraid of the future.
Many of us have experienced what we call betrayal.
Sometimes, like in Shakespearean drama, people set up and scheme whole manipulated stories in order to hurt others, win, get even, get revenge.
People tell secrets, start rumors that aren’t true, hurt other people, lie, steal, cheat, or sometimes even kill other people.
I had a dear friend once accuse me of faking that I don’t have a master’s degree, and telling other people behind my back instead of coming to me directly.
It was one of the weirdest experiences I have ever known. I sent her a copy of my degree.
But why would she do that?
Doesn’t the mind sooooo want to figure that out. Why? What’d I do? What’s wrong with her? How could she have ever assumed such a weird thing? Did I miss something? Was she mentally ill? Did she distort some part of my graduation history?
I need to understand that painful situation, I need to know why.
Is that true?
Why do I need to get involved? Do I want peace, or drama in my life?
How do I react when I believe I need to understand, resolve, settle that situation? When I believe I need to get why it happened?
Analyzing, rehashing, puzzled, confused, uncomfortable, sad, disappointed, shocked.
But who would I be without the belief that I need to understand that difficult experience, or the why, where, how, who, what-for of any of it?
“The prerequisite to true freedom is to decide that you do not want to suffer anymore. You must decide that you want to enjoy your life and that there is no reason for stress, inner pain, or fear.” ~ Michael Singer
Without the thought that I need to THINK and resolve this betrayal problem, or defend, or prove something….I rest in awareness where there are no big reactions.
I can observe from the silence that sees everything, the wide open space.
I turn the thought around: I do not need to understand that situation, I do not need to know why.
This is truer. I do not need to defend myself, or be passive either. I can take all the appropriate measures to be clear and kind and powerful.
From this crystal clear place, without suffering, I notice great compassion for those who commit crimes, who make big mistakes, who perpetrate damage or difficulty for others.
They are doing the best they can.
But most of all, this tough experience is an invitation to take the high road, the road to the higher self full of loving awareness, the place where I need not get hooked, controlled, or hurt by someone else in this world.
If I can be with this, in this kind of situation, I will be free. I will be free from that mind that has to get a handle on everything and figure bad, twisted stuff out. I will be free from the mind that is full of fear.
“It is impossible to be hurt except by your own thoughts.” ~ Course in Miracles