"Suffering... leads us to a place where we learn what is unnecessary ... We must know definitely and consistently that the Universe is for us and not against us."
Ernest Holmes - The Science of Mind
Walking through the forest today I had this interesting conversation in my head. One part of me (let’s call her “Jem”), is very sad. My 95 year-old mother has just been put in an end-of-life care facility. My brothers are in Halifax looking after the details, and I feel very far away and helpless.
When I start to feel sad, I also tend to feel agitated. That is the point when my other persona (“Brock”) jumps in and pushes Jem aside, disregarding her feelings and getting her out ‘of the way’ so that “Jill” can get ‘on with life’. (You see, Brock is ‘tough’ and ‘gets things done’).
Lately, though, Jem has been showing up more and more, and so Brock is getting frustrated. Jem reacts to Brock’s ramped up control by feeling even more devastated than before. (This sometimes shows up for “Jill” as depression).
I (Jill) have been learning more about the value of feelings, and the intelligence of giving ALL feelings time and space. We can’t push away ‘bad’ feelings without also pushing away the ‘good’. So, I want to give my feelings freedom, in order to see what happens.
Brock is terrified of rejection and believes that ‘people don’t like sad people’. As long is she is helpful to others, Brock reasons, she will be wanted and will feel a sense of belonging. For Brock, letting Jem have some control would risk too much.
So, I am walking along a path on this beautiful September day, experiencing these shifts from Jem to Brock and back again. When I let Brock know it is ok, that feelings are safe and that she can let Jem cry, Brock steps back and my suppressed tears begin to flow. My bottom lip shoots out. The weight of the sorrow is heavy. Jem is feeling her sorrow, deeply.
Goodness, not one minute goes by, and Brock steps in again! (She can’t seem to help herself). Alarm bells are ringing in her mind, so her dedication to protecting Jill from rejection has brought her full circle back to pushing away Jem and taking over again. The lip comes in. The tears dry up. My pace along the trail quickens. WOW!
This all may sound somewhat insane, but I bet that if you pay close enough attention, you will observe similar conversations going on in your own head. And, I have been studying The Science of Mind and other metaphysical teachings for over 25 years now, so I know that there is a better way. Old habits do run deep, however, and I also know that I will continue to experience the same frustrations, depression and loneliness in my life unless I commit to thinking differently. The author of The Science of Mind, metaphysician, Ernest Holmes put it this way: “We are bound by our very freedom; our free will binds us… The very force that makes us sick can heal us. As (we) realize our Oneness with Creative Mind, we are released from the bondage of false thinking.”
I believe in a Power greater than me. I believe in the connection of all Life, and that this One Intelligence that all of existence is part of, is EVERYWHERE… all the time… in and through all things. I know, regardless of how things sometimes seem, that I am always safe, because there is just One Thing happening, that It is Good, and that It is for me. I know that my feelings can’t hurt me, and they aren’t ‘bad’. So, I am willing to try life differently. I am willing to give Brock a different job (one where she doesn’t have to be moderating Jem all the time). I think it is time to let Jem cut loose. It might be messy at first, but I wonder how my life will change when I honour all aspects of myself? I wonder if the belief Brock has, that I will be rejected if I am vulnerable and sad, is even true? Perhaps, if I allow Jem her full expression, I might even form deeper connections with others. Perhaps that would allow me to experience more of a sense of equality on this crazy path of life, instead of me thinking I always have to seem happy and be of help everyone. (If I continue to go down the old road, who will eventually be there to help me? Nobody… because Brock tends to keep others at arm’s length, with her fear of rejection. Hmmmm, I guess her methods aren’t that effective, after all….)
“Hey Brock,” I say, “While we set Jem free, let’s write a different job description for you. I like your grittiness and forward-moving power. Let’s take these well-practiced qualities you have and, instead of using them with an inward focus, let’s use them to inspire others to live their own great lives… full, messy emotions and all! You are smart and have a keen sense of life. I believe in you.”
I like this idea! Yes, I am willing! What about you? What are some of the personas in your head? Which of them might need some freedom, and which might need some redirection?
I have been reflecting on ‘forgiveness work’, inspired by the teachings of another master of metaphysics, Emma Curtis Hopkins. Using her practices as my launch point, I want to conclude by saying this:
“For all my self-doubt, give to me freedom to be fully me and to feel safe with all my feelings.”
Today is the day the Universe made, and I rejoice in all Its possibilities!