Last week, I shared the Message that I received through grace about 15 years ago: “Amy is thinning away like the heel of a threadbare sock.” It was a kind Message, assuring me that my delvings into spirituality were effective.
Viscerally, I understood that as the strands of Amy were rubbed away, what was left would be what I was looking for. And it wouldn’t be scary that Amy wasn’t here anymore. It would be natural.
The deconstruction of Amy resulted from my passion to have harmonious relationships. Do you remember what it is like to be a child in the presence of fighting adults? My parents went about their business as if nothing was wrong, while the tension in the air crackled with betrayal, cruel indifference, heart-wrenching agony, guilt and fury.
Every once in a while there was shouting from behind closed doors, or a glimpse into an exchange between them that was furtive, baffling and filled with potential danger. Would my father become violent? Would my mother die? My child-body wordlessly carried the fear of these threats even as I knew that to ask questions or express my terror would be to add fuel to the fire.
So I just lived with a stomachache every day of my life. I could barely concentrate in school, though my earnest desire was to study and learn. And I was wracked with nameless dread as I walked home and approached my front door … sensing that what I found inside would be devastating.
I did not dare explain this to my parents, for to do so would be to expose that the family was not happy, and far worse. In the 1950s and ’60s families did not seek therapy or counseling … the remedy was denial.
My parents argued in front of me about my stomachaches, which I could not always hide. My father told my mother, “She has a cast iron stomach.” And my mother told my father, “She has a delicate stomach.” I was secretly pleased that my father considered me strong, but suspected my mother’s assessment was correct. Either way, I blamed myself … and this is where a subtext begins and gets buried (click here if you missed the “subtext” conversation).
Neither of them considered that their toxic relationship might be the cause of my chronically upset stomach. God, they were both so stupid and selfish!* Perhaps you are shocked that I would judge them and call them names.
But their stupidity and selfishness is now so obvious, why not just say it? It’s not thinking these things that is the problem. It is pretending that you didn’t. It is using them to prove your case. It is using them to feel superior. It is using them to win and be right.
I wasn’t interested in any of that. I needed parenting! I needed to be comforted, nurtured, supported. I needed to be loved. And I needed us to love each other. I needed to see my parents enjoy and appreciate each other, laugh and play together. I needed my gifts to be seen and invited into the world. I needed to see my parents live and demonstrate their gifts, to be good role models. We all need this as children, though few of us get it.
In my young heart, I knew harmonious relationships, where people are free to express themselves, be heard respectfully, and understood (though not necessarily agreed with), was the way it should be. I knew, as Hazrat Inayat Khan said, “No man can give greater pleasure to his fellow man than by understanding him.”
As an adult, all the wisdom I’d been studying for many years synthesized and became “mine.” It emerged as The Language of Love, Harmony and Beauty, a method of separating my thoughts from my feelings, my needs from my wants, my stories from my sensations, my humanness from my Being.
It was a form of psychological neti neti, not this, not that. But first, I had to embrace this and that. Acknowledging what I thought, felt, needed, wanted, believed, interpreted, and sensed thinned me away. It took some time before I realized what was happening. The initial telltale sign was the sense that nothing is personal.
Around 1999, it became part of my therapeutic work. Now, this email series is probably going to turn into a book on The Language of Love, Harmony and Beauty. Your participation is welcomed. The stories of your own lives and insights may find their way into the book as anecdotes to illustrate the teaching. Please feel free to be in touch.
I remember, from a very young age, having a fiery sense of fairness that everyone deserved to be heard and understood. Don’t be fooled: love, harmony and beauty … or as A Course in Miracles puts it, “the good, the beautiful and the holy,” is not all “nicey-nice” and gentle words.
Too much niceness causes cowardice and dishonesty. There are ways to structure communication, like fair fighting, active listening, “I” talk, role play, etc., that give freedom to express authentically with some heat and cussing, along with safety.
ACIM tells us that when we step back and let God lead the way, what we hear may be “quite startling” and what we are called to do may be “very embarrassing” but nevertheless, “Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own.”
When Jesus swept the goods off the merchants’ tables in the temple, he wasn’t worried about nice words and “proper” behavior. He was ferociously guided from Within. This leads us into our next discussion … about fire energy!
* When I say “stupid and selfish” that is an emotional expression. I could just as well say “immature and misguided” but it is too soon for that … I’m inviting you into honest observation of yourself – raw, uncensored, purifying.
I’m not suggesting you call people “stupid and selfish” (although that wouldn’t be the end of the world). I’m suggesting you use yourself as a guinea pig to see what the ego is, how the ego thinks, what the ego says, etc, directly. The sooner you do this, the sooner you thin away.
The more you try to suppress what you deem as “bad thoughts” and try to “be nice” in your own mind, the longer the process will take. This is okay too. Nobody is insisting you hurry.
But if you are ripe for Awakening, you need to look at everything, not just rainbows and sunsets, and you need to feel through everything, not decide what’s good and bad, and not control what you think you’re supposed to think.
We’ll get into this more tomorrow, with fire energy …