11 Oct 2012 Comments Off on How to Take Yourself Less Personally
It was wonderful seeing those of you who made it to the Five Keys to Forgiveness workshop in New York City. We looked at forgiveness from many different perspectives, deepened our understanding of what forgiveness means, how it works, and used exercises to practice and experience forgiveness.
Today, let’s continue our forgiveness work by looking at how the ego thinks. The ego is a fear-based thought system which relies on us taking everything personally. The ego loves for us to feel insulted, outraged, taken advantage of, walked all over, judgmental and self-righteous. These attitudes are automatic and we have to bring them into awareness in order to become free of them.
One way of looking at forgiveness is that it teaches us detachment. Unlike dissociation or denial, detachment is a healthy way of observing the ego, free of emotional involvement. Detachment helps us take ourself and others less personally. It takes practice to allow detachment, and can only be done with the help of the Holy Spirit, because it is a process of dis-identifying with the ego (personal sense of self) and re-identifying with God.
All the ego boils down to is a thought of separation, a “tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh” ~T-27.VIII.6:2. We get to “choose again” in any given moment whether we want to take this idea of separation seriously, or find it humorous. This is a potent turning point. When we are willing to stop taking ourselves personally, we are willing to undo the projection that there is a self. This is the moment when we choose to laugh! And this willingness to laugh reveals that all tragedy is really tragicomedy (tragedy with a happy ending).
So how do we take ourselves less personally?
One, be willing to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Two, give your thoughts to the Holy Spirit all day long. Good ones, bad ones, just give everything to Spirit as often as you can remember. This willingness to develop a relationship with God’s Holy Spirit naturally leads to Love. This is the forgiveness practice ACIM offers us to help us recognize that what we thought our brother did to us has not occurred.
And three, choose again–allow a shift in perception to take place in your mind that permits any circumstance to be transformed into something laugh-worthy. Then you will know that you are not the person you thought you were–you really are God’s beautiful child. “How beautiful indeed are the Thoughts of God who live in His Light.” ~T-3.V.10:5
The undoing process will seem to take time and effort while we use this dream as an unlearning classroom, but in the moment of awakening all sense of suffering will simply evaporate. Everybody is defending and attacking all the time, even if they don’t realize it (and especially if they don’t realize it) until that holy instant when we choose to “Be still and know that I am God.” ~T-4.Intro.2:2.
Tip: Sometimes the way to take ourselves less personally is to allow ourselves to take whatever is bothering us very personally. Paradoxically, it can really help to fully embrace and even exaggerate the upset feelings and thoughts we have, in order to bring them into consciousness. This permits a full release. Remember, you have to do this with the Holy Spirit as your guide, because the ego will never help free you from its thought system. Next time, we’ll look more deeply into how to remember to laugh, especially if you’re in pain.
Can you think of an event in your life that seemed terribly important and/or incredibly painful at the time it occurred, that you see differently now? Take a few minutes to appreciate this shift in your perception. If you would like to share your miracle, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you liked “How to Take Yourself Less Personally,” you may enjoy other essays in my ongoing series, How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You, including, “The Purpose of the Body,” “Body Health Is Not a Measurement of Spiritual Unfolding,” “Death Is Just a Belief,” “Flossing and Feldenkrais” and “Coming Apart at the ‘Seems’.” Be sure to watch Webinar #10: The Purpose of the Body on YouTube 🙂 And check out my Facebook page devoted to body issues: http://facebook.com/acimbodyimage
Copyright © 2012 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.