Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hurt And Fear Accumulate

We all encounter people and events that hurt our feelings or deprive us of our core desires. As we go through life, we collect hundreds of little hurts and bruises to our psyche. Many of us experience some real heartbreaking events or true tragedies. In order to move forward in our lives, we stuff these hurts down deep and we don’t like to look at them. Looking at them reopens the pain.

As the weeks, months and years of disappointments, betrayals and rejections build up deep inside our subconscious minds, they begin to block our capacity to truly love. If we don’t heal and forgive them, they grow and fester. We become fearful in our approach to the world around us. Some of us may look confident, yet most of the time, we are just faking it. We’re not truly happy.

This low-level repressed anxiety and fear we feel drives us to keep ourselves busy as a distraction. We attend parties and dinners and meetings. We travel, have big “to do” lists, and raise families. We have crises and we have moments of joy. Most of this busy-ness, which we create to keep our minds occupied, is simply there to distract us from the monster of hurt deep inside us. We are afraid to really look at the monster, to acknowledge that we are deeply wounded inside and that we are, in actuality, sad, angry and fearful much of the time.

 A Course in Miracles says that there are really only two states. We are either in a state of love or we are in a state of fear. Since we rarely are truly feeling love, we spend most of our time in . . . you guessed it . . . fear. Of course, the biggest part of that fear is suppressed, controlled and locked away. However, it is always ready to rise roiling to the surface in full-out, hair-raising, panic-inducing, gut-wrenching, screeching, sniveling, and terrifying FEAR. And it sometimes does.

Who are we fooling?  Ourselves, really. We go on like this for years, racking up hurts and pains, pushing them down deep. There they fester, creating profound subconscious beliefs in concepts like rejection, worthlessness, disease, death or lack. The bigger these beliefs become, the worse our lives become. This is because the more we subconsciously believe in these limiting fearful concepts, the more rejection, worthlessness, disease, death and lack show up in the reality of our daily lives.

It becomes a vicious cycle. We attract more painful events and we push those new hurts down where they attach to other similar memories in our subconscious minds. The pain and the fear beliefs get bigger and bigger, each time attracting to us a more “in your face” real-life event.

These events often stay within the theme of our sub-conscious beliefs. In fact, we spend much of our lifetime experiencing the same painful types of events over and over. We rework a theme. For example, if our early experiences were with rejection, we keep experiencing larger and ever larger events having to do with rejection.

The Reward Of Forgiveness  Our only hope of ending all this fearful madness is forgiveness. When we stop the vicious cycle, begin to identify our beliefs, and forgive the events associated with them, we heal these beliefs deep in our subconscious minds. If we heal enough of these beliefs, we begin to release the fear and free ourselves up to live from love.

In fact, A Course in Miracles promises us that the more we forgive, the more the Holy Spirit will release guilt and pain from our subconscious minds. It’s a process and it takes effort and time. After all, we didn’t acquire these wounds overnight.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” If you want to see peace around you, start within. Forgive your older sister for ridiculing you in front of her friends. Forgive the next door neighbor for harping on you about your barking dog. Forgive your boss for speaking to you in a degrading tone, the clerk at the supermarket for ignoring you, and your first boyfriend for breaking up with you.

Most importantly, forgive your spouse, your father, your mother, and your children. Our families are our very best forgiveness opportunities, mostly because they are there for many years. Years of rubbing up against each other can create deep wounds. Each day, the causes of these wounds are re-enacted within our families. Each day we are gifted with the opportunity to end the pain and start the healing through our forgiveness.

An amazing by-product of forgiveness is that it really does change our world. You will find that as you forgive your family, friends and co-workers, old and uncomfortable behavior patterns and annoyances simply slip away. Life becomes easier. As all good Course students know, life is a classroom and as we learn our lessons through the process of forgiveness and acceptance, there is less pain to experience.

The Course has a term for this freer, happier life of joy and love. We call it the “happy dream” and it is available to each and every one of us if we make forgiveness a habit in our life. 

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