Yesterday I caught myself sabotaging my joy and declining the very happiness that has eluded me in the past. The good news? – I caught myself and changed my mind. Here’s how I busted myself:
Before church started yesterday morning, I was in the lobby and a woman who is very dear to me walked in. She is in Tucson only four months out of the year and I hadn’t had a conversation with her all season, so we hugged, and she asked me if I was available for lunch after the service. I said I really shouldn’t as I had a newsletter article due and I didn’t even have a topic yet, so I needed to go home and write it. What? I couldn’t make time for lunch with this beautiful, kind, insightful, loving person whom I hadn’t seen in months?
Mind you, I am in Foundations (for the third time) to go deeper. When old ways of thinking and doing have become so ingrained that I don’t seem to be able to find my way out, I do something about it – eventually. My presence in Foundations class is the result of becoming sick and tired of feeling periodically depressed, going into isolation and despair, and never feeling truly happy. When class began, we were asked to set a goal, something that we saw no way of attaining, and to begin spiritual mind treatment for it. I boldly declared, “I want to experience happiness.”
So, after I said ‘no’ to my friend, I sat down to listen to the warmth and wisdom of Rev. Janis. From Ernest Holmes book, It’s Up to You, she shared a list of ten points for living life. One of these made me gasp: ‘Learn to forgive myself and others for real’. I had a huge ‘aha’ moment, realizing how much I let guilt and shame from my past sabotage my happiness, because though I have forgiven others, I had not yet forgiven myself. I also realized how much I operate on the system of punishment and reward; i.e., I can’t have fun with my friend because I haven’t written my paper. Seriously? I wasn’t even disciplined as a child, so why have I become so hard on myself as an adult? The answer is guilt, shame, and lack of self-forgiveness.
Ernest Holmes defines freedom thus: “To live in a space without guilt, shame and blame.” If I truly want to be happy, it is time to forgive myself for real. I thought I had, and to some degree, I’m sure that’s true. But my life doesn’t look like I want it to, and for that, ONLY I am responsible. And I know of only one way to change it – change my consciousness, because that’s where Cause lives. My task is to be willing to change, and this isn’t something that just happens to me because I want it to. It is mine to show up, remain teachable, tell the truth to, about and on myself, and be willing to give my attention to faith rather than to fear.
“Just keep right on knocking on the door of your consciousness until every ‘no’ becomes a ‘yes’, every negation an affirmation, every fear a faith. You cannot fail if you remain steadfast.”
“The only thing that can hinder you is yourself. The only thing that can help you is yourself. Because it is you who reflects the image in the mirror.” — Ernest Holmes from This Thing Called You, pg. 45 and 46
Freedom lives in my consciousness, and I call freedom Heaven. So I’m going to keep on knocking on Heaven’s door…
by Renee’ Mezzone