Kryptonite

nasa too 2Seriously?” he asked, eyes widening.

I’d been filling my imaginary Jesus in on the events of the last few weeks. OK, months. OK, years. The video game of my so-called life that had been firing at such warp speed; who had time to talk things over with him before the next forgiveness opportunity appeared to be knock, knock, knocking on hell’s door? Sometimes in the guise of current problematic situations and relationships but just as often involving a macabre parade of characters apparently excavated from a distant past I thought I’d laid to rest decades ago. Busted-out-of-the-closet skeletons strutting across the stage of my psyche like Day-of-the Dead figures on steroids.

His brows shot up and down at the very thought of it.

I sat in my usual chair at his desk, wrapped in a fleece blanket I’d been dragging around, stroking away at, and generally sniveling into, like the world’s largest toddler. Outside his office window, the wind continued to howl. Our unusually prolonged Indian summer had come to a bitter end yesterday, but a week into November, as the so-called “polar vortex” emerged from hibernation and lumbered southward to feed, the thermometer plunging 50 degrees in six hours. Delivering record-breaking sub-zero temperatures and the inevitable icy conditions that did not portend well for the coming winter.

“And then there’s the matter of my sleeping dreams,” I said.

Seriously?

“I mean don’t get me started.”

“Okey dokey.”

“Well, if you really want to know.”

But where to begin? There was the one about flying home to Denver—although it didn’t look or feel like Denver–from some international venue and discovering I’d left my luggage on the plane. The airline staff refusing to allow me back in to claim it. Forcing me to wait in a kind of cordoned-off  U.S. Customs’ no-person’s land to appeal, even as they kept insisting I couldn’t take it with me anyway to this new home in this new Denver.

“I see,” he said.

“I know.”

But I knew he was faking it. There really was no convincing him to analyze these very telling dreams!  Like the one I had just the other night, most of which I couldn’t remember except that I was visiting adults from my childhood from the groovy looks of the decor, only I was my age now and very concerned that they had left the back screen door unlocked, and had no inner door at all. They didn’t seem to care, so I moved furniture in front of it to insure our safety and the safety of their small children, like the good, little Catholic girl I had once strived, but rarely managed, to be.

And then finding myself in an old hotel that had seen better days. Alone in a room and frightened by threatening voices, rising to check the door only to find the lock I thought I’d secured earlier did not lock at all. A person I once thought I’d loved who had hurt me deeply came through the door then. His hair had thinned and grayed. His shoulders slumped. Although I thought I’d forgiven him long ago, I now realized I still held him responsible for my unhappiness, and began to apologize. He interrupted me, saying, no, he’d come to say I was always so nice to him, but he was just so scared and broken. He hugged me and I felt this incredible release, a weight I hadn’t realized had been pressing against my heart for so long, abruptly lifted.

“It felt so freaking real, you know?”

He nodded.

“But, I mean, Jesus! If there are all these unlocked doors and it’s my dream, then I must have unlocked them, right?”

“Who else would there be?” he asked.

“It’s just that lately I’m so bloody aware of how terrified I am to have unlocked the door to you. Which ultimately unlocks the door to God, which of course, was never really even shut in the first place, there being no door, or lock, no inside or out, I mean, Jesus!”

“We’ve talked about this,” he said.

“I know. It’s just that I can’t seem to disassociate lately where this Course is really leading, no matter how busy and mindless I try to make myself! Not in my waking dreams and not in my sleeping. Even as the images I have made seem to arise faster and faster and faster, past and present, as if someone is messing with the remote. I know, I know, who would that be?  But, I mean, it also seems absolutely impossible to take the next step, you know? To hit the play button again, and walk through that door.”

He handed me the box of tissues.

I blew my nose, pressed my fingers to my leaky tear ducts. “But then I think, maybe I don’t have to take that next step alone. Because you’re here, always, even when you’re wearing your invisibility cloak like you’ve been doing for the past, I don’t know, couple seasons?”

“Hey!” he said, still smiling.

“And we can just glide right through those doors—that final door, too–when the time comes. I’m not in control of that part. Unlocking the door, even in my terror and formidable resistance, is all I really have to do, right? And that happens spontaneously, just by practicing forgiveness moment-to-moment, seeming day in and day out. Questioning the cause of my reactions to whatever seems to be popping into the classroom of my waking or sleeping dreams, and simply asking to look at it from your perspective. Even when I don’t feel your presence or have the slightest clue what that means.”

He shrugged, nodded.

Outside his office window it began to snow, in earnest, driven by a punishing northwest wind that did not appear to have our best interests at heart. There would be no A Course in Miracles class this evening, no tai chi tomorrow. The dog was no doubt already plotting her revenge on the carpet. And then there was the matter of my husband having eaten the whole freaking pot of pasta I’d made that was supposed to last for two dinners and an additional lunch and then leaving the pot, as usual, in the sink with a little scum of water in it. As if that was the same as actually cleaning it!

“I knew I shouldn’t have left that f-ing door unlocked.” I said.

His brows shot up the way they do.

“I know, I know. I’m still not upset for the reason I think, right?  It’s not the twisted sleeping dreams or the constantly morphing plans or the instability of my costars or bank account or the sacrifices I’m constantly making or the weather’s sudden, psychotic break. It’s looking at the problem as it is—a reflection of my selfish wish to experience individuality at the cost of, well, that would be everything–and not the way I set it up. But that’s the last thing in the freaking world I really want to do, right? I mean, I promised I’d never, ever go there.” I lowered my voice again, leaned in closer. “Because the ego thinks if we looked and saw no guilt and then no sin we would die of embarrassment.”

Jesus threw back his head, and laughed.

“I know what you’re thinking,” I said. “Have you worn out your little s self yet? Not even close, actually.”

He leaned in closer, now, took both my hands in his, and looked into my eyes. Try as I might, I could not resist the kryptonite of his gaze, despite my ancient vow never to look. And so, I did. But I didn’t lose my bogus powers like Superwoman. God did not strike me blind. For reasons beyond my understanding or control, I simply fell silent, still holding his hands. Locked with his eyes, or my eyes, or no eyes; who the hell really knew, or cared? And the love, well, turns out, it was waiting right there by the always-open door where I’d left it, all along.

“Little child, you are hiding your head under the cover of the heavy blankets you have laid upon yourself. You are hiding your nightmares in the darkness of your own false certainty, and refusing to open your eyes and look at them. …

Let us not save nightmares, for they are not fitting offerings for Christ, and so they are not fit gifts for you. Take off the covers and look at what you are afraid of. Only the anticipation will frighten you, for the reality of nothingness cannot be frightening. Let us not delay this, for your dream of hatred will not leave you without help, and Help is here. Learn to be quiet in the midst of turmoil, for quietness is the end of strife and this is the journey to peace. Look straight at every image that rises to delay you, for the goal is inevitable because it is eternal. The goal of love is but your right, and it belongs to you despite your dreams.” (A Course in Miracles Chapter 12, II. from paragraphs 4 and 5)

NOTE: A Course in Miracles uses the character of Jesus (but you could use any enlightened figure) as a symbol of the part of our one mind that remembered to laugh at the “tiny, mad idea” that we could separate from our true, non-dualistic nature or would possibly want to. By choosing Jesus as our inner teacher in the classroom of our lives, our belief in the ego thought system’s illusion of differences and separate interests is gently undone for us. We gradually become more kind and loving, beginning to recognize our own mind in need of healing in our constant wish to perceive ourselves unfairly treated. Learning, from moment-to-moment, that choosing the inner teacher of fear hurts, while choosing the inner teacher of forgiveness heals, ultimately yielding peace that defies understanding and includes everyone and everything in its warm embrace.

HOLIDAY GIFT: My most recent essay collection, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, about learning to live a forgiving life and remembering to smile, is on sale for the holidays on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Offers-Everything-I-Want/dp/0983742014 

ANOTHER HOLIDAY GIFT: Schedule a HALF-HOUR, FORTY-FIVE MINUTE, OR HOUR-LONG ACIM MENTORING SESSION in November or December 2014 and get a second one free! https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/personal-coaching Although A Course in Miracles is clearly a self-study program and the one relationship we are truly cultivating is with our eternally sane and loving right mind, mentoring can help remind Course students having trouble applying its unique forgiveness in the classroom of their lives that the problem and the solution never lie in the difficult relationship, situation, behavior, health issue, etc., but in the decision-making mind. In every circumstance, without exception, we can choose to experience inner peace and kindness toward all, unaffected by the seemingly random strife of a world designed to prove otherwise. By choosing to look at our lives as a classroom in which we bring all our painful illusions to the inner teacher of forgiveness who knows only our shared innocence beyond all its deceptive disguises, we learn to identify and transcend the ego’s resistance, hold others and even ourselves harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. Sessions are conducted via traditional phone or Skype (your choice). Please contact me to find out if mentoring is right for you before submitting a payment. (No one is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay!) 

EXCITING NEWS FROM THE FOUNDATION FOR A COURSE IN MIRACLES!: The Foundation is very pleased to announce the publication of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick’s long-awaited Journey through the Text of A Course in Miracles. As stated in the Preface, “…unlike the books on the workbook, manual for teachers, and “What It Says,” this book is not a line-by-line exegesis of the entire text. Rather, the material of each of the text’s thirty-one chapters is arranged symphonically by theme, the selected passages chosen to illustrate each theme.”

We are also offering a 40% off sale on thirteen English language printed books by Kenneth, which you can view here. Just look for the SALE sticker.

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles continues to offer illuminating classes taught by a talented, devoted, truly inspiring staff who shine with the light of living this work! I was so deeply moved and inspired by their presentations at the July and March academies I attended, and can’t wait to return next year for more! Check out all their current offerings including the Winter 2015 schedule here:  http://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx

You’ll also find new releases from the Foundation’s bookstore here: https://www.facim.org/bookstore/t-latestreleases.aspx, the online bookstore here: https://www.facim.org/bookstore/, online learning aids here: https://www.facim.org/online-learning-aids.aspx, and questions on just about any topic Course students could dream up sanely, lovingly, and eloquently answered here: https://www.facim.org/online-learning-aids/question-answer.aspx

You can listen to my latest talk with CA Brooks, 12 radio, at the top of my audios page: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/audios , in which we discuss happiness from the Course’s perspective, focusing on our only real function of forgiveness and sections of Chapter 4 in the text and workbook lesson 64.

I’m honored to be presenting a workshop at the invitation of Jim Peterson in Portland, Oregon, in March 2015. The subject is close to my heart and A Course in Miracles forgiveness practice: “The Parent-Child Relationship: Transcending Guilt Blame and Need.” To find out more and register, please go to Jim’s site: http://www.alchemical-transformation-guidance.com/SusanDuganWorkshop2014.html  and/or check out my Classes/Events page.

Jim Peterson has just published a book, Wisdom Rising, about his journey in learning to connect with an unwaveringly kind and gentle-to-all part of our mind beyond this world of constant conflict and upheaval http://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Rising-Writings-Directed-Living/dp/1499630360/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417449653&sr=1-1&keywords=wisdom+rising. He also shares useful tools he has discovered in his spiritual quest and his inspired and inspiring poetry.  

Here’s a link to details about my ongoing Tuesday night class on the text here in Denver https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/classes-events beginning in May 2014. Join us if you can! 

Check out recent videos on living a forgiving life here: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/videos 

My good friend and fellow Course student and teacher Bruce Rawles, author of The Geometry Code http://www.amazon.com/Geometry-Code-Universal-Reminders-Separation/dp/0965640574/ref=la_B003ZZVZVK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411567229&sr=1-1, frequently invites me to chat with him on YouTube about the Course and Ken Wapnick’s teachings. He continues to compile lots of great ACIM information well worth checking out at http://www.acimblog.com/

My good friend and gifted A Course in Miracles teacher and writer Bernard Groom has been posting beautifully written, heartfelt essays about living A Course in Miracles for years at http://www.acimvillage.com/. I found his recent, kindly right-minded contemplations there on the death of our beloved teacher Ken Wapnick deeply comforting! Bernard lives and teaches in France with his dear wife Patricia. You’ll find a wealth of information in French on his website http://uncoursenmiraclesenfrance.com/ including recorded talks available for purchase or free download: http://uncoursenmiraclesenfrance.com/audio/.

My dear friend and wonderful teacher Lyn Corona continues to offer classes at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center through her School of Reason for Course students and teachers. You can subscribe to her website http://www.schoolofreason.org/ to receive information about upcoming classes.

My latest book, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle versions. If you read and find the book helpful, I would so appreciate you posting a brief (a sentence or two is fine) review on Amazon. 🙂

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and my previous book, Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness, are now also available from the ACIM Store: http://www.acimstore.com/default.asp.

Comments

  1. When nightmares of hate (including specifics like kitchen cleanups, chilly weather and screen door insecurities) are brought to our Inner Kindness Teacher, we’re given simple ego bomb dismantling instructions, that go beyond merely taking the offending dream apart, only to be re-assembled; these holograms are simply vaporized, but only when we’re willing to look at them without judgment and honestly dragging them to the UFO-level-industrial-strength-brightness examination table a.k.a. my mind’s altar where those ghosts are busted. As usual, your specific examples remind me of my own pet grievances and unfounded, unconscious victim scripts, and the common solution of trusting the memory of Peace we took with us into the dream to do the heavy ‘undo’ lifting. Thanks, Susan! 🙂

  2. (“My mind’s altar where those ghosts are busted”–love it! :)) Thank you, Bruce!

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