Posted on October 18, 2011 - Filed Under Rev. Jim
This morning, Sequethia was struggling to print something from her computer at home. She really needed to print and fax the document before she left for work. It was supposed to be completed the previous day, but after printing several drafts, Sequethia decided to “sleep on it” before printing the final version. She clicked the “print button” and expected the printer to respond.
Sequethia flew into a rage. You see, her 24 year old college educated daughter Sapphire, who Sequethia was trying to get to leave the house, was “always” breaking her printer, and she wasn’t even printing the resumes she needed to find a job and get out on her own. Sequethia started screaming at Sapphire about breaking her printer “AGAIN!”
Sapphire, who had gotten used to her Mother’s upsets, came into the room to see what was happening. Then and only then did Sequethia see the message that was flashing on the screen “printer out of paper”.
Instead of seeing the message in front of her, Sequethia saw only the image that had already been “hard wired” into her mind, which was “My daughter is always breaking my printer”. She saw this mirage instead of the truth and it upset her.
We all do this. We fail to see what is in front of us because we have a pre-conceived notion based on the past. We selectively perceive what conforms to our past image instead of perceiving what is right in front of us. Unfortunately, the things from the past that we so easily perceive instead of the truth are the most unpleasant of experiences because they are the ones that “stick” with us because of their emotional resonance.
A Course In Miracles, Lesson 6 helps us to understand how we do this. This exercise asks us to name the type of “upset” that we experience, and realize that we are angry at something that is not there. This begins to break the habitual pattern that our mind has created (in the same way that people tracking over a lawn eventually wear away a path in the grass). Once we stop our minds from running along the same barren path, we can “re-seed” our minds with new thoughts, but for now, our task is to realize that we often are upset by a mirage.
I am angry at ______________ because I see something that isn’t there.
I am worried about ________________because I see something that isn’t there.
As usual, let’s apply this lesson to everything we see and experience remembering that there are no “small” upsets because each upset takes you from your peace no matter how big or small it is. If you do this exercise for a few minutes several times today you will begin to realize how the mirages of your mind have taken you out of your peace. Then you will be ready to find a new way.