Tim (Sequethia’s co-worker) was so excited about a project at work that he rushed into his boss’s office for clarification of an issue. His boss seemed to be wrapping up a meeting with Sequethia, and so Tim just asked a quick question. Sequethia felt as if someone had just slapped her in the face. She felt dismissed, discarded, unimportant, unheard. She could feel an anger and rage rising up from within her and it took all the strength she could gather just to keep her composure. She sighed and tried to hold herself from shaking with anger.
Tim, realizing how his actions impacted Sequethia, then apologized profusely. However Sequethia was not ready to receive his apology and continued pouting, giving Tim the “cold shoulder” and holding her space of hurt. Tim then sent an email, cc’ing his boss in another attempt to apologize for his behavior.
The next day, it was clear that Sequethia was still angry at Tim. When Tim tried to talk to her about the situation again, she was not yet ready to forgive, and she brought up what was really bothering her – “Last year, you betrayed my confidence about another of our peers”. Since then, every time Sequethia passed Tim or interacted with him, it was if she had another brick in her stomach. By now she had enough bricks in her stomach that a “wall” had been built between them. Tim was unaware that Sequethia held this perception. She was not upset about the interruption, that was just the “trigger” to help her realize the true reason she was upset.
When Sequethia talked with me about her upset, we did a brief meditation to find out (in her subconscious mind) what was at the root of her reaction. She realized that in that moment, she wasn’t a 48 year old professional with an Advanced Degree (pending). In that moment, she was a little girl vying for her father’s attention, and getting shoved to the side because he preferred alcohol, ladies and gambling more. The hurt and pain of being made to feel unimportant flooded her mind, her body and her very essence, and this searing, burning pain fueled her reaction. She was not upset for the reason that she thought. It really had nothing to do with Tim’s interruption or his betrayal. She felt betrayed by her father, and in truth, she felt betrayed by God*.
We are never upset for the reason we think, and this upset keeps us from the Miracle of Love. In this case, Tim was giving Sequethia the love that she needed, but she was unable to accept this love because she saw only the past, was upset because of her obsession with the past. We all have a little bit of Sequethia in us.
A Course In Miracles, Lesson 5 “I AM NEVER UPSET FOR THE REASON I THINK” helps us to understand this so that we can get to the “root” of our “upset” and choose to be at peace instead. If you’d like to take one more step closer to peace, then during the course of your day, tell yourself “I am never upset for the reasons I think” and notice all the things that cause you upset. You’ll find that they are generally triggers to a deeper upset that the Miracle can heal.
How many times have we chosen upset over peace. Love brings peace. Choose love.
Here is more information on feeling betrayed by God.
As a result of our experience together, Sequethia was happy again. When she lost her thumb drive, she she saw her whole life disintegrate. Because it contained her Doctoral Dissertation (which was a condition for her continued employment) she feared losing her job, her car, her house and more. She felt the terror of losing everything she had worked so hard to achieve. This moment felt as if the floor had fallen from beneath her and she felt as if she had fallen into a deep dark mine shaft. It felt as if someone had kicked her in her stomach, and the only reaction she knew was panic. Luckily this experience didn’t last for long, and balance had been restored.
From this “happy place” Sequethia was able to see that the scenario that she had created was just a series of thoughts. Although her terror in that moment was real, it was caused by thoughts that were not real. They were mirages.
Despite any momentary mirage that causes you terror, you can also go to a happier place by realizing that most of the terror exists only in our minds. A Course In Miracles, Lesson 4 helps us to realize this, and to begin to reject the “habit” we have of letting a dark thought that is only a mirage carry us to a dark place. To create this new way of dispelling the disquieting thoughts that create panic, hopelessness, anxiety and pain, you can work with the following idea by repeating it and applying it to everything you see around you and everything you sense within you.
THESE THOUGHTS DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING. THEY ARE JUST LIKE THE THINGS I SEE IN THIS ROOM, ON THIS STREET OR SENSE IN MY MIND.
Apply this thought form to everything you see around you and everything you see within you, and you will be able to take one more step into that place of inner peace, despite what is happening around you.
Once the “dust” had settled, Sequethia asked me “What was that all about”?
I shared with her that her experience was actually quite typical. We often apply meanings to things based on past experiences, and when we interpret the present based on the past, we tend to project past patterns forward and attract* the same experiences. In Sequethia’s case, she was so traumatized by unaffirming experiences that she had in the past that she automatically projected the same prospect of “getting fired” forward. This is quite common.
For example, you may have a date with someone, yet your mind is polluted by your past or most recent experience. You may expect him to “cheat” just like your last romantic entanglement, you may expect him to have “forgotten” that he was married with children, or you may suspect him of being a liar, just like your previous experience. When you are in this mode, it is easy to “overcorrect” by being “hyper-vigilant”, “hyper-critical”, or “hyper-sensitive”. You are so hypnotized by the past that you are unable to enjoy the moment because you are so busy looking for evidence that he is a liar and a cheat, and you unconsciously sabotage the chance that you have for fulfillment in the current experience.
Sequethia then asked me “how do I stop doing that?”
Once Sequethia calmed down, I was able to work with her. She asked me to “intuit” where she left her Thumb Drive. Intuitively, I saw a never-used, almost hidden pocket in her brief case and saw the drive slipping between the folds of this hidden pocket. I asked Sequethia if this made any sense to her and it didn’t. However, she then opened her briefcase, found a “hidden” pocket where the thumb drive had slipped. After we had a good laugh about the incident we talked about its spiritual significance.
Sequethia did what we all do quite often. She gave her “lost” thumb drive a meaning, and she projected this meaning out onto her world, creating a world view that was absolutely terrifying for her. We all do this so regularly that we are not conscious that we do it as a habit.
Although our experiences are rarely as terrifying as Sequethia’s experience, we often go around in a low grade state of inner terror that eats away at the very fabric of our inner peace. We do this because we place meaning on everything we see.
To begin to find our way out of this place of inner turmoil, we continue yesterday’s lesson by working with the phrase:
I HAVE GIVEN EVERYTHING I SEE ALL THE MEANING THAT IT HAS FOR ME
Look around you and say this phrase to everything your eye falls upon. I have given this desk all the meaning that it has for me, I have given this keyboard all the meaning that it has for me, I have given this Kindle all the meaning that it has for me…. etc.
If you do this exercise several times today, you begin to realize how much you project a “meaning” onto something that creates turmoil for you. Once you realize how much you do this, you can learn to choose to STOP IT so you can have the inner peace you desire.
My friend Sequethia McQueen recently called me in a frantic panic. In an alarmed, tearful voice, I heard her say she had lost her job, lost her home, lost her car and was devastated. I was amazed because I had just seen her the previous weekend, and none of this seemed imminent.
As I helped Sequethia to calm down, I discerned that she hadn’t lost her home, her job or her car, but instead she had lost her thumb drive (that little thing that you stick in the computer to save your work). Her thumb drive contained her Doctoral Dissertation, which was a condition of keeping her job (she had 1 year to complete it, as it was a pre-requisite for her being hired). In an instant she had a “flash-forward” and could see herself losing her job, her house and her car. She was so panicked that by the time I could understand what she was saying, she was already describing the tow-truck jacking up her car and taking it away, and she described it with such clarity that I actually thought it was happening “real-time”.
In that moment, Sequethia’s lost thumb drive “meant” that she would lose her job, her house and her car.
Have you ever had a Sequethia McQueen moment? Have you ever had a moment where you had a series of thoughts (or projections) based on one incident, and projected it forward based on what it “meant”? My boss is being rough with me, that means I’m going to be fired. My boyfriend is giving me the silent treatment, and that means he’s having an affair. Have you ever projected yourself forward into a fantasy world of reality that wasn’t true or real?
Of course we have all done this, and those thoughts have created the reality that we see all around us because thoughts are “things” that attract to us their reflection. In order to stop projecting (and thus creating) a savage fantasy world, we must understand our thoughts, reverse the destructive thoughts and align our thoughts with the loving energy that produces loving outcomes. This is the purpose of A Course In Miracles, and your miracle begins today as you begin to reverse the destructive thoughts that have created a world you don’t want.
We can begin this process of thought reversal by looking all around us and saying “This doesn’t mean anything” to anything we see all around us. For example: This chair doesn’t mean anything, this book doesn’t mean anything, this lamp doesn’t mean anything, etc. Leave nothing in your sight out of this exercise. It will seem insane to do this, but it will make you aware of how often you attach meaning to everything you see, just as Sequethia did. You will also see how destructive these “meanings” can be, just as Sequethia did. If you’d like to know what happened with Sequethia, check my next posting.« go back