If I judge my behavior, it can sometimes seem that I am still very far from my goal of awakening. But recently I was surprised to realize that I sometimes react out of habit rather than conviction. I was driving to the hotel after a long tiring day. I was starting to get stiff and achy with all the sitting, and stressed from navigating the traffic. At least, I thought, I am half way there. Then I reached for my phone and it wasn’t next to me. I felt a twinge of fear as I felt around for it and couldn’t find it.
I’ve lost my phone before and it is really hard, even impossible to do my job without it. I thought about having to tell my boss I lost another one. I thought about the wedding I have to do when I get to New Orleans and not having a way to contact the couple. I was starting to panic. Then I thought about where I might have left it and realized I would have to retrace my steps, and thought about how tired I was and how I so didn’t want to do that.
All this flashed through my mind pretty quickly. I pulled over to the side of the road and began a serious search for my phone. I didn’t find it and I thought, “I feel like crying at the idea of having to go back and look for it.” Then I started to cry. Only wait, no I tried to cry. I tried to be upset. I tried to stay afraid. Nothing happened. All of this thinking, all of these thoughts and the feelings that, in the past would have come with it, none of that was real. I was remembering how that felt. I wasn’t actually feeling it. I didn’t really believe it. I just laughed at myself.
Then I remembered that I have a function on my car that allows me to use the phone without having it in my hand, as long as I have the phone in the car. I made a phone call through that function and so I knew the phone was there someplace. I did a more methodical search and finally found it buried under some papers. There was never actually a problem, there were only my thoughts about having a problem.
Here is what I am beginning to understand; there never is a problem. There is always only my thoughts. Salvation is not only possible, but simple. All that hurts me are only thoughts and thoughts can be changed. I know they can because I have done it and I continue to do it every day, all day long and into the night.