IV. This Need Not Be, P 8
8 Have you really considered how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many of them you have refused? There is no limit to the power of a Son of God, but he can limit the expression of his power as much as he chooses. Your mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away, releasing the strength of God into everything you think and do. Do not settle for anything less than this, and refuse to accept anything but this as your goal. Watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them. Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, for this is the one right use of judgment. Judgment, like any other defense, can be used to attack or protect; to hurt or to heal. The ego should be brought to judgment and found wanting there. Without your own allegiance, protection and love, the ego cannot exist. Let it be judged truly and you must withdraw allegiance, protection and love from it.
“Your mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away, releasing the strength of God into everything you think and do.” This is my job, my purpose, my goal. This is what I do all day, every day. I am alert for the ego thinking and am willing to step away from it when I notice it. Often it is my emotions that let me know I am thinking with the ego mind rather than with God. Jesus says that judging the ego as not something I want is the right use of judgment.
Last night I had an opportunity to do this. I was part of a group text with my girls and one of them said something that triggered a reaction in me. It seemed to me she was being critical and unkind, and her comment felt like a knife piercing my heart. I felt angry and hurt. At the same time I felt these emotions, an “ego alert” went through my mind and so as I was experiencing these feelings, I also watched my thoughts.
I questioned my reaction. My daughter seemed to be deliberately rude and unkind. Is that true? I don’t know but it seems unlikely since normally she seems to love me. Maybe she was simply expressing herself in the same way she does to other people. Maybe sarcasm and sharply pointed words are just her way of making a point. Actually, I think these things are true about her, and I think maybe I had touched on something that triggers fear in her and she doesn’t like it so she tries to shut it down quickly and completely. It is not about me, but about her.
So why is it that I reacted so strongly to her comments? I didn’t know and had to ask the Holy Spirit what He wanted me to see. Suddenly I remembered that I used to do this to my mom. Also, I remembered how I thought I knew so much more than her when I was younger and I often spoke to her disrespectfully and unkindly. Two things were being triggered by my daughter’s comments to me.
One was the guilt I obviously still carried concerning my mother. I let that guilt come up and had a good cry. Such strong emotion! I could have sworn I had forgiven all that, but there it was, undeniable in its strength of emotion. I asked the Holy Spirit to heal my mind of the belief in guilt. This is how we shine the ego away.
The second thing that was triggered was a result of the guilt I felt about my behavior to my mom. I was always afraid that my kids felt the same contempt for me that I had sometimes felt for my mom. This was why I had such a visceral reaction to my daughter’s comments. I was afraid I was guilty and deserving of punishment, and my daughter’s words seemed to prove I was right. This fear is very strong in me. When my kids treat me with the love and respect that I don’t believe I deserve I am at the least surprised, and sometimes even suspicious.
Once the Holy Spirit helped me to look honestly at my feelings and my thoughts I asked Him to help me see differently. I had wanted to change the way my daughter speaks to me but now with the Holy Spirit joining with me, I felt the strength of that joining and right-minded thoughts came to me. The solution to my problem was not going to be in blaming my daughter or changing her mind. The solution was to forgive myself and to accept the truth that I am that I am, and that does not change according to someone else’s judgment of me, or even my own judgment.
I can choose to feel bad about myself, but I remain forever innocent.
After giving myself time to accept God’s judgment of me, I was able to see my daughter differently. I was able to see her need for me to be different with compassionate understanding. Didn’t I just go through the same thing with her? I had wanted to make her see me differently, or at least to talk about me behind my back where I wouldn’t have to look at my own fears and guilt. It always amazes me that simply forgiving something takes all the sting out of it. Suddenly hurtful words are just words.
Last night I withdrew my allegiance and my protection from the ego. I accomplished my one goal. I did this because I have learned to be vigilant for the ego, and I have carefully nurtured my willingness to be healed. I gladly joined with the Holy Spirit for this purpose and together our strength overcame the part of me that was still attached to the story and the ego thinking in this situation. I am grateful.