I am in an unfamiliar place, floating in time and space, giving myself day after day of being home alone. I thought of mom earlier and remembered how much she liked being on her own, and how jealously she guarded her independence and her space. It used to hurt my feelings when I visited. Now I’m noticing how I’m gradually becoming more and more like her, wearing my old, worn, comfy clothes and wanting to be alone without any intrusions.
Many years ago I spent a fascinating and valuable weekend in the Landmark Forum. One thing I learned is that most people tend to fall into one of four universal “rackets” (a persistent complaint plus a fixed way of being). Our racket becomes the lens through which we interpret and experience our world. The four rackets are (1) Being right/making someone or something wrong, (2) Dominating/avoiding domination, (3) Justifying myself/invalidating others, and (4) Winning/avoiding losing.
Dominating/avoiding domination is the one that had played out in my life. For as long as I can remember, I have gone to great and often painful lengths to not be controlled by anyone or anything. I have invited people into my life and then resisted their being there. I have defended against imagined demands or manipulations. I even resisted things I wanted to do if they had morphed into “shoulds” and I felt dominated by them.
I was chagrined to realize that the other side of the coin (my side) of resisting domination is being dominating. Not a pretty picture. My stories of me have certainly always ended with me being the conqueror. That “other,” the oppressor/perpetrator, was necessary for me to be the heroine of my avoiding domination drama. I have required a victimizer from whom to defend my kingdom. I even defeat myself if I am requiring anything of myself. The dominator and myself are one.
Thankfully, A Course in Miracles has taught me that I am not my story. This “racket” that I lived for a long time is an archetype born of my illusion that I ever could have separated from Oneness, or God, or Love, or whatever name one gives to what cannot be named. If I exist as a separated self, then it is at the expense of Oneness (which can only be One), so I must have killed it off. For that imagined “sin”, there must be a vengeful God, a power struggle, a slayer and a slain for me to exist. What a relief to know that it is all made up! I have been at home in God the whole time.
A Course in Miracles has taught me that I have the power to choose between two completely different thought systems, one that is the illusory dream that I am separated from Love (the ego thought system), and one that is the Reality that I never could have separated from Oneness (the Holy Spirit’s thought system). The ego thought system will have me anytime I’m not being vigilant and allow myself to drift aimlessly into the illusory world. I can throw myself into the briar patch at will! But why? There’s no amount of suffering or penance that I need to go through to be forgiven, to be worthy of love. Nothing happened!
There’s nothing wrong with liking my solitude, wanting stillness and quiet. But this story of my kingdom of me feels crimped and miserly, a fairy tale about an crabby, old witch in her run down cottage in the woods. This all-about-me-ness became a prison of my own making. It is only when I’ve forgotten that I have a choice that I think I need to be walled-up in my citadel of defensiveness, protecting my illusory separated self. But, no matter, I can simply choose again.
This abundance of solitude, time, and stillness provides me the opportunity to learn to watch my mind, to notice if I’m awake and choosing, or dreaming and believing my dream is real. The only reality is this holy moment, moment by moment, of experiencing the love that I never left, love that extends, and is creative, limitless and eternal. This peace, the peace of God, is always available, never changing. A moment in my right mind. All I need do is gently watch without judgment, and ask Holy Spirit for help when I’ve temporarily nodded-off into another dream of me.