“Both miracles and fear come from thoughts. If you are not free to choose one, you would also not be free to choose the other,” Course page 32.
Upon awakening a host of thoughts come flooding into my mind. Concern for a loved one, fear over a current situation, regret over a past situation and the list goes on. Sometimes the thoughts are so strong they consume my being and I just lay there. Sometimes they are running in the background, like a soft song on the radio, and until I tune into them, I don’t even recognize they are playing.
One day I asked a question “if my mind can think of anything why does it dwell here?”. Then I realized that if my mind could think of anything why not think of things that made me happy? So I started thinking about something that made me happy. Then I felt better for a moment until my mind went to that same old thought system.
Then I asked myself how long has this thought system been there? I realized this was a familiar place and these were familiar thoughts and these thoughts became my unconscious ‘safety zone’. In a scary world, where outcomes are unknown, this is one familiar place that I know. This is one familiar place that will not change. Then I looked around this familiar place but it was dark and fear lived here with me.
Then I asked another question “Why would I choose such a dark place to hide?”. The answer came again “because your ego is safer here, it knows what to expect and it knows what it will feel.” This is insane. A bad familiar feeling is better than any other unknown feeling? This made no sense to my logical mind and yet this is the circuit my mind had been flowing on for as long as I can remember.
Even deeper, I realized when I’m in a dark place and someone tries to coax me out, I will defend my hide away with fury. How interesting my mind thought. Then my mind started to ask more questions and look behind all those thoughts, when did they start, how do I feel, how often does my mind wander here. The answers came. My own willingness to wake up to my thoughts and my life uncovered a beautiful world that my own fear had trapped me apart from.
Throughout the day when my mind raced and fear clenched my heart and I was sure some bad outcome would prevail, I would redirect my thoughts to something that worked out well. Guilt and shame and yelling at myself to stop my thoughts did not work. Forcing myself to feel something that was not real did not work. However, gently guiding my mind to something that felt good did.
Over time my mind enjoyed the break from this dark internal prison I had been living in all my life. Over time my mind would relive happy moments instead of sad ones because that is what I started training it to do. Then my happy world expanded, my depression lessoned, my stress was relieved and instead of projecting suffering into the world, which is what I always saw, I started to project love into the world which is how I started to feel.
A simple mantra for me was, hello familiar thoughts, here you are again, let me turn my mind to the day my beautiful children were born, the day I felt on top of the world when I could be of service to a friend and the day I fell in love. Then I started to share those stories with others. Then I started asking others what the best thing in their life was and I noticed they too would light up.
Before we would share our pain and now we were sharing our love and a miracle was happening before me, that my story of love could trigger their story of love and we both felt better. Nothing in the world had changed except my desire to be happy, to focus on things that drove my happiness and then to share that happiness with others.
Today tell a story all day to anyone that will listen of a time that makes you happy or makes you laugh. Then ask the other person what is one of their funniest memories. Then know that anytime in our life regardless of what is going on we have something to offer the world and the world has something to offer us. Miracles are everywhere if we break free from our fearful thoughts. Even if you are in pain, these brief moments can be necessary relief to help stay sane.
Know that you are a perfect being designed to create and you have the power to redirect your mind to miracle creation or fear creation and the choice is always yours.