Because I Made It
A few weeks ago I wrote about the part of my mind that overlearned the ego (personal thought system), was the most attached to it, and was the last part to acknowledge that it was gone. (Click here to read the article). I called this part of my mind the ego-identifier.
The ego-identifier still holds the lessons from the ego dear. It thought the self and the ego were its identity; it thought its whole purpose was to identify with the self and ego. But it is really a part of my mind and so it is capable of unlearning those lessons and integrating with the rest of my mind, which is rising to a Higher Awareness. I’ve learned more about the ego watching the ego-identifier being undone than I could when the ego was still a part of my mind.
I refer to the time when the ego (personal thought system) dropped but I didn’t know it as the “Mansion and shack” time. The ego fell when I felt, truly, that I was done with pain. It was not a rancorous feeling; just a fact. But I went into shock and I did not know it had happened. It took me four years to acknowledge it.
At the time, what I felt was frustration that I could not let go of the ego. I felt close, but, I thought, unable. What I was really feeling was what I now label the ego-identifier part of my mind resisting and denying that I had let it go.
To understand what I felt, I saw the ego as a shabby shack on the same property as a Mansion, which represented Abundant Truth. I had come to understand that the Mansion was mine and always had been. I did not earn It and I would not have to pay for It. It was, and always had been, mine. But I also still held onto the shack, shabby and inadequate as it was. I went back and forth between the Mansion and the shack. I vacillated between Truth and ego.
Why, I wondered, did I cling to something I could clearly see had no value and that kept me from That which clearly did? I looked at this in every way and I was left with just one conclusion: I valued the shack (ego) because it was mine. There was no other reason. It might be small and painful and unworthy of me, but it was mine, dammit!
Recognizing that didn’t shift anything. I tried coming at it from all sorts of angles, but nothing moved. Now I realize nothing moved because it had already moved! I was holding onto a shadow of the ego. But, back then, all I felt was frustration. I concluded I wasn’t ready to resolve this issue and let it go.
Four years later, I have encountered this idea from another angle. One morning, in this time of transition, steeped in the ego-identifier, I found myself crying from the depths over the loss of my twenty four year marriage. I had already grieved the loss of my wife. This time I was grieving the loss of one of my highest personal desires and values: A lifelong marriage. There was only one thing I valued more, and that was Truth. And that meant allowing It to lead the way and that has led me to the Holy relationship. Why, I wondered, was I valuing the form of a relationship over its content? And then I realized I valued form simply because it is form. I value form because I make it. In ego-identification, I decided that a lifelong marriage was valuable and made one. I decided what I wanted in that marriage. I made a home with my wife filled with things that represented our values.
Then I realized that the most important thing I was seeing was that my values themselves were forms I made! I decided what was valuable.
“Now must the teacher of God understand that he did not really know what was valuable and what was valueless. All that he really learned so far was that he did not want the valueless, and that he did want the valuable. Yet his own sorting out was meaningless in teaching him the difference. The idea of sacrifice, so central to his own thought system, had made it impossible for him to judge. He thought he learned willingness, but now he sees that he does not know what the willingness is for.” (M-4.I.A.7) (My underline for emphasis.)
How many times have I read this in A Course in Miracles and never understood it this way! In identification with the ego, I valued my values because I made them. I valued what my values made because I made them. I felt giving them up was a sacrifice not because of what they were, but because I made them. In ego, it was all a power play for autonomy, or independence, from the rest of my mind. It was all about being a god in this little patch of mind I made my own. That’s why the shack I made was more valuable to me than the Mansion that was simply mine.
This grasp for small power isolated me from the rest of my mind and made it feel alien to me. I felt that dropping the boundaries of a personal identity and joining the rest of my mind was submitting to a greater Power. And the ego-identifier still had this idea. What I have had to teach it is that it will not be joining the rest of my mind. It will be my mind. Its small existence will not disappear into a larger one. Its existence will expand as it accepts What it really is.
None of this is new stuff, of course. It’s all there in ACIM where it talks about ego autonomy (T11.V) and littleness versus magnitude (T15.III). And I’ve seen it in many forms over the years. But now I am seeing these ideas where I accepted them at the most fundamental level of my mind. And I am watching them, finally, be undone.
If you want to benefit from my experience and perhaps lighten your process, email me at Liz@acimmentor.com to set up an appointment for mentoring. Learn more at www.acimmentor.com.
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As requested by a few readers, Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace, is now available in paperback as well as in digital formats. You can order a paperback book here . To learn more about this book, click here.
Some of you may be interested in the book that came through me when the Golden Light came into my mind last summer (learn more here). It is not a spiritual book at all, just an ordinary lesbian love story, so it's not to everyone's taste! It is called A Good Woman and it is now available on Kindle. Paperback coming soon. Learn more at www.lizcronkhite.net.