H.S. "Go for a walk."
Me: "Ok, yeah, but I think I'll just have one more cup of coffee."
H.S. "You've waited long enough. Go for a walk."
Me: "Well, okay, you did mention something about a walk yesterday....okay, fine, I'll go."
It was before 10am when I left. I took the street down to an intersection, hung a right, and then made my way to the sandy beach. The sky was cloudy and gray (this is the Pacific Northwest afterall). It was cool but not uncomfortably so in my sweatshirt. I eavesdropped on my thoughts as I walked along....
Me: "I don't have the right shoes for this."
Me: "I would like to sit down, but that sad lady over there is sitting on my log."
Me: "Okay, I will try walking through this really deep sand, which will probably ruin my new shoes, but oh well...I need to get to that mini-log over there, since that sad looking lady is on mine."
Me: "Dammit, this is not a log at all...it's a barnacle parking lot. I can't sit here, and *looks back* that darn lady still is using my log."
H.S. "Go for a walk."
Me: "Fine. Since there's no where here to sit....thanks for leading me to a great place...not."
I headed down the beach, and all the yackity yack chatter in my head gradually subsided as I repeated my mantra, "I want the Peace of God...I want the Miracle...I want Truth...I want the Peace of God...I want the Miracle...I want Truth..."
Suddenly, I started really looking at the ocean before me. I thought about how it is a symbol of beauty and divinity for so many people, but how that was not resonating for me right now. I imagined going out into that ocean...how in my little boat its vastness would be overwhelming and how quickly the romance of it all would turn into a desperate desire to get back to shore. The waves kept rolling in as I had these thoughts, and I felt a relentlessness about it all...one after another, over and over and over again these waves crash against the shore. They've been doing it for a million years and will do it a million more...
Then the Holy Spirit spoke:
"That's what needs are like. The ego serves up one need after another, over and over and over and over. The ocean of need will never stop, for as soon as one need is seemingly met, another stronger one follows. That's the nature of special relationships....looking to another (person, career, children, spouse, etc.) to fill a bottomless pit of need. The system is set up so that the needs can never be met."
Okay, this is good. I get this. I am liking this walk now.
I keep going as I think about how this applies to me. I note all the little "preferences" I have in my life even down to trivial things like clothing, food, free time. Then I think about the big ones...like I want to live near my children, I want work that pays me well, I want companionship, I want a beautiful place to live, I want...
H.S. has been watching this inventory list develop. "Keep going..."
Me: "Well, shoot. You know, if you are holding me accountable for a lot of ego needs, I'd like to know exactly what you expect of me...I mean, give me a break. I have TRIED to have no needs...I have TRIED to go be all selfless. Remember? You told me I was being a martyr back then..remember? That I wasn't opening to the abundance that is within, remember? Man, there's no pleasing you!"
I stared at the sand in front of me, my left ear listening to the Need Ocean on one side and my right ear listening to the Holy Spirit.
H.S.: "Kinda neat that you are surrounded by the foot prints of others...here you are taking the path between them. Do you remember that nice story about the guy all upset that he was alone as he walked the beach and then he talked to his angel, and was told he'd never been alone once, and he said, baloney, because I went back the way I came and there was only one set of foot prints, and the angel said, 'Yes, honey, that's because I was carrying you'?"
Me: "Yes." *sigh* (I expected a minor chastising for not remembering the same held true for me, and I was also annoyed at the seemingly abrupt change of subject.)
H.S: "Well, the thing is -- you've been carrying Me for a long time now. It was okay as a way to learn Trust, but this relationship has got to change. It's time for you to let Me carry YOU."
Okay, major vibrations started happening in me at this point like the Truth gong had been banged gustily. I had never thought of it this way. I wondered what that would mean...to let myself be carried by the Holy Spirit (instead of the other way around)? I immediately knew:
Loss of control.
H.S: "Bingo! The mind has told you lies about Me, so you don't Trust me to be good to you...yet."
Just then I noticed this yellow dog off in the distance. A reflexive fear pang jolted me as my "dogs are dangerous" meme was activated. I watched the activation process and noticed how quickly my mind served up the right tape out of the memory bank for "why"...that time when I was 7 that the big dog attacked my dad and me for no reason and I ended up with a wound on my leg. For the last 2 years, however, I've lived with 3 big dogs, including one part wolf, and found out how funny, affectionate, and non-threatening they are...I remembered an early ACIM workbook lesson, "My thoughts are images that I have made."
Fear Dog was probably a quarter of a mile away when he took off at an amazing pace....aimed right for me. "Okay, Fear Dog, do your worst," I said to myself as I kept walking, determined to let the encounter be whatever it would be without resisting it. I told myself, a bit tongue in cheek, that not being bit by a wild dog with large teeth is just one of those pesky "needs/preferences."
Fear Dog never broke his speed, never veered off towards anyone or anything else. He was making a beeline for the only thing out there: Me. I waited for the inevitable. At the last second this Giant Yellow Amazing Angel Dog made the sharpest turn I've ever seen avoiding a head-on collision with my knees, but before it left, it nosed my hand and...yes...kissed me so gently. And then it ran off like a bat out of hell. *poof*
H.S: "You know, it might be just like that with Me...if you would let Me carry you. You could face your fear of Me and maybe, just maybe, I would just care for your every need so gently you would wonder why you were ever afraid of me before."
I hear H.S. but I'm still reeling from my encounter with Amazing Dog. I notice how a part of my mind is saying..."oh you special dog you...come back, you cutey you!" I hear "specialness" as a whisper in my mind, just barely audible above the roar of the relentless Need surf pounding the beach.
H.S. "Keep walking."
I walk and walk and walk. And walk. I'm starting to think I should maybe try to find my hotel, but I'm not sure which one it is. Way off in the distance, I see something, and figure that's got to be it. I keep walking.
I think about how I can actually let the Holy Spirit carry me and what it means to let go of ego needs. I get that they are unquenchable..I just don't know how to live in this world -- illusion or not -- without them. I need food, I need air, I need lots of things.
H.S: "The trick is not to try to be without needs. The point is to assume they've all been met and then let me do the rest."
That thought is quickly brushed away by another: "Man, this hotel is waaaaaaaaay far away! I really don't remember walking this far down the street, but maybe there is a weird angle to this beach or something, I wonder." I also start noticing resentment at H.S. creep in....as in, "if this is your way of guiding me home, it's about like what I expect." I meant that in a bad way.
H.S: "Keep walking."
I get closer to this hotel, and now it looks like it is too big to be mine. I can't wait any longer to find out, so I trudge through the deep sand and up a big dune (in my new, totally inappropriate shoes) and wade around in some tall grasses as I look off to the distance all around me. My target is definitely NOT my hotel, and what's more, I seem to be in a park or something in a very remote location with absolutely no sign of my hotel or the numerous others that are clustered around where I'm staying.
H.S: "Guess you better turn around."
I'm feeling darn right resentful now. "Look," I wail, "this is WHY I don't let you carry me. You have no sense of direction! You just keep me ambling around in circles! You make me look like a fool!"
H.S: "Now we're getting somewhere. This hate/resentment/fear you are feeling for Me..this is good. Now we can really talk. You don't want to look like a fool, I hear you. You are afraid that letting Me carry you will be like you/your life is a big huge balloon up in the air, and I'm the sharp needle that pops you, and then you go flying backwards as you spiral down making that gross farting noise. Right?"
H.S: "Well, what's wrong with that?"
Me: (speechless and rolling my eyes)
Me: (Ok, the farting noise part was pretty funny...*giggle*)
Okay, wait...what IS wrong with that?
A new list of needs came up: I need to be liked, I need to be respected by others, I need to be approved of by friends and family, I need people to understand me, I need to be able to relate with people and have them relate to me. I need to make people comfortable knowing me. I need to help people. I need to "save" people. I need to be a good role model for people and my kids. I need to take care of people. I need to fill other people's needs.
Like a burp, the last one came: I need to pay off some kind of debt to the universe that I can never afford to pay.....
H.S: "Exactly. The ego will keep ensuring that you always feel like you 'owe' the world something you can never ever deliver. That's the flip side of the Need coin...an Ocean of Debt you can never afford to repay."
Wow. I am going to have to think about this one for a while. Lately, I've been told by the projection "out there" that I am not providing all the tangible and intangible things I owe. It seems to have culminated in a Problem that needs to be solved, but maybe I am honing in on the core issue here, and that's because I'm finally getting to a point where I can listen without defending (going into ego) so that I can recognize the ego's voice for what it is, even when it seems to be coming through someone else's mouth. Even better, I also heard that this "relationship has got to change" and now that suddenly seems very true, too. The Holy Spirit was using the same mouth to speak to me about my relationship to Him.
Talk about channeling!
So I walk back, happy to let the walk be as long as it is. What's the problem with a long walk, anyway. Maybe I'm not being led in circles to nowhere....maybe I'm allowing a gradual winding down of my need for control. So what if I'm going backwards half the time and making a gross farting noise? Who is here to offend or please or impress anyway? "Images I have made." That's about it.
The ocean is bluer than it was, the sky is clear, and the sun is out. (Is this the same beach?) It's a long walk back...after what has been close to 3 hours, I'm starting to feel the muscles in my legs getting tired. That actually feels pretty good. I see cute families, cute older couples, cute kids.
A chubby guy with a giant mustached smile, all colorful and hanging loose in purply-colored tiedye, glances up at the lovely sunshine and says, "Can you believe it?" I smile and say, "It's a Miracle!"