Breaking Attachment to Anxiety, Fear, and Struggle
Meditation – Tuesday
Pause and Consider: Breaking Attachment to Anxiety, Fear, and Struggle
I did my daily review, catching many points of anxiety, fear, even points of anger sprinkled into my otherwise pretty-good-day yesterday. Although the day felt solid, even inspiring at times, why was I pulled off center, pulled away from what holds meaning for me?
Focusing Statement 1: Pathwork Lecture 131 Interaction Between Expression and Impression; ¶28A
Reorientation of negative, destructive consciousness can take place only after you understand that there is an inner struggle against a nonexistent problem and that struggle is finally given up.
So I went through my points of anxiety. There were times where I thought I had to be more prepared, more competent than I felt I was. Was that really true? The meetings for which I felt I needed to be more prepared went well – I was able to contribute. And I squeezed in a couple of hours of preparation that ended up being sufficient. Perfect example of a non-problem problem.
I was the only board member that did not go to a company party, and this was pointed out to me. I felt a tinge of guilt – the old “Gary, you should have gone to the party!” voice. Was this true? Not at all – while I could have made the party, partying isn’t my priority, does not nurture me and I sense does not nurture the others. I am just not on the same page as others, and that is perfectly OK. In truth, I am free to be me. It is fine to skip the party.
Then there was a place where I felt my competitiveness come up – jealousy even. Boy do I push that down and try to deny it. But when I look at my jealousy I see it is totally unnecessary! I can celebrate the other person’s success.
In another incident I felt that I had to make things go smoothly for another. Oh really? In the end, the other actually thanked me for what I had done and did not at all take for granted that I would handle the transaction we were in with a third party. More non-problem problems. And so it went – preparing for meetings coming up over the next few days, getting taxes in – all needlessly pulling me off my Center, my Essence.
So this is my negative, destructive consciousness flailing about taking me into anxiety and fear– spoiling what could have been a most wonderful day. And I get that this is my inner struggle against non-existent problems. So I ask myself, “Am I able to give up this struggle against nonexistent problems?” Is it just that easy to “snap out of it”? My mind says, “Sure, why not?”
My mind turns once again to those most helpful words of Pathwork Lecture 203 that speak about anticipating struggles and anticipating how, specifically, Pride, Self-Will, and Fear will show up for me when these struggles come upon me. How can I maintain my dignity and yet be humble without going to Pride’s arrogance or collapse into humiliation if I can’t be superior. Good stuff. This could easily be applied to my non-problem problems.
Yet can I just “Snap Out Of It!” that easily? I see something underneath all this anxiety and fear, namely that something deep inside of me is drawn to being in a state of anxiety and fear, a place where I am somehow more comfortable and familiar with these aspects of life, with this stance in life. It is as if I think I ought to be in a state of anxiety and fear, that being anxious and fearful is being in truth. Of course this is a carry over from being taught so fiercely about original sin and being “a poor miserable sinner.” I hold the image, the wrong belief, that when I am free of anxiety and fear I must not be in truth. If I were in Truth, I would be in terror! Yes, a part of me believes just this!
Let me express this in other ways to really get it. My image is that I am fundamentally flawed, so when I feel great I must be in illusion! I do not seek Truth out of fear that Truth would bring out more feelings of fear and anxiety! I see that I have not, on a felt sense level, come to Know the benign (well-wishing) nature of God and the Cosmos. I see that on a deeply felt level in my cells I do not Know that there is the Sun behind the clouds I face every day. So, Gary, sit with this Truth that indeed the Sun does exist behind the clouds AND the Sun wants my happiness. If I were in Truth I would be HAPPY, not in terror, fear, and anxiety!
So I empty out the untruth about the unfriendliness of the Cosmos, the punishing nature of God. In this understanding that my struggle against life, my persistent fear and anxiety in life, is my response to a nonexistent problem (nonexistent because God does love me and wants me happy in the strongest way, and gives me the tools to clear away the untruth, the images and misconceptions), I can choose to give it up. I then go to Step 7 and fill my now empty self up with the Truth of God’s love and desire for my happiness. Whew! So here again is the chart that summarizes this lecture for me (click to open):
Whenever you come to this understanding, the second type of impressing [Step 7] is necessary. Without it, the understanding fades away after a while and your old, habit-bound emotions revert to their fearfulness of long standing, in blind automatism. Only knowing the truth will prevent this. To know the truth, you must fill the now empty vessel with truth, so as to prevent its being refilled with untruth.
Is this a clear reinforcement of my understanding of this material or not! It is so inspiring for me when the lecture or other material reinforces what I have just realized for myself.
More words come. God, the Cosmos, wants me, wants all of us, to be happy in all areas of life. For me in particular, this means happy in my relationship with Pat, with God, and with all others. God gives me the tools, the Pathwork tools and other tools, that I can use to make myself happy. Tools like Daily Review, like the many pages of teaching. It is my job to use the tools as appropriate for my psyche’s particular needs. I am not to abdicate self responsibility and, as a child, cling to the belief that authority, including God or Jesus Christ, will bypass Spiritual Laws of Cause and Effect so that I do not have to grow up into healthy adulthood of self responsibility. Yes, Gary, this is about growing up.
As I sit with this I see that another image I have is that I cannot be happy unless I am struggling. So this is another image to drop off as untrue. God does not want me to struggle but to surrender.
I feel such relief in taking one more step in breaking my attachment to anxiety, fear and struggle. And again, what is my struggle? I struggle to be competent, mature, and right. This struggle to be competent, mature, and right is not God’s desire for me. God wants me to be happy even in my temporary struggles brought on by my immaturity and misconceptions – and again gives me the tools – including Pathwork and other teachings and practices, Pat, and other friends.
So there is another practice that I can use, well rather it is the daily review practice. It is the practice of looking at what is right in front of my face. As I work with what is right in front of my face, the untruths, the images, the clouds if you please, dissolve and the Sun comes out. And I awake into Happiness.
These words are once again repetitive, paradoxical, and often redundant. It seems that is the nature of such Truths – until, eventually, the skies become clear.
Shared in love, Gary