Guilt comes up

End of August and beginning of September 2013, around the time when I was treated by the spiritual healer, I hit the guilt layer full force.

According to A Course in Miracles which I had read a couple of years ago, there was first the thought of separation, and that created the thought of guilt. Which in turn created fear.  Which in turn created the universe which features the illusion of separateness of things in time and space. (That’s the root-cause analysis of the human condition in a nutshell according to ACIM and The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard).

In Gary Renard’s book, it was explained that the underlying guilt is unconscious. When I read that, I thought, ‘Guilt? What guilt? I feel like the most innocent person on the planet. After all, I am always making sure that I keep my promises and that I don’t harm anyone.’

Yes …- but the guilt was  unconscious. And therefore I didn’t notice it.

Hitting the guilt layer

It took only a tiny event – I just misbehaved slightly – to make that guilt come up. The tiny triggering event was that I interrupted someone at lunch in mid-sentence. Okay, I that was impolite.

But then, all of a sudden, I didn’t feel guilty just for my slightly impolite misbehavior, but for everything. Oh my God, how could I have been so stupid to assume that I am separate from God? How come I was hooked by that tiny mad idea of separation and had run off into an incarnation with all its physical pain? How come I was so stupid that I had agreed to forget that I was spirit?

And on top of that, I felt guilty because I was so disobedient and didn’t share my story because of fear even though I had been told to.

I was sooo sorry, so full of regret. It gave me a stomach ache.

The feeling of reverence towards the divine was mixed with guilt and remorse and resulted in a new feeling state which was formerly unknown to me.

Even though I did know intellectually that separation had never occurred and therefore guilt was not real, the feeling of guilt in the body was still there. And it was extremely uncomfortable. Since it is so difficult to convey the heaviness of the feeling, I give an example. Imagine how awful you would feel if you just discovered that you had killed your beloved child accidentally with your car in your parking lot. That is how awful it felt for me. It manifested as a strong pain and nausea in the stomach, a pain in the heart and head.

Now I understood why that guilt had become unconscious. It was because it was such an awful feeling that we swiftly invented new layers in order to cover it up. I could witness this in myself.  Together with this guilt the desire for punishment arose. If only I could be punished then my slate would be wiped clean and I wouldn’t have to live with this horrible guilt any longer.

All of a sudden, I could understand why some Christian monks used self-flagellation. Maybe they thought they could trade the horrible emotional pain of guilt with physical pain.

Of course, I understood intellectually that guilt is unreal and therefore punishment is never justified, but my ego would insist on punishment just to get rid of this awful feeling. Silly, isn’t it?

I also pondered how much of my striving for perfection in my life was meant to cover up this feeling of guilt. All this achieving of good grades, striving to not make mistakes and making sure that I act responsibly and always keep my promises. Did I secretly hope that never breaking a promise and never making a mistake in an exam would help me not feel guilty?

Was this the reason for my self-reliance? If I had asked someone for a favor I would have felt guilty because then I owe them something. Maybe this was because  in German we have the same word for debt and guilt – which is ‘Schuld’.

If I didn’t find the right homeopathic remedy for my children, I felt guilty. The responsibility for the health of another person was too much of a weight for me.

I didn’t like to drive a car. I could do it if I had to, but I found it stressful. Was this due to the assumption that if I made a mistake I would be guilty of harming someone else’s life?

And what about the fear of freely expressing my view even if it went against the social norms? It seemed like much of my life so far had been fueled by trying to avoid guilt.

But I was so deeply enmeshed in these feelings that I started to manifest events only a week later. One night I was in bed, feeling horribly guilty and sorry and desiring punishment as a relief. Guess, what happened! All of a sudden, a thunderstorm came, with its center directly above us. Thunder and lightning at the same time. Afterwards, a lot of rain poured down. That was like a metaphor for the divine stern lecture that I had wished for followed by washing off of my sins. Okay, thanks, that was another lesson in ‘you get what you wish for’.

I was overwhelmed by these new emotions. Anger was something I had become used to. That is, I knew how to watch it without suppressing it and without engaging in it either. But guilt and the wish for punishment were totally new to me. As so often on this journey, I was wondering again, ‘Am I still on the right path? Is this normal?’

Communication by patterns: the lid is off

However, the universe found a way to communicate to me that everything is fine. Within one week, two events with a metaphorical meaning occurred. At first, I put a bottle of orange juice into the fridge, but I had to lie it down since there was not enough space in the door of the fridge. Apparently, the lid was not properly closed and all the juice started to drip out slowly  and make a mess in the fridge after a day or so. I cleaned it up, not thinking much about why that had happened.

But then something similar happened. I started brewing coffee with a filter machine. And apparently, I hadn’t closed the lid properly, so the coffee didn’t flow out through the bottom of the filter, but instead the filter would fill up and the coffee would spill out over the top. And make a mess. My husband cleaned it up and told me to close the lid next time.

How strange.

But I had learned to interpret the language of the universe. And this was a communication attempt by a reoccurring pattern. ‘If the lid is off, things start flowing.’ Ok, that makes sense. Thanks for the mess(age). Apparently, the lid from the unconscious guilt had been removed – maybe by the healing session? – and now thing started to flow out.

I think the recent dream about the stolen green labels and the feeling of guilt in that dream had paved the way for this tremendous feeling of guilt.

Suppressed emotions need to become conscious, be felt and acknowledged,  and then we can let them go. That is the way it happens with suppressed stuff. Similar to how it is not useful to put a band-aid around a wound with a splinter in it. It will suppurate. So, first the band-aid must come off. Then the splinter can be removed and the pus will flow out. The process is not blissful and does not look pretty. But only afterwards the wound can heal.

Layers of emotions

I realized that there were layers of emotions. Below the anger about unfair treatment at work, there was not only sadness, but also fear, and then guilt. Amazing! Even though guilt, desire for punishment, and fear are very uncomfortable emotions, I was glad at the same time that I got the chance to trace them back and to witness it all consciously. Like a scientist watches an experiment, or like I would watch my physical reactions after taking a new homeopathic remedy, I watched these unfamiliar emotions, noticed the thoughts, and noticed the areas in the body that would tense up as a consequence of the thoughts.

Guilt as a tool for guidance

I mention the guilt topic  here in the downhill part of my journey which is about guidance and sharing because now I also started to feel very guilty about the fact that I did not obey guidance and did not share my story publicly.

I had managed to suppress this uncomfortable feeling, but it only resulted in physical issues in the throat chakra area. But now after the recent healing session of my breathing issues, I felt the guilt full force.

After all previous nudges and warnings and the breathing trouble had not helped, I think that the feeling of guilt was another way for my guides to get a foot in the door, so to speak. Maybe I would be more willing to comply now in order to get rid of this awful feeling.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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What happened after publishing the previous posts

As a side note, I want to share some observations about what happened while I published the weekly posts about my journey (from January – August 2020):

Rewards
In December 2019 / January 2020, I had noticed that my too high blood pressure would drop every time after I had published a post. Obviously, holding the material back was like building a dam and it was bad for my body. That was when I decided that I would aim for publishing a post about my journey once a week in 2020 – after I had posted nothing for more than two years.

In addition to the reward of better health, my guides congratulated me for making this decision and told me that they appreciated this and wanted to give me a reward for it. I should just tell them what I wanted.

I thought a while about it. I was happy and content with what I had and did not have any big wishes. But because I enjoy yummy food, I said, “Good food! I would love to have something yummy to eat.”

And, lo and behold, it seemed to work out every time.
In the beginning of this year, my husband was the one who did the weekly grocery shopping, and often came back with some unexpected and very welcome treats.

Getting back what I sent out
I wrote these posts about my journey in a book-like format and put them on my blog for free. I noticed that after starting to publish the material in this way, I ‘coincidentally’ came upon several other interesting websites who also had free online books which were published chapter by chapter. Sometimes it was about people’s spiritual journey and sometimes it was channeled material.

It was like a reassurance that it would be okay to put the material out in this form (vs writing an entire book first and then publishing it when it is done).  I was shown that there are others who are also doing it in this way.

And it also meant  I got back what I had sent out.

Does writing about things create reality?
Several times I noticed  that when I had published a post with a certain topic, this same topic would show up in my life in the week after that (in a slightly modified way). For example, after the post about the mess in my kitchen,  I would then drop a raw egg on the kitchen floor in the following week. Or after the post about finding the lost keys, we would need and find another key for my son’s bike lock.

I found it remarkable that the topic of the published post would show up, but  not the topic of the posts I was just writing. The published posts could have been written a couple of weeks before the publication date, but its theme would show up in my life only after the publication date and not while it was being written.

The incidents in the following week were ususally not as emotionally upsetting or exciting as the original material for the blog, but I observed a pattern. And it made me wonder whether I really want to share the more difficult stuff (- I mean, when I write about the Dark Night of the Soul or the frequent kicks in the butt by my guides, will I have to endure this again?)

I think this point and the one above (getting back what I had sent out) is about showing me that the outside mirrors what is going on inside of me. I am consciousness which contains an experience. I am not the person here and then there is people and events on the outside which together make an experience for the person. But I am the experience. And I think that these mirroring experiences are like constant reminders about my true nature.

Video
I was urged by my guides to create a short youtube video about my posts. But I resisted serveral months because I find doing videos awkward (-talking into a lifeless camera lens and looking almost directly into a bright lamp, ugh, I’d rather avoid that) . And besides, I thought it was too early. I mean, marketing is important. I get that. But usually this is done when the book-like project is finished. And mine isn’t finished yet.

So, I resisted and procrastinated. But the guidance would not let me off the hook. The inner voice persistently told me, ‘You will speak. There is no way around this.’
Then I gave in, invested some time into finding the right camera position, lighting, creating and then sort of memorizing a script, and then I did a short (5:40) youtube video and uploaded it end of July 2020.

If you are interested, you can watch it here.

I still don’t know why I had to do the video already at this point in time, but my guides were happy with it and sent me signs of appreciation – and a lot of yummy food.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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Intuition and relaxation

In September 2014, I was sitting in the garden when my older teenage son suddenly started yelling, “Mom, please come immediately!”

I didn’t know where he was inside the house or what had happened. But following an impulse, I grabbed a towel from the table and ran into the kitchen.

There I saw the mess. A yucky looking mixture of dates, water, and soap was distributed all over the walls, window, cupboard , and floor. He had mixed dates and water in the blender and was now trying to clean the blender. Apparently, he had forgotten to put the lid on. The result was visible.

And what did I do?

I burst into laughter and said, “I am so grateful that this wasn’t raspberry puree!”

I helped him clean the mess and thought, that the floor needed a cleaning anyway and that this was the chance to do it now.

I was amazed by two things. First, how did I know that I had to grab the towel since I didn’t know what had happened? Somehow my intuition must have become better. And second, I noticed that I had handled this is a relaxed way.  I was able burst into laughter and stay at peace. Before the inner journey to that peace inside which is always available,  I would probably have yelled and been angry.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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Courage to set boundaries

In February 2014, my boss asked me to take over a programming task of a colleague who would leave our team for the duration of half a year. I had been warned before by the colleague that my boss would ask me.

And my colleague also let me know that the coding was partly object-oriented . That would make the maintenance of the coding much harder because it would be more difficult to understand. Whereas old-fashioned procedural computer programming can be read like a how-to-bake-a-cake recipe, object-oriented coding is more generic and cannot be understood that easily.

There was a bit of a backstory to this request of my boss to take over the coding of my colleague. The first thing was that I was disappointed about how my engagement at work had not been appreciated the way I hoped it would be appreciated. I wrote about it here.

The second thing was that in 2012 my boss had said he could recommend me for a promotion when I would take care of a certain task in 2013. But even though I did the task, there was no mention that I would be promoted in early 2014.

So, when my boss approached me in Feburary 2014 with the request to take over the rather challenging coding of a colleague, I declined. I said it would be too difficult for me to handle because it was partly object-oriented and we had only one day for the handover of a large amount of coding which is too little time, in my opinion.

My boss would not give up easily. He tried to convince me  to agree to do the maintenance of the coding. I should be more flexible. And there would be chances for me. And I should be engaged in development.

But I still refused.

In the end, he warned me that once I was promoted, he would more often demand such tasks of me. And if I would refuse them, then I would be graded as “does not fulfill expectations”.

That was when I lost my calm.

“This promotion is not gonna happen anyway,” I blurted out. “It is just a carrot, forever dangling in front of my nose in order to keep me motivated.”

Now he was upset. He said that this was an allegation and not true. He surely was planning to recommend me for a promotion – at some point in time in the future.

“I have learned to give up the hope that a promotion will ever happen,” I said. “And I will take over only such tasks that will not put me under undue stress. Taking over the maintenance of the colleague’s coding would be too stressful for me. Therefore, I will not do it.”

Finally, he gave in and let me off the hook. He said he would find someone else who would do the task.

***

That encounter was important because I stood up for myself and spoke up courageously and did not let myself be exploited anymore.

I want to note that setting boundaries was not something that has changed for me with awakening. I think I was never the typical people pleaser. I had quite a few situations in my life where I needed to set boundaries even at the cost of upsetting others.  But, still, I bring this story up here, first, because I would like to share how the events at work unfolded. And second, because I want to let you know that having my courage tested was part of the integration part of my spiritual journey.

In the spiritual teachings there is often the talk of ‘no resistance’. But what does that mean? Should we do everything someone asks of us?

I think it does not mean to become a doormat to other people’s wishes. But it is more about having no resistance to one’s inner guidance. It is not about following the boss at work but the boss inside (higher self).

I had come to know how important it is to be in inner peace. And now I had a clear direction, i.e. to remain in inner peace. And doing a task which likely would be very stressful (and felt nearly impossible for me to tackle) just for the sake of pleasing my boss or getting a promotion – this would distract me from the inner peace. And therefore, I rejected it.

About a month after this conversation with my boss, I read a German newspaper article that was like a thumbs up from the universe. A young woman had worked in an internship at a supermarket in Germany for several months. But even though she was doing all the work of a normal employee, she did not get paid at all.

Every month she was told that she needed to work for just one more month without pay – and then they would offer her a position as an apprentice.  The poor woman followed the carrot in front of her nose for eight months always hoping to become an apprentice.

Until she finally woke up and said “Enough!” and filed a lawsuit against the supermarket. She won the case.

I felt like this story was a metaphor for how I had handled work for a long time and that it was time now to say “Enough!”.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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Getting messages from people in dreams

On the integration part of the downhill path, there were not only lessons and tests but also development of heightened intuition. Here, I share two stories where I received messages from people in dreams.

The red-haired woman

I saw an ad about an upcoming African choir concert in our town and made a mental note that I wanted to go there. Then I forgot about it.

But three days before the concert I had a dream. A woman appeared to me and told me that this concert was going to be great.

The woman in the dream had a very peculiar haircut. Reddish, straight, glossy hair down to her shoulders, and she had a pony. Usually I don’t dream with colors. But if there is a color then it means something.

So, I went to this concert, enjoyed it, and wondered all the time, “Who was that woman with this red hair who appeared to me in my dream?” I couldn’t see her.

Then it happened. After the concert was over, a woman went around and distributed flyers for the next upcoming choir event. She had the exact same haircut and face as the woman in my dream! Except that the one in my dream looked twenty years younger than the actual one.

The children’s bike

When my younger son was in kindergarten, he had a little red kid’s bike which he loved and rode frequently.

Then another mom at the same kindergarten was looking to buy a used bike for her daughter. She asked me whether we would sell my son’s red bike.

“No,” I replied, “we can’t sell it yet. He hasn’t outgrown it yet and is still using it a lot.”

One night at the weekend, this woman appeared in my dream. In a very enraged tone of voice, she told me that she had waited long enough and she must have the bike now.

She didn’t come to me personally after the dream to bug me about the bike. But right after the dream, I saw a new request on the notice-board of the kindergarten “Looking to buy kid’s bike”, and the phone number below it seemed familiar.

“Is that your ad on the notice-board?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied, “I am still looking for an affordable bike.”

Ok, even though my son was still riding his bike a lot, I felt that I should offer her to buy it since she had managed to show up in my dream. That was a sign that I felt I should take seriously.

She bought the bike and her daughter was happy. My son was finally ready to ride a bigger bike.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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Two revelations about awareness

In 2012, I had focused my attention back on awareness itself which gave my joy and peace. But still, I wanted to dig deeper. Around June 2013, I was still focused on awareness. If awareness is what I am and if I am at the same time in everything, then I yearned for a clearer experiential understanding of that. How can I experience that I am pure awareness? And what is the connection between the awareness and the visible 3d world?

And as it often happened, such an intense wish had the power to call experiences to me which would answer my urgent questions.

The balloon-skin experience

One day around June 2013, I was waking up slowly in my bed. I felt as mere consciousness. There was nothing in me, not even my body. The strange thing was that I felt expanded. What came to my mind as a metaphor was that it was like the skin of an inflated balloon.

Then, slowly my body , the bed, and the walls of the room would come into my field of awareness. And they appeared to be as if painted on the balloon-like skin of consciousness.

I had read about Ramana Maharshi’s  metaphor that we as awareness are like the screen on which movies are playing. What we are is the changeless movie screen. And the ever-changing bodies are appearing on it. But the screen is untouched by what is appearing on it.

Now, this consciousness-as-balloon-skin experience was somewhat like the movie-screen metaphor. One could probably argue about what the balloon-shape meant. I sensed that it pointed to the fact that the awareness was something which was one dimension higher (3d) than what was ‘painted’ on it (body, bed, wall = 2d) even though that interpretation is not totally consistent with a 2d balloon skin (bent in 3d) and 2d things painted on it (also slightly bent in 3d).

Vast nothingness

The second revelation was preceded by the following dream in June, 2013:
I see a man on a metallic staircase. There is a little boy of maybe 2 years of age, naked with diapers, who is running after the man on the staircase. It appears as if the boy is begging or bothering the man somehow.

Then a second man  comes into the scene and talks to the first man. After that, the first man seems to have made a decision. He says, “Okay, at one time it has to be done. He cannot procrastinate forever.” And with these words, he pushes the little boy down the staircase.

The boy falls down and lands on his diapers. I cringe and think, ‘How cruel! I hope they have used a stunt for this scene.’ I watch as I see a baby tooth and some blood come out of the boy’s mouth. He seems unharmed and says, like in astonishment, “Papa!”.

Interpretation: I was the little boy running after my guide (man no 1). A second guide came in and convinced the first guide to give me what I was begging for. Then my guide made a decision to give me a push to get me to grow up (losing the baby tooth) and to get to see the Father (‘Papa’).

As it turned out, that dream was like an announcement of what was to come.

The next evening, I went to bed and could not breathe properly. I had had one sip of red wine during dinner, and that seemed to cause some allergic reaction in my throat. So, I did my best to try to fall asleep, always thinking that I would suffocate if I relaxed too deeply. So, my state was not totally relaxed, but a strange mixture of alertness and relaxation. I figured later that the red wine and the suffocating sensation were probably necessary for the following experience to occur.

In the middle of the night, I had the experience that I was a point of  consciousness in a vast nothingness. I was conscious, aware, but I had no form, no body (neither the physical nor an astral one). There was no thought in me. And around me, there was huge, black nothingness. Then the thought appeared, ‘Wow, this is so vast!’  And after that, I woke up.

I regard these two experiences together with the awareness-watching-awareness meditation as very important milestones on my spiritual journey.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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Mountaintop

Joy

One important feature of the time on the mountain top was joy. My heart was singing. This awareness watching awareness meditation led me to a profound joy. And the best thing was that it didn’t depend on anything external. It was there without any reason for it. Unconditionally.

What had changed since my emotional turmoil about the work? I had come to accept that I could not change my angry thoughts. All I could do was to ignore them and turn my attention to something else.

I had lost my fear of the listlessness at work. Before, I was so sure that giving up my engagement would lead to depression. But that hadn’t happened. Neither did the sky  fall down just because I had a more laid-back attitude. Everything that was important was taken care of – either by me or by someone else.

Stag symbol

Remember the dream on Jan 1st, 2010 with the fork in the road, where the left road led past a dead stag to the seashore, and the right road led to a volcano? Here is a follow-up story to that.

In August 2012, we were on a vacation by the sea. We had rented a lovely house, and when I walked to my bed in the bedroom, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw what was on the carpet which was just at the side of my bed: among other ornaments, there was a stag!

There it was again. The combination of stag and the seashore. I took this as a sign that, while I had taken the road to the unsurmountable volcano in the dream, now I had taken the proper road – the one with the stag and the seashore. That was like a confirmation that the inner work I had done with forgiveness and getting into inner peace had been fruitful and would lead me to freedom.

Urge to journal

On the mountaintop, one of the first things I noticed was that the urge to journal took off big time. While before, I used to write only a handful of journal entries per month, since mid of May 2012 I would journal almost daily. Obsessively. Dreams of the previous night, synchronicities, things I was angry about, and things I was pondering about, things I was grateful for, and miracles. Everything. It was like only writing it down would let me mentally digest everything that showed up in my life.

Urge to share 

August 2012. One day during our summer vacation, I relaxed in the bathtub. Above the bathtub in the ceiling, there was a roof window which was slightly opened.

As I relaxed and enjoyed the bath, I had the thought, ‘I will not stop before I see that God is in all things. And when I have found that, then I will walk around and share that God is in all things.’

Just after thinking this thought, a little feather came sailing through the maybe three-inch-wide opening in the roof window. In amazement, I watched as it floated down slowly and landed in the bathtub.

I took that as a sign that the thought I just had was heard and appreciated.

Later, when I was pushed to share and often resisted it so much, I often thought back to this moment in the bathtub. Was this the moment when I signed some contract?

Urge to declutter

In September 2012, right after the vacation, I felt an intense urge to get rid of everything in our house which was superfluous. So, I went into an intense decluttering phase. It was more like an obsessive-compulsive decluttering diarrhea. For about ten weeks in a row, I would obsess over getting rid of stuff in the entire house. Clothing, kitchen items, books, CDs, the children’s toys – no stone was left unturned.

After I had gone like a tornado through the entire house, I discovered that there were some things that I used to like but that I had long forgotten about. I used to write and to draw and paint.

The decluttering was like clearing away all the gravel from a huge mountain, and eventually I would find a handful of sparkling gems that were dear to me.

And something else happened in connection to that decluttering phase.

At work, our mail server was restructured. After that upgrade, my emails of the last 30 days were lost.

Fortunately, I had already read all of them and there were no action items left. But still, I wanted to keep them just for the record.

My initial reaction was self-righteous upset. “Oh boy, they messed it up!”

Of course, I asked whether the emails could be restored. But somehow that wasn’t possible without unwanted side effects.

Then I became quiet.

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) teaches to turn within and ask, ‘How can I see this differently?’

Lately, that translates for me into, ‘How the heck have I manifested that one?’

Suddenly, it dawned on me.

This was connected to my obsessive decluttering phase. The universe merely seemed to say, “You like to throw things away? Let me see how I can help you.” And with a mischievous grin it cleaned away my emails, too.

I became quiet and didn’t get upset, knowing that I had called this issue into my experience.

Four weeks later and without any further action from my side, the lost emails suddenly reappeared.

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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Arrival at the mountaintop: awareness watching awareness

On my spiritual journey, I had gone a slow and winding road uphill, with turning points from rheumatoid arthritis to homeopathy, from overwhelm to spirituality, and from anger to acceptance.

My worldview had shifted a great deal. And through acceptance of the situation at work, I had arrived at a certain level of inner peace.

But letting go of my expectations about rewards at work was not the only thing that helped me to arrive at inner peace. Another important piece of inner peace was that I came to see myself as awareness. Since about the beginning of 2012, I had done a certain type of meditation, called ‘awareness watching awareness’. In my meditation practice, I turned the focus of attention 180 degrees inwards and looked back at that which is looking.  That is where our connection to Source is. And I found not only peace but also joy there.

I wrote about the meditation method and what it felt like for me in the post
Describing the ineffable.

So, I did that awareness watching awareness meditation, and it made me feel peaceful and joyful. Using the metaphor of the hike, it led me on a steep and direct path to that which I regard as the mountaintop of my journey.

Why do I place this at the mountaintop? The spiritual journey goes inwards and then outwards again (as in going out into life and interacting with the world again). And for me, looking back at awareness itself was the most inwards point on that journey.
In the hike-metaphor, I do not picture the journey as inwards and outwards, but instead as up to the mountaintop (=inwards) and then downhill again (=outwards). And at the top, I found a lake. Looking back at awareness is depicted as looking back at myself in the mirror of the lake.

Mirror_lake_2

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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From anger to acceptance (part 4/4): letting go

It had been 2 years now since I heard that I would not get a promotion at work. Two years of anger –  and now I was ready to let go.

Relax

July 2011. I was in my cozy bed, slowly waking up, when suddenly letters came into my mind. WYTAR, all capitalized.

WTF??

Confused I asked what this meant. It wasn’t any word that I could identify.

After some pondering, I decided that because the letters were capitalized, maybe it was an abbreviation? But for what?

Then the thoughts came that it could mean, ‘Watch your thoughts and relax.’
Or ‘Wipe your thoughts away, relax.’

It sounded like an attempt from my guidance to communicate with me. And since I was not trained to listen to their words, they had to use an abbreviation to get their foot in the door.

Giving up at work

I had finally made peace with the fact that I would not get a promotion. I still did all the work as before. But I was not attached to the promotion anymore.

Journal entry of Sept 9, 2011:

I have given up at work. It feels as if I get no appreciation. Not for programming. Not for my cooperation with the other department.

I feel resigned and a kind of relaxation. Pleasantly quiet. Listless and apathetic. I don’t care anymore.

Whether I spend an entire week to do a PC upgrade or whether I do something more ‘useful’, it doesn’t matter. It’s all like occupational therapy anyway.

When the world is just a dream, why should I be engaged? What’s the point of it all?

The only important thing that counts is waking up. Getting out of the dream.

And somehow things fall into place now.
Those projects where I didn’t want to participate are either canceled or staffed with other people. These are all gifts from the universe. My older child is about to stop singing in the choir, just in time so that I don’t have to do the dreaded task of having to sew a costume for their musical performance.

Maybe my state of relaxed listlessness is quite a good thing.

Gimme!  Gimme! Gimme!

Nov 4, 2011. In my mind, I heard the song Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! by ABBA.

I looked up the lyrics and thought, ‘Yeah, please give me someone to take me through the dark night.’

By giving up the attachment to a promotion, I had on the one hand gained some inner peace. But on the other hand, I also felt  listless and apathetic. My usual passion and engagement was gone. A bit like a dark night of the soul. And I wondered who was going to come along and take me through that dark night?

ACIM workbook start

Even though I had read the textbook part of A Course in Miracles a while ago, I could not make up my mind to start the lessons in the workbook.

But on date 11.11.11, I eventually started the lessons.

Maybe it was Jesus and his words in ACIM that were meant to help me through the dark night of the soul?

Inner discussions

It was not like detaching from a promotion and doing the lessons in the ACIM workbook would immediately work wonders for my emotional turmoil. Rather, I was still in constant inner discussions.

What was the solution?

Should I rather work as project lead because that was more rewarded than doing coding development even though I did not like the work as a project lead?

Nah. Career was not that important to me that I would force myself to work in a role that was not fun for me.

Or should I drop my engagement?

That would mean I would have to give up the programming which was so deeply satisfying. I feared that I would become depressed if I did that.

Or maybe I could  continue to work with passion and engagement like before even if I would never get a reward for it?

That sounded like it would be the ‘spiritually correct’ choice. To do the work that was fun and give a damn about whether it was rewarded or not. And also to do selfless service. I thought that I had to try to choose that path. And I tried. But every time I attempted to work like before, the anger would bubble up again, ‘It will not be rewarded. That is unfair. I feel exploited. I am angry.’ So, that path did not work for me either.

Maybe I should leave the company?

Well, I needed the money. Just dropping everything here with no idea what else to do would put me into fear because I would have lost my regular income.

Or maybe I should at least change the department?

Good idea. But hard to do because I was working part-time. Besides, I figured that the problem of anger about too little appreciation would follow me around wherever I went.

No. I would stay and find out what happened.

It was now more than 2 years after my colleague had let me in on the secret that a functional career path did not exist here. And I my mind was still running in circles.

 

New salary group

End of January 2012, because of a new rule in our company, I was placed into a higher salary group. That would allow for more pay raise than in my previous salary group for the next years. Woohoo!

That was one of the gifts by the universe after I had started to let go and make peace with the situation at work and after I had started the workbook lessons of ACIM. And many more gifts would pour in later.

This is a pattern that I have experienced over and over again on this journey. Whenever I manage to come to a state of inner peace about a troubling situation, then things will change for the better.

Layers of emotion and an experiment

I had noticed that my emotions came in layers. I would stay with an emotion until it dissolved, but then some new emotion would show up underneath.

Below the anger was sadness. Sadness, because I felt worthless when didn’t get the appreciation that I felt I deserved.

And below the sadness, there was anxiety. Like a diffuse fear about an unknown cause. I wondered where it came from. Maybe it was a fear of the dissolution of my known sense of self or a fear of being non-existent?

Also, I was afraid that I would fall into a depression when I followed this route of detachment towards work. I was afraid that I would fall into a nihilistic hole with apathy, listlessness, and an overall feeling of meaninglessness.

I decided to make an experiment. What would happen when I let myself fall into detachment?

Depression? Or inner peace?

I was curious.

Inner peace

By end of March, 2012, I had stopped doing ACIM lessons (- I got only till around lesson 100 (of a total of 365 lessons)). Instead, I had discovered the Raj material (Raj aka Jesus channeled by Paul N. Tuttle) and devoured the transscripts of the gatherings (informal Q&A sessions).

My state of mind was peaceful, blissful, and very detached from work and any of my usual concerns. Listless, without any motivation to do anything, but peaceful.

Nothing mattered.
I would never get a promotion – okay, never mind.
Our house needed to be cleaned – that didn’t matter.
My child wouldn’t do his homework – but I didn’t care.

Now, let me clarify this. It wasn’t as if everything went down the drain. Somehow the basic important things were done – at work as well as at home. It was just that I didn’t invest that extra struggle or control that I would have invested previously.

Also I want to clarify that merely detaching from the promotion was not the end of letting go. There was more letting go to be done later on the path.

After I had detached from the goal to get a promotion, I felt the imbalance between the effort that I put into my work and the reward. I mean I could accept that there is no promotion. But doing all the work as before with the same amount of passion and the same amount of responsibility and stress? Well, that was an entirely different thing to let go of and would come much later in the journey. And finding forgiveness and  letting go of resentment and grudges was yet another process.

Is it okay to be detached and peaceful?

But I wondered: Was it okay to be that detached and peaceful? Wasn’t I overdoing it when I didn’t care about my normal duties?

Then synchronisticly, I came upon a Raj channeling where someone asked whether it was okay to feel listless for a longer time.

And Raj’s answer was, yes, one could compare it to a symphony where the violas have a long break of several dozens of bars. The symphony was designed this way that the violas have a break. They didn’t need to feel guilty for their lack of involvement.

I was in awe that my request was answered so promptly and took the metaphor with the violas as a sign that the forces behind the veil were approving my new state of mind.

***

Using the metaphor of a hike for my spiritual journey, the winding road uphill had become rocky again due to the anger at work.

During the rocky time, I took a leap of faith over an abyss when I bravely managed to get off the allopathic meds (see previous post).

I was shown with much stick-and-carrot-guidance that anger would give rise to undesirable results and inner peace would result in miracles.

On my uphill path, I had reached another turning point when I managed to let go of the need for a promotion and came to inner peace about the situation. I was as if I had thrown a heavy rock out of my backpack. I was now walking uphill with much lighter baggage.

Anger_letting_go_3

 

 

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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From anger to acceptance (part 3/4): with stick and carrot

During this journey from anger to inner peace, it was remarkable how the universe supported the process with stick and carrot.

Here are some examples of the universe’s teaching Methods ( – and when I write ‘universe’ I refer to the invisible force behind the veil; God, Source, Holy Spirit, Higher Self, spirit guides):

Electrical appliances break down

After that first warning, several weird things with electrical appliances occurred.

When I was upset, light bulbs in my room would suddenly burn out.

Or one day when I was in major inner turmoil, my freezer stopped working with a weird unknown error code. Until we noticed the issue, all the food inside was spoiled and we had to throw it away. This would happen several times and it always coincided with me feeling severely off balance. It occurred so often that whenever I got terribly upset, I would always go into the basement and check whether our freezer was still working.

On another day in November 2010, I felt overwhelmed by the requests from society (kindergarten teachers, neighbors, parents, teachers…) and I thought, ‘Oh, leave me all alone! Don’t bug me with your requests of what I should do for you. Just stay all away from me!’

And what happened?

The fuse of the doorbell burned through!  It had to be replaced. Hahaha!

That was a great answer from the universe. I wanted to be left alone, and if the doorbell cannot ring anymore then nobody can come in – and I will get my wish fulfilled. Thanks a lot to the forces behind the veil. Very funny!

Another story: Once, I got really upset about the behavior of someone. In this emotional state of sudden intense anger, I entered an elevator.

Guess what, the elevator didn’t work. It didn’t even manage to shut the doors. So, I took the stairs up and I wondered again, ‘Oops! Was that caused by me? Really? Weird…..’

I wondered whether I was going nuts. Who else had experienced such strange things?

Then I heard about a woman who would cause local area networks for the entire neighborhood to fail if she was in a crisis. The people who were called to repair it could never find any physical cause for the failure. It was just that if she was in a mental crisis, then the LAN would fail – that happened several times.  It was comforting to know that I was not alone with this weird behavior of the universe.

From some people, I received first-hand accounts about similar experiences in case of feeling severely upset. These include light bulbs at home burning out very frequently (every other week in the same room), burning out of an electric outlet, street lamps suddenly going dark when the person walks by, and a pause button of a CD player which would only work when the person was not in a stressed mood.

The influence on electronics seems to be common among people who had a near-death experience. For some of them, light bulbs and other electrical things were affected not only during anger, but also during a strong positive emotion.

Even though not everyone at the beginning of the spiritual path does have these experiences, I think that they might be far more common than I had assumed.

I regarded these events as little slaps on the wrist by the universe telling me to pay attention to my emotional state. ‘Hey, did you notice that you are off balance? You better watch your inner peace! ‘

Two screws loose

One day in April 2011, I was in the kitchen running the usual inner rant in my mind about how unfairly I had been treated, when suddenly two screws in the kitchen came off at the same time. One under the sink and the other one from a door.

It was such an unlikely event that I interpreted it as a message. It seemed like I was admonished, “If you stay stuck in anger, you have a screw loose. And not only one, but two!

Plants perish

I noticed that the herb plants in my kitchen would perish very fast when I engaged in angry thoughts while preparing dinner. I wondered what a bad quality the basil in the pot was nowadays. Always, the stem would become black at first at the lower part and then the whole plant would go bad in a week or so.

But when my mood changed eventually, then also the basil plant would stay fresh many weeks longer.

Something else I realized about these stick teaching methods is that they became stricter and stricter as I progressed on the spiritual path. At first, the weird events would only happen if I was really angry for a long time. But later, they would happen even if I was in a slightly stressed state of mind.

***

While it became clear to me that my anger would cause all sorts of turmoil in my surroundings, I was shown that inner peace would allow for miracles.

Calamari

I was taking a walk close to a Spanish restaurant where we had eaten a while ago. Suddenly the thought crossed my mind, ‘Oh, these deep fried calamari in this restaurant– how yummy! I wish I could have them again!’

But I did not talk about this wish to anyone.

Just a few days later, my husband went shopping and bought frozen deep fried calamari for the oven.  I hadn’t told him to and it is not an item we would usually buy. They were just on offer in the supermarket and he followed the nudge to get them.

I found it amazing, how fast this wish was fulfilled.

The trashbag story

Around Easter 2011, when my little kids were out of the house for a week, I was cleaning out their rooms, collecting old toys that they would not need anymore (- well, that I had decided they would not need anymore).

I collected many small transparent trash bags full of old and broken toys. But unfortunately, it was too much for our garbage bin outside. So, I had to store the transparent trash bags in the basement.

Then I thought, ‘Oh, it would be so useful to have one of these large heavy-duty drawstring trash bags, which are opaque, in order to hide the old toys, so that my children cannot see them when they come home.’ I was afraid they would l start lengthy discussions about whether these things can be thrown away or not.

That was just a thought. But we didn’t have any of these large opaque trash bags at that time and I did not consider buying any.

Two days later, when I got home from work, I saw some strange plastic lying in front of our garden door. I looked closer wondering what that was. And it was a large opaque drawstring trash bag, arriving just in time so I could continue with my toy-clearing work the next day.

Wow! I was so amazed at how this worked. This sure seemed like a very strange synchronicity. Too strange to be just some random coincidence.

I had come to realize that anger seemed to cause all kinds of strange turmoil. And on the other hand, inner peace attracted miracles. It felt as if the process of coming into inner peace was supported with stick and carrot.

 

Getting off the prescription drugs

Something else that occurred during this time period  was that I was able to get off the prescription drugs for my rheumatoid arthritis. In April 2010, after I had an acute illness with a couple of days of high fever (-it was the swine flu), my rheumatoid arthritis got much better.

I thought that this was the once-in-a-lifetime chance to get off the allopathic medicine. And in a courageous  attempt, I reduced the dose of cortisone and sulfasalazine even further. Each reduction would always result in a backlash of increased inflammation a few days later, and that’s why I could only try this reduction at that time where I had almost no RA symptoms.

I managed to reduce the dose down to zero in April 2010 and suffered through heightened inflammation with much pain in May 2010. But I didn’t give in to the temptation to start with cortisone again. Luckily, the inflammation lessened eventually to a lower level.

I found it remarkable that the much-feared swine flu had such a positive effect for me in the end. Yes, the fever was exhausting. But afterwards the RA was so much better that I was able to get off the prescriptions drugs. I am not sure I would have dared to get off the meds otherwise. And since then, I am able to rely on homeopathy for the treatment of my RA.

 

***

This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).

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