On the evening of Day 4 Frances held a spontaneous teaching session. At one point near the end of this talk I asked a question which she did not have a response for.
And as innocent as that may sound it triggered a chain of dark thoughts and reactions in me. Suddenly I started believing that Frances hated me and did not want me here and I had nothing to offer in terms of support at this retreat. I convinced myself that every retreatant here must have lost all respect for me as well. The overriding feeling was shame. I felt so intensely ashamed of myself and in that state the only solution this frantic mind could come up with was to run. And suddenly it was simple. I have so few belongings it would take just a few minutes to throw them in a car and be gone, no need to see anyone here ever again.
Well there were a few snags to this ingenious plan my frightened little self had come up with. I am staying in a remote part of Australia, (for those of you who know of the monastery in Utah, Yowrie is similar in its remoteness), it was dark, cold, and…..drumroll…..I did not have a car! LOL! Well it seems funny now but I was not laughing at that point.
A right-minded thought flashed through my terror stricken mind. “I will talk to Frances.” This was immediately drowned out with, “What would she want to talk with you for now? She has just been talking to everyone. And she hates you anyway.”
Well despite all that the option of talking with her seemed like my best one. The alternatives seemed horrible. So I went to her room and told her what was going on in my mind. I told her of the shame I was feeling and how I wanted to run. She asked me if I wanted authentic healing or a quick fix.
Running was obviously the quick fix. In a few minutes with her she helped me to see that nothing had gone wrong. A deep, intense feeling of shame was simply up in my awareness for healing. By just allowing it fully it would heal. It took but a moment to join her in certainty and strength. The dark and frightened little self was gone.
I went back to my van and prayed. When I awoke the next morning I felt fresh and new…..like the nightmare had never even happened! And I felt such pristine peace of mind throughout the day. I had opportunities to offer massages and give a one-on-one to a retreatant. I recall there are several occasions in ACIM when Jesus describes the intensity that can arise on this path. He urges us not to run because unbeknownst to us the healing, the breakthrough is so so close at hand. It’s not what we think. It’s never what we think. The intensity of emotions such as rage, shame, terror are all indicators of a deep and ever present love that is right there just waiting to burst through. So…..let it! Let it be that simple.
In love and gratitude,