Miracles News

July-September, 2013

Anxiety’s Crafty Compadre

by Rev. Andrea Sassa, O.M.C.

Rev. Andrea Sassa In the last Miracles News issue, April-June, 2013, I shared how Spirit guided me from living in days driven by task-lists to being in days guided by Spirit’s creative flow. In Spirit’s flow, my ego’s driving anxiety to maintain and complete those lists was gone, or so I thought. After surrendering “lists” to Spirit, that ego-mind of mine revealed just how crafty it is at trying to keep anxiety in my life.

I live in the mountains outside the city of Santa Fe in New Mexico. I regularly hike with my dog Bella on the lovely trails around our home. On these hikes, I started paying mindful attention to my thoughts. I observed my mind spending a little time noticing nature’s magnificence in the trees, rocks, and sky or feeling the wind or sunshine on my skin, maybe savoring the sweet smell of pinon and juniper berries. But, what I observed most often was my mind going into thought-loops that brought anxiety right back into my days.

My crafty ego-mind entered a thought-loop by focusing on a situation that it perceived created conflict with another person or with myself. There was the unhappy neighbor because Bella chased his car on our rural roads. My step-daughter who was ignoring me because I set boundaries requiring her to be responsible for her behavior. My crankiness with myself because I was not making time to turn my creative ideas into short stories.

I watched my ego-mind strategize how to defend itself in each situation. It planned and rehearsed what I would say if “he” said this or “she” said that or if “I” would just do this. Instead of refreshing myself on the hikes, I fatigued myself. I held the door wide open to the anxiety I thought I relinquished and said, “Please, hurry, come right back on in!”

Spirit tells us in A Course in Miracles that, “Problems are not specific but they take specific forms, and these specific shapes make up the world. And no one understands the nature of [her] problem. If [she] did, it would be there no more for [her] to see. Its very nature is that it is not.” (T-27.V.8.1-4) (Emphasis in original) (Italics added) “Now you are being shown that you can escape. All that is needed is you look upon the problem as it is, and not the way that you have set it up.” (T-27.VII.2.1-2 Emphasis in original, Italics added) 

Spirit led me to shifting my perception of these perceived conflicts by showing me, yet again!, how craftily my ego-mind was imposing separation on the world and denying the unalterable truth of Oneness — my Oneness with my sisters and brothers and my Oneness with Spirit. My perception that conflict existed with the neighbor, my step-daughter, or with myself arose when I decided I needed to defend against “attacks.” I rose to defend only because I decided “attacks” even existed. I created at-War-ment in each situation which inevitably ushered anxiety right back into my days.

With Spirit’s grace-filled guidance, I softly returned to Peace by remembering, “There is nothing you could attack that is not part of you. And by attacking it you make two illusions of yourself, in conflict with each other. And this occurs whenever you look upon anything that God created with anything but love.” (T-23.I.8.1-5 Italics added) For, llusion meets illusion; truth, itself. The meeting of illusions leads to war. Peace, looking on itself, extends itself. … Where one abides the other cannot be; where either goes the other disappears. For …far beyond [any] senseless war [Spirit’s Oneness] shines, ready to be remembered when you side with peace.” (T-23.I.12 Italics added)

Whether the “problem” appeared to be a supposed conflict with another person or a never ending task-list, the effect was the same — I was consumed in anxiety and separated from the unalterable Peace of Oneness. Thankfully, I am learning not to be harsh with my ego-mind when I discover it at work; that would only reinforce it. Instead, I love it, bless it, and thank it. Because through a curious mystery that I cannot claim to understand, by gently observing and then blessing my ego’s insanity I get closer to knowing Spirit — the living God that I am — and rest more often in Peace.

Rev. Andrea Sassa, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light minister and Reiki Master Teacher living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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