1) The ego’s path never works out - always a dead end.
2) The path of being present with “what is” always works out even if you can’t see how in the beginning.
3) When forward movement is thwarted, the ego feels like it’s in prison, but your true presence recognizes it as a safe cocoon!
I realize this title about obstacles having an “up side” might sound a little cliche, but it sure is true and we need to dive into this. The other day a presidential candidate was being interviewed and was asked,”But what about the obstacles on the path?” The surprisingly wise response was, without hesitation, “The obstacles are the path.” More wisdom than I expected under the circumstances. Obstacles are basically so named when we’re not getting our ego way. We are reminded by all wisdom teachings that getting our ego way is doomed to failure. (For those of you who are ACIM students, I recommend you read the section entitled "The Real Alternative” in Chapter 31 to immerse yourself in the truth of this.) As an example, it reminds us, as it speaks of the pathways of the world, “Their end is certain, for their is not choice among them. All of them will lead to death. On some you travel gaily for a while, before the bleakness enters. And on some the thorns are felt at once. The choice is not what will the ending be, but when it comes.” We’ll call all that striving to attain ego goals the horizontal path. And when facing that obstacle that seems to keep us stuck, we might say it feels like being in prison.
Now, the good news. Once you realize the truth that trying to get your ego’s way is never going to work out as you hope, you gradually shift to a vertical path, one where your goal changes to being present where you are - to healing, to being truly helpful, to offering your gifts, to ending the judgment. Then, when your “forward movement” seems to be stymied, you can recognize that you are not in a prison after all, but in a safe cocoon where you are kindly and safely being schooled to live in the present, the most beautiful way of being. In all traditions, this is referred to as surrender, to renunciation (of the ego directive) and always the highest goal. Not to be a martyr or miss out on the “good things,” but to experience your own glorious nature. It should be obvious you can’t be on both paths at the same time and trying to alternate is crazy-making. So choose wisely and allow yourself to be guided, sustained, and trust your presence in all things. It knows and your ego does not. So thank goodness there is a curb on our egos, and we, like the caterpillar can wisely stay confined in our own cocoons in order for the transformation into gorgeous butterflies to take place!
Stay present, pay attention, enjoy this day!
Love to all,
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