This is the final part of the case study I entitled Choosing Pain and Betrayal.
Our wounds and scars only tell us where we have been, not where we are going. It is up to you to interpret your experience. You decide whether those experiences will now define your life or will be placed far behind you as an unfortunate event that you survived and learned some helpful life lessons from. For Trish, the wounds her mother inflicted upon her as a young child leaving her neglected while she drank, did drugs and “entertained” different men every night, left a lasting impression. These impressions became the core of a dis-empowered self image that told her she was unlovable, inadequate and should always be ready for her partner to betray her. She watched intently as her mother taught her an insane strategy based her her negative self worth: hurt them before they hurt you !
Trish got entangled in the web of fear, self-hatred, guilt, anger and desperation which her mother spun. Little did she know ALL of the strategies and attitudes the one and only caring adult in her life shared with her only let to suffering, sabotage, betrayal and substance abuse. Yet wanting to survive and having only her mother to model, she established for herself a life filled with pain, broken relationships, substance abuse and terror of living a life of loneliness. She learned to hurt “them” before they hurt and discarded her. She betrayed first herself and then her partner over and over to be so filled with guilt her projection and fear sabotaged any chance she had for a loving relationship.
Yet, her lifetime of poor choices which included her new husband was really giving her an opportunity to pay close attention to her inner world to acknowledge the changes that needed to be made deep inside. Now, finally in touch with the underlying cause of her issues she had the opportunity to pull the roots of these deadly weeds and replace them with healthy seeds of beautiful flower, fruit trees and the like. It was time to stop playing the victim and staying trapped in a sad story of scarcity and neediness and to open the heart and mind to the space of love, peace and pure, free, forever!
The drama of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling provides us all a great opportunity for learning how to heal when choosing love and forgiveness. This is an essential element in the FICAM training process,
The provocative statement of Jesus may provide a good introduction; â€˜Let he that is without sin among you cast the first stoneâ€ John 8:7 reveals what the A Course in Miracles. ACIM, shares (a core of what FICAM teaches and uses in our work) â€œAny concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame is justifiedâ€ The result is a lesson in blame not in forgiveness and love which is our path to freedom and peace.
The ego has of a divisive and murderous nature. It obtains satisfaction from causing chaos and conflict as it obeys its masters of sin, guilt and fear. Based on the erroneous belief of separation from the Oneness of God, Love and Truth, the ego strives to maintain its illusions. To the ego forgiveness, love and truth are its enemies and must be avoided at all costs. Secretly the ego dedicates its thoughts and actions to death being itself the antithesis of Life. Death means the destruction of your rightful place as a holy innocent child of God whose spiritual essence is replaced by a physical essence. The egos apparent repulsion of pain and guilt is really its’ attraction to it as it needs to convince the Knower of the mind that it is what it isnâ€™t! Itâ€™s attacking thoughts and actions distract you from the egoâ€™s false self lies to avoid being exposed as the great imposter. The ego will declare thatâ€™s its actions are justifiable as punishment is the price one must pay for sinning. Being exiled and excluded from the Oneness is vital or else the real underlying reason for these actions will be revealed. This is called projection. Projection is the egos attempt to distract you from looking within to ensure it avoids the layers of guilt it holds on to by focusing its and everyone elseâ€™s attention on the Perpetrator Du Jour!
Yet this is but the tip of the iceberg! As destructive and insane as the ego is, this is multiplied a thousand as the collective egoic minds are united in their witch hunts. The collective unconscious egoic mind seeks to find evil everywhere around them except inside their own mind which perceives it. As Pogo once saidâ€¦â€ I have seen the enemy and they is us!â€ We all have a shadow within. It is through facing and embracing our prejudicial thoughts and letting them out they can be seen in the light so correction can occur. This provides an opportunity to find another way to let the light of truth replace the darkness or ignorance. Perhaps Lincoln said it best, â€œI destroy my enemy when I make him my friendâ€! (These same sentiments are shared by the Course.
There are extraordinary popular illusions and a madness of crowds as â€œgroup egoic thinkâ€ takes over to form alliances to attack the enemy they believe is outside them. Group thinking throws away all reason or restraint and takes aim at anyway who dares to speak against it.
Iraq is an excellent recent example as fear mongers with ulterior motives cast a spell of fear that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction waiting to destroy us. They bamboozled our country into believing it was a case of kill or be killed. Hundreds of thousands of lost lives later and untold misery for millions, the reason for starting the war was an extraordinary popular illusion creating a madness in the crowds of our country as â€œgroup egoic thinkâ€ took over. All reason was set aside as the beast of the ego mind needed to be fed. Any one who dared oppose it was labeled a traitor and placed under suspicion. The Patriot Act set aside our cherished Constitutional rights; the rights to privacy, free speech and obtaining a speedy trial were all crushed. I strongly suggest you see the documentary ” In Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” by Vincent Bugliosi to learn the facts which were distorted and deleted to incite this war.This too needs forgiveness once the mistakes are owned.
Donald Sterling said some unloving things that doesnâ€™t fit today belief system of being PC, politically correct. Mr. Sterling like all of us has a split mind filled with ignorance, anger and hatred and another part filled with love, knowledge and truth. He is a spiritual being having a human experience and was in his wrong mind when he said what he did. This does not justify his mistakes but provides us an opportunity to practice compassion. I wonderâ€¦have you ever said mean and nasty things in a fit of rage, drunkenness or fear? Worse have you ever had unloving thoughts about another? Does labeling Sterling a sinner bring peace to anyone?
‘Isnâ€™t it strange that as with the false attack on Iraq, Sterling rights to privacy and freedom of speech were ignored. Sterling was declared guilty without a trial and punished as a criminal. To justify this some say itâ€™s his karma because of other actions he had done to minorities in the past. Yet the fact is he has never even been accused of or found guilty of violating federal laws of discrimination in his NBA actions. Ironically he was about to receive his second award from the NAACP because of “a body of work. Mr. Sterling’s organization has on a consistent basis brought in the minority community. He has also over the years contributed to a number of minority charities. Compared to other L.A. franchises, his organization gave more money than the others.â€ And this was done with the full knowledge that he paid over 2.7 million dollars in 2009 to settle a lawsuit in alleged discrimination in renting apartments he owned.
This is a great opportunity to learn what the basis of FICAM teaches for healing to occur from ACIM â€œAll things are lessons God would have me learn. Forgiveness is our function as love holds no grievances as the but hide the light of the world in me. Holding any grievance is an attack on God and ourselvesâ€ We are being given a chance to remember this and reclaim our truth. Instead of attacking and condemning lets look at this with both an open mind and heart. Are we saying that a man who grew up in a country and spent the first 39 years of his life where prejudice was legal in a major portion of our country should not have any wrong-minded ideas still floating about in his head? Can we not hear his call for love as he thought this V. Stivano 51 years younger, who was herself a mixture of black and Mexican heritage, really cared about him? Are we saying his mistakes are unforgivable sins which deserve hell and damnation and not forgiveness and correction? And who is seeking to profit from all this, his mistress to avoid the multi-million dollar lawsuit Don Sterlingâ€™s wife filed against her two months back to recover millions her husband gave V. Stivano? The potential new owners want to swoop down and buy the franchise for pennies on the dollar. Do you really think if we reviewed the words and thoughts of NBA owners they havenâ€™t said degrading words about another behind peoples backs? What about peoples rejection of another as a potential spouse because they are of a different religion or support an opposing political party or are just from â€œthe wrong side of the tracksâ€ ? Isnâ€™t this unloving and separatist too? What about all the prejudicial views and profiling of Moslems thinking of them as potential terrorists..is this any different?
â€˜Let he who hath no unloving thoughts cast the first stone.â€™ Lets use a different set of beliefs to guide us that seeks patience, tolerance and forgiveness. As A Course in Miracles reminds us it is only through forgiveness that we remove the stain of ignorance from our mind and open up to remember the divine truth within us all. Let each person accusing Sterling of his prejudice look within themselves to find the shadows they hide and avoid ever speaking about except in their minds. There is another way and perhaps this is our time to pause and ask for guidance from Loveâ€™s Presence waiting to be chosen instead. Let us say NO to the blood thirsty ego and Yes to our Higher Power of right-mindedness waiting to be called on. â€œDo not judge or you will be judgedâ€ Matthew 7:1 or as Mother Theresa reminded us so well
â€œPeople are unreasonable,illogical and self-centered.Love them anyway. In the final analysis it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anywayâ€
“This is another way!” and this is what FICAM teaches to live in peace, happiness and wellness.