Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A Course in Miracles, Day 2

I have given this flying cow all the meaning it has for me.

Hey, who said ACIM practice had to be po'faced? That had to be one of my favourite choices for today's 2nd lesson from the ACIM Workbook.

But it wasn't all fun and games. If I commit to a spiritual practice, it has a tendency to kick my ass as soon as possible. This morning, I wasn't even halfway up the road to the bus stop, merrily noting that I'd given the recycling bin all the meaning it has for me, when I heard an anxious voice behind me asking, 'Excuse me, excuse me, but can you tell me where to catch the #2 bus?'

I felt my shoulders tense. 

Here's one of my many dirty little secrets: I have real issues with Southeast Asian women on first meeting. Why? Because, in far too many encounters, I've run into ones who use high, breathy voices to manipulate;  totter like toddlers to look like little girls; and blink rapidly at you when asking a question, widening their eyes and playing utterly helpless, hoping to get what they want. My internal, unspoken response is, 'I'm a straight woman, sweetheart. It isn't going to work on me. It's just going to make me want to slap you.'

There are not words for how deeply I despise women - of any ethnicity - who do this. My mother, a South Asian woman who became a paediatrician, pulled this helpless shit. I comforted her, confided in her, then watched as she betrayed me to my father, excusing herself in that helpless, whiny voice, 'I HAD to tell him.You know what he's like.' 

Ja. And I have your number too, bitch. Don't think I'll be forgetting it anytime soon.

Back to this morning. I responded tersely, then relented slightly and expanded, as I paused and turned to see a young Chinese woman in heels drawing level, following me to the bus stop.

Once we got there, I thought, 'Incorporate into ACIM exercise. So I glanced at her as she passed me to sit in the bus shelter and thought, 'I have given Southeast Asian women all the meaning they have for me - the helplessness, the victimhood, the manipulativeness.' 

A wall gave way. Suddenly, I remembered that I have a friend who wears a hijab and has read 50 Shades. People aren't stereotypes.

Then who should walk up to the bus stop but a South Asian male, another one of my 'Spike defence from Hellraiser' inducers. Straight to the exercise: 'I have given South Asian men all the meaning they have for me.' Slight easing at the time, but a bigger result in the afternoon, when I passed a South Asian man as I got off the bus and smiled at him. 

Yeesh. Not my favourite part of myself, but it felt good to grapple with it head on so early. And I know I'll need to come back to this everywhere: social gatherings, church, in the centre of town, cyclists...

Why, some may ask, am I relishing an early ass-whooping? Because I've always found that it means I'm ON THE RIGHT PATH. To quote Marianne Williamson:

I had read about people surrendering to G-d and then feeling this profound sense of peace descend like a mantle over their shoulders. I did get that feeling, but only for about a minute and a half. After that, I just felt like I'd been busted. This didn't turn me off to G-d as much as it made me respect His intelligence. It implied He understood the situation better than I would have expected.

THIS. For me, being busted on two of my biggest prejudices within 2 minutes of each other? THAT is divine intervention. THAT is real. When that happens, I know not only that I'm being challenged, but also that I'm not going to be left alone in meeting that challenge. I'm ready, G-d. Let's do this. After all, we both know that I can't.

Others may say, 'OMG! You're showing yourself to be prejudiced and having ugly thoughts sometimes! You can't do that!!!'

Why not? I don't want to be good. I want to be real. I want to be WHOLE. And that means embracing everything: light/shadow; harshness/gentleness; compassion/judgment; all of it. Own it. I want to know it all, to encompass it all as only love can, and then I want to give my WHOLE self to G-d. Why come to G-d, holding one hand behind my back, hiding bits I don't think He'll like or want? He's given me free will, and He'll only take those bits that I offer. He can't transform what's hiding behind my back, and that's what I most need him to transform. Keeping it from Him just defeats the purpose.

Also, I'm just so done with lying in relationships, you know? Hiding who I am, pretending to be what I'm not. Doing that with my Creator would make me ask myself, 'Irim, are you on crack? Don't you think He knows already, DUH?'

Yes, I talk to myself. So sue me.

So here I am - the good, bad and the ugly. This spiritual journal will be snarky, self-deprecating, introspective, passionate, zany, and totally real. I hope you enjoy it, but if it's not your cup of tea, reading this takes up too many minutes of your life you won't get back. Spend them doing something you love.

Meanwhile, remember: you have given flying cows all the meaning they have for you.
Just as I have given golden, late summer sunsets and the redolent scent of honeysuckle all the meaning they have for me. 

And I wouldn't have it any other way.


chrysalisjourney said...

Good stuff, twin! Love the realness and the honesty here. What courage in facing all of this head on! Good for you! I can't wait to read more.

Irim said...

Thanks, twin!

I think this will be an ass-kicking journey - I'm just hoping at some point I'll step into the flow as I let go.

BTW, if you're looking to try this again, Marianne Williamson's 'Return to Love' makes the text far more accessible, as it distills the principles. I'm finding the overwhelmingly male language of the text difficult.

Hugs, and so looking forward to more from you! xx

Lesley said...

"you have given flying cows all the meaning they have for you". And how did you know how important flying cows are in my own private iconography? No, seriously!

Irim said...

So, tell me more, Lesley!! :-D