The course I am taking right now is called, "The Cocreative Power of the Feminine". It is a seven week online course that is designed to connect 1,000 women with their inherent ability to create from the unseen that which sustains and nurtures and celebrates life. I'm on week two, a week behind the coursework but that's the beauty of an online course -- you don't have to be 'current', just consistent.
"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." Buddha
Week 2 explores the ways in which we cocreate every situation in our lives. It's about radical self-responsibility -- focusing 100% on 'what is us' in every situation to see, where do my patterns act as source in what is happening in my life? What evidence do I cocreate to generate the patterns? How do I discern my false beliefs, those somatic constructs constructed from the 'meaning' I gave to things long ago, from 'truth'.
The course leaders take us through various exercises to discern our patterns and the beliefs underlying them. At one point, the speaker said, 'take the most difficult, uncomfortable belief, that one statement that makes you winch, and focus on it. Don't discount it. Don't think, ooohhh, I can't work with that one, it's yucky. Work with it.'
Ooohhh, I didn't want to look at the one that popped into my head. I didn't want to think that I held an, "I am..." statement that contained the word, "Evil". But I did/do.
I breathed into. "I am evil."
It is not true. I am not evil.
Where did it come from? This harsh and mind-numbing belief?
From a little girl who heard what others said and took it to mean that's who she is.
I grew up in a Catholic household. My mother said the rosary every day. We knelt in the living room every Friday evening and prayed the decades. We went to church every Sunday. I helped her change the flowers on the altar every Saturday. I helped polish the brass and silver.
Church-life gave my mother's life meaning. She loved the community. The people. The ritual. God.
There is God and there is the devil. The things I did that disappointed her, they were devil made, she'd tell me. Even the things I didn't do but she believed I did, they made me bad. Evil. And I believed her. I didn't know any better. Neither did she.
My mother despaired for me. She prayed for me. She tore her hair out for me. She cried and wept and wished and whispered, "Why are you so evil?" She sprinkled holy water. Prayed the rosary a thousand times a thousand. Shook her head and sighed. There was no hope for me. But she never quit praying for me.
And I cried and despaired and wondered, "why does she hate me so?" as I struggled to be the little girl she wanted and never quite measured up. I went to church, confessed my sins, "I forgot to brush my teeth before bed. I fought with my sister. I talked back to my mother." And I was absolved. Of sin. But never of being the daughter I believed my mother didn't want.
Confession didn't work. I quit going to church. Rebelled. Balked. Dug my heels in the ground. I started going for long walks on Sunday mornings when my parents were going to church. Up into the hills surrounding our home. Up into a place of quiet. Of solitude. Of silence. A place where I could sit and survey the countryside spread out like a beautiful quilt before me. A place where, beneath the rustling leaves of a walnut tree I could pet my dog and be at One with the One who understood me.
But did He? Or She? It?
I had so many questions and no one to answer them.
I became lost. Lonely. Alone. Frightened.
It was a great big world out there and I didn't know where I belonged. Didn't know how I fit. At home I was the black sheep. The trouble maker. The Brat. At school I was the honour student. The leader. The school book editor. The student council president. I taught a class on living cooperatively and meaningfully to a group of Grade 3 and 4 students. I'd convinced my Grade 13 biology teacher that I was better at inspiring children to live fully through a class on how to learn vicariously that I created than I was at dissecting frogs and baby chicks. I sang in a folk group. I was a student counsellor -- part of a program to train students to counsel students. I was chosen to attend an intensive week long training program at a monastery in northern Germany where I learned 'who am I?' meant I was capable of being anyone I chose to be. But I didn't know who I wanted to be.
And I was scared.
Scared of that big world out there. Scared of that dark place within me where I believed evil grew. If only people saw inside the darkness they wouldn't think I was so beautiful and lovely and smart.
And I hid my fear. I wanted to be the beautiful, lovely, smart person people told me I was.
And I didn't know how.
I struggled and churned and ground my way through life, always searching for the wonder within me.
I've had a lifetime of working on myself. I've identified and analyzed my patterns, I've struggled to untether my psyche from their hold only to find their tenacious tendrils winding through the story of my life-time.
and underneath the patterns. Below the surface of their hold, I find myself face to face with a belief that makes me shudder. That makes me cry. that makes me want to scream aloud. "I am not evil!"
and I laugh.
This, this statement of woe, of limitations, of definition too grisly to comprehend, this is what I believe about my most magnificent and Divine self.
Hell No! Uh, uh. That ain't me. that's some foreign object ground into the dirt of my past, embedded in my cells like a grain of sand in an oyster's shell.
That belief ain't me. It's just a thought that ran errant to become a pearl of wisdom for me to consume today. It's just a thought that I propelled a lifetime of searching for the truth to unveil the lie.
I have been the source of my own agony.
I set myself free.
Ain't no limitations on that.
And that is all I need to be.