I Know Nothing, by Birgit

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 1 comment

I Know Nothing, by Birgit

A friend asked me what it has been like being here at La Casa de Milagros for the last three months and I found it very hard to explain properly. I feel like a lot has happened and I have felt several shifts in my mind, but right now I actually feel a bit disoriented.

So many feelings have come up and as a result, so many changes in perspective. One of the most amazing things about being here is that we have full permission to express all our thoughts and feelings as they arise. We have two expression sessions a day, and actually we can join with a mighty companion at any time if an upset comes up. As a result I feel incredibly aware of the full range of thoughts and emotions flowing through me, far more than in my normal life. At home I wouldn’t have time for this and I would either stuff the feeling down, or spend the whole day stewing in it. Here there is no need to stew. I am still amazed at how every time I express what’s up, the feeling changes anIMG_1601d often goes completely.

During my first two weeks (the silent retreat), I slowed down from my normal busy pace and had space to notice my thoughts. I was horrified at how harsh and judgmental I am to myself. I couldn’t meditate, I kept thinking about sex, and I felt like a failure as a retreatant. At the same time, I loved being at La Casa de Milagros, I felt very close to the “mighty companions” here with me, I loved being in Mexico, and I felt very safe and looked-after with Frances being here.

From day one I felt attracted to someone at the center, and we ended up having a short but Holy Spirit-engineered relationship before he went home. The relationship brought up so much stuff that I was very emotional half the time, with lots of unworthiness coming up, and me wanting to end it almost every second day just to avoid it. It was as if in three and a half weeks the relationship flew through phases that would normally take a year: honeymoon period; disappointment, separation and lots of projection, and then finally a kind of relaxed camaraderie (probably made easier as I knew he was leaving!).

After he left it felt like I moved into a phase where I was immersed in being at La Casa without the distraction of a relationship. Other stuff came up, specifically an age-old issue related to my obsession with my To Do list, feelings of stress and busyness, always wanting to rest and relax and seemingly always being thwarted in this by all the endless things I “have to” do.

Click on YouTube, CC to see captions in English

After sharing this with Frances, she pointed out that actually the way out is simply by accepting what is given by Spirit in the moment, and relinquishing my own separate plans for what I think will make me happy. I keep thinking I will be happy if I can do my stretches, do my Course lesson, meditate, rest, and have my own free time. But what if I don’t need to work out for myself what will make me happy? What if Spirit has a better plan for me, and I can just relax and follow Spirit’s guidance with an open mind? I am still trying this out in practice, but when I am able to, I feel peaceful and in the flow.

During my time here lots of concepts that I already knew have sunk in more deeply. For example, the idea that the script is written really resonated for me during the retreat when we watched Slumdog Millionaire with a commentary by David. Knowing this allowed me to feel so relaxed and peaceful!

I have been able to see that I am not in charge of my healing, and that is the role of the Holy Spirit. My part is simply to hand over every grievance to Spirit and be willing to see it differently, and Spirit will do the rest. It is also sinking in that all those emotions and thoughts which I want to push away are not even “my” emotions and thoughts. They are simply arising—and what is even more liberating, they don’t say anything about who I am!

Everything seems to come down to accepting what is given in this moment. It seems so simple, yet I really struggle to do it. I’m realizing that most of the “not accepting” is me not accepting how I feel, and in fact judging myself like crazy for it.

I’ve been wondering: what if I could really allow everything? What if all of my emotions were OK and none were seen as bad? What if I could really get that they are not even my feelings at all, and they don’t define who I am? When I sit with this idea, I literally feel my mind boggling.IMG_1646

I think I find it hard to accept where I am right now because I see myself as a work in progress, and I want to be more spiritually advanced than I am. I want to really get the principles in the Course and feel their truth, not just know them intellectually. Sometimes I don’t even believe these ideas because they still seem so far out. I see the consistent peace and joy that David and the community residents seem to have, and I want that experience for myself, but it feels incredibly far away and I wonder whether I can get there in this lifetime.

In theory I know that if I’m angry at someone, I’m projecting onto them—but I don’t really know this. I say I want to forgive all the grievances I have, but I’m still holding onto many of them, and in fact I quite like the feeling of righteous indignation they give me.

I want to trust that God’s Will for me is perfect happiness, but I still don’t trust God and I sometimes think He’s quite mean. I do want to hear Holy Spirit’s guidance for me, but most of the time I forget to quiet down and ask him.

I can see that things in the world are not going to make me happy, but I still want to find a partner and have a family. Even though the idea of a special relationship still seems attractive to me, I want to hand it over to Spirit so I can have a holy relationship. Yet I also don’t trust that Spirit will help me meet a partner who wants a holy relationship!

To be honest, at the moment I feel like I don’t know what’s going on. I’m used to analyzing and assessing what’s going on to help me make sense of the world and keep the chaos at bay. Now I feel like I’ve lost the ability to do this. I feel bereft, like a toddler whose safety blanket has been taken away from them. I feel like my old system of thought is disintegrating, but the new one isn’t very strong yet. A lot of what I thought I knew, I don’t really know any more. In fact right now I often feel like I don’t know anything.

To my surprise, when I shared this with Frances, she had the opposite reaction to me and thought it was great. She reminded me that it’s good to get out of the “I know” mind and that “not knowing” is actually a higher state of mind. Looking at this with the Holy Spirit has given me a complete reframe—after all the Course tells me that I can’t distinguish between my advances and my retreats! It seems that all I need to do for now is just accept this feeling of disorientation, and keep on handing the whole lot over to Spirit.

One Comment

  1. Hi Birgit,
    Thank you for your candid and thoughtful expression. Much love, Frances

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