Are you studying?

Accept what is. What you resist persists. Go with the flow.

Undoubtedly, most of us have heard one or all of these phrases. And they sound oh-so-great when you are sitting in the seminar room or with your fellow practitioners at a meditation sit or even as you pour over a Byron Katie book. But let’s be honest. You never fully understand those phrases until you get down and dirty in your own life and just experience first hand, putting all that learning to practice. The books of Life

I have taken a lot of self development courses, but the one that I am presently enrolled in is by far the BEST I have ever taken. It is on-going. It is called “My Own Life”. Full enrollment began on October 20 1962 the second  I was born. Sometimes I am a bit perplexed as to why I would have registered for such a course. But the great thing is that the rest of the world is also enrolled in the same course at the same University: LifeU. Everyone has different curricula than I do, but some of us have similar professors, some of us prefer taking the tests without studying and going blindly into class, and some are even trying to cheat on their final exams. But we all answer to the Dean of the Universe. We can struggle and fight as we learn and move along toward Graduation Day, or we can quietly pull our chairs up to our desks and crack the books with honesty, integrity, courage, and a zest to learn.

Sharing our learnings is one of the neatest aspects of LifeU. Why not look to your classmates for assistance in cramming for that mid-term? So now, if you don’t mind, this classmate would like to share intimately with you what she learned while she got down and dirty in her studies this past weekend (this blog is G-rated, by the way, for any of you wondering about the “down and dirty” part…).

I have fairly recently closed the door on a traumatic, unhealthy relationship of 11 years and, as a result of that, I have entered a phase of renewing, blossoming,  learning the true meaning of self-love, and beginning to see the True Love that is Elizabeth.  Light is flooding my life with a gorgeous new relationship, I am selling my house, and my spiritual work has taken on new incredible and exciting dimensions. So much excitement, love, and light in my life! So here I am, just sailing along singing and laughing and then…do you hear that? Yup. That sound you hear is of that other shoe dropping.

Last Thursday I woke up with feelings of dread, loneliness, and despair, coupled with self-doubt and great feelings of self-hatred (and goodness knows what other darkness was thrown in there). Out of the blue. Nothing in particular had happened. Nothing that I could put my finger on at least. My lonely empty house felt to have doubled in size and the halls echoed with the sounds of my wailing as I felt the loneliness and trauma arise. My dogs ran to help, but their tender pawings at my body and kisses on my face did nothing to soothe me. The cold and the dark of the winter loomed and seemed to intensify all of the pain. I felt so removed and disconnected from the world. My boyfriend was working and on the other coast, adding to the isolation. The tears and the wailing went on into Friday and  Saturday. The fortunate thing was that I have been in similar classrooms before (with different teachers), and the pages of the book seemed familiar.

So what LifeU had previously taught me was to look at what it is that is coming up. Observe it. Then you will become separate from it and it will eventually dissolve. So I was aware and did that. The odd thing was that this time, the intensity was far greater than anything I had ever experienced. In those moments I could totally understand how some of our classmates ditch school and flunk out.

So at 4 AM on Sunday morning, as I lay crumpled face down on the floor, I experienced one of the biggest revelations of my life. In a moment of satori (instant enlightenment), I saw that I had been looking and observing the “crap”, the negative stuff coming up, but I realized that I had not been fully ACCEPTING it, and I was judging it for being there. The minute I accepted and stopped judging, even if it all didn’t make any sense, I  reconnected and felt peace. In that moment of exquisite realization, my teacher handed me my paper with a big A+ on it with a big gold star. Success!

So you may be wondering why I could have all that stuff coming up if I am in such a joyous, love-filled place in my life. Here is exactly why: one of my glorious teachers, Sondra Ray, taught me that “Love brings up everything unlike itself for the purpose of healing”. So then  it is no wonder. With so much love in my life, there was no escaping this accelerated learning portion of my Life Course.

I highly recommend practicing the acceptance part. No matter how unpleasant or strange it may seem. Love it and embrace it. Fully and without reservation. Perhaps this can help us as the semesters  roll along. I personally want to go to the head of the class. I intend on graduating with the highest of honors. Maybe even with a Ph.D and summa cum laude…

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  1. You are so beautiful!

  2. Elizabeth,

    I LOVED reading this piece. I completely related to it and loved your school analogy. Thank you for writing this. I am going to share it with my sister who would relate to it as well. I read it tonight and it couldn’t have been a more appropriate time. Wow! I feel bad that you had to go through that dark night, but also grateful that you did, so you could write about it and share it with all of us other ‘students’ studying similar courses. Thank you to Lennie for posting the link on Facebook. You two make a great team! XOXO Deb

  3. As always, your writing inspires me. Beautiful, just beautiful.

  4. I am so happy you saw the lesson in what you were going through. Accept, embrace, observe, release and deep breath.
    All of us are going through the wonderful process called change. Life’s journeys are full of our magical discoveries – good and ******. By releasing the ****** we embrace the good.
    Sending you love this fine day in sunny southern calif.

  5. Elizabeth,

    I have to say all the words you wrote were just like my own..I appreciate your sharing as I believe sharing our experiences, strenghts and hopes is such a great gift for all who listen.. Life’s lessons. We could not find a better teacher..Take what you like and leave the rest.. God bless and rest assure that there is always light at the end of a tunnel…

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