“Don’t put the past in the cupboard of your flesh.”—Claudia Rankine
I’ve got a confession to make. I’m starting to question my commitment to these daily Course in Miracles lessons. Not my commitment to doing them myself, but my crazy idea of blogging about them every day.
Here’s why: I’m seeing the lessons through your eyes. And I’m thinking yuck, who wants to talk about being upset and meaningless worlds. To read lesson 12 (see I can’t even write it), click here.
Luckily, this lesson also offers a side note in focus, as in “we get what we focus upon.”
Later in the lesson, I’m guaranteed that once I give up my meaningless thoughts and ideas, I’ll find a much more pleasing reality. It says that once my thoughts and assumptions are erased, I’ll find indescribable happiness.
So today, I’m going to tell a story about erasing meaningless thoughts and assumptions.
Anand Giridharadas is a young Indian-American journalist. His book, True American, won all sorts of Best Book of the Year awards. It’s about a Texas vigilante who walked into a Dallas mini-mart ten days after 9/11 and shot Raisuddin Bhuiyan, an enterprising Muslim immigrant from Bangladesh.
Bhuiyan survives, ends up getting to know his swatstika-tattooed perpetrator, befriends his daughter, even tries to free him from death row. Let’s just say the book is incredibly inspiring and shows that beneath the labels (our meaningless thoughts) is a much deeper story.
But my story today is about Giridharadas himself. He’s 30-something, politically liberal, very PC. The other day a middle-aged white guy came to install a stove in his Brooklyn apartment.
The white guy asks, “So……Where are you from?”
That all-too-familiar question usually raises red flags. “Here we go again. Another redneck racist making assumptions about my brown skin.”
But he chose to give up that meaningless thought.
Rather than deliver his stock, wiseass, cut-him-off answer (Cleveland, because well, he was born and raised by Indian immigrants in Cleveland), he decided to engage, to give him the answer he knew he wanted. “I was born in Cleveland, but my family comes from India.”
The stove repairman smiled and said, “That’s what I thought. My brother married a woman from India. She has become the light in our family. We were a pretty dysfunctional family and then she turned everything around.”
So, yes, it’s easy to assume we know the way people are, the way this day is going to go, the truth about the way the world works, but once we give up our meaningless thoughts, a beautiful new indescribable happiness is free to come streaming in.
Have the best weekend of your life, my forever friends!
Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her new book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.