“If beating ourselves up worked, we’d all be thin, rich and happy by now.”—Cheryl Richardson
My friend, Anita Moorjani, wrote an amazing book called Dying to Be Me. It’s about her four-year bout with cancer and the NDE (near death experience) that completely revolutionized her ideas about life and death.
I can’t remember if this part is in the book or not, but after she returned from the other side and quickly began healing from the stage four lymphoma that had ravaged her body, she got out of bed (she’d been unable to walk for months before), shuffled into the bathroom and nearly fell over in shock when she saw her withered frame staring at her from the mirror. She looked herself straight in the eye and made this solemn vow: “I will NEVER do this to you again.”
Until she got cancer, Anita says she was afraid of everything. Like so many of us, she was a people pleaser. She worked hard to be liked, to be a “good person,” to be spiritual, to be a good employee. She tried to eat right. In fact, she says she worried constantly about microwaves, plastic containers, red meat, getting, you guessed it, cancer.
In other words, she was the poster child for Lesson 22 of ACIM: What I see is a form of vengeance.
At first read, this sounds pretty harsh, but when you hear stories like Anita’s or the story of Evy McDonald (which I shared last month and you can access here), you realize how vengeful we often are…especially in our judgments of ourselves. I know I would never dream of speaking to anyone the way I so often speak to myself.
Later in this lesson, we celebrate the joyous news that our countless fears and critical thoughts are not real. We learn that we can escape.
Anita had to die and go to what we call heaven to realize this precious truth. We get to do it today by simply asking help in seeing life differently.
And in case you’re wondering, here are a couple rules that Anita lives by today:
1. Don’t take life seriously.
2. Eat chocolate.
3. Realize YOUR OWN MAGNIFICENCE!!
4. Eat more chocolate.
5. Enjoy life and do what brings you joy.
6. Laugh at yourself every single day.
7. Start each day listening to “Dancing Queen” and singing along with it
And with that I’m signing off from Lincoln Street.
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.