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Insist that love drive the clown car

“My mind is filled with myriad competing voices vying for my attention. To get to the promised land of ‘no-thought’ or transcendence, I have to wade through a thousand thickets: confusion, hunger, ache, distraction, restlessness, regret, neediness, neuroses”-–Josh Radnor 00001q

My mind, over the past few weeks, frequently doubles as a clown car. You know that circus act where one clown after another emerges from a way-too-tiny car?

There’s the emotional clown that gets really frightened by all the uncertainty. She’s joined by the Bozo-like clown that looks disparagingly at my body and judges that it’s eating way more than it should and exercising way less. And, of course, there’s the clown of self-pity, the one that likes to pop up like a jack-in-the-box every now and again, ruing the reality that, in this lifetime, I’ll never hug Taz again.

Rather than shake my finger at this clown car of wayward emotions, I try to send them love. If I avoid them or judge them or consider them unacceptable, I conjure up a whole NEW clown of self-loathing. And that guy is way more ominous than Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King’s “It.”

It’s really kind of remarkable that right here, in my own little head, such a compelling cast of characters shows up to help me practice. Funny how you make an intention to love bigger and better and suddenly you get all kinds of previously unpermitted, unlovable thoughts to build your love muscle.

Rather than exile these forbidden emotions, I find that when I embrace them, literally say to them, “I love you, scared little Pam” or “Aren’t you precious, you self-loather you,” these emotional clowns slink off to the side of the grandstand. Like everything, they only want love.

When I use those magic two words (“It’s okay!”), I notice the only thing left driving the clown car is love–fully engaged, pulsing through my body, as near as my every breath.

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).