Expecting Our Old Habits to Persist and Accepting Them is Part of the Spiritual Path

I remember the first time I heard a spiritual teacher say I didn’t really exist – I thought he was nuts. Of course I exist, I’m right here!

And it is true – we exist – just not the way we think we do.

Because who we think we are, who we identify with is this needy, worrying, fretful and complaining little self. The little “me” inside that feels separate from everything else. 

So you are very, very real. This sense of a separate self is not.

It’s simply an illusion that comes into being through thought and disappears when the thoughts go away.

But we do spend an inordinate amount of time lost in thoughts about ourselves – worrying about what will happen to me, why did I do that, what do they think about me, what do I think about me? 

So it feels like it’s always there and it’s who we are.

When we have moments where we are completely present, and we feel whole and complete it feels more like an aberration – a temporary reprieve from the little me. Almost as though to tease us – this is what you could feel like all the time, but then it doesn’t last.

Because we underestimate the habit of thinking the self into existence – the momentum of this continuous drive to reify this separate sense of self. 

So when it does come back we start to panic. Oh no the peace is gone – back to the torment!

But I’ve found the more I fight it when it comes back the longer it stays around. If I expect it to come back and don’t give it much attention when it does – if I don’t freak out and think it’s back for good – I relax and then it tends to go away sooner.

Most of us have not gotten rid of this little me for good. 

But the more we fight it – the more power we give it – the more control it has over us. 

And let’s be clear, it already has a lot of power. It has 100% convinced us it’s who we are. That’s David Koresh kind of mind control!

So expect that it will come back and be OK with that. The more you can relax around it the less power it will have over you.

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