From Victim to Creator - Part 5
A Tale of Two Cars
If you’ve been following this blog in chronological order you’d know that I have just undertaken, what was for me, a massive relocation. Lisa and I have just moved from the city to the forest. As I write this we are now properly “moved in” on this side – our boxes are unpacked and our furniture is all in place. We are finally HERE.
The move was, as all relocations are, quite an arduous thing but it is wonderful to be here. This place is paradise (if you’d like you can check out Lisa’s parallel blog posting to this one for her perspective and some photos that she took).
What is clear to me, though, is that the geographical relocation of our possessions was an altogether subordinate thing to the far greater movement that has occurred at the same time in our consciousness. We have both undertaken an epic journey from being ego-lead to heart-centered. What exactly this means and how it works is something that we are only now beginning to unravel for ourselves. I’m sure I’ll be talking more about it in due course. Certainly I think this notion is going to come up quite prominently in The Ascension Papers quite soon. And this is what I want to touch on in today’s blog post.
In no way do I wish to sing you the same song that so many "spiritual" people sing: the one about ego being “bad”. About how ego is “the enemy” and that it needs to be vanquished or worse, destroyed even, if we are to grow spiritually. This is not at all true for me. Ego is quite simply that which you identify yourself with. When you say “this is me” or “this is mine” or “this is what I do/ have done/will be doing” then all of that is your ego-body. It’s the all stuff you believe you are. And it is a wonderful, amazing, incredibly powerful tool. Without ego you would not ever actually do one single thing. Nothing would be accomplished. I do however believe we cause ourselves some pain when get lead by our ego. When the “tool” becomes the “master”. I believe we should be lead by our hearts, by the place within us that is connected to Source. And THAT is what I am doing now. I am moving my own consciousness from being ego-lead to being heart-centered.
It was my heart that told me to let go of my business, the city life, the sporty car, the snappy suits, the constant chasing of my own tail after money and recognition. It was my heart that told me all this was toxic to my very soul. It was my heart that told me I should go to the place in the world that I love most, that I should disconnect from the unsustainable, polluting systems of electricity, water and sewerage and create a self-sustaining off-the-grid home in the forest. That I should grow my own fruit, vegetables and herbs - as this would connect me to the earth and put me “in the flow of life”. All of these things, and many others besides, my heart whispered to me with an urgency that I just could not ignore. My heart lead me with love and a deep sense of peace and joy. And I followed.
I don’t mean to tell you the journey was always easy. Some of it was but some of it caused me a great deal of difficulty. Wherever I was attached with my ego to something and did not want to let go, there I got a little bit hurt. But the second I shifted things around inside myself and put my heart in the lead everything fell into place and became easy again.
I’ll share with you the example of selling my car and buying a pick-up truck.
I have always loved beautiful cars and have owned a succession of real beauts. My latest treasure was a Hyundai Tiburon. I loved so much about it: the way it looked, the comfort, luxury and style. It had the sweetest V6 engine, great road-holding and a super-smooth 6-speed gearbox. I loved that car. Just as I had loved the BMW Z3 I had before it. And the BMW 328i cabriolet before that. What is obvious to me now, but I just didn’t know then, was how I had attached my sense of self to the fact that I drove such beautiful machines. I guess I felt they said something about me and I guess I liked whatever it was that they were saying: “this guy is sorted, he has it made, he is on his way”. Something like that. Maybe I like that my cars said such things about me because really, deep inside my heart, I never felt these things about myself. No matter how well things were going on the surface I always felt a bit like a big fraud inside. I always felt that at some point I was going to be caught out. Someone was going to see through the farce I was putting on. They would see that I really didn’t know what I was doing and that I was just one big lying pretender.
So I guess I liked it that my cars helped to bolster the lie.
And give THAT understanding about myself it becomes obvious that I was going to struggle to let go of such an important prop in the play that I was putting on. But before I tell you about that I want to share with you why exactly it was that I felt as I did. Because at the time I wasn’t able to see this. It is only now that it makes sense to me. It goes like this:
First I identified myself with what I DID.
Then I went out and got a job doing something that I did not believe in – I set up a business to provide a service to a big retail corporation. But the thing is in my heart I knew it was all a big meaningless lie. I was engaged in selling advertising that was too expensive and didn’t really work to companies that provided products that I didn’t believe in or agree with so that they could sell those products to people that didn’t really need them for money that they didn’t really have. If you scratched just a little the whole thing was obviously just a disintegral ugly mess. And every day I lied to everyone to tell them how important, valuable, good and right the whole thing was. Now, I’d contend that there are precious few jobs out there that aren’t actually this same way. But that’s not my problem. Everyone must figure their own stuff out for themselves as best they can. I can only really talk about me. For me the upshot was this: I identified myself with what I DID and what I DID was something in which I had nothing but complete and utter disbelief. Therefore I did not, and could not, believe in myself! I’m sure you can see how that could be so.
So what changed?
As I have said before, I moved from being lead by my ego to being heart-centered. I now no longer think that I am what I do/ will do/ have done. I am no longer what I own. I am no longer defined by my relationships or possessions or how I look or what I wear or even by what someone else might think, say or feel about me. I am none of these things. These are temporary attributes but they are not ME. Instead I discover myself to be something much simpler and infinitely more beautiful... I am an expression of Love. I am Life in action. I am Consciousness. I am a Spirit Being having a human experience. In fact, the truest thing I can say about what I am is quite simply, THAT I AM.
Everything else is transitory, changeable and only relevant for so long as I say it is.
So now I can hold on to beliefs and ideas about myself for so long as they are useful to me. When they cease to serve me I can let them go for other more functional beliefs and ideas about myself. And if I can do THAT then certainly I can allow other things to flow though my experience of life.
For example… certainly I can let go of the car that I loved so much if it is no longer appropriate to my new life. And then it is quite easy to find the new vehicle that IS appropriate to my new life. This is what I now know and have seen.
But just a few short weeks ago I was still struggling to know, believe and trust this to be true. I knew I had to sell my Tib. But then, at the very least I had to get A WHOLE LOT of cash for it. Or at least that is what my ego told me. If, at least, I got lots of money for it then that would validate my idea that it was a great car and that I was a worthwhile person – or some such silly idea. But after having the car on the market for a number of months I found I just couldn’t get my price. Then Lisa and I came to see the land that we wanted to buy and driving these rugged dirt roads with my lovely street-machine made it obvious to me that I HAD to let it go. But still I remained attached...
Then we had an accident. A rainy night transformed a clay-patch on a twisty road into treacherous oil-slick-slipperiness. No ABS brakes in the world were going to help under those conditions! The Tib’s tail stepped out round the corner, fishtailing first the one way and then the other. Then I lost it completely and we spun out. The car careened over the sandy verge and came to a stop hanging precariously by the inside of two rims to the verge – the rest of the car threatening to roll down into the precipitous gorge. Coming to a halt like that felt very much like those movie scenes where the act of trying to get out of the car causes it to fall down the cliff. It really was a bit like that. But fortunately I was able to get out and help Lisa out onto the road too. But in that moment of the accident something changed. I had been jolted out of my attachment to this car. As of that moment, holding on to this machine was officially a stupid idea. As it happened the car was (miraculously) barely damaged. But it could very, very easily have been a write-off and then I would have got no money for it at all. Or worse - I could have injured or even killed Lisa and myself (Note: you can read Lisa’s description of this experience in her blog post here).
Finally it was time: I was ready to let my car go!
That night, after all the excitement of getting a recovery rig out to carefully lift the car out of its predicament was over. After a warm meal, a bath and dry clothes. After getting into bed. After replaying the moment of the accident over a hundred times in my mind. After settling down. After relaxing my body and getting into a meditative state. Only then was I finally ready to hear what my heart had to say to me on the subject. It was this:
“You don’t have to get the amount of money you think you need for the Tib. Let go of that attachment! You don’t need to worry about something as meaningless as a number expressed in currency. This is a waste of your energies. All you need to do is to decide on the attributes of the perfect vehicle for this new life that you want to live. Then, when you know what you want, go and find it… it awaits you even now. You just need to know what you want so that you will know it when you see it! Then when you have found it, you can sell the Tib. You will get more than enough for it to buy the new vehicle. Because that is what is needed and you ALWAYS will have what you need when you follow your heart. The only thing you need that is not given to you is trust. That is all you need to find for yourself. Trust."
So that is what I did.
I began by drawing up a list of all my requirements for my new pick-up truck (here in South Africa we call it a “bakkie”). With this list in hand I prepared myself for the big search. I started with a South African classifieds web-site. And what happened next was quite amazing. Within 5 minutes I had found the absolutely perfect bakkie. It had a tick in every single box and was exactly what I wanted. Even the make and model was what I actually wanted. But maybe the best thing about it was the price - it cost about half of what I thought I would have to spend. I realized then that I had worried for naught about the price I would get for my Tib – it really would be more than enough. So I simply took my Tib to a dealer who, there and then, offered me about 50% more money than I needed for the bakkie. YES! Touch-down! The deal was done money, moved between bank-accounts and I was away. Lisa and I now had the exactly perfect vehicle for our new life AND a bunch of cash to spare!
I was delighted. It all worked out even better than perfectly.
And that is what I have been discovering: over and over again, if I am just willing to follow my heart, pay active attention, really LISTEN and TRUST then this is the way it goes. Even those things that might have seemed to be obstacles simply turn out to be nothing more than gentle course corrections to a better destination than I had even hoped for.
And now, to close this somewhat long blog post, I’d like to share with you two images. The first is a picture of the old me with my Tib. I can’t complain about that life – it was an essential part of my path to where I now am. But I can say I wasn’t always very happy living that life.
The second picture was taken just yesterday. I went out for a short drive and found a good place to sit and work on the next chapter of The Ascension Papers. Zing consulted with me on some of the finer points of grammar and linguistics, of course. :-)
So this is me as I am now.
This version of me is a LOT happier.
Does it show? :-)