my key to freedom – and a bathrobe

“Determination” – this is the keyword to freedom for me. I can not let go of fear – but I can let go of my determination, my decision, for believing in fear. I can not let go of anger and hatred when I feel it – but I can let go of the determination, the decision to hate and be angry as part of an automatic old pattern of resistance.

I am finding these decisions so many places now – sharing one of them with my shrink in our last session today: the decision of fear of becoming fat. My body is changing and becoming fuller, and this old fear pops up. I see that in my family, we were all slim – absolutely all of the family,  and so there lies a hidden contempt of fatness there in darkness. I saw that if I had been” fat” as a child, I would have been terrified of loosing love, being so “different” from the perfect ones – so the determination, the decision to hold on to fear of being fat keeps it there.

But no longer: now I choose to let go – or forgive, if you will – the determination for fear as “protection.”

In the night, I lay there and sensed how my will was back again. I have chosen against will the whole time (my whole life!) I was determined to choose fear as my identity – and haven’t seen it before now, when the blessed Claire asked me if I was willing to let go of my determination to be afraid.

Holding on to old identity…I remember an episode of my all time favorite series “Northern Exposure” – Life in Alaska. In one episode, the devil (in the guise of a very charming salesman) comes to Cicely, and offers Shelley, the female bar owner, the chance to have a wish to come through – in her case, that her bar is transformed into a casino! She just have to do the devil a small  favor in return: “do you remember his old bathrobe that you have wanted to throw away? burn it.” She looks at him – and he tells her, “I am just a talk-show host in dualistic theology.” And he tells her to tell her husband that she gave the bathrobe to the Salvation Army…

In the night, Shelley takes the bathrobe, goes to the basement and opens the big door to the oven – the flames shoot out and makes a big devilish sound. She throws the bathrobe in – waits one second – and “no – no!!” draws it out again, stamping on the flames.

Why this story?

I see the old bathrobe as my old suffering-identity – It has become really worn out, it stinks from mold and old age – but it is so familiar, it’s “me” in a way – it is so safe – I just need to hang on to it just a little bit more…

Shelley in this episode allows her husband the right to throw it away when he is ready. She can NOT decide it for him. Likewise, I will allow myself the time I seem to need to throw my worn out stinky old suffering-identity away for good –  and I will also as my practice  notice where I think I need to put in on, for “safety” – and notice what the consequences are.

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Please note that nothing written here is intended as medical advice. Readers who think that they need help with a physical or psychological condition are advised to seek a qualified opinion.

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