Dare to Be Happy
By Daniel Tipton*
THE SHADOW SIDE OF POSITIVE CHANGE
[as it appeared in the December 2011 Newsletter]
I like the title Dare to Be Happy because, most of the time, it takes courage to initiate changes that will make me happy. Sometimes I know what I want to do, but I get afraid. Before I broke up with my last girlfriend, I had never learned how difficult it can be to do the right thing. What do I mean by “the right thing.”? The right thing is whatever I know in my heart to be in line with my greatest self and greatest desires. I was in that relationship to experience all the lessons that it taught me. Then, there came a time when I felt strongly compelled to move on. At one point, I knew it was time to break up. I knew it needed to happen, so I told her. I felt liberated at first, but then fear worked its way in. The mind-altering drug of fear threw me for a loop I had never experienced before. I doubted everything and felt like the world had been turned upside down.
My thought going into the break-up was that if I am doing the right thing, the change will be easy. This is most definitely not always true. I had put much work into making that relationship what it was (which was not very healthy), and there was much work that needed to be done to withdraw. This experience taught me a valuable personal lesson though. “Scary” does not imply “take no action”. There is a difference between being scared and intuition telling me not to do something. Fear throws made-up scenarios at me to scare me off. Intuition is a gentle knowing that something should be avoided. Fear seems to make my heart hurt, while intuition seems to operate in my solar plexus. Fear is unreasonable, intuition uses reason. I had all the intuition I needed to get out of that relationship, yet I let fear delude me into keeping it going. I finally listened to my intuition to get out, but fear was sure to have its say.
I look back on things now and I say: “Did that really happen?” “Did I really make it through all of that?” I feel as though my fear slowly left me, but did so kicking and screaming. The Course says that we are creators, and that our creations are our children. I had created a nasty little child that suckled on my fear. When I started to dry up those reserves, this child went into attack mode. After time, it ran out of energy, and went to sleep to become a memory that is mostly quiet, yet still likes to push my buttons to test me every once in a while. All of these symbols are, of course, creations of my own thinking.
The only reason it is sometimes daring to make changes to be happy, is because the ego can be a strong foe. It should not be taken lightly. I need God’s help to overcome the ego’s many obstacles. That is why I have the Course, and why I have the Holy Spirit. God knows I am up against a mighty foe, because I have made it that way. Yet, He sees this foe as nothing, and wants to help me remember that it is nothing. When making a major change, I must be prepare to march forward against the onslaught of arrows the ego fires at me. God helps me remember though, that I hold the bow. I must set it down, and let the miracle take place.
*Daniel Tipton resides in Omaha, NE and is a member of the Course in Miracles Society study group. He is enrolled in the ACIM Ministerial Program offered by the Community Miracles Center, attended the 2011 Annual ACIM Conference in San Francisco and is currently working on a masters degree in Counseling at UNO. Daniel will be assisting at the 2013 ACIM Conference which will be held in Chicago. More Conference Information here