I was out to lunch with colleagues from work - a wonderful Chinese restaurant we'd dined in many times in the past. Meals were served, conversations abound, then we headed back to the office to complete the day. But I never made it.
I fell sick and barely made it back to my apartment before the insides of my stomach were on the outside. Thankfully, a day later I felt fine. However, I developed a terrible aversion to Chinese food - one that would take years to overcome.
My mind had created an unfortunate association between what was once an incredibly pleasurable activity and now a seemingly deathly ill bodily reaction. A couple decades later I experienced a very similar association when I contracted E. coli from hamburger meat.
Clearly we can learn not only to avoid foods that might make us sick but also develop a strong mental resistance against them. Even to the point where we refrain from what otherwise might be a delicious, healthy meal.
So we're very good at abstaining from that which has a high likelihood of making us feel awful. Right?
Ego thoughts are just like eating poisoned food. Yet we choose and consume them all day long.
What are ego thoughts? Thoughts of anger, disappointment, regret, worry, sadness, stress, or any other negative emotion.
While we are not responsible for what other people do and what other people say, we are completely accountable for the emotions we choose to experience. Those emotions come directly from our ego thoughts.
But we're so conditioned to choosing the ego that our emotions seem to instantaneously coincide with the occurrences in our life. "She made me so mad."
As we learn in one of the earliest workbook lessons in A Course in Miracles, "I am never upset for the reason I think," the negative emotion has nothing to do with the situation. Rather, it's the direct result of choosing the ego mind.
And just like developing a natural resistance to eating poisoned food, we can learn to recognize the ego's severe lack of culinary benefit. The avoidance of such unhealthy thoughts leads directly to an experience of blissful satiation.
Join me in Thursday's Zoom class where we'll explore the nature of mind and how we can gain much more self-directed influence over our thoughts and emotions. I look forward to seeing you then.