“The ego is not you. This false identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for.” –A Course in Miracles
Do you ever as a kid play make-pretend? Almost all children do. We played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, doctor and sick person (the best game of them all), Batman and Robin.
Back in the 70’s when I was growing up, we played Charlie’s angels during recess. I was always Sabrina, the smart, sensible one. But when the recess bell rang, I instantly went back to being Lisa. I didn’t carry Sabrina around with me into the classroom. The bell rang and the game was over.
Yet with some of our games, we thought they were real. We demonstrated some behavior and we got a result: either negative or positive. Some of our actions got us love and attention, other behaviors kept us safe, or protected us from criticism, punishment, from other people’s judgments.
And slowly over time we all make a false self, and we forget we made it up.
In today’s video, I describe an example like with playing Batman: you just take off the cape. It’s that easy. You stop being Batman. You stop being the false self. You stop being the sick person. You take off the covers and the game is over.
So often on a spiritual path, people think the ego is real. They think either you have to love it or you have to dismantle it or you have to break up with it. I have heard every possible scenario. A lot of people say “my ego” to describe themselves. But if we go back to the Batman example, you would never confuse Batman with yourself. You would know “Oh, I’m just playing a game.” You would never say something like: “I’m not sure if it’s Batman that’s talking to me or my Spirit.
In this week’s video, I decided to post my entire one-hour talk from our Course in Miracles Friday group from last Friday morning.
Some of you might think an hour video is way too long and you won’t watch it. That’s fine.
Usually we do our blog videos to be under 10 minutes, an idea that no one will watch anything if it’s too long.
But this week I thought: I want to reach those who are struggling with anxiety, doubt, fear, loneliness or anger and who are truly ready for a change. To you, one-hour will be a gift, possibly the answer to your prayers.
In this video, I give a writing/meditation exercise for you to name your false self.
The name of my false self is “Safe Sally”.
I tell my story of being in the second and third grade, being a happy, bright, vibrant, curious child that loved to learn. And how I used to get criticized by other children and even by the teachers.
I quickly learned that being quiet and blending in was the way to stay safe. I moved myself from the front of the classroom to the middle of the classroom, where I could be invisible. If I didn’t talk, everyone left me alone. I learned to people-please, I best friended my bullies, I learned to do what other people wanted and I became a peace-maker, one of the most popular girls in school.
I learned the game and I played it well. Safe Sally was born and as long as I listened to her, I could cruise along in life without too much trouble.
In today’s exercise – which I describe in the video – I invite you to take some quiet time and write down the thoughts that most often come to you. Go back to your childhood and think about when the false self began showing up on the scene.
What did it say to you? What does it say to you?
Write it down.
Safe Sally tells me to be quiet, rest, relax, to wait. She tells me there is no need to do anything, that it’s all been done before.
Or she’ll say:
Do that tomorrow.
She tells me I deserve to enjoy the day. She’s become very advanced and clever with spiritual sentences. Whenever I have a thought to write a blog or create a new program or do a video, she tells me it’s already been done.
She’ll say things like:
Have a coffee instead. No one needs you. You just relax.
Sometimes if I get halfway through writing a blog, she’ll say:
This is really stupid. You’re going to get criticized. Do you really want to put this out there? If you don’t put it out there, everyone will leave you alone.
Safe Sally. I made her up when I was 8 years old.
I’m an expert at A Course in Miracles because of Safe Sally. Over the years, I have been criticized as a teacher, no matter what I say. So Safe Sally has had me study and learn every single version of A Course in Miracles that has ever been put out there. I know them all. I can quote it from memory. I know exactly where sentences are. I know all the back stories. And guess what? I still get criticized no matter how well I know it and Safe Sally says:
So knowing this, I can make a decision to put down the book and just express from my heart and not try to get it right. That’s freedom!
Everyone is different, so you will need to find out for yourself what’s in your mind, what your own personal games are.
For some people, being safe and getting love and attention made them be more visible, more loud, more prone to get in trouble, more trips to jail and to the Principals office, more prone to sickness and accidents.
For others, it was the opposite. You saw that love was not available to you and so you went the opposite direction of not needing love and not caring about it. You isolated yourself with an “Oh well” attitude. In your case, your learned how to get by without love, without attention, accepting that the world is a cold place.
Now you’re going to give this voice in your head – this false identification – a name. If you named your ego Batman, you would be aware of the game pretty quickly, right?
You would never think “Well, Batman said …”.
You would see the insanity immediately. You would think:
Oh my God. I’m insane.
And yet, we all do it, until we don’t do it. You pretend to be sick and weak and powerless.
You pretend to be angry and sad.
Once you are aware of the program, it’s Game Over.
Take the Quiz: Find Out the Name of Your False Self
TAKE THE QUIZ:
What are the thoughts you think on a regular basis? Write them down.
In your mind, go back to your childhood. Think about when the changes began to occur for you when you started being more cautious. What were the thoughts you would think? Write it down.
Give this identity a name.
Are you nervous, anxious, critical, jealous? What’s the program that’s running? Do you have to be smarter than everyone else? Do you play dumb? Do you have to be faster, brighter, more successful than others? Or do you hide out, playing small, getting easily distracted?
Once you have given this false self a name, once you see what has been going on, what you have been doing to yourself, it becomes very easy “to take off the cape” or “to take off the covers.”
You made up the situations you find yourself in – you invented them all – to get love, to keep you safe, to shield you from the truth. You are quite literally attacking yourself with the thoughts you think. Once you see this, you will no longer play the game, you will no longer attack yourself.
In today’s video I talk about Workbook Lessons 24, 25 and 26.
Also in this video, there’s some really great powerful sharing at the end.
Rebecca Johnson especially. She gets up and exposes her most private thoughts that she thinks from morning to night and I know a lot of people will connect with it.
After you have discovered your false self, I encourage you to drop the game.
I invite you to spend the entire month of February 2018 living as your True Self. Better yet, commit to the rest of 2018 and for the rest of your life. Take off the cape. Take off the security blanket. Let the veil be seen, and walk right through it.
Go back to that little child you once were before you erected “the wall” to keep you safe and BE that Self.
A lot of fear might come up for you which is normal. But ask yourself if you are ready to be free from the prison-house you made for yourself? Are you ready to walk into the sunlight?
Enjoy this video.
Enjoy the exercise.
Enjoy the freedom that comes from being your authentic lovable Self.
Now I invite you to share this exercise with your friends. Click here to Tweet it out and let’s help as many people as possible to be free and shed their cape and covers:
Question: Are you taking the True Self Challenge? Please let me know in the comments below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Co-Founder & Spiritual Director, Teachers of God Foundation