Some years ago, during a difficult period of time, I experienced episodes of low mood, characterized by inertia, weightiness, and malaise. These low moods also brought a sense of futility and meaninglessness. The moods sometimes struck me abruptly and unexpectedly, and they came and went as unpredictably as the wind. Often I could identify the thoughts which spawned the moods, but many times I was completely bewildered as to their origins. However, on two miraculous days the Holy Spirit, my higher consciousness, or however one chooses to describe the Source of wisdom and goodness within us, rescued me from my flounderings. Each time the Holy Spirit intervened gently and humorously. A Course In Miracles says the Holy Spirit never engenders fear, and I believe this is true.
On the day of my first rescue, I was at my office. I was scurrying around, trying to get ready for an early appointment. Hurried and harried, I anxiously raced from one task to another–turn on the coffee machine, pull charts, review therapy notes, make a “To Do” list, and so on. In my rush, I had not yet brushed my teeth, so I reached into my desk drawer, grabbed my toothbrush and toothpaste, and ran to the bathroom. At the sink, toothpaste in my left hand, and toothbrush in my right, I looked down. Yes, the toothpaste was in my left hand, but a pencil was in my right! I stared at the pencil, eraser end upraised for the toothpaste, and poised for my mouth. The velocity of my hurry and the intensity of my seriousness struck me as incredibly absurd and amusing! I laughed aloud, uttered a short prayer of gratitude, and slowed my pace with a sense of peace.
The second rescue happened at the lake cabin. I had been struggling with low mood much of the day. I felt indecisive, uncertain, unmotivated, and lethargic. Nothing interested me. I could not identify the source of this weightiness. In the late afternoon, still frustrated with myself, I decided to divert my attention by playing a game of Scrabble against myself. I retrieved the game from the closet, set the box on the table, and opened it. I placed two racks for letters on the table and began drawing letters for the first rack. First, and “e.” Then a “g.” Third, an “o.” EGO!!! Oh, what an ingenious and loving reminder that I was once again taking myself entirely too seriously.
Our ego, because of its structure and foundation, is incapable of genuine levity or amusement. So, someone or something must first jar us into an awareness that causes us to step back and see how truly ridiculous and absurd our ego can be. And then we laugh!