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Being Addicted to Understanding

For today's sharing from the Guides, I would like to recount a conversation I had with them that has stayed with me for decades and stands out from the very many, always helpful, conversations I had with them over the years. Leanne and I were driving home from a holiday together in BC. I was driving and discussing a situation we had encountered, attempting to apply a broader context to it in an effort to understand what had happened. The Guides came through and, in their consistently respectful way, asked me if I would be open to some feedback. Of course I agreed so they went on to tell me that I was addicted to understanding. "What!?" I exclaimed. Their statement hit me so hard I literally had trouble breathing and had to pull over to the side of the highway. I had always considered my attempts and desire to understand things to be one of my best qualities. Apparently it wasn't. "What?!" I said again. I couldn't believe they were telling me this. In their kind way, they explained that my legitimate inquiring mind was overlain with a desire to manage and control. That I thought if I could understand something, I could figure out a way to manage it which would reduce the stress of it. So, curiosity was one thing, and a need to manage was a separate thing. I don't know if you have ever had an experience where you felt parts of you literally getting rearranged inside your body, but that was what I felt as they spoke. It was days, perhaps weeks, before I could really grasp what they were saying and the significance of it in my life.

What I have come to understand since, is that each of us, as children, develops coping mechanisms to deal with whatever situation we are growing up in. It seems that the level of dysfunction in the family determines the level of attachment we develop to our coping mechanisms. In severe situations, we associate coping mechanisms with actual survival, and if we can't employ a particular way of coping, we feel threatened. Because this is all happening unconsciously, we carry those habits of coping into our adult life where, in most cases, they are no longer needed. We continue to employ them anyway, sometimes to the detriment of our adult lives. I find, in dealing with my own clients, these habits are always complicit in whatever issues are complicating their lives and replacing these habits with ones that are constructive leads to a tremendous sense of freedom.

In my case, fixating on understanding was a foundational habit I had developed very early on. While not life threatening, apparently it was sometimes onerous to those around me. More importantly though, it was an ineffective way of managing stress. It gave me an unconscious illusion of the possibility of control. What the Guides were pointing out to me was that it would be much more effective to ask for God's understanding, God's point of view, rather than scrabbling around in the little container of my ego mind which, at best, could yield only a limited understanding because the intellect has limited capacity. Understanding something from a limited viewpoint is fine; thinking it is a real solution is a misconception. We were back to "let go, let God."

Of course, asking to see things from God's point of view implies that there is a God and that we can access His point of view. My experience with the Guides, and with my own guidance and that of my clients as well, has taught me that both of those things are true. This higher viewpoint is always loving and characterized by unconditional acceptance. It has a ring of "wholeness" about it rather than being partisan or fragmented in any way. And it always provides relief. If I had to describe the greatest gift of my interviews with Leanne's Guides over the years, I would say it was "relief". I always ended up saying something to the effect of, "Oh my god, that is so simple and so much easier! Whew!" The Guides always say that another word for God is "ease". And that is a relief to hear, always.

~ Susan Letourneau ~

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