I used to get really freaked out that the more I turn to love, the more the ego is going to roar at me and whip me back into its little place. Many students of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) talk about the “ego backlash,” for the Course addresses that the ego (which is simply a BELIEF that we are separate from our Source and WANT to remain so) will pull out any evidence to “prove” you are not of Love.
“The ego will make every effort to recover and mobilize its energies against your release. It will tell you that you are insane and argue that grandeur cannot be a real part of you because of the littleness in which it believes.” ACIM Original Edition T-9. VII.51
Although the ego is perfectly capable of having hissy fits and doing what it can to get your attention, you do not have to fear any sort of backlash.
I was recently facilitating a weekly ACIM Study Group call and we were discussing the “ego backlash.” I was describing why we shouldn’t be afraid of a backlash because, first and foremost, fearing a backlash in and of itself IS FUELING the ego. By fearing the ego’s tantrums we’re giving it power, filling it up with the fuel it needs to exist.
As I was sharing this on the call, I simultaneously asked Spirit to give me a concrete example to illustrate this point. An impression immediately came forth of a whipping, flipping giant balloon-man! You know… those tall balloons that are powered by a fan and the tall skinny balloon-guy wildly whips back and forth with the wind that fills it.
This crazy, nylon balloon-guy represents the ego – a hollow shell filled with nothing. It is only seemingly “scary” when it is puffed up with moving air, and the moving air represents our belief. It is so important to note that WE are the ones that are choosing to point the fan into the balloon to fill it up and terrorize ourselves. Why? Because we still think that being separate even in some small way, from our Source, makes us happy.
As we turn with willingness to Spirit within, the miracles that we experience help develop our trust that we are NOT alone and have a Guide that goes with us on our journey of awakening. As our trust deepens, we start turning the fan (our belief) away from the compelling wild and crazy balloon-guy (ego), choosing instead to believe in the ever present breath of Love that permeates everything. This deflates the ego. It loses power, and it has no force of its own to “backlash” – because you’re no longer pumping air (your belief) into it.
“The truly helpful are invulnerable because they are not protecting their egos, so that nothing can hurt them.” ACIM Original Edition T-4.VIII.102
“Not protecting” the ego is like not blowing the fan into the balloon. By being willing to question every belief that we hold, by being willing to look at our beliefs WITH Spirit, and to decide “I know nothing” is to allow the ego to be shined away. It, quite literally, has NO power to hurt you.
Has the idea of an “ego backlash” freaked you out in the past? How have you overcome that fear? Share your light by leaving a comment below.
I find it helpful to remind myself that those anxious moments do not provide any useful information about what is ahead. Thanks for your excellent and fun metaphor.
Thanks Dan! I love how you state that “those anxious moments do not provide any useful information about what is ahead.” So true!
I spent years before I realized this!!! The ego is insidious! Keep reminding me that the rust and tarnish is the ego script…but having given that script to the Holy Spirit, I am reminded in many ways (through you, thank you very much) that I no longer have to breathe into the futility of what is a mistaken thought.
“I no longer have to breathe into the futility of what is a mistaken thought.” Beautiful! I’m so grateful for this pathway 🙂
I love this. Thank you much for the visual.
Thank you, Gilda!
I love the analogy! While I was reading your words I kept thinking of a great scene from the spiritual movie A Peaceful Warrior. Letting go of the ego is scary but so liberating.
Awesome Craig! Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for sharing graig ^^
Awesome scene Graig!
I think I’ll check that movie out one of these days ^^
Two questions in two days- sorry about that! I’m having a lot come up (I’m sure as part of the process). This morning I was listening to a podcast about ACIM and the host was saying things like “often when you do ACIM, it will seem like things are getting worse before they get better. Often you lose your job or you loose your health but just don’t resist anything.” I totally understood what she was saying but for someone who experiences health anxiety- it really triggered me. It’s making me doubt the process and fear that if I turn to love, “bad things” will happen. I totally understand that these are beliefs that need to be undone. But I’m just wondering if it always goes like that? Cause to me it seems that the more I turn towards love, the more love I’ll experience? Hope this question makes sense! 🙂
Hi love! I’m SO glad you’re asking this question because I totally get the feeling of being triggered by what the host said (and I love your questions so keep them coming!). In my experience, the Course is GENTLE. It meets us where we’re at. Things fall away as we’re ready to let them go. I was already in pain when I started the Course and things only got better. Nothing earth shattering happened, my health only IMPROVED, and when shit periodically hit the fan (as it does for all of us in life) I felt better prepared with having the Course and Course-related tools to use to help me find my solid footing again.
The ego would want you to be afraid and not do the Course, because the ego knows that we’ll stop listening to it once we let in the Love. What you said is PERFECT: “the more I turn towards love, the more love I’ll experience.” YES YES YES to that!!
There is nothing to fear, and if shit hits the fan it was going to anyway. But now we have a way of maintaining peace and remembering Truth. Thank God!! 🙂 xoxo
Ah, THANKS, Corrine! That makes me feel so much better. You’re totally confirming what my inner teacher was guiding me to hear. The more I turn towards love, the better I feel 100%. I will definitely keep trusting that (some days are easier than others), BUT I’ve felt more peace in the last 3 weeks on and off more than I have in the last 3 years probably. It’s truly amazing. Though interestingly, I find that WHEN ego does inch back in, it’s almost more intense than before, OR it just may be that it feels so different from that feeling of peace because now I can feel the different between peace and ego! By the way, I absolutely LOVE your podcast. IT’S AMAZING- keep it coming!!!!! 🙂
I totally resonate with what you’re saying because in my experience as I’ve become more sensitive to ego shenanigans, it’s like they become way more noticeable. Before, they caused pain but I wasn’t aware of it… now I’m aware of it and can see the contrast clearly between the ego’s pain and Spirit’s Joy much more clearly.
I’m so glad you love the podcasts!! Yay!! More to come!! xo