They say we’re creatures of habit meaning that we show patterns of behavior that are very difficult to change. However, behavior cannot exist without activity of mind. Mind works with thought and thoughts can easily change.
To study behavior is to study thought. My behavior is only an expression of my way of thinking. Habits are not so much a property of behavior as they are of thought. Changing my typical behavior would be impossible indeed if my habits of thought would be left unchanged.
What makes me stick to limiting habits rather than freedom of thought? Could repugnance towards freedom be anything else but fear? Freedom is scary because it means being unconditional love without limits, not just loving what I like and hating what I don’t, which is bondage. Apparently I’ve chosen to love only what I like rather than trust the limitless capacity of love I am. This keeps me bound by habits of fear, fear of trespassing beyond the limits of my likes and dislikes. Ego is another word for this condition of self-imposed limitation. But ego is just a fearful way of thinking, a habit of thought that can be changed if I learn to use my mind in a loving way. Fear keeps the illusion of separation going. Love restores everything to wholeness – the only reality.
Now, a habit is a device of automation that also can be applied in the service of love as long as time is relevant for me. Accepting love rather than clinging to fear can become a habit just as well. I can make a habit of remembering what I am, remembering All That Is, remembering God. There are so many ways to learn to relax and allow myself to be more natural, which is the basis for being spiritual. Religion may perhaps thrive on fear but spirituality cannot. Becoming aware of what I’m usually doing to myself also helps a lot but is not necessary to start making a habit of love.
A situation that inspires confidence greatly helps me face my fear, let go of it, and learn to accept myself as love. Anyone of us trusting his or her natural lovingness will create such a situation. Even a baby can do it. This trust in our basic goodness will greatly help us helping others. And inevitably we’ll be the first to benefit from it. I don’t have to try to be perfect because, no matter what I do, I cannot change the fact that I already am perfect. Everything less than perfect belongs to the illusion of separation. I only have to give love a chance to do the healing – to let my mind be restored to its wholeness. Christ’s timeless wisdom helps me along the way: “Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven, that is you, and everything will be yours.”
Healing, or making whole, cannot be accomplished by anything that keeps the illusion of separation going. This includes, besides fear, all other devices of the ego like guilt, anger, anxiety, attachment, expectation, effort, etc. To cross the river of separation I have to start from the other side. I may see this as a paradox or take it as my Zen koan but in reality it makes sense. Healing needs to be approached from where I’m whole already otherwise all my efforts will only prolong my dream of separation. That would be like trying to run away from the bogey with heavy legs of fluff. To the dreamer who is not aware of his dreaming, healing certainly will seem like a wild dream coming true, and that’s just what it is. It’s the dream that comes closest to reality. After all, even the idea of healing still belongs to separation and is impossible as such, but it’s a happy dream that only serves the ending of dreaming altogether. Healing will therefore be my last illusion, and surrender to the reality of love and acceptance of its wholeness, in short forgiveness, will be my highest dream activity until reality takes over.