Waking Up

My ego presents a compelling argument that I cannot be happy without the love and respect of everyone I know, a ton of money in the bank, perfect health and appearance and all the comforts of life that the "have gots" enjoy. My ego convinces me that I have been put on earth to achieve something, to get recognized, to be all I can be and the price I pay for failing is to become a loser -- someone with no value.

The fear of being a nobody motivated me to do everything I could to win at the game of life. I worked my ass off, people pleased, manipulated, lied, cheated and tried to do everything perfectly. I strove to come out on top, to get my picture in the paper. I became a human "doing." I was stressed to the max but I figured this was the price that I had to pay. It's the way I saw my father go through life.

The illusion, of course, is that as soon as I get all my ducks in a row, life will be perfect. Then I can relax and live happily ever after in some kind of warm and comfortable cocoon just like the rich and famous in People magazine. I bought into this dream totally. There were times in my life when I did get a taste of success and the exhilaration it brought, but just as soon as I’d begin to relax someone would come along and spill the gravy on the new carpet of my life. Then I’d be off again trying to outrun the fear that nipped at my heels -- absolutely convinced that life will be just grand someday as soon as I discovered the secret formula.

Fortunately, I became an alcoholic. I have a disease that will kill me unless I awaken spiritually and see the dream for what it is -- an illusion perpetrated by my ego that keeps me in everlasting suffering. Without this malady of body, mind and spirit, I’m sure I would have continued sleepwalking through life, caring only about entertaining myself and staying comfortable, trying to outrun the fear. Instead today I am living a life of simple contentment that gets less fearful day by day.