Understanding vs. knowing


A friend of mine just loaned me her sewing machine. I haven’t sewn in close to 40 years, but I do remember learning how from a home economics class in high school. Sewing was taught to girls so we could sit home by the fire and use needle and thread. It still bothers me the stereotypes I grew up in during the late 50’s and 60’s. I am a product of the culture that existed then. But I want to play with sewing, I want to create something for the holidays to make them feel special.


The freedom to choose what pleases me is an interesting concept. I keep myself company every day with the constant conversation going on in my head listening to my opinions and insights and warnings and replays. It never stops. Like a well-worn piece of furniture, I’ve learned to tune it out.


As a teacher of Susan Jeffers’ work on Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway® I have retrained my inner voice by listening to it. In the past, so much of my inside voice was negative, warning and scared. I never had anything positive to say. Always looking for the worst so I can prepare for it. Always finding what’s wrong instead of what’s right. Everything said on the inside was based on fear.


I remember shortly after I was divorced in the early 90’s and waking up alone in the early morning, most of my inner conversation was foreboding and frightening. I became aware of this negative theme after reading Jeffers’ book and becoming aware of my inner talk. I was surprised everything I thought was dripping with sarcasm or filled with gloom and doom. I made the decision to change it by filling my head with oldies music in the early morning. The radio was set to start softly playing an oldies station when I started stirring in the early morning. At first it seemed ridiculous and I persisted with the practice. Eventually I started hearing the music in my head before the radio turned on in the morning. I changed an old habit.


Awareness is the key to change. Anything I choose to do I have an opinion about. That’s what the ego’s job is, to warn me to keep me safe. Changing my ego’s perception has been a life-long practice. The filter is different now. Cultivating wisdom continues to be my goal using my life experience as the schooling. Time has allowed me to train my ego to open my door to wisdom and they are both existing side by side. I still ignore self-talk positive or negative as it’s an old habit. Sometimes I ignore wisdom that’s offered because my inner door is shut to everything. Learning to trust my ego talking and my wisdom takes daily practice.


"At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want." - Lao Tzu

From A Course in Miracles T-7.X.5:8-13

"No-one gladly obeys a guide he does not trust,

but this does not mean the guide is untrustworthy.

In this case, it always means that the follower is.

However this too, is merely a matter of his own belief.

Believing that he can betray, he believes that everything can betray him.

Yet this is only because he has elected to follow false guidance.

Unable to follow this guidance without fear, he associates fear with guidance and refuses to follow any guidance at all."


Participants' Reflections:

  • Thank you for that powerful reading. I so remember that voice in my head that endlessly criticized my parents and kept a big barrier between us. I remember the moment I heard my inside voice and I became aware of what I was doing. It was with that awareness that I was able to stop it and start treating them with love. Listening to them through my heart and not through my ears. It was a huge transition and like you said, it opened up my life so that I could be a more loving person and not have this constant barrage of negative thinking going on in my head. It’s interesting to see how different people reach that point and what they do about it. I thank you for your insights.

  • Thank you. After the reading, I was left with the word trust. I focused on trust during the meditation. At first, it was just trusting the broader world. As things come and as things go, trusting the flow, trusting what’s happening. But then I focused on my new client who has significant dementia. Unless I am engaging with her, she resets every minute. She knows I am there to help her, but details are gone. A lot of our relationship is about trust. Me trusting her as well as she trusting me. Two days ago, as I was leaving, she said ‘pray for me’, which I thought was lovely. I held her in my heart. As I was leaving yesterday, she said, ‘I love you.’ Deep trust there. She wants to hug me. I wear my mask, s