Now here is a question? "How does the past serve us if this present moment is all we have?" Of course, everyone will have a slightly different answer. As we evolve in the awareness of the experience of our awakening, the past holds less and less importance. Yet, it is still a part of our human experience and how our mind processes and organizes information. Pondering all of this brought me to a past moment in my life. The lessons of that day are eternal. Soaking in the sun's warmth that spring day, I sat in my car, paralyzed, wishing I could run away. Where to? I had no idea but I no longer wanted to be "here." The monthly meeting I had just emerged from had left me on tilt. Once again, the other managers and I had sat through a grueling two hours of harassment and criticism. These meetings never conveyed positivity or support, always seeming to be a laundry list of everything wrong within the organization, and we were at fault. On that day, attending that meeting was about all I could stand. I felt myself on the verge of a mental breakdown. My home life was in crisis, and now work was no longer my sanctuary. Feeling a sense of despair, I began to cry for the hundredth time that week. I was sure I was on the verge of crumbling. My shoulders shook as my prayers turned into cries for help; all I could think of was running far away. Slowly I regained my composure and wiped my tears as I scolded myself, saying, "pull it together, Ginger someone has to be strong.” I took a couple of deep breaths, and finally, I could start the car and prepare to return to my office on the hospital campus, just a mile away. I caught the first glimpse of her as I was preparing to turn left out of the building's parking lot and onto the two-lane highway. She was a professionally dressed, tall blond woman. Her lovely, coifed appearance, straight-back stature, and stride exuded professionalism and confidence. Holding a sign, she boldly yet precariously walked out into traffic on the highway as I pulled out. I remember thinking where is she going? She must want to place that sign on the other side of the street. The sign she held read, "Now Hiring, Interviews in Process." Concerned for her safety, I stopped in the middle of the road as I pulled onto the highway; I turned on my flashers and positioned my car in a manner to protect her from oncoming traffic. I noticed that a gentleman had done the same on the other side of the road. As we watched her strut by, she kicked off her shoes as she crossed the road. Again, I was trying to figure out what she was doing and why. When she reached my side of the road, she placed the sign into the grass along the side of the highway, turned around, and started strutting back across. Then things got a little crazy. As she walked, she began removing her pantyhose. I couldn't process what I was seeing. I may have said out loud, "Oh, honey, what are you doing? Stop doing that; get your shoes before someone runs over them." Then much to my surprise, she stopped dead center on the yellow line, smack dab in front of my car and the gentleman's car, and she continued to disrobe. One clothing article at a time, flinging each item into the street as she removed it. "Oh crap, there goes her bra - oh no, don't take your skirt off - Oh boy, you are naked!" It all happened so fast. She then proceeded to swagger down the middle of the road toward me. She looked me straight in the eye, then confidently threw her head back and continued her onward swagger. At this point, I went into what I call "911 mode"; I whipped my car around, pulled back into the building parking lot, jumped out of my car, entered the building, and began yelling. “Call 911; there is a crazy lady outside walking butt naked down the middle of Hwy 43.” Once I felt confident someone was calling for help, I returned to my car. As I began pulling back onto the highway, I saw her again. My naked friend was still walking the yellow line like a tightrope. If she fell off, she would be lost forever. I almost left my car to grab her but hesitated because she began screaming and crying. I felt helpless as I observed that sweet soul seemingly break. Something or many things had led her to the edge, tittering on her tightrope, and she was about to take a plunge. Her painful travels had brought her in front of my car again. We made eye contact for the second time as she passed before me. Strangely, there seemed to be a recognition, like, "hey, didn't we just see each other." She gave me a weak smile and kept walking. After she passed, I pulled out onto the highway and stopped in my protective position again. Just as I did, two police cars approached me, driving on the wrong side of the road. When they reached the distraught lady, they placed their cars across traffic and excited the vehicles. Gingerly they closed in on the naked woman, and one of the officers covered her with a blanket as she melted into his arms. There was no fight left in her; she willingly went with them as they placed her into the backseat of the police car. One officer stayed with her while the other began talking to the gentleman from the other protective car. It seemed that he, too, had stuck around to see how he could help. As the officer talked to him, I saw him point at me. Next thing I found myself trying to describe what had just happened over the past 15 minutes. He asked if I knew where she came from. I pointed to the buildings where I first saw her; then, I pointed to the sign she was carrying and her clothes. But the truth was I had no idea what had just happened, where she came from, and if this entire event was real. After he had taken a few notes, he told me it was ok for me to leave. Pulling away, I passed the police car where she sat, gazing out the back window. One final time our eyes connected for what seemed to be an eternity. Looking at her tear-stained face, wild hair, and vacant eyes, I knew I was oddly witnessing my own essence. Even after 25 years, there are many times I remember that day. The face of woe that will forever haunt me and my mental health at the time. I remember seeing that woman teetering on the edge of sanity as I felt myself do the same. For me, the perception of my world, life circumstances, lack of support, and no means to "fix it " was overwhelming. Within the eyes of that dear soul, I saw myself. Whenever I think of that day, I pray for her. Hoping that she has found her stride and a loving perspective of life with its ups and downs.
My salvation comes from me. ACIM Lesson 70
For me, many tidbits of wisdom are the gifts of this memory. Each time it arises in my awareness, I am transported back in time and remember my wholeness of being. The illusion of duality vanishes, and I remember the connectivity of all beings. I remember that I am my own salvation. I now see her/me as needing to strip herself/myself of all that was no longer serving her/me. To free herself/me from the constraints of the 3D perspective, to boldly step out, naked to the world, and to strut her/my stuff without a care in the world. And yes, to disassociate from what the world may want us to see as reality. I am not my burden; it is an aspect of my current situation. I am not stuck; that is only a perception. I am not broken; I am breaking free. Absent-mindedly, I once scribbled these words on a piece of paper. "Our Perception is Our Dimension." This scribble means that the human race is not evolving, rising, awakening, or changing dimensions as in going somewhere. Instead, we evolve, rise, awaken, level up, and switch dimensions as we remember that we are and have always been right here in and with God (your higher power). With time I realized that the “here” I longed to leave was the perception of that moment and how I perceived the restrictions of my situation. Through the salvation of those grave moments, I remembered and reconnected to my Oneness with all, allowing the constraints of this time-space continuum to gently slip away. In doing so, I perceive that I am my salvation and return to the "Naked I," whole and complete. Psssst, I am you, and you are me; we are one in our wholeness of being ... and you look super sexy cool in your new kaleidoscope spectacles. Loving you always and forever, Mama G