Have you ever watched any of the old Three Stooges movies? I have, and I enjoy them in small doses because I love how they comically depict the crazy antics of the ego, and utilize an exaggerated, cartoon style violence; even though they get clobbered with bricks, smash each other over the head with wooden beams and poke each other in the eyes, they just pick themselves up, dust off and carry on! Of course, if they were actually getting hurt it wouldn’t be funny at all, but because we know that no one is really getting hurt, that it’s all a work of fiction, it becomes hilarious!
I had my own Three Stooges moment that took place over a year and a half ago and resurfaced earlier this year with a very different perspective. I was in a phase of this rich, delightful journey through perimenopause in which my moods were often nothing less than demonic and I was ready to eviscerate anyone for any reason at all. It was during this time that my husband and I got into a quarrel that became quite the sore spot in our hearts. The subject of our fight is not particularly important as we all know how couple’s quarrels are often very intense and important to those doing the quarreling, and utterly asinine to those unfortunate enough to witness them. Yet such arguments can quickly escalate when deeply buried shadow issues are surfacing to be reconciled, as was the case for us at that time.
We were shouting at each other and calling names when suddenly my husband threw a pillow in my face. It didn’t do any damage, of course, because it was a pillow, but it hurt. In that moment I was so angry, I wanted to jump up and rip his ears right off his head. Immediately a voice within me asked, do you really want to take this to the next level? In the split second it took me to consider, I said YES. And up I went, lunging at him. We grappled with each other down the hallway like two cage fighters until finally we both got tired and went off to sulk in separate rooms. We emerged from that fight with our bodies unscathed, but our hearts deeply bruised. It was such a painful episode in our emotional life that I just didn’t want to think about it, so I tossed it in the “I don’t know how to deal with this” bin and basically forgot about it.
Fast forward one year… I was at my hellish department store job focusing on a task, when for some reason the memory of that awful incident came to mind. And suddenly, I began to laugh. And I laughed some more. The laughter began to roll out of me in great snorts and throaty gobbles. I couldn’t stop laughing! I was laughing with such forcefulness I began to dribble in my pants. And on it went; it was uncontrollable, delirious laughter unlike anything I’d experienced before. I wasn’t laughing to cover over the pain of the incident because I felt no pain about it at all anymore. Nor was it a mocking, self-effacing laughter. It was laughter of pure, unbridled hilarity.
One year had distanced me from that painful event, yet recalling it in my mind at that moment was like watching some wacky Three Stooges episode! Just as Curly, Larry and Moe go through insane antics that appear to be caustically violent, no one is ever hurt because they are role-playing a work of fiction. And in that moment I knew beyond any doubt that my entire life and the world as we know it is nothing more than just that—a work of fiction. Not only that, but a work of fiction I had willfully convinced myself into believing is real. This realization was nothing less than an epiphany—an epiphany of great hilarity.
When I arrived home later that night (with a very sore side, I might add) I shared the bizarre experience with my husband, and he too, found it hilarious but with a tinge of compassion for the parts of us that had been so painfully convinced of its reality. I realized then that this perspective shift was a gift I had bequeathed myself to allow in a profound healing, not just for that particular experience, but as an opportunity to witness all the traumas I’ve experienced in this world from an expanded perspective, that of the Eternal Self that cannot die or be injured in any way, and unequivocally knows when it projects itself into this matrix, that it will emerge unscathed. I realize for most it may be difficult to believe or even conceptualize that what goes on in this insane and oftentimes painful “reality” has absolutely no detrimental effect on the highest levels of our Beingness, but in my experience this is the case.
While I feel profound gratitude to have experienced a painful moment from a wholly different perspective, it has not yet filtered over to all the other painful episodes of my life. However, it has allowed me to begin thinking about them in a different way—that of knowing that whatever craziness goes on in this Holodeck universe, the data from the experience is stored, but absolutely none of the trauma comes with us when we return to the Self from which we projected. More importantly, it also crystallized within me how I intend to leave this world: When it comes time for me to exit this body and return to my point of initiation, it will not be with tears of grief, bitterness or despair. No, I choose to leave this world in glorious, uncontrollable peals of laughter, knowing that what I AM can never be defeated, damaged, or killed, knowing that exploring every possible facet of this created universe has been but a brief moment in the timelessness of Eternity. I choose to leave knowing that I AM already at Home and always have been, awaiting my return from this most poignant, amazing, and oftentimes hilarious adventure.