On September 7, 2016, Liz Gilbert announced on Facebook that she is in love with her best friend, Rayya Elias. She wrote a beautiful post about how, when she heard that Rayya was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer, a trap door opened in the bottom of her heart and she found she did not just love her best friend, but she was in love with her best friend.
The first reaction I had to this post?
Now Liz isn’t like me anymore.
But that is my true, selfish, unadulterated, weird reaction.
As a woman, a minister, an ACIM student and teacher, and a freaking human being, this is not what I want my response to be. I would have NEVER predicted that thought would pop into my mind. Because it’s like, really small and self-centered. It’s like I identify myself with my heterosexuality and feel if someone is attracted to someone of the same sex that there is no way that they are like me. The fact that I could possibly think that or feel that makes me feel disgusted with myself.
Further, I love Liz Gilbert. I love her writing, her approach to creativity and life, and her willingness to live her truth. I admire her for all the times she’s stood up for her truth before this announcement, and I admire her for standing up for her truth now.
If that isn’t following her Inner Guide, you tell me what is.
Yet, I could not help but feel that because I did not like this thought, this reaction, that I should maybe poke it and prod it.
That maybe my own trap door is hidden underneath it.
“We are ready to look more closely at the ego’s thought system because together we have the lamp that will dispel it, and since you realize you do not want it, you must be ready.” T-11.V.1:3
As an ACIM student, I know that my thoughts are important. What I choose to believe in is important–it creates my experience. That’s why I need to always look honestly with my Inner Teacher at the things that come up in my little ol’ brain.
So I said to my Inner Teacher, WTF?
I had some real moments of fear. Was I homophobic? Was I a bad person? What right did I have to be a minister? Was I just obsessing over this because she’s a celebrity? Is this evidence that I’m super far behind on the spiritual path?
And he was like, “Chill, girl.”
I was reminded that my reaction is not about Liz at all. It’s not about her sexuality, it’s not about her falling in love with Rayya. It’s about me.
Liz’s announcement, and my feeling that “now she is not like me” is evidence of my unconscious belief in separation and lack. It’s simply me buying into the ego belief that I am different from others, that they have things I don’t have, and that they can take things away from me. It’s me letting this idea of sexuality separate me from Liz, when in reality, nothing can separate me from my sister. We are one! Sexuality, race, class, etc. cannot separate us in truth.
Liz simply connected to a part of her heart that wasn’t opened before, and that is the goal of all spiritual seekers–to keep opening the heart. Let in more love.
That is the work that my Inner Teacher keeps guiding me to do. I keep finding more trap doors in my own heart and finding ways to let more and more love in. I remember over and over that judgments like the ones I had about Liz’s announcement do not mean anything. There is nothing that separates me from my brothers and sisters.
And the cherry on top? I don’t need to feel ashamed for my twisted thoughts about Liz’s post. I brought it forward, shone light on it with my Inner Teacher, and remembered the truth.
Trap door, open.
That’s all there is to it.