Our primary tool for communication is language. In fact, you cannot think of anything without putting a ‘word’ to it. All reality is based in language. Coming from the mouth of an awakened person, communication becomes a tool of limitless loving creativity.
And that’s just what we are in the process of doing – awakening. No longer are our relationships going to be based upon ‘communication breakdown’ rooted in the old broken picture that we had of ourselves. We are leaving our defensive postures behind, giving them up and looking instead for how our speech may bring a contribution to others and ourselves.
To help us do that, we want to speak with a heavenly bent, soaked with kindness, love and compassion. After all, the ability to communicate is a gift from God:
“Who has made man’s mouth?…Is it not I, the LORD?” Ex. 4:11 NASB
We can’t speak to others with kindness, love and compassion until we first give it to ourselves. Without that intimate experience we are at a loss, because we cannot give what we do not have. So, when we can familiarize ourselves with the nature of these gifts, we will be able to send them out from our heart. In fact, we will have a loving unction to do so.
As a result (and because we get into the habit of checking the content of our speech before we utter it), we stay in the present moment and frame our words in love, gratitude and possibility.
The heart of the righteous studies how to answer… Pr. 15:28 NKJV
“…whatever the LORD says to me, that I will speak.” 1 Kings 22:14 NKJV
But what happens when we don’t? (We are human after all.) Acknowledge that you’ve said something unkind. Those words are etched upon the other’s spirit. Admit your error and restore the love…
Avoid people that you complain to because they are inadvertently helping you to remain a victim. Indeed, stop complaining altogether. Sit still and bring your mental focus to your complaints, and look to see what it is that you are doing or not doing to have these things in your life. Ask yourself, ‘Why would I be manifesting this in my life? What’s my payoff?’
Always bring love to your conversation. Then you can stop defending your position and your obsession with being ‘right.’ Most people would rather be right than happy. Crazy. Stop blaming, and take responsibility for what’s going on in your head.
If a communication problem pops up, ask yourself, ‘How can I help myself and others get past this hurt?’ or ‘How can I communicate more clearly?’ Commit to removing anything that separates you from others. Start by feeling good about yourself so that you can project those good feelings onto everyone else.
A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life… Pr. 15:4 AMP
Don’t avoid difficult people. Everyone has worth. Drop your expectations and practice kindness. Most people you don’t like are those who won’t endorse your mask. (You’ve tossed that aside by now, yes?) In fact, ‘difficult people’ are gifts to you because they show you the schemes you’re running that hinder your growth in love.
Tell the truth. Do what you say you will do. Life only works to the degree in which you align with your word, i.e. how well you practice your integrity. The amount of integrity you have is in direct proportion to how much love you have for yourself.
Truthful lips shall be established forever… Pr. 12:19 NASB
“You shall be careful to perform what goes out of your lips…” Dt. 23:23 NASB
Again, our humanness will emerge from time to time. We all fall out of integrity and break agreements. Instead of listening to that voice in your head try to beat you up for your transgression, acknowledge that you broke a commitment (without judging yourself) and make the necessary corrections – recommit to your agreement.
Every time you keep a commitment, your ability to stay in integrity gathers strength as well as your self-confidence.
You can also help others with their integrity. If you let them slide, you are showing disrespect. They know they are out of integrity and are ashamed in the face of your enabling. They will ultimately resent you for it because that’s how they feel about themselves.
In order to be aligned with your word, you must stop lying.
“Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace…” Zech. 8:16 ESV
When we speak from love, it is our responsibility to share the truth – gently, yet giving no thought to how it might be received (so we don’t color it with our opinions), or whether we might be rejected for doing so. Integrity demands that we speak with irreproachable honesty about what we feel and how we perceive what is happening in every moment.
Those who hunger for truth will walk with you through whatever obstacle might be present, so that the relationships can continue to grow in love…
When listening in a conversation, listen to what is so, i.e. the perceived truth of the speaker. What they say is rarely personal. It’s only a reflection of where they are in that present moment. You needn’t be fearful. When you answer, respond from your ‘reflective listening,’ i.e. parrot back to the speaker what you think they said and what you thought it meant.
Real communication begins when you realize that you really don’t know what’s true for another person; so you have to listen to them first and always seek clarification.
As an example, let’s say the speaker is having a problem with you. Instead of throwing up walls of defense, ask them, ‘What is it about my ____ that is a problem for you?’ If you need additional clarity, you might say, ‘Please give me a little more information about how my ____ disturbs you.’
In any communication breakdown, look to see what might be ‘missing’ in the conversation, not what’s wrong, and be willing to change your approach. Keep the conversation in the present (a place where participants can be co-creators of something new and meaningful) rather than sifting through your opinions of the past to find answers to questions that haven’t even been asked.
There exists both peace and mayhem in the world. Many times, when we find ourselves in the mayhem, we make unconscious choices. We need to acknowledge those choices so that we can be consciously empowered to act differently – sharing ourselves with love and compassion.
People crave authentic communication. Give it to them. What they do with it is beyond your control.
How you feel about yourself matters most, because if you have love, kindness and compassion for yourself, it will flow outwards as well, and you will know that you’re doing your best. That’s all God ever asks of you.
There will be no more having to defend yourself, to be right, to complain or to blame. You and your communication partners can encourage one another, looking past your histories and inspire each other to be your true selves…
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29 ESV
Good night and God bless.
February 06 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
(Note: You may wonder what I’m talking about if you haven’t been following along for the last 6 months as we’ve been exploring the enemy in our head. I sincerely invite you to do so.)
Most of God’s creations shine – reflecting the glory of God just by being what they were created to be. They are naturally luminous. However, God’s greatest creation, Man, unconsciously covers him or her self with layers of dark lies that smother the Divine Light.
But what if we didn’t? What if we looked at our unconscious automatic ways of acting and thinking, and chose to stop doing them? Then, we could climb out of our frenzied fear-filled actions and be free of the collateral damage that is the fruit of them…
God equipped us from birth with everything we need to live a successful life. We started out whole and our path was placed in front of us:
For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book, they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. Ps. 139:13, 14 & 16. NKJV
We may have done some flawed thinking and committed some unsound actions, but who we are has always been perfect, good enough and lovable. What we need to do is to stop doing the things that keep us from living our life in a perfect fashion. Those ‘things’ are the ways that take us out of the present moment – that we do in an effort to control life and eliminate change (impossible) in a relentless quest to find security.
We’ve learned that life cannot be controlled and that change is the only thing it guarantees. So, it makes absolutely no sense to keep waging this un-winnable war that saps our very essence. Worse, our efforts leave us a sense of helpless and unworthiness, that we try to hide by covering ourselves with some false personality – a mask that we hope others will find acceptable.
Yet God created us to be far more than ‘acceptable’ just the way we are:
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?…For God’s temple is holy and you are that temple. 1 Cor. 3:16, 17. ESV
As a true extension of God, we can’t be anything but perfect. When we accept Christ into our hearts, we the temple, become holy, which means ‘set apart, dedicated to sacred purposes, morally pure’ and ‘sinless.’ There is nothing that needs improvement and no reason to vie for acceptance and approval from others. We already have those things from the Source.
Unfortunately, there are many who become terrified at the thought of doing the only thing that will solve their dilemma – that is, to sit still with life and embrace all the possibilities of the present moment. Why do they do that? It’s because they formed an opinion (most likely in childhood) where they tell themselves that they don’t have what it takes to survive life.
Yet living an extraordinary life is not about what you have, it’s about letting go – letting go of your false self, your self-condemnation, and the past that no longer exists, i.e. all your patterns of living life (with anger, fear, prejudice, lust and shame, etc.) that cause you to run for your mask.
What imprisons you is not life, it’s the war that you have going on in your head.
When you don’t have to be in control, you will possess infinite freedom. Freedom comes when you stop and pay attention; and that’s where your tools come in handy: Sit still in meditation and watch the criticisms of the voice in your head cascade. See them for what they are (pathetic attempts at survival through domination and condemnation). Feel the wild emotions you conjure up in response – the pounding heart, the shortness of breath, the agony of fear, anger and shame. Watch how your responses build in sequence and see what triggers each one.
Face these uncomfortable feelings and inquire: ‘Are these thoughts true?’ NOT! The truth is that we are up against our own unworkable decisions, based upon false meanings. We can dismantle those root patterns of our misery and find out why we committed them by asking more questions: ‘What pain have I been suppressing? What fears am I running from? Why have I believed what I believe?’
Be patient and watch with suspended belief. Look for any real validity. Notice but refuse to engage with lies that try to justify themselves or try to validate any self-justification. Only love-related thoughts are based in truth. Entertain and live by those.
You may be frightened when you begin this wake-up process because heretofore you have believed that your mask (self-image) is real; but it isn’t, and most people see through it anyway.
Put your faith in the magnificence of who you really are – a unique image of God. What have you got to lose? When you expose the lies that made you think you had to be a chameleon, you’ll burn that mask.
What we are burning off is the dross of the world that contaminated us; and we are turning our eyes upon God and offering our willingness to be reclaimed. It’s an offer God promises to fill:
And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18 AMP
…He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting it to full completion in you. Phil. 1:6 AMP
When we let go of our self-condemnation, we become the recipients of God’s mercy. We are a creation of His love. There is nothing we could have done or have had done to us that would ever make us unlovable in His eyes. And when we love and accept ourselves, the darkness within us dies.
As a child, there was no way we could have processed, let alone coped with, the wiles of the enemy through his generational assault. All we deserve is compassion and love…
Commit to uncover all the ways you unconsciously do life instead of live it: procrastinating, lying, denying, and wearing guilt and shame. Then, stop doing!
However, be on the alert for that voice in your head. It won’t go down without a fight; but you can find victory if you refuse to engage with it, because it feeds off of your life.
Very soon after you created it, it told you that you needed it to take care of you. Ask yourself, ‘Has that ever been true?’ and ‘How has that worked out for me?’
The voice will chastise you for your decision to become conscious. It will assure you that you’ll fail. It wants you miserable. Feel that experience, seeing how you’ve been a partner in your own demise. Turn your back on that impotent ghost and re-commit to living from your spirit.
You deserve a love-filled life. It’s your birthright. You don’t need to earn it. Just open yourself up, tap into the love you have inside, and choose to receive it. Otherwise, life just keeps passing you by.
You deserve everything life has to offer. You were put here to experience it all. You only have to accept its availability.
You do not need anyone’s approval for being yourself. Honor the unique creation of love that God made you. You don’t need fixing. You don’t deserve punishment for past deeds. If you struggled with anything, if just meant that you had an issue you had difficulty with – not that there was anything wrong with you. Bring all of the pain that you have borne to Christ for His healing. You only have to let that ‘good person’ that you already are, step away from living behind the mask.
Select your thoughts; think of desirable outcomes. You get what you focus on. You’ve already seen your power in the manifestation of your ‘old’ life; thus, you must also have the power to create something new.
Think in completeness; e.g. ‘I am peaceful,’ not ‘I’m somewhat peaceful.’ The voice will use that, asking you, ‘A little peaceful compared to what?’ Then the ‘what’ becomes your focus.
Bring each day into focus by asking, ‘I have _____ in my life because…’ and ‘I don’t have ____ in my life because…’ These questions are for finding out the emotional charge you have on each, so that you can direct your day accordingly.
Ask uplifting questions: ‘How can I share myself with others today? How can I answer with total love? How does God want me to serve Him? Where do I want my focus?’
If we support ourselves 100%, it won’t matter what others do. There is a ‘compassion poverty’ on this planet. We look to ourselves for compassion, bathe in it, and let the rest spill over onto others.
There is one thing you must actually practice to complete your love-transformation – forgiveness. In your old life, you’ve been passing judgment upon yourself and others for years. You must forgive, so that you can create the space for love.
Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable you feel around people you haven’t forgiven? It’s because they reflect to you things you haven’t forgiven yourself for.
Everyone is trying to scramble through life the best way they can. If they’ve offended you, it was most likely because they felt what they did was paramount for their protection. It is rarely personal.
If you felt rejected, most of the time that other person was busily engaged in their own cranial drama and just forgot you were there – not personal, not rejection.
Forgiveness heals – mentally and physically. It frees you up to live a life you don’t need to hide from, keeps the salt out of your wounds and liberates you from having an attitude that is fertile for committing loveless acts.
If you don’t want to forgive, take a focused look at the lack of justification behind your stance and drop it. It’s not about asking why you had that attitude, you probably won’t remember or lie about why you think you’re justified. It doesn’t solve anything. Look instead at what ‘not forgiving’ costs. The right direction will be clear.
‘Not forgiving’ makes you a victim (denying your experience) and prolongs your suffering. Feel the experience, get the lesson, forgive yourself and let it go. Forget about who did what, realizing that nothing in the past has any relevancy in the present moment.
You are new in every moment. There are no dues to pay, no suffering you must endure, or any ideal you have to meet. You just made it up. Once you are actively engaged in returning to your true self, you will find that you’re leaving the lies in your head behind and lifting the crush of judgment off of your heart – living the dream.
Oh, your mind will still chatter from time to time. Just notice it, recognize it as nothing more than ‘meaningless thinking,’ and its volume and your response to it will continue to diminish. THERE IS NOTHING THAT YOU CAN’T LET GO OF!
Be your own best friend. Let your spirit be your guide and your true self will provide all of the love, peace and joy that you need, and there will be plenty left over to give to everyone around you.
It doesn’t matter what’s going on around you. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other on the path that you know brings happiness (God’s path). Pay attention. You are responsible for the live you live. Create your life lovingly.
God sees you pure for His sake. He makes you holy (through Christ) so that you can remain in His presence. He never meant for your life to be burdensome. When we sit still with Him, we can converse. When we come home to ourselves, our light will drive out all darkness and project the love of God in and around us.
So, after all this, I ask you, ‘What is a perfect self-image?’ Why, it’s having no self-image at all. You are an image of the Father. The only thing you’ve ever had to do was to become yourself. You are perfect in every way. When you come to love and accept yourself, your world will change. You don’t need an image. And really, why would you want to hide perfection behind a mask?
You were put here to shine…
Goodnight and God Bless.
January 31 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Jn. 14:27 NASB
Christ gives us the peace that transcends the practices of hell on earth. We reach for that peace by resting in His presence – through prayer, godly deeds, and by meditating upon and acting out the gospel.
When we drag our feet in the ways of the world, we are experiencing / practicing the opposite – anger, which we know is a form of fear. It’s man-made.
God practices anger but His is an entirely different form. If we practiced His (righteous) anger, we’d understand that it is a thought-energy construct that is meant to stir us up to take action to either help ourselves or others when we / they are facing a harmful (unrighteous) situation.
However, the anger that most people practice is a type that was unconsciously modeled after what one saw or experienced as a child. This ‘worldly’ anger only shows up because you already have it stored within you. But if you stop cultivating it, the anger will dissipate.
Most anger exists within the framework of relationship. So, the first thing to do is to eradicate anger from your relationship with yourself. You know how to do it: Sit still and look at your anger, recognize the roots of it, forgive yourself for projecting that anger upon yourself and others, and start looking at things through God’s eyes.
Our behaviors consist of the manifestations of our assumptions about life. Our assumptions lead to rigid self-righteous belief systems and dogma that we fortify through our self-justifying anger – all of which are the stuff wars are fought over. Thus, the most loving thing we can do is to dissolve those beliefs so we can stop acting them out.
When we react with anger, we’re like a cornered animal – unconsciously dangerous to those around us and ourselves.
But now, we are on the hunt for clarification about why we act the way we act.
Sit still and look at your anger. Acknowledge it as an emotion, nothing more. Claim your experience, saying to yourself, ‘I am feeling anger,’ not ‘I am angry.’ You are not your emotions. Look at the sequence of thoughts you entertain before your anger manifests by asking yourself, ‘What internal dialogue am I listening to right now?’ It will always be something that you haven’t been accepting about yourself. You have connected whatever that is, to an emotion and every time that comes up, your buttons are pushed.
In our examination (meditation), we lovingly look to extricate ourselves from this aspect of our unconscious training from that voice in our head that is trying to control us.
Focus on your breath to break that reactionary anger habit and act with intention towards a goal of understanding. Anger is always born from misunderstanding – either with regards to something about your persona or about the intentions of others.
Address the fear behind the anger by asking yourself, ‘Is there anything I need to be afraid of if I accept the unconditional love of Christ and love myself unconditionally as well?’ I can assure you there isn’t.
Continue with your inquiry about what you are not accepting about yourself – that false flaw you’ve been led to believe you have. Ask yourself, ‘Is that really so? Do I know that to be the truth?’ The lies will reveal themselves and your long-forgotten peace that was planted in you by God Himself will return.
Don’t deny (resist) your anger. Accept that part of you has been living angry. Instead, question why you have it.
Look at some of the most common roots of anger and what can be done about it:
1. You don’t like something.
The solution is to practice acceptance. Acceptance is not the same as resignation. To accept is to acknowledge the existence of something. To be resigned means to give up hope for any possibility of change. If there really is something you don’t like and it cannot be changed, you must change the way you relate to it.
There is no reason why you cannot be happy in any situation if you learn how to embrace whatever life offers without wasting one precious moment on things that steal your joy (e.g. anger). When you eliminate any ‘preferences’ that you believe must be met for you to feel happy, you can touch happiness in any moment. Then anger won’t be able to find a home in you, or at best, its stay will be short-lived.
2. You want life to be other than what it is.
The solution is to question the preferences you hold that you use in deciding what is true for you. Most of the time, we don’t know the true nature of life because we are walking unconsciously. Instead, commit to remain conscious continually. You will then be able to shed your assumptions and stop trying to change life and the people in it.
When you cast your distractions behind you, you’ll see what life (God) is offering you – even if it’s a lesson you don’t particularly want to learn. (Usually, those lessons are for showing you where and how you stop yourself from living a fully engaged, conscious life). If you choose to learn that lesson, you’ll be able to disarm that unworkable strategy and use that newfound wisdom to disarm your other strategies as well.
3. You see others as the enemy.
The solution is to realize that people all over the world are suffering in the same manner as you. Look at why these other people can rile you and what part of you is offended. Even if someone speaks or acts in a manner that is directly derogatory to you, they are only speaking / acting against the ‘image’ they have concocted about you or to the one you’re trying to project from your mask. Regardless, you can either correct their misconception or walk away – knowing that their opinion of you isn’t personal, therefore it’s meaningless.
You can also ask yourself (without judgment), ‘What may I have done to bring that behavior out of them?’ Or, you can consider that only people who are suffering would project that onto someone else, compassionately asking yourself, ‘What must they be going through that would make them treat another person this way?’
Respond to this person the way you’d want someone to respond to you ( See Lk. 6:31) if you were the hurting party – extending love, kindness and compassion with an open ear, without trying to judge or change them. Apply grace in the same way God grants grace to you.
Who doesn’t deserve love and acceptance? Especially when we all know intimately what that feels like.
4. You’re resentful for having to suppress your shameful secrets.
The solution is to confess, repent, atone and return to living from your spirit. It’s far better than punishing yourself or others and it restores healthy relationships. Breathe out compassion when you feel the anger. Send it towards all people who suffer from the same automatic ways of being. Wish them happiness and freedom. Make friends with everyone (beginning with yourself) – even if they don’t want to.
You are not a bad person. You’re just living your life the best way you know how – just like everybody else…
Happiness is what happens when we accept ourselves, when we love ourselves, when we embrace God through Christ – letting all that love and peace flow through us. Then we can see life as the as the incredible gift it is; and it’s always available when we stay in truth and reality, living as our genuine selves by walking with God.
Happiness is always available when we accept our experience rather than a belief about it – when we trust Who is inside of us. It’s there when we drop the suffering, drop the meaning-less meanings, take nothing personal, give up the ‘search for happiness’ and just be happy and at peace. It’s our natural state…
“These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jn. 16:33 NKJV
Goodnight and God bless.
January 21 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
We are, above all things, afraid of pain. Thus, we live in fear of an inevitable part of life. In so doing, we experience pain frequently – mostly due to our beliefs about pain. We believe that anything that challenges our beliefs is a source of pain. Yet pain does not come from the challenge, it comes from our resistance to it.
It is our resistance that causes us to run from perceived pain, which only adds greater anxiety – the disease of an anxious world that has had the voices in the heads of its inhabitants bleating relentlessly that the world is a dangerous place and punishment awaits those who do not navigate it the ‘right way’ (according to its own dictates).
We run from our fear, not realizing we are generating it, so we always find ourselves falling back into it.
Yes, you were taught to be afraid, but all those teachings were lies that gave your life the apparent toxicity you fear. Naturally, you built walls of defense (which became prison walls).
LIFE IS NEUTRAL. It is you who are mistakenly biased. You can wipe out those biases by inviting your fears into your meditations as they pop up. First, meditate upon the word of God so that you know just how much He has got your back:
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? Ps. 27:1 NASB
‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock?’ Is. 44:8 NASB
Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] Jn. 14:27 AMP
Fear not, for I am with you… Is. 43:5 NKJV
I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Ps. 34:4 ESV
Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep believing. Mk. 5:36 AMP
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7 NKJV
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Ps. 32:7 ESV
For you have delivered my life from death, yes, and my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life and of the living. Ps. 56:13 AMP
[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Col. 1:13 AMP
“…for I am with you to save you and deliver you,” declares the LORD. Jer. 15:20 NASB
Are you feeling pumped up yet? You are invulnerable in God and Christ.
Now, we look at each fear in our meditation, see them for the lies that they are and replace those beliefs with new empowering convictions, which will change how you are being and will change your world. The only place fear lives is within you, but you can replace that fear with God:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. 1 Jn. 4:18 ESV
Just like we solve all our problems, we have to become aware of what we’ve been doing and choose to do different. We were masterful in the construction of our walls of defense. We cannot break them down with a simple frontal assault, because they were constructed to prevent that very thing. When you discover and neutralize your fears, you won’t have to hold up those walls any further.
Look first to your Life Story – the genesis of your fears. Always remember to bring kindness, love and compassion to yourself as you become aware of what you’ve been up to, without applying judgment. Take responsibility for your decisions and acts you’ve made in your blindness and remain vigorous in your inquiry for the reasons behind them. See if they contain any truth. When you take responsibility, you’re on your way to freedom.
Once you really see the falsity behind your heretofore-unquestioned beliefs, you’ll be able to uproot them, as well as tear down the rigid reality you built around them – that reality you’ve exhausted yourself trying to defend so that you won’t be made wrong.
Fear brings opportunity. If we sit with it and watch our reactions (all the ways we run), we can see how we might do the opposite and set ourselves free. All it takes is for you to remove the armor that you think is protecting you.
Trust your heart to compassionately and lovingly see you through. LIFE IS NOT SCARY. We make it scary because we are afraid of the unpredictability of life and of our inability to control it.
WE ARE NOT SCARY. Yet we believe we are because of our conviction that we are flawed in unacceptable ways – not!
Happiness will elude us as long as we hold onto the ways we do fear. Realize that our suffering is inseparable from the world’s suffering; apply unconditional acceptance, love, forgiveness and compassion to ourselves first, and then to all others. Stop the blaming, let go of the past and forget about the future.
Our lives only contain the problems that we say they have. Freedom from fear comes when we are willing to let go of what we think we know (giving up our false security), so that we can look at ourselves and our surroundings with new eyes. Whole new vistas will present themselves – filled with limitless opportunities that allow you to reinvent your possibilities from moment to moment.
Instead of fear, we can re-frame our view of life to one that embraces this frenzied string of uncertainties and remain open to the wonder of the next surprise. And, if life were a flowing stream of surprises, why would you worry about problems when you could never plan for a solution? Guess what? Life is the solution!
We are all works in progress, so there is no reason to make space for the unworkable notions of shame or embarrassment that gives birth to so many fears.
Knowing that life is unpredictable, it follows that our time with others is unknowable. Doesn’t it then make sense to treasure everyone in every moment instead of living with the fear that they may go away or waste time indulging in strife or discord? We can choose love over fear and remain fully embraced with those around us as a temporal gift while they are here and an eternal one in the heart when they are not.
We need to commit to letting our guard down, shutting our old selves down, and move into the opportune space of our new home – fearlessness.
Every time we feel a fear arise, we connect with God through Christ and go back to meditation to see what kind of strategy we have evoked to protect a wound that we haven’t brought to the light to be healed. We search for the meanings that elicit our response and ask ourselves, ‘What else in life are we resisting in this fashion? What has it cost us?’ Then, we change our thinking.
Life is what it is and it does what it does. No amount of fear will alter that. Fear is a tool we create for resisting life, even though it is totally ineffective in doing so. Those who are fearless accept life and remain aware of all the obstacles that appear to prevent them from living – never entertaining the notion that the obstacles consist of something they cannot handle. After all, they have God on their side.
They no longer judge themselves or others or brood over their mistakes. Should a blip occur, they look at why they committed them, drop any meanings at the root of them and jump headfirst back into the stream of life.
Goodnight and God bless.
January 17 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
Last time (see Turning Our Lives Around For Good), we finally turned the corner – from exhaustively examining why lives don’t work, to giving ourselves total awareness to come to a clear space where we can regain our consciousness with God. Within that restored connection, we are filled with His compassion and acceptance so that we can also apply that to ourselves and to everyone else.
When we can come from the heart, we can have the life we want. That life has always been within you, because it is God’s plan for you. To help you accomplish that, He put certain tools within you that you can use to help you get past your old distorted self and embrace your birthright:
Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices, and have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it. Col. 3:9, 10. AMP
There is no reason to lie to yourself or anyone else, because once you reconnect with God and are bathed in the cleansing blood of His Son, you are the truth, and as you walk in it, the full potential of God’s gifts lay right in front of you.
One of those gifts is His precious present. What kind of present? Why, it’s your present moment! Everything that happens in life only occurs in the present moment. The past is dead. The future does not exist. If you are chasing either of those ephemeral concepts within your head, you are effectively suspending yourself from the ongoing strings of the present moments that tie together your real life.
When you live in the present, you can be consciously at cause for how your life turns out. You need to take on that present-time mindset:
Accept that you are responsible for where you are in life (without judgment). Taking on responsibility gives you the power to forge a different path by making conscious choices. Everything happened to bring you where you are.
Life (God) keeps standing in front of us with open arms, saying ‘Here I am! I ready to shower you with all I have to offer! If we are unconscious, we answer, ‘No you’re not!’ Why? Because we deny life as it is if it doesn’t fit into our matrix of preferences, which are based upon false meanings. We put life on hold by denying the present moment – the only place that we can find love, contentment and joy.
Life is simple. You’re living it in the present moment, or you’re running your mental programs – lost in comparisons, wishing life was something that it’s not. You can always tell when you are running from life; it’s when you’re entertaining negative thoughts.
Have compassion for having experienced that old way of being, and step into living. Wrap your arms around life instead of wishing it was something different. Open yourself up to life in the present moment. That’s when God steps in.
Accept that you have a history and it’s gone. Other than any valuable lessons to be learned, that Life Story is meaningless. When you choose present-moment living, your past (with all the refuse that you added to it) vanishes. Thus, you don’t have to act it out anymore.
When you’re present, you are in total touch with yourself – seeing how you are being and what you are doing, aware that you now have the ability to change those parameters (the little blips of unconsciousness) in order to return to the perfect life that God gave you. You can be happy anywhere, at any time, with anyone.
You will be engaged with Truth in peace, because you will have a sweet stillness in your head as you listen to the voice of God – who is always there to guide you towards your highest and best.
Life hands us events. We will perceive some of them as painful. We can acknowledge our pain, knowing that we are choosing to have that response as well as the length of time we have suffered. We can look to see if we contributed to that event, make the necessary corrections, remove the meanings to it that we’ve attached, take in the lesson to be learned, and let the rest go.
Many things in life are unavoidable. That is not fatalistic thinking. It’s just acknowledging what is so, what is true. Within that acknowledgement comes a freedom to love and accept the miraculous place that lives in the only moment there is – your present one…
You don’t need fixing. You never did. You only smothered yourself with a succession of bad habits. Congratulate yourself for choosing to stop. When you have, help others do the same.
Most of us need to change our ‘self-talk.’ Speak in terms of ‘I’ rather than ‘you.’ For example, say ‘I am feeling this way,’ not ‘You are making me feel this way.’ It shifts the responsibility back onto the shoulders of the one constructing these viewpoints so they have the power to do it a different way.
Change ‘why’ questions into ‘how’ questions – saying ‘How is this happening to me?’ rather than ‘Why is this happening?’ It’s a proactive way to reveal how you set up the patterns in your life.
Tend the garden that is your body; weed out the negativity. Look for the lesson in any infirmities. They are usually the result of your self-talk. Health degenerates if you let go of your responsibility for it. Believe that healing is possible. Exercise faith and miracles will follow. Culture a healthy mind by bringing it closer to your spirit. Healing follows healthy conversation with yourself.
“…I am the LORD who heals you.” Ex. 15:26 NKJV
Focus on clarifying who you really are and how to be that, rather than trying to be ‘acceptable.’
Detach yourself from all beliefs that are not loving or supporting you or others.
Don’t be sucked up in the black hole of ‘self-improvement.’ It sustains the darkness when you try to fix yourself – reinforcing the erroneous thought that something is wrong with you. If there is anything in your perfection that needs repair, your Creator will do the repairing – and that consists of the removal of the parasite in your head and a restoration of your God-given awareness.
Don’t be concerned about ‘getting anywhere;’ you’re already there – perfect. Just do your best with no attachment to the outcome. Give that up to God.
Growth does not come from needing to grow, but from inwardly directed awareness – coming home to God through Christ. The goal is to grow as a human being so that we can have a better world; and that growth consists of letting more of God in – letting life in, surrendering to its Maker rather than getting caught up in some doing.
…I count all things to be loss in the view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:8-10 & 13, 14. NASB
We connect with God’s precious present by choosing to re-frame the way we look at ourselves and the world around us – knowing that it is only in the present moment where the freedom to love and to be loved exists. And we open ourselves up to it – living each day as if it was our last, seeing each moment as extraordinary and finding laughter in every circumstance…
Goodnight and God bless.
January 07 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
If you’ve been following along since July 2015 (beginning with How The Devil Stole Your Soul), you have seen both how Satan’s handiwork was imprinted upon Adam and Eve and handed down through unconscious generational assaults by parents, peers, governments, schools and media. Furthermore, you’ve gained a diamond-sharp picture of how you personally see and do life, and how your ability to rationally experience reality was distorted into a way of thinking that has been hazardous to your health.
I applaud you for your persistence. I also thought it fitting this New Year’s Day that we would begin our journey out of this mess…
We were created for a victorious life:
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Cor. 15:57, 58. NKJ
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 Jn. 5:4, 5. ESV
That victory is gained and maintained on a spiritual battlefield:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:11, 12. ESV
The fact that you are with us on this journey says that you’re engaged in the first step on the path to turning your life around for good – and that is to be aware that there is a problem (darkness). You don’t have to feel bad about it. You were force-fed this disease.
You were born perfect. You are perfect (through the blood of Jesus). You will always be perfect. It’s likely that you don’t believe it because you were inundated with lies that say you’re not – including those told to you by the very defense mechanism you created (that voice in your head) to protect you from the potential recurrence of some past event (real or imagined), that you were not equipped to process at that time.
You did not ask to be hurt, frightened or filled with self-doubt. Yet it happens to everyone to some degree. It was an unconscious process that can be undone – by becoming conscious of it as well as being aware of your unconscious efforts to maintain that deleterious status quo.
In other words, we can render the dark mind powerless when we recognize its false nature and withdraw ourselves from the agreements that we made with it. We wake up by arming ourselves with awareness.
The second step on the path to regaining your life, is to thank God for bringing you to a place where you can consider that alternative – a life much grander than your present vision / experience. Then the healing can begin:
I give thanks to You, O Lord, for Your eye stands over my soul, and You have delivered me from the jealousy of the mediator of lies…for apart from You nothing is done, and without Your will nothing is known…You O my God, turn the tempest to a whisper, and the life of the distressed You have brought to safety…my agonies become an eternal healing… Dead Sea Scrolls.
We are not our false mind. Otherwise we could not watch or listen to its onslaught. We are first and foremost our spirit. We are awareness:
…meditate on the secret of why things are and investigate it at all times, and then you will know truth and evil, wisdom and falsehood…refine your heart, and your thoughts will be characterized by great insight… Dead Sea Scrolls.
God is our life, happiness and peace. Yet, because of His unchanging respect for our free will, He cannot touch us / communicate with us unless we are presenting our awareness instead of living out Satan’s template.
We can also ask the Holy Spirit for help in gaining the deepest understandings of life and love:
…Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. Luke 11:9 AMP
Ask to have your awareness tuned to Him 24/7, and all will be revealed – your darkness replaced with light. There are only two plans for life: God’s or the devil’s. The love and healing begin when we say ‘Thank You God.’
Given that unconscious people handed down their unconsciousness to us, we cannot say that we were victimized in the traditional sense. Regardless, we cannot get past this ‘Big Sleep’ that we’ve been living in until we become aware of what we think and do, take responsibility for it (without judgment) and look to see what that has cost us. Then we can come to a place where we can begin to think and do things differently – first by removing the suffering from ourselves, and then assisting others to do the same. That’s called compassion.
We are not alone. Our suffering is not unique. When one suffers, we all suffer. If we can help remove that suffering, we are helping God. The only way the darkness can keep a hold over you is if it can convince you that you are alone. When you break out of that isolation, the entire universe celebrates and becomes a better place for it.
When you know you are part of the oneness of God, you will see through the adversary’s tactics of alienation and the absurdity of remaining in fear of your true self. You will break the grip of this age of anxiety.
Let’s consider some pillars of truth upon which we can build up our reserves of compassion:
1. You are a gift from God to everything else in this universe. No one or nothing else possesses your unique gift(s); and you bring them by just being who God created you to be. There is no reason to don a mask of any kind. You are special beyond measure – and so is everybody else.
2. Whatever happened to you was not your fault. You deserve nothing but compassion, and so does everyone else.
3. Life is a gift and we are a gift to life.
4. There is nothing wrong with you or anyone or anything around you. When you realize the perfection that you possess, you’ll understand that there in nothing you have to change, fix or improve. All you have to do is remove the layers of armor that you thought you had to wear to cover the imperfections you do not have. There isn’t anything that anyone could know about you that could make you less of a person in the eyes of God.
5. We try to control life, thinking that the reason it’s not turning out ‘right’ is due to our failure to control ourselves. We’re imprinted with this reasoning as a child. Did you ever see a child that could control itself? Control is an illusion. Instead, we can choose to respond to our present-moment circumstances in ways that differ from our old knee-jerk responses, by letting go of the lies we believed and the conclusions that we made about them. We can be ‘at cause’ for what happens in our lives. Our future is not predetermined or immutable.
6. All people seek happiness and fulfillment, but most have had to contend with the suffering that accompanies despair, sadness, loneliness, guilt and shame. Remember that anything we have done, we did out of fear in an effort to survive the life that we made. We deserve compassion, not condemnation. And compassion only grows from forgiveness.
7. Wisdom comes to us as slow as molasses in January and is usually borne out of unpleasant circumstances. When people think that they can tolerate no more of these ‘circumstances,’ they enclose themselves behind walls of defense – severing themselves from receiving the wisdom these circumstances were meant to impart. Our demons from the past are illusory, but the pain is real. We are all just doing our best to avoid suffering.
You cannot wait until you feel that you’ve become a better person or until you think your life is straightened out before you give yourself compassion! Life will just continue to pass you by.
Be kind to yourself. Acknowledge your Herculean efforts to survive, to do good things, to be a good person and to find love. Appreciate your creativity and have compassion for yourself for feeling that you needed your creations. See that you had the power to make them, so you must have the power to deconstruct them as well and set yourself free.
Once you offer yourself and others compassion, acceptance will follow as well. When you understand your actions, you’ll understand the actions of others.
Accept that we all struggle and bring meanings to things that aren’t applicable, and we keep our struggle in place by not letting those meanings go.
We regain our life when we lose our mind.
We all share the same ways of being human, both workable and unworkable – all fighting the same fight. When you accept yourself, you’ll stop hating yourself and others. When you love yourself, you’ll accept and love others.
Accept that you lack nothing, you are not the voice in your head, your world is perfect and that acceptance is a life-long exercise of love.
Give compassion to yourself for having lived in fear of both change and pain. Embrace the pain as a harbinger of a transformational learning experience as you become aware of why you felt that pain in the first place.
When you establish a new love relationship with you, along with the kindness, compassion and acceptance that comes with it, you’ll find the world will reflect that love back at you. It does involve work, but it takes an equal amount of effort to hold onto your misery.
Everything you’ve ever been looking for is within you – even and especially, God Himself.
Now you are ready to begin receiving His gifts that He’s already placed within you and your life will turn around for good.
Goodnight and God bless.
January 01 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
In this end post of our 5-part series, we will finish looking at the final 11 of the 29 questions we posed to ourselves (see Your Personal Responsibility In Cleaning God’s House – Part 2), all of which were windows we could look into to examine how we both view and live out the major themes in our lives – all of which determine their quality and outcome. Let’s finish this up:
19. How do you feel when someone thinks you are wrong?
20. What conflicts do you have in life?
21. How do you manipulate people?
25. List the dramas in your life.
(Questions 22 through 24 will be answered in the next section)
As a whole, your answers to the above questions will reveal your unworkable actions and the associated consequences that you endure, i.e. your conflicts in life. Most conflicts occur within relationship, where they mirror the inner conflicts of those being related.
We think others make us wrong, but it is only events that open an old wound within – those damaged places where we think we are wrong – we make us wrong.
Other conflicts arise when we try to manipulate others into being like us, so that we can justify our strategies in life.
All of our conflict-generating behaviors spawn the recurring dramas in our lives. Drama will cease when we get a clear picture of how and why we have been doing life, that has not brought us peace and love and commit to doing otherwise – replacing strategies based upon false beliefs with workable stratagem founded upon the truth.
22. How do you listen in a conversation?
23. What are your fears?
24. How do you avoid the present moment?
27. List you impulsive behaviors.
(Question 25 was answered in the previous section and 26 will be answered in the next.)
Most people don’t listen in conversation. Notice where conversation only takes place in the present moment. Many people see the general unknowable-ness of the present moment as their greatest source of fear. Thus, everyone is running from the present by way of impulsive behaviors: zoning out in media, immersing themselves in busyness, or indulging in addictions. They are clamoring for relief from their inner conflicts, but they only wind up with temporary blindness. The conflicts continue to grow because their roots are not being addressed. The only way to resolve conflict is to seek truth.
26. Who do you feel has abandoned you?
Nothing is permanent. That’s why we must stay present to those who are meaningful (that should be everybody) in our lives – present to receive the unique gift(s) that only these people were meant to bring. Once you receive them, you can hold the people and the gifts in your heart forever.
You have no control over whether someone leaves you or not; but you can examine the series of events that preceded that exit to find out if you contributed to it. If you did, (without judgment) make the necessary corrections in your beliefs and behaviors so you don’t rinse and repeat in your next relationship. If you were not a factor in their leaving, it was a problem that your partner had and wasn’t willing or ready to resolve it with you – nothing personal!
28. What meaning do you bring to your emotion?
Emotions are just thoughts with energy attached. They come and go against your will, so forget about trying to control them. You don’t have to hide them. Instead, you can choose how you act them out through changing how you relate to them, by dropping the false, unworkable meanings that you’ve attached to them. Sit with the energy of your emotions. Listen to the conversation in your head at the time and see what your body is doing. Consider that you can do this emotion differently and that truth will bring you peace.
29. What do you cling to?
You cling to whatever it is you’re afraid of losing; yet we’ve seen that everything in this universe is only on loan. Ironically, the tighter you cling to something due to fear of loss, the more moments you lose to enjoy it while it’s there.
It’s far better to hold everything in the palm of an open hand so that the blessing of that gift can be received and then passed onto the next person it was meant to bless. In so doing, your open and empty hand is now ready to receive your next gift…
Now, 29 questions later, you have a pretty clear picture of how you see life, what you think about it, how you react to it, and what those views and knee-jerk reactions have cost you.
Clearly, most of us have been going through life with a distinct disadvantage. We’ve been trying to make the best of our lives while simultaneously fostering a mind infestation that distorts our reality and everything in it – including ourselves. We can only rise above our self-induced crippling by eliminating the toxic environment that is the source of it. We need to clean house and invite reality (God) to come home. When we invite the truth and stand by it, we’ll see that the voice in our head (or any other source of opposition) cannot stand in the face of it.
How we do that is by thinking in a new way. That new way is not really new, we’ve just been turning our backs to it. It is God’s way – a way that places amongst its core values both compassion and acceptance.
To be continued…
Goodnight and God bless.
December 26 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
In the first 3 parts of this series, we plunged the depths of the meanings behind the first 9 of 29 questions (that hopefully you’ve already answered – see Your Personal Responsibility In Cleaning God’s House – Part 2) designed to see the pattern of life you live out that poses a barrier to your communion with God. Let’s continue…
10. Describe what you feel the future holds for you.
Are you waiting for a future where you finally get it all together? Guess what? No one ever gets it all together. You position yourself to get it together by walking in God’s ways. He brings you all together:
…He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Phil. 1:6 AMP
We are a work in progress. Life on Earth is a training ground. There is no goal. LIFE IS THE GOAL! It’s a journey where we put one spirit-led foot in front of the other until our Savior takes us home.
If you are waiting for any kind of a future, you are missing out on life because it only happens in the present moment – not in some nebulous future.
Waiting for a happy future? Doesn’t exist. Happiness comes from engaging in the present, making the decision to be happy regardless of your circumstances.
Looking for love and acceptance in the future? God gave you those things the moment He thought you into being. (Eph. 1:4) Regardless of what may have tarnished your past, God has redeemed you from it through the cleansing blood of His Son.
11. What meaning have you brought to life?
Do you wake each day with gratitude and an exuberant expectancy, or do you rise with wrenched guts and tears threatening to burst forth? If it is the former, you are living consciously, engaged in healing, giving and loving. If the latter, you’re living a life enmeshed with the meanings of the wounded child within. Don’t punish yourself for that. You are courageously working in this series so that the latter becomes the former. You deserve great love and compassion for your efforts.
12. Are you dissatisfied with life?
Your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your life hinge upon the meaning(s) you bring to your life. That is not to downplay those real events in your life that unhinged you and brought real feelings of grief, pain, misery, disappointment or shame. Yet regardless of the reality or lack of it in your ‘events,’ it is the meanings that you create around them that determine your view of life and how you live it.
Thus, we can go to meditation and remind ourselves that nothing earthly is permanent. We snoop into our real or unreal roots (meanings) of our vision of life and our reactions to it, let them wash over us and bury them – knowing that we can construct new truth-based meanings of life that empower us to heal.
All situations have something to teach us. When we commit to learning what it is instead of running, our unworkable ‘stuff’ will be revealed and we can let that go. If, during our meditative examination, we think we’ve reached our limits and are standing on the edge of a frightful abyss, we can stop and breathe and look at where that false belief stems from. If we jump, we’ll land on solid ground in the present moment with one more fear behind us.
But this can only happen if we keep our eyes wide open in the presence of our vexation and let go of any efforts of trying to control the world. ‘Letting go’ allows us to be free to face life without fear. When we practice living at peace instead of indulging in drama and our responsive knee-jerk reactions, life is manageable.
Instead of sinking into suffering if we experience pain, we can offer ourselves love, compassion and kindness. If we feel loss, we can look at why we feel the need to cling by examining the meanings that motivate us to do that – our desires, aggressions and denials. We can see them for the conditioned lies that they are and let them go.
Once we learn the lesson that life is presenting, it will stop haunting us. Often, those lessons push our ‘hot buttons.’ This is a wonderful opportunity to learn why those hot buttons exist – a time to disqualify and eliminate more baseless beliefs. We can become walking pillars of peace in a world of pandemonium.
Other than our relationship with God and ourselves, all things come and go. They’re all on loan to us. So we can’t really lose anything; it wasn’t ours to begin with. Thus, we want to cherish our loved ones in the present moment, and tap into their love-print in our heart when they are not. We are never alone and true love never dies.
Change is not loss but opportunity for new possibilities.
13. What makes you angry?
The answer is simple. It is the same things that make you afraid. (See part 3 of this series.) You’ve already learned that anger kills (see Characteristics Of A Life When God Is Absent – Part 3). When you feel it manifest within you, stop and breathe, look at what you are listening to in your head and how you are also getting angry with yourself. Defuse and replace the meanings behind that commotion and practice forgiveness and acceptance for both you and the object of your anger.
14. What does everyone think about you?
15. What do you think is wrong with you?
16. Why don’t you accept yourself?
17. What secrets are you keeping?
18. What lies do you tell?
The answers to all of these questions have the same roots. They stem from the things you don’t accept about yourself and the lies you tell in an attempt to conceal them. (By the way, you really don’t know what anybody thinks of you.)
The ‘unacceptable things’ are either something you’ve done in the past that you’ve attached a negative meaning to, or a negative belief you took on as a child. The past cannot be changed. While you are examining your answers to these questions, it’s a good time to go to God for forgiveness:
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy towards those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Ps. 103:10 – 12. NKJV
So let up on yourself. Look deep at any belief you may harbor that opposes your perfection and realize it is a lie…
We’re heading for the home stretch. Next time.
Goodnight and God bless.
December 19 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
In the first two parts of this series, we looked at the meanings behind the first 4 of 29 questions designed to help you see the pattern of life you live that suppresses your spirit, which separates you from your Creator. Continuing on…
5. Who is in your life?
Who you choose to hang out with and whom you don’t, says a lot about you. Deep down, we all want to be surrounded with people who love and accept us for who we are. Yet we rarely reveal that true self to others, so we sabotage ourselves – settling only for those who are attracted to our masks.
We pick ‘safe people,’ people like us who won’t call us out on the unworkable strategies that constitute our pattern. Indeed, they are likely living by similar schemes. That way, everybody in the group can validate each others self-victimization. You can figure out how you are being by looking at your friends. If you see character flaws in them, you can rest assured they are the same flaws that you believe you have.
The solution is to let the real you out to play and see whom that attracts. (You’ll be pleasantly surprised.) You may certainly lose some of your present friends and maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
But you’re stuck with your family, yes? Consider that they might be easier to be around if you’d quit blaming them for how your life is turning out. They too have suffered from the same mind-bending as you have. Most of the time, they weren’t trying to be disagreeable; they were just acting out their own hurts. Not personal! They only want the same love and acceptance that you do. After you give love and acceptance to yourself, try giving it to them.
Your entire relationship may change – or not, if they cannot let go of there own survival strategies. Accept them for who they are and what they are able to give in the moment. Examine how you let them push your self-conditioned ‘hot buttons,’ and refuse to play on that level anymore. You will then know that you did your best. At the very least, your relationship to them will change for the better.
Let’s say that you did have someone who truly was malicious in your life but they are not in it anymore for whatever reason. You must still forgive them for your sake.
They did perpetrate a real hurt upon you, which led to sadness and eventually to suffering. You may even blame yourself for what they did, feeling hopeless, helpless, and guilty. This ‘frame of reference’ affects the way you look at everything.
Consider what kind of abuse could have caused your abuser to be so monstrous. Apply compassion and forgiveness when you realize what a great pain they must have suffered. Then you will be able to get on with the business of living. And forgive yourself. Maybe you aided your abuser, maybe not. Either way, you made the best choice at the time with the tools that you had to survive. If you could have seen a better way, you would have taken it.
If you still have abusive people in your life, forgive them as above but firm up your healthy boundaries so that they can no longer do you harm!
Accept that some people allow evil to fester within and steer clear of them. You’re not responsible; neither can you change them. You can pray for them.
Apply gobs of love and compassion for yourself if you see that you’ve allowed this evil to stay in your presence, because you were hoping that some scraps of love and acceptance would be thrown your way. (Look deep, because it’s probably how you relate to everyone.) In which case, you’ve been trying to recreate the perfect parent, friend or lover in that toxic relationship. Just acknowledge it and let that person in the mirror know that it is time to quit beating him or herself up.
When you give yourself that love and compassion, you will attract the kind of relationships that enhance those qualities in your life. As you recognize that only you are responsible for how your life turns out, you will be able to steer it on a much more loving course.
You’ll be able to see who and what anyone around you is being, which allows you to be free of their strategies, and stop making what they say or do personal. Your life will be cleansed of toxicity.
There was a sub-question to #5. It was ‘How do you want these people to change?’ If you examine your answers, you’ll see that most of the changes are the ones you want to see in yourself. Take them to your meditation, asking yourself: ‘Do I need to make these changes? Why have I been running strategies in opposition to them?’ Drop the strategies and the changes will happen by themselves.
6. Who have caused or continue to cause you pain?
7. Who have you chosen not to forgive?
8. Who are your enemies?
These 3 questions are a subset of question #5.
No one can cause you pain; you must choose to be hurt. (I’m not talking about those who actually abuse you physically or emotionally. However, if it is in your power to get away from them and you’ve not done so, you need to look deeply within, to find out what your ‘payoff’ is that you believe is worth the pain of remaining a victim.)
Meditate about the people who ‘hurt’ you. How do you feel when they are around you? Do those feelings have any validity in present tense? It’s very possible your feelings are rooted in past events and may not be related to this person at all.
If, after careful consideration, you still feel justified, look to see if you’ve earnestly tried to communicate what you feel to this person. It’s possible they have no clue about how you feel because they are too far into their own head.
Apply compassion. They too have been wounded in life. Perhaps you can help them see something they have not been conscious of.
For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend… Job. 6:14 NASB
The people you have chosen not to forgive are those with whom you have a pain response. Ultimately, whatever they have done, you must forgive them as God forgives you. (Mk. 11:25) It doesn’t mean that you have to like them or have them in your proximity.
If you don’t forgive, you lock up hate and bitterness inside, and it eats away at you like a cancer. You will hate yourself for hating. Every human problem is rooted in a lack of love for oneself. You must expel any and all forms of hate from your heart.
Who are your enemies? They are the same people whom you perceive have caused you pain and that you’ve chosen not to forgive. You cannot afford to have enemies. Jesus told us to love our enemies. (Mt. 5:44) Begin by loving the person you’ve made the biggest enemy – yourself. Then, you can radiate that out of you. Acceptance always follows unconditional love. When you become your own best friend, your world will be filled with friends.
A friend loves at all times… Pr. 17:17 NKJV
9. What are you afraid of?
Writing down all the thoughts, emotions, and sensations that appear before your fear manifests, shows you how you do fear. Remember, most fear is based on imaginary future possibilities (that voice in your head invents) that are based on unresolved anxieties over your past.
Most people run from their fears in a frantic dash that actually keeps their fears in front of their face. That’s a sure way of guaranteeing a life full of misery. Let’s bring all our fears to our meditation:
Are you afraid someone will find out who you really are? That’s funny because most of us don’t know who we are. However, we can find out if we lovingly examine the construct of our masks. Every flaw that you think you have is a product of a broken relationship, out of which you desperately and courageously created a survival mechanism. You only had a wounded heart problem. There was no problem with your true self – never was, never will be.
All you’ve ever deserved was unconditional love and compassion. Give it to yourself. Be yourself. And then the opinions of others won’t matter, because they have as much value as farts in the wind.
Are you afraid of failure? Failure is only a step that brings you closer to success. Without failure, there is no forward progress. It doesn’t mean there is anything inherently wrong with you.
There is no perfect way of doing anything and you’ll have far more freedom without the bondage of perfectionism (which is only a way of protecting ourselves from failure by continuous tinkering instead of finishing).
Are you afraid of relationship? More fear of rejection. The only way to move beyond this fear is to form an unconditional love relationship with God and with you. Then everyone around you will want to be related to you.
Are you afraid of dying? Only having a relationship with God can cure that.
Are you afraid of the unknown (change)? Other than God, there is no constant. Change is the only guarantee that we have. In fact, if not for change (e.g. cellular growth and differentiation) there would be no life. No one knows what’s going to happen next. Even that what you think works best in your life will change.
Neither do we have any control over this universe. Freedom appears when we let that notion of ‘being in control’ go. (The only thing that can control your life is what you don’t know. That’s why it’s so imperative to stay conscious.)
We are all part of this changing universe, which makes every moment a gift with endless possibilities. We should be living in awe at this mysterious chaos, at this chance to take this love-filled journey that is always available to those who choose to remain awake and to let go – again and again.
Regardless of what you’re afraid of, those fears are only based upon unexamined beliefs from meanings that you made up as a child. Love and happiness cannot coexist with fear. I vote for letting the fear go. Look at your fears and the strategies you support them with, and see how they’ve kept you from living.
Commit to not running. Face those false fears and see the lies that they are constructed from. Let go, and live…
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1 ESV
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? Ps. 118.6 NKJV
Next time: more of what inquiring minds need to know.
Good night and God bless.
December 10 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
In part one of this series, we examined the meanings of the first 2 of 29 questions (that you’ve hopefully answered) which are designed to reveal the pattern of how you live your life when you’re living it by the ways of the world – the ways that separate you from God. Let’s continue…
3. What causes you sadness?
First, let’s take a look at what sadness is. It is a normal emotion, usually preceded by loss. We grieve over the loss of a favorite thing, a pet, or a loved one – dealt to us by death, absence, or abandonment. Life always changes, as do the players and playthings we share our life with. It is the natural progression of things.
‘Being sad’ is what we do when we contemplate how that loss affects us. It’s how we’re wired. It’s natural to grieve and then to get over it. You can bring your sadness to your meditation, praying to God first for insight. You will see that sadness is a way your heart tells you that you have a hurt, which needs to be healed. When you recognize the hurt, you can ask Jesus for the healing.
Conversely, if you dwell on and cling to your sadness, that feeling morphs into ‘suffering,’ and your life begins to bleed out of you. But suffering is only based upon opinions that you have and continue to hold onto. The only way to get suffering out of your world is to get it out of you.
So, if you’ve already taken on suffering as a way to be, you can free yourself by returning to your meditation (with Christ as your ally) and see how it is that you do suffering. Look at what heavy meanings you’ve attached to your sadness. Ask yourself if there is any validity to those meanings (usually not), and let them go. Sadness is only an emotion – a burst of energy with a physical sensation attached. Any other meaning you’ve attached to your sadness is meaning-less.
What if you just acknowledged your sadness and chose not to make yourself, others, or the world wrong because you feel that way?
If there were a little child standing in front of you who was feeling sad, wouldn’t you be led to comfort him or her? How about you comfort yourself? You can do that while you are meditating about your sadness by acknowledging that this is one of those moments where you need to give yourself more love and compassion. (When you do this, you more readily connect with Christ’s love and compassion, because love becomes more recognizable.)
Ask yourself, ‘Why am I sad?’ Look at all of the reasons you’ve lain at the root of your sadness and question their truthfulness. Ask Jesus to reveal anything else that you are suppressing or denying so that you can scrutinize those as well.
Here are some common roots of sadness:
a. I lost my car, dog, spouse, child, etc. – regardless of the reason why:
It’s okay to be sad over these reasons, but we must grieve and then move on. Life is all about change, so there will always be loss. But think about this: in most cases, it’s not a certain thing or person who brings you joy, it’s the change in the state of your heart when they are in your presence. Your spiritual heart makes a joy-filled imprint of that state, so that you can reach inside and touch that joy at any time. So in reality, nothing ever leaves you. Keep in mind that any illusion that you are separate from others is the most common root of suffering.
Coming out of sadness is accomplished by reframing your thinking, by tapping into your heart more than your head. It’s about changing your focus from ‘They’re gone from my life forever!’ to one of ‘I’ve been so blessed to have had them in my life and to be able to hold onto the treasures they’ve left behind in my heart forever.’
b. I’ve done horrible things. I’m a horrible person.
Maybe you have done horrible things, but who you are is still perfect. You were preoccupied with an illusion of what you thought you had to engage in, to survive life. Everyone has committed transgressions that they wish they had not. Ask God to forgive you; He promises that He will. (2 Chr. 7:14). Therefore, you have His permission (and His mandate to you) to forgive yourself.
God only asks us to do the things that exhort others and ourselves. What we also need to do is to stay alert for the moments when it is necessary to make ‘course corrections’ when we slip back into the world. As we do that, we can again pray for insight, go to meditation and examine our ways, and root out the unworkable ones. The thing we do not want to do is beat ourselves up. We sally forth and do our best without worrying about whether or not it’s perfect.
c. I had a horrible past. (To be examined in question #4.)
When you suffer, acknowledge that you’re holding onto something. Question why that it is, and ask yourself if that’s a wise thing to do. (Not!) Then, let that something go. Keep applying unconditional love and compassion to yourself and your suffering will be replaced with joy. Go and do the same for others. Nothing helps you get rid of your suffering more effectively than helping others get rid of theirs.
A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. Pr. 15:13 AMP
4. What is Your Life Story?
Meditate on every sentence you have written in your Discovery Journal. Ask God to show you what is real. Have you embellished your past? Replace it with the truth. Realize that your Life Story was co-authored by you and that voice in your head. No one on this planet will have the exact same viewpoint as you, so it’s pointless to defend it.
Upon deep examination, you’ll see your story as a plethora of unexamined beliefs, judgments and opinions that you’ve attached to the events in your life. Out of that, you’ve made some people larger-than-life and gave them power over you that they did not have. You’ve also brought judgment against yourself for what you did or didn’t do. You changed the way you live your life to protect yourself from what you thought your past taught you.
More than likely, you’ve also surrounded yourself with people who have similar sufferings, so that you can validate and keep your Life Story alive. It’s that story that keeps you sad, because you continually relive your regrets in your head. Thus, your present time is just an extension of that same false past.
It doesn’t matter if your past was truly horrific or if you made it mean something horrific. The outcome is the same. Even though your Life Story is riddled with lies, it is where you turn for guidance.
What needs to happen is to not live out that story any longer. That can only be done if you stay in the present moment and set aside what it is you think you know. Begin by refusing to worry about the future. Other than asking God to help you prudently plan the direction you’d like to see your life go, forget about the future. It’s not in the present; therefore, it’s not real.
When we find our minds churning over thoughts of what might happen, (99% of them never do) we can look in meditation at why these anxious thoughts are present and let them go. That way we stay open to whatever we experience, seeing how that feels, and let the meanings we’ve given to it go. Experiencing our experiences teaches us compassion for others – knowing they too have suffered for having had theirs.
There is no problem ‘out there.’ There is only life. There is nothing or no one that needs to change in order for you to have the life that you want.
Happiness is an inside job. Again, practice giving love and compassion to yourself – especially when you find yourself slipping back into your story. At that recognition, (without judgment) return to the present moment. Be patient with yourself.
In the present moment, you have the power to choose the actions that lead to a perfect life for your perfect (Christ-forgiven) self. Leave written reminders everywhere to stay awake in the present. Let go of your expectations and be open to surprise.
Practice accepting life as God put it out there. Sit still with it, instead of trying to run away from it. Life is change. When you stop resisting that, you’ll find yourself more and more in the present.
Give up any semblance of control over life and its inhabitants. God is the only One in control, thankfully, because He only has your highest and best interests in mind. The only thing that blocks His efforts is your faith in your Life Story – your faith in the lies that you tell yourself.
…he who breathes out lies shall perish. Pr. 19:9 ESV
Give up that Life Story and live.
That story is always present when you are experiencing negativity about anything. It means you’ve dropped out of the present moment. Stop whatever you’re doing and return to the breath…
Peeling the layers away. It’s a good thing. Stay tuned…
Good night and God bless.
December 05 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »