The Bible tells us that Satan bore enmity towards Christ even at the time of Adam and Eve. (Gn. 3:15; Rv. 12:4, 5.) Much later, he even tried to kill the baby Jesus through King Herod. (Mt. 2:13 & 16.)
But we see that the devil’s first direct encounter with the incarnate Christ happened just after Jesus’ baptism:
Then, Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. Luke 4:1 NKJV
So, the moment Jesus set Himself upon His God-quest, the devil attacked Him with temptations, attempting to sway Christ from fulfilling His Divine mandate.
Similar attacks come against God’s children when they are making an effort to do the same. Indeed, they are continually in Satan’s line of fire. Jesus says:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” Jn. 10:10 NKJV
The devil is not your friend:
Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Pet. 5:8 ESV
Let’s look at how Satan attacked Jesus in this first encounter, as well as the way He thwarted it:
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Mt. 4:3 NKJV
Jesus was famished from His 40-day fast. The devil is making an effort to leverage this, trying to tempt Him into satisfying the ‘lust of the flesh’ – to rely upon His own resources instead of keeping faith in His Father to pull Him through.
Check out Jesus’ first line of defense:
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “ Mt. 4:3 NKJV
Christ sets this example for all of us. He defends Himself by using the word of God (in this case, quoting Dt. 8:3). When we use and walk by God’s word, He covers us with His armor by giving us access (through our faith) to His truth, righteousness, unshakeable peace and salvation so that we can successfully resist the adversary. (Eph. 6:11-18.) When we align ourselves with God spiritually, He will see that our physical needs are met as well.
Satan launched a second attack against Jesus by taking Him to the top of the temple and asking Him to prove that He is the Son of God by jumping to the ground – depending upon angels to come and keep Him from harm.
The devil quotes scripture to back him up! (Ps. 91:11, 12.) But, he’s using it out of context to suit his own purpose. That’s why it’s so important for you to stay in the word of God so as to know its right application – freeing you from the Satan’s efforts to twist those same words.
In this attempt, Satan is trying to tempt Christ into giving into the ‘pride of life,’ to cast His humility aside and exalt Himself. Jesus fires back again with the word of His Father:
“On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’ “ Mt. 4:7 NASB
In other words, we are to take God’s words as truth (by faith), believing that they will be fulfilled, instead of arrogantly demanding that fulfillment.
Having failed on his second attempt, Satan finally takes Jesus to the top of a high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of man throughout time, offering to give them to Him if He will worship him.
(Notice that the devil says that those kingdoms are his to give – suggesting that he is working behind the scenes of all governments. Hmmm. Still, this is only a half-truth, because ultimate authority always belongs to God.)
In this final attempt, Satan is trying to get Jesus to choose riches and power over the will of God, to satisfy the ‘lust of the eyes.’ Thus, we see that a craving for these things amounts to devil worship.
Jesus is not swayed. He rides this altercation to victory with God’s word – quoting Dt. 10:20:
Begone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. Mt. 4:10 AMP
The word of God is our life. The devil will attempt to steal it away at every opportunity. Look and see how effective he’s been at doing that around the world. That’s why we need to marinate ourselves in His word daily, so that we own our salvation – rising above the ways of the world with its lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Thankfully, we’ve got Jesus on our side:
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 Jn. 3:8 NASB
The devil wasn’t done with Christ however. He invaded the mind of Judas Iscariot so that Jesus would be betrayed and crucified. (Jn. 13:2) Yet, he didn’t foresee Jesus’ resurrection. Another BIG victory for us:
In the world you will have tribulation and trials and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] Jn. 16:33 AMP
Eventually, near the end of time, Jesus will vanquish all of Satan’s followers with the word of God again (…the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him…Rv. 20:21.) and ultimately tosses the devil himself into the abyss for all time. (Rv. 20:10).
Until then, we know that with regards to his attempts to sabotage our lives, he is beatable. He looks to exploit the weakest chink in our armor. However, the devil cannot make us do anything. He only has the power that we give him. We have the free will to choose God or Satan. There is no in between.
When you wear the word of God, clinging to your Jesus contact, you are invincible to the devil’s machinations:
Yet the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen [you] and set you on a firm foundation and guard you from the evil [one]. 2 Thess. 3:3 AMP
Goodnight and God Bless.
April 29 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
The third example the Bible gives us for emulating Christ so as to facilitate our contact with Him, is when Jesus presents Himself to John the Baptist for His own baptism.
When John sees Jesus approach, he is stirred in his spirit, which reveals to him that this Man approaching him is the Messiah. John exclaims:
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ “ Jn. 1:29, 30 NASB
John is referring to Christ’s prior existence as a pure Spirit being, because in the flesh, John was Jesus’ cousin and six months older than Him.
John protests at Jesus’ request, claiming that He should be baptizing John. Jesus replies:
“Let it be so for now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Mt. 3:15 ESV
Jesus did not need to be baptized for the same reasons we do. He was pure righteousness (sinless). He was showing us by example, the path that was vital for the procurement of our salvation.
For Jesus, His baptism marked the beginning of His earthly ministry through His Holy Spirit empowerment.
Later, (after Jesus confronts the devil, gathers His first five apostles, turns water into wine at Cana and drives the money-changers out of the temple), we become privy to a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus (a Jewish theologian and member of the Sanhedrin), whereby Christ explains the significance of baptism for man:
I assure you, most solemnly tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God. Jn. 3:3 AMP
So, you cannot get into the kingdom of God in any other way – not by high standing in government or society, by riches, race, place of birth, good deeds or religious training.
Entrance into the kingdom is only granted to those who allow God to birth them anew by changing what’s in their hearts. One’s continued presence in God’s kingdom is assured when those same people do their best to live by those changes.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Jn. 3:5 NKJV
[Note: Some biblical scholars believe that Jesus is addressing the physical act of water baptism as well as the Spiritual one. Others think that the ‘water’ He is referring to, is that water God promised for cleansing the heart – prophesied by Ezekiel. (Ezek. 36:25 – 27.)]
Seeing as how we are talking about baptism, let’s explore the first interpretation. Water baptism is required by God as a public confession of our faith in His Son and what He accomplished on the cross. In fact, the resurrected Christ’s final words were these:
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Mk. 16:15, 16. ESV
Earlier in His ministry, Jesus revealed His Father’s imperative regarding this act:
“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man will also confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” Lk. 12:8, 9. NKJV
Water baptism is also a way that we can help bring others into the kingdom of God by this external example of our faith. Without faith, the act of baptism would be worthless, the water just water. It is through making the connection of the water to the word of God by faith that fulfills our requirement.
However, water baptism by itself is not the way to salvation. It’s a declaration of one’s faith in salvation through the Spirit – a metaphorical demonstration of your being re-birthed as a newly cleansed child of God through the forgiveness of your sins.
You are making a faith confirmation that you’re old ‘worldly self’ has been buried (symbolized by the water immersion) and that your ‘spiritual self’ has been resurrected cleansed from sin (metaphorically by rising out of the water). We must die to the life we’ve lived and the meanings we brought to it so that we can live a new life whose meaning is revealed by the word of God.
Water baptism begins with your repentance of the actions of your flesh and ends with your declaration of faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
True salvation (becoming righteous in the eyes of God through the blood of Christ) is fulfilled when you ask God for your Spiritual new birth. (Jn. 3:6 – 8.) Once baptized in the Spirit, you become a child of God – eternally related to Him in the most intimate way.
The spirit and the flesh are separate from one another. Our spirit animates the flesh. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit changes us inwardly, taking us from sinfulness to holiness so that we can enter into the presence of God. You are ‘born again’ when the Spirit brings the word of God to life in you. That rebirth is continually preserved through your obedience to that word. (1 Pet. 1:22, 23.)
It is vital that you be born again because prior to that act, you are spiritually dead, morally corrupt and living on borrowed time. There is nothing that you can personally do to change that other than to petition God, in faith, to access His free gift:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Pet. 1:3 – 5. ESV
Thus, declaring Christ as our Savior is part of our water baptism public profession and our confession of faith to God as we ask for our Holy Spirit re-birthing. Jesus is why salvation is possible.
Our part is not to satisfy ourselves with an intellectual baptism. There is no strength or permanency in that. The flesh and its cravings are strong. We must yield our will to the Lord, allowing Him to mold us into His original intentions for us (Jer. 29:11), strengthening us to walk a godly walk even in the face of temptation. (1 Cor. 10:13)
When you truly own your baptism, sins (past, present and future) will become a reason to celebrate the love of God and His mercy as He pulls you out of them, giving you the opportunity to glorify Him.
We pay tribute to God for filling us with His life through the Holy Spirit, and to Christ for living that life through us (Gal. 2:20). We cannot walk our godly walk under our own power. Only through Jesus is that a possibility.
Because God loves you so much He made a way for you to meet the demands that His righteousness and holiness make upon you and to satisfy the punishment that He said would be meted out (death) when you violated that. He gave over His sinless Son to die a vicarious death for you so that His blood could make you free.
When we accept this gift, we are delivered from our obsession over the guilt we associate with our transgressions, which is a sin in and of itself because God never intended for us to mercilessly punish ourselves.
We understand that we are sinners, but it’s not about what we do but what Christ has done and continues to do for us. It’s our faith in God’s grace and mercy that makes them manifest – uniting our spirit with His. Our divine pardon is not based upon our feelings but on our trust in God.
Even so, we don’t want to focus on our transformation for assurance (setting up our transformed self as our savior) but must always return to Jesus in every moment for His mercy – clinging to His promise of forgiveness, a covenant that remains unshaken because God never breaks a promise.
Your baptism is a celebration of life, a tribute to your Jesus contact, and acknowledgment of God doing the work through Christ on the cross. We are initiated into the Church of Christ. We are free from the manipulated intentions of the devil and set upon the beginning of the path of our eternal spiritual fulfillment.
As we saw last time, to be about our Father’s business was to bring His salvation message (the very same message that we acknowledge in our baptism) to as many people as possible. But you cannot do that until you invite Christ to live in you and you look to find Him in everyone else…
Goodnight and God bless.
April 20 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
About Our Father’s Business
In order to have a Jesus contact, we have to listen to how He communicates and watch how He acts. Why? Because the only way we make that contact is by emulating Him. That positions us for having a direct experience with Him.
The first time we are given an example to emulate (by looking at Jesus’ first recorded physical act) is found in the gospels when Jesus was approximately twelve years of age. He was with His family in Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover. They had traveled in a large retinue and during their return to Nazareth, Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus was missing! Immediately, they returned to Jerusalem whereupon they found Him in the Temple:
…they found Him [came upon Him] in the [court of the] temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all who heard Him were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His intelligence and understanding and His replies. Luke 2:46, 47. AMP
Obviously, Jesus was heavenly-equipped at an early age for His task. And what task was that? Well, we get to find out when Mary and Joseph came upon Him and expressed their magnitude of worry over His absence. Jesus’ reply tells all:
Did you not see and know that it is necessary [as a duty] for Me to be in My Father’s house and [occupied] about My Father’s business? Luke 2:49 AMP
If we are to try to be like Jesus, we have to be about our Father’s business as well. And what is that business? It’s to bring the message of the light of salvation to everyone we meet – just like He did:
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jn. 1:29 NASB
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Jn. 3:16 – 18. NKJV
I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. The thief only comes in order to kill and steal and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. Jn. 10:9 – 11. AMP
God loves us all so much. He wants all of us to take that eternal ride with Him. This is a life or death message! As you can see, those that don’t know Christ are potentially condemned; and those who reject Him, well, there’s no ‘potential’ about it.
God is not asking you to take on a supernatural task, to become a super communicator; He’s only asking you to tell the Truth. God will do the work for His intended outcome.
You will be blessed in return. Let’s face it. No human being fully realizes him or herself and their happiness until they are freely practicing their rightful purpose – to serve God by serving others, i.e. by answering your highest calling.
Of course to serve in this fashion you will have to make some changes. Not in yourself. Christ never asks us to change who we are; He asks us to change our thoughts and actions. So we need to express these changes that our hope in the gospel has brought us – presenting ourselves as levelheaded, sensible, loving and filled with integrity and godly wisdom in spite of the swill that surrounds us in this world.
We’re here to share the joy in our salvation, telling of the ‘yes’ that God is holding out for everyone – a guarantee of eternal love and reconciliation in spite of one’s history. He did that by sacrificing His Son for His fallen children, so that they might receive the Holy Spirit to facilitate their repentance and bolster their faith in the grace of God’s forgiveness.
Every time we speak of this gracious gift, we are speaking for Christ, acting for Christ, and thus journeying towards greater contact with our Jesus…
April 15 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
Contact: the state of meeting or communicating
Unarguably, the coming of Christ to this earth was the most important event in post-creational history. He came to save us from ourselves – to unite us with the Father, through Him, for all of eternity.
In order to have that happen, we have to come in contact with Jesus. We can’t do that with our five senses, which are but elements of our flesh. Christ is a Spirit, as is His Father.
Jesus petitioned for, and God provided us with, the Holy Spirit so that through our connection between the Spirit and the piece of God our Creator planted within each of us (our spirit), we could make that contact. We make it through Holy Spirit-enabled prayer, in the course of revelation from observing Jesus’ life and by making His word the light by which we live. Doing that, we can have the intimate experience of Christ in order to receive His grace in this world and beyond.
He laid His life down so that we might once again be part of His Father’s temple – where God Himself resides. This new series then, is about that journey to full contact…
In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was life, and the Life was the Light of men. Jn. 1:1 – 4. AMP
The Word existed prior to any physical beginning – no universe or inhabitants thereof. Christ is the eternal Word that God spoke to create everything. Jesus in turn, spoke about the Father to us. He made contact.
The Word was with God, so He was distinct from His Father and yet in complete harmony because they were distinctly alone with each other – creating in unison.
The word was God. This is the cornerstone of the Trinitarian concept. Whether or not you accept that man-made treatise has no real consequences, as the complete understanding of the scriptural root of it is beyond our present ability to fully understand it. Nonetheless, according to the word of God (which by faith we must see as the unequivocal truth in order to be His child), Christ shares the powers of God (Heb. 1:3), He holds the entire universe together, God redeems the universe and its inhabitants through His Son and Jesus is the exact likeness of His Father. (Col. 1:15 – 20.)
God is a Spirit being, as is the Holy Spirit. The pre-incarnate Christ was also a Spirit being but is now a Spirit (God)-Man, the nature of which is beyond our comprehension. All Three share equal Divine attributes and exist within a unique harmonious relationship.
The Father puts forth His designs, which are created by the Son. Christ reveals God. The Holy Spirit reveals Christ and brings the spark of life to His creations. Similarly, God planned for our redemption, Jesus made it available on the cross, and the Holy Spirit imparts that salvation to God’s children.
There was a 1700’s theologian (Edward Swedenborg) who explained the ‘Trinity’ in this fashion: Jesus is the Son of God; and because God is infinite and cannot divide Himself without being finite, He must exist in Christ. After Jesus was resurrected, He re-arranged His human mind and body (was ‘glorified’) and became the God-Man. Prior to this glorification, Jesus’ human elements were not yet divine, which was why He spoke as if He and His Father were separate. But afterwards, God embodied Christ so that man could approach Him in his fallen state. Finally, Swedenborg taught that the Father was the Divine Soul, living in Christ (the Divine body), which proceeds out through the Holy Spirit (Divine love and wisdom) to work the salvation of man. Makes sense to me.
This first scripture also says that Jesus is the ‘light of men.’ The prophet Micah said:
He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteous deliverance. Mic. 7:9 AMP
Micah was speaking of God, who was going to bring His ‘light’ (Christ) for the deliverance of man.
See too how God prophesied over the baby Jesus regarding the same, through a man named Simeon when the Christ child was presented at the Temple:
“For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:30 – 32. NKJV
A ‘light’ for all peoples of this earth. Can you see the immeasurable magnitude of who Jesus is and who and what He represents? It’s mind-boggling. As we get to know Christ, our contact begins…
Goodnight and God bless.
April 09 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
The way we were:
It started out innocently enough. A voice inside said, ‘This world and the people in it are dangerous. Let me show you the way not to get hurt.’ It called itself ‘you,’ and you believed.
Immediately, a dark spirit entered and layered the voice with malevolent suggestions, hoping you’d take ownership of them. The spirit hoped for your death, physical or mental, so as to try to take a stab at the heart of God.
The real you was buried at the bottom of a dark well of furiously swirling thoughts, designed to get you to sleep through life. That’s not what God wants for you:
…if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. Jn. 8:36 NKJV
God sent His Son to die, to deliver your spirit. It’s time to claim that deliverance. That freedom is readily yours – even in the pitfalls of the worldly experience that tries to make you its own.
We begin by looking at the prison we constructed to barricade the person that we thought we were. We can compassionately acknowledge ourselves for the powerful creativity we possess that constructed this intricate (if warped) survival mechanism. Then we seek to understand what the payoff has been: a life lived in a safe (?) cocoon of melancholy, where we believe we’ll know everything that’s going to happen next. Also realize the cost: a life without love.
This is the foundation of human suffering. Only when we acknowledge our suffering can we be ready to receive God’s deliverance from it.
Stepping into change:
There comes a time in your life (if you want to have a life) when you have to stop intellectualizing about your problems, get off of your butt and apply the solutions to them. Why?
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Pr. 23:7 NKJV
It has always been a head game that you’ve been playing against yourself. Thus, you need to change the rules of that game. If you want change, you must do change. No more status quo between your ears. You must become a perpetual seeker of truth and align your thoughts and actions with it. You’ve lost some precious time, but your true heart still lives inside you; you only have to let it out.
Make a contract with yourself that you will adhere to assiduously. I found what I thought was an exceptional construct in a book titled The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. They are:
1. Be impeccable with your word
If you are, you’re always speaking the truth, speaking from your heart. Life only works when you live by the truth; and the truth can only be comprehended if you’re conscious.
2. Don’t take anything personally
Most of the time, what you hear coming out of the mouths of unconscious people are the ramblings of that voice in their head. Being that it’s mostly lies, taking them personally makes no sense.
3. Don’t make assumptions
Assumptions are never based upon truth. They are guesses at best, and so they have at least a 50% chance at being false.
4. Always do your best
When you do your best, you create a space for truth. So what if that voice in your head complains? * When you do your personal best that’s all God asks of you. The outcome is whatever it is, and it is certainly no place for judgment.
*(It’s going to scream bloody murder in the beginning because change heralds the demise of its control over you.)
What is this change? It’s really about going home – back to the center of yourself where God resides, as does your authentic self. Give thanks to God for returning your awareness of your salvation so you can begin life anew in a sea of possibility.
Pray, which can only be done in the present. Ask for healing love, faith, and the revelation of your part to play in God’s plan. It will always be a way in which He can use you to express His love.
Open yourself up to receive God’s mercy. When you’re in a state of grace, the voice has no opening for attack. Love yourself like God loves you – unconditionally. Claim that perfect image of God that you are, and draw upon His limitless strength.
As you continue working God’s plan, your detours in life will be minuscule; and as God continues to unfold your shining spirit, the closer you will resemble His Son. See every event in life as an opportunity to get to know God better.
Acknowledge yourself for trying to survive life the best way you knew how with the tools you had at that time. Then shift your focus to what God wants, and how you can make that happen using your new contract with yourself – staying awake and living consciously. Let go of any beliefs and / or strategies that get in the way. As you let go of your dark trappings, your essence peeks through: luminescent and already on the job.
Live your life with no expectations except that of receiving the next surprise in the present moment. Flow with the flux of life. Every time that something you thought was essential to your security is removed from your life, know that it is a blessing from God – a reminder that your peace of mind is found in Him.
Embrace this ‘enlightenment’ that is not a mental epiphany, but is a celebration for being unshackled from an unworkable life – a commemoration for reconnecting to your heart. Take comfort and joy in the metamorphosis of your new life with the real you. Allow the memories of the dark places to remind you of the vital importance of staying on your journey through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acknowledge and reward yourself daily for your progress. Journal your victories. Focus on the things you like about yourself as you become reacquainted with your authenticity. Set exciting goals that align with who you know yourself to be. Speak them; write them down – cradling them in present time and in a positive light, as you picture yourself within them. What do you want to be, do and have? By when? Create goals that are associated with what makes you the happiest, brings you the most growth and adds to the greater good of everyone around you. Ask God for help.
Project yourself outwards. God lives within you. You are love. When you share that, you reinforce your love. Commit to acts of love, compassion and kindness that recognize the sanctity of life, demonstrate justice and righteousness and nurtures loving communication.
Consort with others who walk your path to remind you of your quest, help you stay committed, to rekindle your hope and to hold you to your authenticity. Find a mentor in that circle that has accomplished themselves further along on the path – someone trustworthy to reflect your mind back to you to help you root out any unconsciousness, to get you in touch with the answers already inside you and to mercilessly spur you on, so that you don’t stop along the way to congratulate yourself for finally ‘knowing everything.’
Enlightenment is a life-long process for getting closer to God and to better reflect His love. In addition, when you open your heart wide enough, everyone will have something to teach you.
The sooner you return to your authentic self, the faster your life will commence. The cost of not sitting with reality is great. Your battle is not with the world. The world is neutral. It only reflects back to you what is going on in your head. Happy head = happy world. The world can offer you nothing that you don’t already have inside of you.
Have an immense respect for time! The world was made for you – perfect for your time in it. However, your allotment of that time is finite. You can’t afford to drown in unconsciousness, waiting for a better time when all things come together perfectly. THIS IS THE BETTER TIME. IT IS THE BEST TIME. IT IS THE ONLY TIME!!!
Life teeters on both the resplendent and the heartbreaking – both keeps us in check. The heartbreaking fuels our compassion and loving-kindness for others and ourselves. The resplendent inspires us on to greatness. Celebrate your victories, cultivate your present, and your future will be rich. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The journey itself is the gold. God did not intend for you to have hell on earth. Life is different than what you have known. Take a leap of faith:
“This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Gn. 28:17 NKJV
Finally, Don’t let your path for enlightenment become part of the problem:
Don’t punish yourself by thinking you aren’t practicing your path correctly or with enough vigor. Otherwise, you’re using your path as just another way to denigrate yourself. There is no ‘right way’ to practice, only the next level of consciousness to grow into. Conversely, don’t allow yourself to become ‘puffed up’ with your newfound spirituality. That will only lead to you using your practice to build yourself up by tearing others down. That never works.
Finally, don’t use your path as a security blanket. It’s for helping you to engage with the world and its reality, not to help you hide from life…
Eight months ago, I began this journey with you. My intent was to help free people (Christian and secular alike) from their false concocted selves. I was met with some resistance from a few ‘Christians.’ Some were dogmatic saying that I wasn’t part of the ‘right denomination’ (the truth is I believe denominations are the root of most confusion about Christianity), another said I was quoting from the ‘wrong Bible’ (Really?), another was beside himself because I taught about meditation, telling me that one only had to pray, instead of leaning on ‘psychology.’
I purposely quoted from four different Bibles. I guess I didn’t pick the right one. (I’m only having a little fun here.) As far as mediation is concerned, not once did I propose someone convert to Buddhism. The Bible talks about meditating. It’s only just a tool for focusing your mental attention. As far as psychology is concerned, all I did was glean the observances of human behavior over many a millennia. There is no mystery, and it was all well-researched before Freud ever came along. (Eg. Proverbs.)
We are far better Christians when we support each other in our endeavors to extend the kingdom of God.
My purposes for this monumental exercise are clear: The devil has been on the attack since Adam and Eve. One look around you will tell you that he’s pretty successful. Only when we understand how he works will we be able to resist him. Only by seeing the nature of the common suffering of the human race can we attend to a correct application of successful solutions.
With an emphatic ‘yes,’ prayer is the right solution. My only hope in this entire quest is that you come away with the ability to ask better questions when you do, and act accordingly when you receive your answers. It’s about damage control.
The path I presented for getting to know oneself and live a happy life is one that I’ve gleaned from the wisdom of God and from others who got theirs from God. It’s only one path. Take what you need (that which resonates with your heart) and mold your own path. Your journey is unique to you.
Be kind to yourself. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Listen to your heart because that’s where God packs His wisdom. It comes out while you pray and when you concentrate on His word. Trust in God to bring you what is best.
Don’t be afraid. You knew how to fly as a child. It’s like riding a bicycle. You still can. Take that jump and let your spirit shine.
Everything will happen in its right time as you find the authentic perfect you – living the perfect life, wrapped up in perfect Love. I am profoundly awed by all who commit to living from their heart. I hope that I have made a meaningful contribution to yours…
The Native American Indians talk about the ‘Red Road of Life.’ It is a righteous path that one walks in a sacred manner, in order to please the Great Spirit and be at one with Him and His creations. They say it was created even before any of us were conceived and that it is available to all who seek a spiritual way towards a life of enlightenment that has no end. According to a publisher (Dorothy Daigle) who studies the Hopi Indian culture, the Red Road requires that one utilize seven principles of behavior to be able to walk upon it. I find those ripe with metaphorical innuendos and thought you might enjoy the similarities with our Christian principles:
1. Show awe, gratitude, love and respect for all creation.
2. Trust in the Great Spirit and accept my circumstances, knowing that when I overcome the adversities within, there will be spiritual growth.
3. Seek to purge my heart of evil intent.
4. Repent and humbly surrender my will to become one with the Great Spirit.
5. Communicate with the Great Spirit and live out my insights.
6. Learn true abstinence (selflessness) – serving others with loving kindness, and in turn receive the flow of living waters, which purify my heart.
7. Become harmonious with the Red Road – loving others unconditionally because that is who I am.
It sounds exactly like what God (the Great Spirit) has been telling us in His word for over 3000 years. It is my sincere wish to meet you all on the Red Road of Life – on that path devoid of anything but what the Great Spirit wants us to embrace, immeasurably joyful in each other’s presence, smiles deeply creasing our faces as we wait in an unknowing awe for whatever the next precious moment will bring…
God bless you everyone.
March 31 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
The best way to stop our age-old adversary dead in his tracks is by empowering our children with the truth – by keeping them aware, creating a safe home environment and helping them see the strength of God within them. That way, they won’t open the door to the enemy in the first place.
So if we want to raise conscious (godly) children, we ourselves need to become conscious parents first, so that we don’t infect them with our old unconsciousness. We need to think and act the way we want our children to.
How does that look? Mom and Dad need to co-create a home that provides peace, love, joy and exhortation – a place that nurtures a thriving family in an environment free of hostile conflict. This breeds an atmosphere where the children could immerse themselves in the experience of being a child as long as possible.
‘Family’ is the single most important, most sacred expression of relationship. God Himself created it through His first established institution – marriage.
The commitment to that marriage is inviolate in the minds and hearts of conscious parents. The children draw from the strength of that commitment – forming bedrock they can cling to, a template that is planted into their consciousness from which they can successfully base their future relationships upon.
Conscious parents spend time with their kids rather than shipping them off to government-indoctrinating preschools or after-school programs and sports they have no interest in – just to satisfy vicarious needs some unconscious parents attempt to satiate through their children, in order to fill some perceived hole in their own upbringing.
Mindful Moms and Dads express their love for one another – setting the example by practicing loving speech, with no tolerance for criticism, sarcasm or disrespect. We don’t want our children to suffer the pain of the unconsciousness we had thrust upon us. However, we must teach them about this deleterious mindset so that they can find a place in their hearts to grow selflessness, compassion and a desire to reach out and help others find freedom from their pain.
Children are mini versions of us. They want the same things: love, acceptance, understanding and acknowledgement. They need to get those things from their parents and see Mom and Dad giving them to each other. We can help them be peace and love by seeing that in us.
Let them know that your love (just like God’s) will never be withdrawn. Teach them that who they are is totally lovable, and that the only thing they ever need to do in life is apply their best efforts. Tell them it will always be enough.
Inform them that we don’t have all the answers. It will make you more human, allows them to be the same and takes the pressure off of all of us. As a family, come together to pray to have those answers revealed from the One who does have them.
Tell your children life is sometimes difficult and that they will make mistakes. Whatever the outcomes, they only constitute lessons to be learned; but who they are remains flawless. They are a unique gift from God and everyone else possesses their uniqueness as well.
Break bread as a family. Mealtime provides for bonding, structure, routine and it increases your kid’s ability to communicate. It allows them to be children a little while longer yet teaches them civility as well. They eat healthier, their vocabulary increases, they learn problem solving and everyone gets to know each other on a deeper level.
What it’s not is a place for entertainment media distractions (computer, headphones, telephone, TV, radio, etc.) That only leads to inattentiveness and a loss of connection with the juice of life.
Give your children reasons for wanting to stay home. Make it fun, interesting and exciting through your interactions with them. Strive to make their experience different and transcendent from your own.
Children will be children. The tools that they have are limited to their level of maturity. There will be infractions. Mom and Dad must present a ‘united front’ regarding discipline. Consequences must always be delivered for noncompliance – in exactly the way you taught your child they would if they disobeyed. Parents must enforce their own boundaries so that the children will do the same and have respect for the boundaries of others.
Remember, all discipline must be applied with love and forgiveness.
A child cannot get too much love. Praise them for who they are. Let them see the joy that they bring you. You are their world. They are lost without you. That’s why it’s such an abomination when unconscious parents are cruel to their kids. As you’ve learned, a child does not blame their parents for their atrocities they blame themselves. Your children need to know that you are a safe refuge in times of trouble. If they don’t feel that way, they’ll go to someone or something else for comfort.
Give them all your attention so they learn how to live in the present moment. Channel their interests into beneficial and moral pursuits. Teach them to love learning. As we teach them, we must evaluate the contents by asking ourselves, ‘How is my child likely to interpret what I’m saying? What will it cost them to do what I want?’ The right answer to both these questions is ‘In ways that will make them grow.’
Finally, teach them to trust the guidance provided by their spirit and to seek their true value from God.
We cannot be a perfect parent, but we can give them perfect love…
Goodnight and God bless.
March 26 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
In the first 4 installments of this 5-part series, we’ve looked at the concepts of divine relatedness with God, ourselves and others, the foundations of what makes relationships work (i.e. God’s ways) and how to bring our authentic selves to the task. Now, let’s finish by jumping into the act of relating itself.
Are you ready?
Teachings, philosophies, and observations are worthless unless the lessons within them are applied. You have to get your feet wet. Once you’ve provided true love for yourself, it will be time to step into the ring. If you’ve been following along with us for the last 8 months (beginning with How The Devil Stole Your Soul) and performed the work presented, you are more than adequately equipped. You won’t make poor choices out of desperation, e.g. trying to find someone to ‘complete’ you, because you will already be whole.
Your love will attract your right partner. When they show up, commit to the relationship so that you can stop the frantic search for ‘The One.’
As you begin to relate, see yourself in him or her at all times. This will continually strengthen your compassion and help nurture a commitment for their well being, which in turn will trigger a like response from them. If you do your best to walk in your partner’s shoes, you will see how their past has molded them and be able to support him or her in moving past their ‘old selves.’
Compassion helps relieve your partner’s pain, which in turn creates greater happiness and peace within the relationship. (Note: compassion is not the same as ‘pity.’ Pity confers a one-upmanship upon the one who pities – making them the ‘helper’ and the object of their pity becomes the ‘helpless.’ Pity finds its roots in self-centeredness.)
Demonstrate that compassion without trying to ‘fix’ or ‘change’ them. Know that when your partner suffers, you will suffer. Ask them what it is that they need. Often times they’ll have trouble articulating it because of some internal judgment. Help them clarify those needs.
Every time you see your partner, look at them as if you’re meeting them for the first time – forgetting anything that might have been unconsciously acted out without love, before that moment. Re-connect at every new encounter, reviving those feelings and visions that you had when you first felt your love for them.
Embrace them every single time they enter your presence with no consideration over whether or not they will return it. It is your gift of love. Conversely, when they embrace you, don’t waste your time trying to think of the ‘proper’ way of responding. Just be present to their love instead of patting them on the back or rocking back and forth to relieve your awkwardness.
It is in your receiving of their love that sends it back to them. In that moment, breathe deeply and remind yourself, ‘My love is in my arms. How precious they are and how blessed I am.’ Feel the love flowing in you and out of you. Your ‘lovemaking’ (in and out of the bedroom, physical and non-physical) will become a place of utmost joy, safety and support as you both learn to nurture each other without urgency or critique.
See your partner as the gift that they are to you and let them know it! Tell them how much they have positively impacted your life. Realize your relationship is perfect in that moment. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for growth (not the same as ‘improvement’ – inferring that your relationship is flawed, which robs you and your partner of the full happiness available in that moment.)
Even the best relationships have ‘blips.’
Relating is a human process and like anything of human origin, it can and will be blown off course from time to time. Because we cannot know 100% of what is going on in the head of our partner, we will inadvertently offend them at times. It is essential that you place your focus on correcting that blip instead of creating a situation where you and your partner fly to opposite corners of a ‘boxing ring’ to defend yourselves.
Timing is everything. ‘Loving correction’ needs to be implemented ASAP in order to acknowledge anger and or hurt to defuse it expeditiously, so as not to give ground for resentment. Still, you must look to see when your offended partner is ready and able to hear what you need to express (i.e. loving communication).
Most of the time, their anger is rooted in some unresolved issue in their past and the pain they’ve associated with it, which you have triggered by your action. Therefore, this conflict can be an opportunity to shed light upon their unconscious ball and chain.
Keep your attitude grounded in love, remembering the impermanence of all things and just how precious this person is in front of you. Treasure the finite time you have with them. Take a deep breath and feel the love you have for them and the love that you’ve received. Help them look at what they are afraid of seeing in themselves, as well assisting them with taking ownership of it. Apply compassion.
Examine yourself. Are your actions pushing your partner’s hot buttons? If so, begin doing the opposite. (Don’t punish yourself with judgment; just make the adjustments.) If you are the offended party, ask yourself if you’re feeling judged. Look to see if you have an unresolved issue that propagates your feelings. Then, determine whether or not you are projecting your self-judgment onto them. If so, bring that issue to a meditative focus.
Listen to your partner without assuming that you know everything about them. Open yourself up to receiving new wisdom. Make space within the relationship for both sets of opinions. Don’t try to mold your partner into a reflection of you. It’s the diversity that brings synergistic strength to relationship.
If your partner is suffering, allow them the full expression of it without adding your own suffering to the mix as well. Just be there for them. Most of the time, if they send some of their suffering your way, it is not personal. They are moving through a hurt and indulging in an unconscious form of retribution. You just happened to be a convenient target in close proximity. Come together to find better ways for them to make that journey and apply forgiveness.
Don’t insist on your partner’s forgiveness. What is important is that you forgive them and yourself.
Build a mutually agreed upon method for reconciliation.
Be open to receiving critiques from your partner regarding your actions, without throwing up walls of defense. Look to see if there is any truth in them and accept them as acts of love from your partner to try to help you grow. It’s an opportunity for you to better understand yourself.
Relating has a certain degree of difficulty because it taps into the relationship that you have with yourself. That’s why it’s so important you clean that up. Often your partner will mirror back to you things that you deny about yourself. That’s good, because it’s better to resolve them in this relationship rather than kicking the can down the road to suffer again within yet another.
Sometimes, a relationship is not meant to be life-long. Instead, it was intended to be a vehicle for bringing your consciousness to the next level. If so, you needn’t suffer because you still get to keep the love that was generated in that relationship within your heart.
Don’t obsess over whether on not your partner will leave you. It takes away the freedom to be present with them. God is loving you through them now. Receive it. If you love yourself and love God, you will be happy, whole and complete with or without your partner.
If the vision that you and your partner had for your relationship becomes irreparably divergent, give yourselves the space to disconnect in peace and love – without rejecting yourself.
Every relationship has been perfect because each one (if you’re willing to learn from it) will bring you to a place of higher consciousness (greater godliness). If you stay committed to your growth, the next partner that your heart attracts will show up living on the same higher plane of consciousness that you’ve grown into…
Men and Women
The last aspect to examine regarding divine relatedness is the gender-driven differences that are brought to the table.
God created the sexes in order to enhance one another. (Gn. 2:18) Man and woman compliment each other – equal but not the same. The diversity of the differences between them adds value and potential for growth. Thus, we need to understand those variations so that we can work with them rather than be threatened by them.
For example, women are more intuitive – better at listening to their hearts. Conversely, men give more credence to the logic of their mind (and we’ve see what a mess that can get us into.) Therefore, it behooves a man to ask his mate for her ‘gut feeling’ on a matter so that they can make decisions that incorporates the entire picture.
Men and women share the same emotions, but women wear them on their sleeve, which facilitates a much better expression of them. Indeed, it is vital that they do so as they often cogitate through that same expression – many times by vocalizing them. (My female editor suggested the term ‘outward processors.’ See how this works?)
Women want to be seen and heard by their male partners while they process their dilemmas but they don’t necessarily want the man to fix their challenges.
Men are not generally emotive. Instead, they keep a lid on their emotions (a lot of this is learned behavior) and withdraw into themselves to analyze their problems. It does not mean they do not feel. They are problem-solvers and want to ‘fix’ things because it makes sense to their logical mindset.
When a woman begins a conversation with a man, she is better served by getting straight to the point. If he realizes that she doesn’t want a ‘fix,’ he’ll tune her out. However, if she makes it clear at the outset that she doesn’t need a fixing, he can listen from a different place. He will still process what he hears in his male fashion, so his answer may not be immediate. He needs to withdraw into his head to work through what he has heard.
Women learn early on that men cannot stand in the face of extreme emotion, and some use that knowledge to dominate them. If that domination process includes negative criticism (as it often does), she will emasculate him. This produces bitterness, as he perceives what he thinks are efforts to downgrade and control him, so he tries to create distance. She gets resentful as well because she thinks he’s avoiding her. In reality, he’s running off frantically trying to find ways to do things in the hopes of earning restored love, approval and peace.
Women are never going to stop being emotionally expressive, and a man needs to understand that. However, the expression of them and making her mate a target of them are not the same. Both partners need to address situations, not the essence of one another.
The sexes differ in communicative strategies as well. Men (the least complex) say what they mean and prefer a direct response. Women tend to ruminate over what is said as they filter the words through their emotions.
Loving communication is everything. Save your (both sexes) bitching and complaining for your friends. Home is reserved for love. Before one engages in fisticuffs with their spouse, they need to stop and consider if this situation is worth fighting about – worth making it your ‘last stand.’ If one makes the choice for battle, there ought to be a mutual agreement first for how the resolution of should look. What must follow is forgiveness and permanent amnesia…
Synergism that strengthens relationship is created when both partners learn about each other’s approach to life, appreciate what comes natural to each partner and amalgamate those ways into a new strategy that satisfies the desires of them both.
Men need to be breadwinners and champions, and need to be supported in that role. Women (as well as men) need nurturing, but they need to tell the man what that looks like. Men never read minds. When you tell them what you want and how you want it, they are only too happy to comply.
Both partners need to feel that their physical appearance breeds desire from their mate. So, each must be mindful of their exterior out of respect for one another. Attraction leads to desire. Romance is a two-sided affair, and everyone likes to be seduced.
If a woman wants to know how a man feels, she must create a safe space for him to express those feelings without the fear of being criticized. Repeated criticism is an antithesis to love…
Finally, lather love lavishly over each other at all times – putting your partner’s well being above anybody else’s. A successful relationship is one where both of you make the choice for love every day, committing to be with each other, and respecting and edifying one another.
Yes, relationships are a lot of work; but ah the rewards…
Goodnight and God bless.
March 19 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
The first 3 parts of this series have been concerned with a conceptual look at how we were born to be related to God, ourselves and to each other. We also examined some of the foundations for being related the way God envisioned for all of us – to have relationships that work. Now, let’s look at how we can bring our authentic selves to relationships and contribute to them as well.
1. Stay present, dropping the past so that your wounded child within doesn’t drive your adult relationships. Your past was only an outcome, not a mistake. Look at others with fresh eyes and treat them the way that you want to be treated, i.e. love and forgive – repeatedly. (Mt. 7:12 & 18:22.)
2. Drop all guilt and shame. You will make mistakes. Acknowledge them, take responsibility for them and do as much damage control as you can. Let go of your judgments – especially those that bring shame. Confess them so that you don’t ever have to worry about being ‘found out’ again. (James 5:16; 1 Jn. 1:9.)
3. Never stop questioning your thoughts. Nothing works better than the truth. (Zech. 8:16; 1 Cor. 4 – 6.)
4. See the differences between you and your partner as ‘building blocks’ for a relationship that transcends your singular contributions. Neither try to change the essence of who you are nor that of your significant other. You were both made in the image of God. (Gn. 1:27)
5. Give up the need for anyone else’s approval. Free yourself from the opinions of others. Live from God’s point of view and everything in your life will be superlative. (Ps. 37:4 – 6; Pr. 3:5, 6; 16:2, 3 & 9.)
6. Make healthy choices. Don’t choose people who like to dance with you in your old dramas – those who present a repeat role model for an incomplete relationship you had in the past. Dismantle your old unworkable choice-making strategies and follow your heart.
7. You are responsible for bringing 100% of your happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment to the relationship. Your partner is not there to do that for you. Share with your partner how you like to be loved but accept that the way they love you is their best way of doing it; and that needs to be okay if you want this person in your life. That way, they don’t have to ‘get it right,’ and neither do you.
8. Steer clear of people who are aloof, perfectionists, controlling, judgmental, defensive or dishonest. (Big hint: Never look for a partner when you are feeling lonely. You will have a tendency to settle for less.) Choose good character above all else – someone who is truthful, willing to be vulnerable, responsible for themselves, willing to show and share intimacy, honest, giving, forgiving, disposed to changing unworkable behaviors and actively committed to staying conscious. In short, seek out someone who is the person you are aspiring to be.
9. Drop any form of dependency. You really don’t need anyone. All relationships (with the exception of the one you have with God) are temporary. All people will leave you for one reason or another. They die; the kids get married, etc. Realize the gift of the relationship while you’re having it! Afterwards, it will live in your heart forever. If you come from a position of ‘need,’ you can never be present with that gift because you are always preoccupied with the potential loss of it. Dependency comes from a desire to control the uncontrollable. Decide instead to have a good life, regardless of who or what passes in or out of it – embracing the lessons of love that was gifted to you in that passing.
10. Your relationships will reflect your present state of awareness, and each holds an opportunity for spiritual growth and increased compassion, both of which eases the suffering of all the people on the planet. Love exists in the moments of your journey when you reconnect with your true self – learning to love others and yourself as we are, not as you think we ‘should’ be.
Are you ready to relate?
To be continued…
Goodnight and God bless.
March 10 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
Healthy relationships have healthy boundaries – solid lines that establish who we are and who are partner is. Our boundaries do not constitute barriers to keep people at bay. Instead, they represent the walls of our sacred temple, wherein we grow and nurture love, compassion and mercy for ourselves so that we can project them outward as well. They are a source of strength to draw from, for making virtuous choices.
These solid lines keep us accountable, letting us know when we’ve crossed them or have allowed others to do the same. Define them to others: ‘This is who I am and who I am not. This is my vision for my life and my well being. I will express my freedom to make healthy choices, and one of those is when I choose to say no.’
See if your new partner is willing to support your framework. If not, thank them for who they are and bid them a fond farewell.
Ironically, when you can say ‘no’ in an unchallenged atmosphere, you can finally embrace your vulnerability and let your guard down.* Stand for your ‘no’ as well as respect a ‘no’ when you hear it from others – without taking it as a condemnation.
*(However, be willing to challenge your views to see if there is room for healthy compromise. The answer to that is in your heart.)
If your healthy boundary is challenged, respond with, ‘I love you, but I’m not going to take that, do this, etc.’ Seek out relationships with those who will honor your solid lines. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘That’s enough!’ But then, you must respond with a consequence – take something away from them until you see the desired behavior manifest; otherwise, your boundaries mean nothing. You need to change the way you relate with your partner. If they will not desist in violating your boundaries, you need to leave. You cannot rescue anyone from him or herself; they have to want to do it.
(Don’t forget however to always examine your own motives, making sure you aren’t the problem. Most of the time people have problems with a partner, it’s not the partner, it’s they way they’re relating to them.)
Having healthy boundaries allow you to act without malice. You are only honoring your agreements. Solid lines help build relationships where confrontation is only a difference of opinion, not a high-pitched battle. They open a space within where feelings can be acknowledged without shaming the person feeling them. Finally, they create a ‘reality’ about our relationships because both participants know just what is so.
Realize though that you can never fully understand the true nature of another person’s thoughts. That’s why the only one who completely understands you is you. Others can only offer partial understanding. Knowing that, you can take the pressure off of each other within the relationship. If you want more understanding, there will have to be more dialogue.
What do we do when our ‘old humanity’ shows up – when we want to snap our partner’s head off over something they’ve done that we have judged to be wrong?
We return to our meditative breath until we feel we have a sense of self-control, not giving into knee-jerk reactions, as we remind ourselves what it is that we love about that person in front of us, and then take a moment to feel that love. Then we can calmly inform our partner about how we felt hurt / offended by their actions (not by who they are). From that place, a conversation is possible where everyone can take full responsibility for their actions and then co-create a mutually satisfying solution.
Now, let’s step back and ask ourselves what it is that we want out of being related. Isn’t it love?
Love is the highest form of relatedness – an expression of God Himself. Love transcends Hollywood and eclipses feelings. Feelings come and go. Love is not dependent upon some internal disposition. Love abides even when your feelings waiver (which they do several times per day).
If you want a loving relationship, bring your love. That’s the only part you’re responsible for. It’s up to your partner to bring theirs. Also bring your acceptance, telling your partner that he or she is perfect just the way they are. If your partner does the same, you’ll both be free from the exhaustion associated from trying to fashion and wear a mask to hide flaws that neither of you have.
When you consider a potential partner, say to yourself, ‘This is who they present themselves to be. Do they appear to be a good fit for me? Can I adjust my expectations and live with their eccentricities? Can I honor and respect them? Are they willing to meet my expectations? Can they? Can I be content with those that they are able to meet? Am I willing to provide for myself those wants and needs they cannot? Do I have a willingness to meet theirs?’
I would say that all of these questions must be answered with a resounding ‘yes’ in order to have a relationship that works.
If you cannot visualize a relationship with them, love them for who they are, be grateful for what they’ve brought to your life, and wish them a love-filled life elsewhere.
Relatedness is something that all of us are already engaged in. That’s why the hot pursuit of people trying to get related is so ironic. If we could just relax and see what we can offer ourselves and what the people we already have in our life could contribute, we could find ourselves in a mutually constructed loving relationship where happiness wasn’t that elusive after all…
Okay, we’ve got the concepts / truths. Now, let’s get the training.
Goodnight and God bless.
March 05 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
In part one we began our foray into ‘divine relatedness’ – i.e. being related to God, others and ourselves as He intended. We saw that God planted everything we needed within us for having perfect love relationships and looked at how we can nurture those endowments within ourselves so that we can extend this perfect gift of God’s love to others. Let’s continue:
The only way to gain guaranteed happiness is to contribute to the happiness of others – giving them what it is that you want for yourself. That gift can only come from your personal wellspring of love. To keep your wellspring overflowing, you must keep your heart clear of negative feelings and from the concomitant suffering. (That’s where your regular meditative examinations of your thought processes come in. No stinking thinking!)
We cultivate our love by freeing ourselves from attachment – from needing anyone to give us the love that we give to ourselves. Yet, when our love radiates outward, loving people will be drawn to us in droves.
When we experience that love, our response becomes one of infinite gratitude. Relationships only break down in the absence of grateful appreciation. It’s gratitude that brings the healing.
If you’re not experiencing the love, e.g. as in an abusive relationship, LEAVE! It’s far healthier to remove yourself from someone who chooses to wallow in the refuse of his or her making. If your partner tells you they love you but in the next moment they try to control you, disrespect you, or attempt to commit violence upon your person, that is not love. You never deserve to be mistreated in any way, shape or form.
Living alone is better that staying with your abuser, telling lies to yourself such as ‘They will get better,’ or worse ‘They will love me if I become a better person.’ If you stay with an abuser, it’s only because you have convinced yourself that you don’t deserve love. What will happen next is that your demons will come home to roost, making fertile ground for you to become an abuser as well.
Accept your abuser for who they are and GO! Be thankful for the lesson in that relationship and how it helped you grow. There’s plenty of love out there. You don’t have to settle for scraps. As you cast your love outward, love will seek you out.
True love relationships are authentic ‘mask-less’ relationships. Mutually applied love, compassion and understanding open the way for having the courage to be ourselves – to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is a sign of ultimate trust, which no healthy relationship can survive without.
Still, even in the best of relationships there will be bumps. Are you perfect? Yes. Is your partner perfect? Yes. Are your behaviors perfect? What can I tell you? We are human after all. We make mistakes. Some pain will come. That’s life.
Most, if not all our wounds are perpetrated in relationship. Ironically, we must heal those same hurts within the realm of a healthy partnership – in a space where we can bare our souls (warts and all), our needs and our anguish, having them covered with love and acceptance.
Realize that even in the best of relationships, there will be conflict from time to time – times when you don’t feel love for your partner. You need to have the freedom to feel that, so that you can make a free-will choice to love them anyway, making the relationship all the more special. Anything else (i.e. conscripted love) is slavery.
In a healthy relationship, the partners look for ways to live with each other’s differences, constructing new ways to find clear solutions for the conflicts instead of running away. A conflict avoided is one doomed to repetition. Best solutions come in the form of those that work towards each other’s goals rather than those serving one who is obsessing over who is going to come out on top in a particular conflict.
Discord occurs because your partner (or you) has slipped back into their old unconscious ways. If you love him or her, you will allow yourself to suffer (a little bit) in order to help them move through their lapse. Mutual communication must ensue, each stating their perception of the situation without trying to correct one another.
Share the needs that each of you have in that moment (without judgment) and accept them. Follow by informing each other if you can meet those needs. If one partner cannot meet the other’s needs, the unfulfilled partner will either find a way to meet those needs in a way that is acceptable within the relationship, or they may choose to continue their journey through life without you. Let them go. It is the most loving thing you can do for the both of you.
Your partner may not be able to let you be you. They may be unwilling to let go of their expectations. And if they leave, it will create a true loss that must be grieved. Do not deny your feelings; affirm them so that you can move through them. Look to see if your partner had any valid complaints regarding your actions and address the root of them in yourself. If they did not, do not take ownership of them.
Acknowledge the contributions your partner did bring to you. See if you can give those things to yourself before going out on the hunt for someone else. Surround yourself with supportive people. After working through your grief, open yourself up to what’s next. If you shy away from subsequent relationships due to a fear of potential pain, you’ll be alone for the rest of your life.
When you do open yourself up to a new relationship, don’t get caught up in worrying over whether or not this person is ‘The One.’ Instead, leave the previous drama behind and focus on the way the new dance works. You will never experience the love of others if you do not take risks…
(Note: All of these aforementioned ‘relatedness’ issues should be worked out prior to any marital commitment should that be the type of relationship you are contemplating.)
More to come…
Goodnight and God bless.
February 26 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »