Discovering The Pattern That Separates You From God

Because being connected to God is a matter of life or death – affecting both your earthly quality of life and your eternal outcome, we’ve spent the past 4 1/2 months looking extensively at what threatens that connection.

The threat begins in childhood, when you are brainwashed by unconscious parents and peers and malevolent media and government institutions in all forms – which do their best to instill the notion that the ways of the world are superior to the ways of God. Innately you know that is not true, but you’re punished if you don’t conform. So you create a voice in your head to warn you when you’re out of line, so that you don’t get rejected. Yet that voice soon aligns with those who do the punishing, and you wind up being attacked on all sides if you choose to live by the truth.

Most people would rather be accepted than rejected; so they try to mold themselves into false images in order to try to please the opinions of others. But it’s a dissatisfying life, a life where they make no place for God – one of suffering, self-rejection, fear, anger and where they have an inability to be present, to communicate, or relate.

This godless life is the total opposite of what God has planned for His children. We live this life of misery when we live it in our uniquely nuanced pattern of the ways of the world. We must dissect this pattern in order to free us from it, so that we can reconnect with our Creator through Christ. And that’s exactly what we’ve begun doing in the last two posts: Your Personal Responsibility In Cleaning God’s House.

We first created a ‘Voice Journal,’ to record everything that voice (ego) in our heads said to us for an entire week – including how each declaration affected us. Then we examined ways in which we could neutralize both the effects and the voice. Secondly, we created a ‘Discovery Journal’: a series of 29 powerful questions that would give us a basis for seeing how we ‘do’ life and who we are ‘being’ when we live it.

If we can see how we think and act, we can understand why our pattern of living brings us the life we have and how we can replace that pattern with God’s strategies. Today, we’ll examine the answers to those questions in detail. Obviously, you have certain unique distinctions to your answers (names, places, dates, etc.), but how you were affected, has universal overtones. Let’s dig in:

(If you’ve not answered these questions, you are not committed to having your life change; and the value of just reading these analyses will be diminished greatly. (I urge you to participate.)

1. What is it about other people’s behavior that bothers you?

Is it ungratefulness, jealousy, anger, hatefulness, or indifference? Notice what kind of hurt, resistance, or emotions you attach to these behaviors. Look to see if you practice these behaviors as well. (Try writing out sentences identifying what you don’t like when ‘so and so’ does _____. Then replace ‘so and so’s name with yours, and see how that fits.) We tend to reject in others what we don’t like in ourselves.

Those people who irritate us can be some of our greatest teachers with regards to recognizing our own denial and avoidance strategies. Ask yourself why you chose to have these conflicts in your life. Look at what you can learn from them. Examine what beliefs you may have that incubate these experiences. Look at when you have engaged in the same behavior. Ask why you did it (or still do it) and what your behavior has cost you. Forgive yourself and change course.

Hold those people with the ‘abhorrent’ behaviors in loving and compassionate thoughts, because they have suffered equally as you’ve suffered – wrapped up in their own pain. What they did was not personal. Forgive them so that you don’t carry the toxicity of judgment in your heart.

Make a list of the things that you appreciate about those people and tell them! When you love, appreciate, show kindness, and accept them, you will receive the same. Forget about the past, and see them as if you’re meeting them for the first time. Drop all of your previous expectations.

Commit to breaking down any barriers between you and other people. Give up the need to be ‘right’ so that you can communicate with greater clarity. Be open to working through any hurts together.

If one member suffers, all suffer together… 1 Cor. 12:26 ESV

Be aware that even when we are doing our best to heal ourselves, sometimes other people’s ‘stuff’ will trigger our ‘stuff.’ Instead of allowing it to manifest, look at that encounter as an opportunity to rise to a new level of understanding and compassion.
(When we blame others, we’re only trying to protect our wounds.) We can meditate on those wounds until we understand the truth about them, so that healing takes place.)

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. James 5:13 NKJV

Ask yourself, ‘Why am I hurt? What meaning did I bring to this event? What old hurt is being triggered? Why do I choose ‘being hurt’ as my response? What does it cost me to keep reliving it? What would my life look like if I recognized that my old hurt is no longer valid?’ Choose to be consciously present instead of running when your old hurts show up. When you see how you do suffering and what that feels like, you can gain a greater compassion for everyone else who does suffering.

Avoiding suffering only guarantees its persistence…

2. What keeps you from being happy?

The answer in a nutshell – is you. Your unhappiness stems from your obsession with your Life Story that you continuously live in and by, making yourself a victim, declaring that you are powerless, and waiting for someone or something to come along and save you.

How could you possibly be happy when you don’t give yourself any love, compassion, kindness or respect? As a victim, you steep in your dissatisfaction with yourself, others and even life itself. You punish yourself for flaws that you’ve never had. Finally, you place a litany of impossible conditions in front of you that have to be met before you think you can be happy.

Go into meditation and subject your related thoughts to inquisition: ‘When did I formulate these thoughts and why? Are they really true? What are these beliefs costing me? What would my life be like if I didn’t have them?’ You have to change your thinking!

Put your attention on happy thoughts. Happiness can be yours the instant that you choose it – in any moment. But first, you must take responsibility for where you are now in life and for the fact that you are not experiencing it. Ask yourself, ‘Where am I. How did I get to this point? What can I learn from this? What is possible?’

You must be committed to living in the present moment.The past is gone; the future is unknowable. Happiness only lives in the present. Put up signs to remind you to keep choosing happiness. Take a risk and jump into the present moment. It’s the only one you have. It just might be glorious. If it’s not, there’s always the next moment. That’s the beauty of change.

Reach down inside of yourself and touch that child within you who’s still stuck in his or her past hurts, and give yourself unconditional love and acceptance – disarming those hurtful events. Shower yourself with kindness and respect and know that you deserve it all. There is nothing wrong with you. Never was. You don’t ever deserve to be punished. Forgive yourself for not loving you and commit to do otherwise. Be your own best friend and lover.

Commit to living in reality – seeing what is real and living by the truth (God). There is no happiness in wanting life to be what it is not, or trying to live by any other lie. Stay grounded in things born out of love.

You were born complete and whole. Bolster you love by sharing yourself. With love comes extreme happiness…

Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart [if you are righteous, wise, and in the hands of God], for God has already accepted your works. Eccl. 9:7 AMP

In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider – God has made the one as well as the other… Eccl. 7;14 NASB

Blessed (happy, to be envied) is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves [who does not convict himself by what he chooses to do]. Rm. 14:22 AMP

If you live by the truth, (living by God’s ways and realizing His forgiveness when you slip) God does not convict you. And if He doesn’t, what right have you to do so? As you can see, there is not a single day that happiness shouldn’t abound in you.

Are you feeling your spirit begin to lighten up yet? More to come…
Goodnight and God bless.

Advertisements

Your Personal Responsibility In Cleaning God’s House – Part 2

In part one, we established that everyone contains the house of God within, and when that house is in trouble on our account, (consciously or not) we need to clean it up, (with God’s help) restoring it to it’s original condition when God put it in us. When we do that, we will reap the fruits of our highest and best life.

We began by writing a week-long journal, a chronicle of everything we said to ourselves (mostly through that voice in our head) that was un-loving, belittling, discouraging and spiteful. Along with that, we stopped when each thought came up and noticed what was happening in the environment around us, what we were doing, what we told ourselves in reaction to that thought, what we may have done in that reactive moment, and how that mental barb and our reactions made us feel.

If you haven’t done that, stop right now and do it; and come back and read this in a week. No one is going to do this for you. We’re meeting the enemy and for the most part, it is us! But with the help of God and our active participation in cleaning house, we can turn our lives around. (If you’ve put doing this journal off, sit in meditation and look at why you put everything off. Give yourself love and compassion, and move past it.)

For those of you who were determined to complete this task, allow me to elucidate what your journal most likely revealed to you – because although your personal history with your mental construct will have some nuances unique to you, for the most part, the human experience has a vast, common thread.

You saw the voice for what it is – a vicious, uncaring and unloving entity (ego) that assaults your perfection by distorting your perception of your self, others and the world around you. In its wake, it leaves you with a vision of a raw, fear-filled ugliness that you perceive to be your reality – your experience of life.

This vision is your greatest enemy; yet, it is not real – even if your reactions to it are.

Sit and really examine each lie that supports that falsity. Scrutinize each one in your meditations. See how the voice wants you to believe you’re inept at everything, how it slanders you and declares your unworthiness for relationship. The only thing it wants you related to is it.

Observe what it says, without believing any of it. Your journal illuminates the pattern of its strategies – how it both overtly and covertly maneuvers you towards suffering. When you recognize the pattern, you won’t be shackled with knee-jerk reactions to it any longer.

Just notice. Don’t try to engage in battle, (God will do the work). Don’t look for it to change. It cannot change. But, you can neutralize your reactions, which renders that nasty voice impotent. Remember, you’re in meditation – answering every accusation with the power of your questions: ‘Is that so?’ ‘Who says so? ‘Is it really true?’ ‘Can you show me that monster within me?’ (It can’t because it was never there.)

Ask yourself, ‘Where did this opinion I have of myself come from?’ (The voice, duh!) ‘What has that belief cost me – spiritually, physically, emotionally, and what collateral damage resulted?’ ‘How would my life be if I did not have this belief, but instead placed my faith in the perfection God created me to be?’

Your spirit will immediately resonate with you because only it contains the truth you seek.

Turn the tables on that malicious voice by replacing its criticisms with true exaltation: ‘I am worthy and lovable.’ And of course you are. God made you to be one-of-a-kind. When you believe in truth, love shows up; and the voice cannot stand up to love. Every time you choose truth, the voice loses ground.

Remind yourself that you only have to answer to one Judge (Jesus Christ), and He loves you unconditionally.

The voice is devious. Sometimes it will hammer you with a little truth about something that you did – an act that didn’t support your highest and best. Instead of reverting to your old behavior, (seeking isolation to punish yourself with shame and guilt) just acknowledge your actions:

‘Yes, that was an unworkable act. I’m forgiving myself for it right now and forevermore. I will act differently for my greater good. I deserve compassion and kindness for acting out my unconscious suffering, not eternal torment. The punishment stops now. I’m letting go of my desire to punish myself forever. I would rather be free.’

If the voice says you don’t deserve something, immediately make it a priority to get / do it for yourself.

Always ask yourself, ‘What is real, true and important in this moment?’ I can guarantee you it won’t be anything that voice has to say. Question everything it utters. There is freedom on the other side, as you redefine your relationship with that mental chatter. When you take your faith away from it, your new and final relationship with it will only be one of indifference:

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with foolish things. 1 Cor. 13:11 NASB

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… 2 Cor. 10:3 – 5. ESV

We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of your temple. Ps. 48:9 NKJV

During these healing meditations, you will find that very few things you believed in were really what you thought they were and that will be a good thing…

Step two: The Discovery Journal

You will have rendered that voice in your head impotent with regards to doing further damage. However, while it was on the loose, it planted seeds in your soul that sprouted weeds, which constitute your heretofore strategies for living (and we’ve seen how that’s worked out). It’s time to uproot those as well, so we can start over with a new garden.

Take out a new notebook and write down the questions that follow. They will reveal why you do what you do. Pray for true discernment. Sit down without distractions, and write your answers fast and furiously. That will be your heart at work. The more ‘thinking’ you do, the more your ‘conditioned lies’ show up as answers.

Don’t change those answers! Read them over only one more time and add anything else that quickly comes up and then leave them alone! Your answers will reveal every strategy that you utilize for doing life. Once you can really see them, you can replace them with what works – God’s strategies.

DO NOT JUDGE YOURSELF FOR ANY OF YOUR ANSWERS! THEY ONLY CONSTITUTE A PICTURE OF WHAT YOU FELT YOU NEEDED TO DO / FEEL TO SURVIVE:

1. What is it about other people’s behavior that bothers you?
2. What are the things that keep you from being happy?
3. What brings you sadness?
4. Describe your entire Life Story – from your first recollection to the present day.
a. List your ‘life-altering events’ – what happened, who was with you when it did, and
what they and you did or didn’t do.
b. What meanings did you bring to these events and how did that change your life?
c. Who do you enlist to help keep these ‘life changes’ in perpetuity, and how do you
do that with them?
5. Name all the people in your social and family circles; describe your relationship
with each, and how you would like them to change.
6. List all the people whom you believe have caused or are causing you pain.
7. List all of the people (including yourself) that you’ve chosen not to forgive.
8. Who are your enemies?
9. List your worries and what you are afraid of should they come to pass. Also, list (in
sequence) all your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and actions you take
before each worry is full-blown.
10. What do you see your future holding for you?
11. What overall meaning(s) do you bring to life?
12. Are you dissatisfied? In what areas? Why?
13. What makes you angry?
14. What does each person you know think about you?
15. What things do you think is wrong with you, and how do you punish yourself and
others for possessing them?
16. What don’t you accept about yourself?
17. What secrets are you keeping?
18. What lies do you tell?
19. How do you feel when someone thinks your are wrong?
20. What conflicts are you having with things and people in your life?
21. How do you try to manipulate people into believing certain things about you?
What are the beliefs you want them to have? Is this a way you try to control
them?
22. How do you listen in conversation? How effective is your communication?
23. What are your fears? How do you react to them? How do you avoid them?
24. How do your avoid the present moment?
25. List the repetitive dramas in your life.
26. Who has abandoned you?
27. List your impulsive behaviors – include addictions. What is the nature of the relief
they bring? What does your indulgence in them cost you?
28. What are the emotions that upset you? What happens as you experience them?
What happens just before you experience them?
29. What and who do you cling to?

Don’t dally with this list. Be brutally honest with yourself. The reward will be immense. We’ll examine your answers next week.
Goodnight and God bless.

Your Personal Responsibility In Cleaning God’s House

In the last 4-part series, Will You Help God Help You?, we examined all of the tools that we need to use, to stay aware of when (not if – everyone slides) we step off of the perfect path that God sets before us to live an extraordinary life. That awareness is a cultivated sensitivity we become attuned to that gives us an immediate warning when we are not communing with God.

The tools are: Willingness – willingness to return to God and recommit to living by His word; God – most of us have not been victorious over the world, so we must enlist the only One who is strength and victory personified – God through Christ; Meditation – a focused strategy of watching the way that voice in our heads pummel us with lies and to ferret out the false roots in them, so that we can let them go, in order to be present to the potential of having a real life; Inquisition – a powerful way of questioning what we appear to see, so that we can be open to believing in the real truth and kick the boogeyman out; and finally, Action – actually taking the physical, mental and spiritual steps to bring the gifts of the first three tools in play…

What does all this have to do with cleaning God’s house?

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple…Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?…Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 6:15 & 19 – 20. ESV

It’s because you are God’s house. And as you can see, God holds you ultimately responsible for the state it’s in. When you let it dilapidate, you are forcing that dilapidation onto Christ and mocking His sacrifice for you. So, cleaning God’s house includes disinfecting your thoughts, because the mind pollutes the body:

“…what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts…” Mt. 15:18, 19. ESV

When Jesus refers to your ‘heart,’ He’s referring to your spiritual center, of which you are charged to watch over.

So let’s do this! Let’s bring all of our tools to bear, to root out all the elements of our past that we’ve created, embellished and latched onto, and free ourselves from who we are not – returning to life, love and relationship. Let’s begin our sleuthing through the muck of our nebulous constructs, wherever they may lie.

They might lie within the realm of what we think we know (our Life Story), or inside of the things we know we don’t know (the things we could have sought after that would have directed us to a better life, but didn’t, because we were too attached to our false beliefs), or within the sphere of what we don’t know that we don’t know, (those things that can only be perceived through conscious awareness.)

In short, we’re on a quest to eradicate our misery and suffering; but we can only do that if we find out how we built our prison in the first place and why we felt that we had to do that. Only then can we understand the extent of what it’s cost us, so that we can be motivated to do otherwise.

Yes, we’re talking about change, (that thing we find uncomfortable and threatening – only because we’ve been indoctrinated with that lie) and change is work. But the alternative is to live out lives of suffering that has a propensity for an early and final death.

Or, we can become the conscious cause of how our lives turn out rather than be at the effect of our unconscious actions. Our lives can become living paths to joy, peace and love when we return to the perfection that God built into us. So let’s take a leap of faith and leave our assumptions behind, as we search our inner and outer selves – always lathering love and compassion upon ourselves, no matter what we find…

STEP ONE: THE VOICE JOURNAL

Get your self a blank notebook and keep it with you for one week.

Pray to God to give you clear-cut discernment every morning as you begin your quest.

Write down everything that voice says. How do you know when it speaks? It will be every thought that doesn’t exhort, exalt or love you.

In addition, write down what you were doing at the moment that thought came, a description of the environment around you, what you told yourself at the same time, what you did in reaction, and how you felt.

At the end of the week, read your entire journal and you will have a crystal clear picture of what your relationship with that voice (that devil model) in your head is.

I can assure you that there is nothing redeeming there and you will be extremely motivated to get this thing out of your life for good.

LISTEN UP!!! DO THIS THING. THIS IS FOR YOU. YOU MUST BECOME AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN THIS WORK OR YOU WILL REMAIN TRAPPED IN THE PUTRIDITY OF YOUR UNCONSCIOUSNESS.

Hold onto your journal. We’ll break it down next week.

We are opening the windows and letting some light shine in. It’s a beginning, and it’s vital for your freedom. I’m committed to you seeing it manifest.
Goodnight and God bless.

Will You Help God Help You? – Part 4

We have been looking at tools that we can bring to our disposal for creating a keen sensitivity to realizing when we fall of the path that God has set for us – i.e. sliding back into the destructive ways of the world. That sensitive alert we want to cultivate is one that motivates us to immediately return to God.

The first three tools we considered were:

1. Willingness: a willingness to call upon God for help and to conform to His ways.

2. God: If you could live your highest and best life through your own efforts, you would have done so by now. No one can. We have to look for the help that transcends our humanity. That assistance only comes from our Creator.

3. Meditation: a practice for rooting out the thought processes that prompt us to act in ways that are deleterious to our spiritual and physical well being. It allows us to stay in the present moment where life lives and our connection with God exists.

Let’s finish by examining the last two:

Inquisitiveness:

You were born perfect but you were unconsciously conditioned. You didn’t know that the meanings you attached to the world around you would become hazardous to your health – false interpretations especially facilitated through that voice construct in your head and lived out in the masks you try to cover your true self with.

It’s not your fault, but neither is it an excuse to be a victim. A victim sees no possibility. You have infinite possibilities. Now is the time to ask yourself questions. It’s not your fault for where you’ve been, but is your total responsibility to learn how to wake up and see what is real. Then you can see what is possible.

Definitions change as knowledge increases. Carlos Castaneda

You must question everything about how you’ve been living your life and look to see who has been in charge – deconstructing your false self in the process so that you can be free from your own opinions. It’s time to sow seeds of doubt in the voice in your head – time for you to take yourself off autopilot and grab hold of the helm.

This is not a one-on-one battle to try to get the voice to shut up. It doesn’t know how. However, you can neutralize it with the power of truth. You can always recognize your adversary when it’s around. It’s that mental barrage that is totally devoid of love.

It might say something like, ‘You’re stupid!’ Instead of rolling up into a fetal position, ask your heart, not your head, ‘Is that really true?’ Your heart will tell you ‘no,’ and it never lies. Think about what happens to you physically and emotionally when you’ve lived in agreement with the lies in your head. Respond to that apparition, ‘I’m far better than that.’ The voice will hiccup in disbelief.

Ask yourself (your heart), ‘What would my life be like, what would I be like, if I didn’t believe this lie, and instead embraced the truth of the wonder of how God made me?’ The voice gulps.

Commit to be kind and loving with yourself every time that voice squeaks. Do something that you don’t think you deserve – walk on the beach, do nothing for 30 minutes, get a root beer float.

Suppose that voice tells you not to go to a party you’ve been invited to, because the people there will make fun of you for being such a geek. Moreover, it says it knows just how you feel and suggests you reach for the bottle of wine you have in the kitchen to make yourself feel better.

What if you said to yourself, ‘Who says I’m a geek? It’s just that old lying ghost in my head. I don’t need a judge in my life any longer. It only brings me grief. I’m not believing anything it says ever again.’ And you go to the party! The voice moans.

However, let’s say you lost this round and chugged that bottle. The following day, when the voice berates you for your drunkenness, instead of exposing your flesh to be scourged, what if you respond with ‘Yes, I did something that was not good for me. I’m going to forgive myself for my unconscious behavior and act differently for my greater good.’ The voice begins to dissipate.

You see how much more powerful that is when you exhort yourself, give yourself another chance and hold out love and hope? Instead of hating yourself, continue to ask powerful questions to help you dethrone that mental tyrant. For example:

‘Can I allow myself to decide that I’ve been punished enough? Could I let go of wanting to punish myself? Will I let it go? Wouldn’t I rather be free? Can I stop from planning any more punishment against myself in the future? Could I let that feeling go?’

When will I do these things? Is there any reason why that moment can’t be right now?’

Questions are powerful. That voice in your head cannot stand up to inquisition, nor can it stand against love. If it says you are a monster inside, tell it to show that monster to you. (It can’t, because the monster doesn’t exist. It never did.)

Everything the voice says is a lie. Whatever it says, answer with ‘Who cares?’ Then tell yourself the opposite of its accusation. Always ask, ‘What is real, true and important here?’ When you become aware of your old ways of being and choose to do otherwise, (i.e. God’s ways) you will have real freedom.

Write your powerful questions down and post them around your house to remind you to return to your present moment. You are now in the process of living from the heart and leaving the mind behind…

Action:

‘Transforming moments’ consist of revelations (ah-ha moments of truth) that can literally change your life – if and only if you implement them. You cannot wish your problems away. You must reach out to God and challenge your adversary. God will move on your behalf, but you must act first.

That opens the way for you to create something new – a life that you want by putting your faith in your transforming moments (ultimately sent to you by God) and act!

You have to participate in getting back the life you were meant to have. And that’s exactly what we are going to do together…

Next time.
Goodnight and God bless.