Discovering The Pattern That Separates You From God – Part 3

In the first two parts of this series, we looked at the meanings behind the first 4 of 29 questions designed to help you see the pattern of life you live that suppresses your spirit, which separates you from your Creator. Continuing on…

5. Who is in your life?

Who you choose to hang out with and whom you don’t, says a lot about you. Deep down, we all want to be surrounded with people who love and accept us for who we are. Yet we rarely reveal that true self to others, so we sabotage ourselves – settling only for those who are attracted to our masks.

We pick ‘safe people,’ people like us who won’t call us out on the unworkable strategies that constitute our pattern. Indeed, they are likely living by similar schemes. That way, everybody in the group can validate each others’ self-victimization. You can figure out how you are being by looking at your friends. If you see character flaws in them, you can rest assured they are the same flaws that you believe you have.

The solution is to let the real you out to play and see whom that attracts. (You’ll be pleasantly surprised.) You may certainly lose some of your present friends and maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

But you’re stuck with your family, yes? Consider that they might be easier to be around if you’d quit blaming them for how your life is turning out. They too have suffered from the same mind-bending as you have. Most of the time, they weren’t trying to be disagreeable; they were just acting out their own hurts. Not personal! They only want the same love and acceptance that you do. After you give love and acceptance to yourself, try giving it to them.

Your entire relationship may change – or not, if they cannot let go of there own survival strategies. Accept them for who they are and what they are able to give in the moment. Examine how you let them push your self-conditioned ‘hot buttons,’ and refuse to play on that level anymore. You will then know that you did your best. At the very least, your relationship to them will change for the better.

Let’s say that you did have someone who truly was malicious in your life but they are not in it anymore for whatever reason. You must still forgive them for your sake.

They did perpetrate a real hurt upon you, which led to sadness and eventually to suffering. You may even blame yourself for what they did, feeling hopeless, helpless, and guilty. This ‘frame of reference’ affects the way you look at everything.

Consider what kind of abuse could have caused your abuser to be so monstrous. Apply compassion and forgiveness when you realize what a great pain they must have suffered. Then you will be able to get on with the business of living. And forgive yourself. Maybe you aided your abuser, maybe not. Either way, you made the best choice at the time with the tools that you had to survive. If you could have seen a better way, you would have taken it.

If you still have abusive people in your life, forgive them as above but firm up your healthy boundaries so that they can no longer do you harm!

Accept that some people allow evil to fester within and steer clear of them. You’re not responsible; neither can you change them. You can pray for them.

Apply gobs of love and compassion for yourself if you see that you’ve allowed this evil to stay in your presence, because you were hoping that some scraps of love and acceptance would be thrown your way. (Look deep, because it’s probably how you relate to everyone.) In which case, you’ve been trying to recreate the perfect parent, friend or lover in that toxic relationship. Just acknowledge it and let that person in the mirror know that it is time to quit beating him or herself up.

When you give yourself that love and compassion, you will attract the kind of relationships that enhance those qualities in your life. As you recognize that only you are responsible for how your life turns out, you will be able to steer it on a much more loving course.

You’ll be able to see who and what anyone around you is being, which allows you to be free of their strategies, and stop making what they say or do personal. Your life will be cleansed of toxicity.

There was a sub-question to #5. It was ‘How do you want these people to change?’ If you examine your answers, you’ll see that most of the changes are the ones you want to see in yourself. Take them to your meditation, asking yourself: ‘Do I need to make these changes? Why have I been running strategies in opposition to them?’ Drop the strategies and the changes will happen by themselves.

6. Who have caused or continue to cause you pain?
7. Who have you chosen not to forgive?
8. Who are your enemies?

These 3 questions are a subset of question #5.

No one can cause you pain; you must choose to be hurt. (I’m not talking about those who actually abuse you physically or emotionally. However, if it is in your power to get away from them and you’ve not done so, you need to look deeply within, to find out what your ‘payoff’ is that you believe is worth the pain of remaining a victim.)

Meditate about the people who ‘hurt’ you. How do you feel when they are around you? Do those feelings have any validity in present tense? It’s very possible your feelings are rooted in past events and may not be related to this person at all.

If, after careful consideration, you still feel justified, look to see if you’ve earnestly tried to communicate what you feel to this person. It’s possible they have no clue about how you feel because they are too far into their own head.

Apply compassion. They too have been wounded in life. Perhaps you can help them see something they have not been conscious of.

For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend… Job. 6:14 NASB

The people you have chosen not to forgive are those with whom you have a pain response. Ultimately, whatever they have done, you must forgive them as God forgives you. (Mk. 11:25) It doesn’t mean that you have to like them or have them in your proximity.

If you don’t forgive, you lock up hate and bitterness inside, and it eats away at you like a cancer. You will hate yourself for hating. Every human problem is rooted in a lack of love for oneself. You must expel any and all forms of hate from your heart.

Who are your enemies? They are the same people whom you perceive have caused you pain and that you’ve chosen not to forgive. You cannot afford to have enemies. Jesus told us to love our enemies. (Mt. 5:44) Begin by loving the person you’ve made the biggest enemy – yourself. Then, you can radiate that out of you. Acceptance always follows unconditional love. When you become your own best friend, your world will be filled with friends.

A friend loves at all times… Pr. 17:17 NKJV

9. What are you afraid of?

Writing down all the thoughts, emotions, and sensations that appear before your fear manifests, shows you how you do fear. Remember, most fear is based on imaginary future possibilities (that voice in your head invents) that are based on unresolved anxieties over your past.

Most people run from their fears in a frantic dash that actually keeps their fears in front of their face. That’s a sure way of guaranteeing a life full of misery. Let’s bring all our fears to our meditation:

Are you afraid someone will find out who you really are? That’s funny because most of us don’t know who we are. However, we can find out if we lovingly examine the construct of our masks. Every flaw that you think you have is a product of a broken relationship, out of which you desperately and courageously created a survival mechanism. You only had a wounded heart problem. There was no problem with your true self – never was, never will be.

All you’ve ever deserved was unconditional love and compassion. Give it to yourself. Be yourself. And then the opinions of others won’t matter, because they have as much value as farts in the wind.

Are you afraid of failure? Failure is only a step that brings you closer to success. Without failure, there is no forward progress. It doesn’t mean there is anything inherently wrong with you.

There is no perfect way of doing anything and you’ll have far more freedom without the bondage of perfectionism (which is only a way of protecting ourselves from failure by continuous tinkering instead of finishing).

Are you afraid of relationship? More fear of rejection. The only way to move beyond this fear is to form an unconditional love relationship with God and with you. Then everyone around you will want to be related to you.

Are you afraid of dying? Only having a relationship with God can cure that.

Are you afraid of the unknown (change)? Other than God, there is no constant. Change is the only guarantee that we have. In fact, if not for change (e.g. cellular growth and differentiation) there would be no life. No one knows what’s going to happen next. Even that what you think works best in your life will change.

Neither do we have any control over this universe. Freedom appears when we let that notion of ‘being in control’ go. (The only thing that can control your life is what you don’t know. That’s why it’s so imperative to stay conscious.)

We are all part of this changing universe, which makes every moment a gift with endless possibilities. We should be living in awe at this mysterious chaos, at this chance to take this love-filled journey that is always available to those who choose to remain awake and to let go – again and again.

Regardless of what you’re afraid of, those fears are only based upon unexamined beliefs from meanings that you made up as a child. Love and happiness cannot coexist with fear. I vote for letting the fear go. Look at your fears and the strategies you support them with, and see how they’ve kept you from living.

Commit to not running. Face those false fears and see the lies that they are constructed from. Let go, and live…

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1 ESV

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? Ps. 118.6 NKJV

Next time: more of what inquiring minds need to know.
Good night and God bless.

Characteristics Of A Life When God Is Absent: Final Outcome

This is the eleventh post in our continuing series (that began with How The Devil Stole Your Soul) where we have been investigating Satan’s age-old strategy for depriving our soul from its rightful place in the kingdom of God (using our own efforts), how we do his work by handing down that strategy from generation to generation, the ways our thinking gets twisted, and finally, the characteristics we take on in life, when we make God absent by turning away because we don’t believe He’ll accept us.

We previously looked at the characteristics of living in the past, walking in fear, blustering in anger and being self-absorbed and non-communicative. Let’s examine the final one:

Characteristic #5: Unrelated

In other words, having become someone whose thinking patterns make it impossible for them to have a healthy relationship with anyone – with God, themselves, or with others.

This ‘unrelated-ness’ is not so much a ‘characteristic’ as it is the final outcome of living out the other characteristics listed above:

If you’re trapped in the past, you cannot be in present time where real communication and relationship exists.

If you are afraid of other people because of the threat that you think they represent or you’re they might learn something you’re trying to keep hidden, you will isolate yourself from relationship.

If you bound about like some angry ogre, trying to prevent people from ‘hurting’ you, you’re going to drive them away.

If you only present your mask, no one gets to meet the real you; and if you cannot communicate from other than your own agenda, no real exchange takes place.

(All of this is a result of not seeking God or from running away from Him – both of which deprive you of His love and peace.)

Thus, if you’re working one or more these strategies, what possible hope do you have to grow a healthy, loving, mutually nurturing relationship? A snowball’s chance in hell…

Our entire lives are lived within the framework of relationships – with friends, family, significant others, coworkers, God (hopefully) and with ourselves. Yet for most people, living in relationship is the hardest part of living.

No one gave us a manual (except God) for how to relate to others. In fact, we’re thrust into relationship at birth and then blindly plow through each successive one – trying to learn how to do relationship as we go along. And it’s even more challenging for those who have been ‘broken’ by life.

Our first exposure to relationship was with our parents, who, for the most part, lovingly (but unconsciously) passed down their life indoctrination (with all its un-examined, untruthful, and unworkable components). As a child, we absorbed them without examination either. The end result? Perpetuated misery.

Thanks to our sickly symbiotic relationship with the Dark Mind (that voice in our head), we end up either perpetually alone, or we fall in and out of ‘acquaintances’ because we are afraid to share who we really are.

We look at the world with eyes filtered by our ‘Life Story’ with all its embellishments of meaningless meanings. This is not because our past was so wonderful, but because we were traumatized by the events, or we traumatized ourselves by the meanings we attached to them. Ultimately, we’ve surmised that people aren’t safe, and that they’ll reject the love we offer – rejecting us. So we throw up walls of defense, e.g. our masks.

Our soul has taken on a ‘slipperiness,’ preventing us from being able to stick’ to others. Thus, our primary needs for love and acceptance go unmet.

We don’t even love ourselves because we believe that voice in our head when it says we harbor something within that’s revolting. Because of that, we don’t provide love and acceptance for ourselves. Moreover, we try to separate from our true self.

Until that is resolved, all ‘acquaintances’ with others will not fill the emptiness. After all, if you do not know how to love yourself, how in the world could you expect others to know?

So you see, we show up for relationships with a huge built-in disadvantage – looking for someone to ‘fix’ us. We’re sad, grieving over what we think is wrong with us and exhausted from trying to find someone who will give us what we’re sure we lack. Adding more insanity to this twisted logic, we present our false masks to those we seek to make them believe we already have what we’re convinced we lack.

We dance a frenetic dance in order to garner the favor of others so that we might receive repair.

However, we cannot get anything from anybody unless we are first willing to provide it for ourselves. It is not possible for someone else to alter the experience we have created of ourselves.

That experiential change must come from the inside; and the biggest change we must bring upon ourselves is self-acceptance. We will never feel love and acceptance from others until we first love and accept ourselves.

Otherwise, the only kinds of people we’ll attract will be those who run the same unworkable schemes that we do – people who will abuse us in direct proportion to which we tolerate it from the Dark Mind. Think about it. If you search for acceptance from others for who you really are, while simultaneously presenting your mask and your potential partner is doing the same, (i.e. they are like you, trying to get something from someone without giving anything back) how will either of you find satisfaction?

We stay on the hunt for that imaginary ‘fix’ even though we are frightened beyond measure to find it, because deep down we’re afraid they will reject us by invalidating our beliefs, dominating us and swallowing up who we are, or will refuse to meet our needs.

This painful fear comes from our relationship with that voice in our head whereupon we judge ourselves unlovable.

Because of prior experiences with ‘failed’ relationships, we have a tendency to equate relationship with pain; and it is human nature to avoid pain. Out of fear then, many people avoid relationships – denying their loneliness in aberrant isolation.

Love cannot coexist with fear. (1 Jn. 4:18)

So, this is how most people show up for a relationship: scared, defensive, defeated and sad – all before it even begins…

According to God, relationships are everything:

…for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him. 2 Chr. 30:9 NKJV

And behold, I am with you and will keep (watch over you with care, take notice of) you wherever you may go… Gn. 28:15 AMP

It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Dt. 31:8 ESV

For You have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living. Ps. 56:13 NASB

The LORD preserves all who love Him… Ps. 145:20 NKJV

This is but a fraction of the love of God, and it’s all yours for the asking. All He asks is for you to be related to Him. And He’s just waiting for you to initiate it…

For the Son of Man came to save [from the penalty of eternal death] that which was lost. Mt. 18:11 AMP

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jn. 14:6 NKJV

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” Jn. 10:10, 11. NKJV

I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me]. Jn. 15:9 AMP

The only way to be related to God is to be related to His Son. That relationship expands your life and opens the doors to eternity. It brings the love and acceptance relationship you’ve always yearned for…

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever – The Spirit of Truth…you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. Jn. 14:16, 17. AMP

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you of things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” Jn. 16:13, 14. NKJV

But as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” – these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 1 Cor. 2:9, 10. ESV

…the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. Rm. 8:26 NKJV

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of God, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Cor. 3:18 NKJV

When you are related to God (through Christ), you are guaranteed a relationship with the Holy Spirit – who reveals the truth of God to you, which in and of itself reveals Christ and He is also the Holy Vehicle through whom God brings your divine transformation, readying you for your heavenly entrance.

Emmanuel Swedenborg, (a 1700’s theologian) described this heavenly threefold relationship we enter into in this manner: God the ‘Divine Soul’ related to Christ the ‘Divine Body,’ from which emanates the ‘Divine Love and Wisdom,’ (i.e. the Holy Spirit) to work the salvation of Man.

You can’t help but be your highest and best when you are in a relationship like that.

And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Gn. 2:18 NKJV

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mk. 10:7 – 9. ESV

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Pr. 31:10 – 12. ESV

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself…let each of you love his wife and himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Eph. 5:28 & 33. ESV

Behold, children are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Ps. 127:3 – 5. NASB

Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and the admonition of the Lord. Eph. 6:4 AMP

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you my live long on the earth.” Eph. 6:1, 2. NKJV

What are we seeing here? It’s the Divine importance of the relationship of family. Men and women were God-ordained to come together in marriage to create a family – one where the husband and wife love and respect each another. How do they do that? They have to love and respect themselves first! (see above: Eph. 5:28 & 33.)

We see that children are the Divine outcome of this union and they are to be loved and treasured – brought up in the word of God. Also, the children must be taught that God says they are to mirror this behavior (along with respect) back to their parents.

Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to life him up! Again, if two lie down together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. Eccl. 4:9-12. AMP

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Pr. 27:17 NKJV

A man who has friends must himself be friendly… Pr. 18:24 NKJV

A friend loves at all times… Pr. 17:17 NKJV

God says that a friend is one who lives in a love relationship with another and that having that friend will elevate and enhance many areas of both their lives.

You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. Mt. 22:39 AMP

…he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 Jn. 4:21 NKJV

“…love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples…” Jn. 13:34, 35. NKJV

Finally, we see that there is no one with which we are to withhold our love – including ourselves! God is saying that you are related to everyone!

In order to receive all this love and the associated benefits, we have to practice relating in relationships that work!

Stay tuned…

Good night and God bless.