Friday, February 8, 2019

Step 3, 6, and 7 Prayer

God,
Remove my blindness. Remove my deafness. Open my eyes so I can see my willful behaviors, open my ears so I can hear my willful words, open my mind so I can realize when I am about to or am doing willful actions.  I am willing to be remade to fit your will. Please God, I need a resurrection. I need a revival to who You made me to be.
In your name I pray.
Amen.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Making "FUN" Your Purpose

The purpose of every Christian's life is to please God (Phillipians 2:13, Ephesians 1:5, 2 Thess 1:11, Collosians 1:10, Mathew 25:21, NKJV).  Strangely, realizing that and accepting that is the hardest process of life. Our nature of self is not easily persuaded to allow someone else (let alone an invisible God) to be more valuable than ourselves with every teency tiny thought or inclination that pops into our minds and hearts.  Because we place pleasing ourselves out ahead of everything else humans have a tendency to develop fixations and false beliefs that justify those fixations.

Have you or someone you know made "fun" the guiding motivation of life?  A fixation.  I have worked with many who have. Oh what a tireless, frustrating effort this is, but one that is hard to surrender. Because there are so many false and validating voices out there in the world around us. What's so bad about fun, right? Well, intrinsicly nothing. For the person who looks forward to their next "fun" time drawing on its hope to keep them focused now, essentially makes the fun they're looking forward to a demand. I MUST feel it and get it!

It may not be a thought but more of a strong feeling, craving, or impulse.  Its motivating though, driving the person forward to whatever finish line in order to receive their reward (a compulsion). Problems arise in this scenerio. First thing I think is, what if the person doesnt complete or achieve the task and doesnt feel as though they've earned the "fun"? Well, then they give themselves the fun out of defiance to their internal driver but feel strong guilt or pressure.  This creates a negative feedback loop from myself to myself. Very destructive.

My next thought is, what if the result in many scenarios is my faithfulness or my commitment or my loyalty? In other words, successful completion may elude me because my definition is under-developed or based on shallow values. Then what? Do I deserve "fun" then? Now I'm back to that negative feedback loop but I might also begin to become angry with people I believe are keeping me from feeling as though I have earned "fun". Fun is not as fun when I do not believe I have earned it, right?!

Another thought is, the attempt to hold on to "fun" as a goal or end result is an attempt to hold on to the carefree status  of childhood making it a fixation. Even further, an attachment to a developmental phase during childhood or early adolescence. A phase in which fun made life sweet and free and memorable. Right here is where your specific idea of fun is defined.  Are your sweetest memories laced with eating? Partying? Being alone? Being devious? Promiscuous? Working?  Fighting?  There will be specific characteristics and environments that will tend to be reoccurring themes of what you consider "fun".

Sometimes it may seem clinging to old behaviors is easier than adult growth, the maturing process, and learning and accepting being sober minded. The Bible speaks of putting off the old man (Eph 4:22).  Developmentally speaking, the Bible is right on here! Adults who want to stay in step with healthy development must put off this immature, childish belief that life must be fun. Then in fun's place put on maturity and sober mindedness tempered by Gods love.

Gods love is key to this growth. Without it we may grow rigid, serious, and staunchly pious. Gods love brings an appropriate simplicity, humility, and playfulness. His love gives us the ability to be real and authentic and mature at the same time. We must relinquish our belief in fun and its correlating demand to feel what fun provides.

Fun must be reconceptualized.  Meaning, we must confront our rigid definitions of fun and become open and willing to experience every day adult activities as "fun".  Essentially redefining what is fun.

Finally, remember a life lived for myself ends up being a psychological tragedy. This is because it leaves me always wanting, never truly filled or content.  Our purpose is to please God, but how? The three loves!

• Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (God himself)
•Love your neighbor as yourself (those outside Gods family)
•Love one another ( those inside Gods family) (John 13:34, Mark 12: 29-31, NLT).


You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalms 16:11 NKJV
https://bible.com/bible/114/psa.16.11.NKJV

Thursday, January 31, 2019

It's all about me!

Living for self is a psychological tragedy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Detachment

Many of the 12 step recovery programs teach detachment from situations and other peoples stuff as a means of letting go of control and surrendering outcomes.  This is a powerful tool in the recoverer's arsenal against insanity.  I am realizing though that, so far, in my experience the program has not taught how to identify and heal detachment from myself.  I am realizing how profoundly destructive this character trait (detachment from self) is and the profound role it plays in the process of thwarting healing.

Do you struggle with not knowing how you feel or not knowing how to feel?  Do you struggle with identifying your emotions, your needs, or wants?  If you can identify can you communicate that to anyone? Do you often feel robotic in work, home life, or social interactions?  Do you have a tendency to fixate on someone or something and the majority of your attention goes there? Do you try to intellectually figure everything out but cannot seem to put that knowledge into useful practice?  How about going a bit deeper.  Do you ever experience the feeling that you are sort of watching yourself/what you are doing through your own eyes?  Do you ever experience the feelings or perceptions that others only exist in the environment you see them in, like they are 2D cardboard cut-outs without a sense of person hood?  Do you struggle with experiencing within, a lack of empathy for others or a hardness when confronted with suffering?  Do you tend to deny your internal state and instead present masks to people around you?  Do you tend to lose yourself in tasks and lose track of time?  Do you tend to be very judgmental of others and demanding about who they are?

These questions above allude to some common symptoms of detachment, depersonalization, and derealization. These three characteristics, in my opinion, exist in every humans life to some degree.  I say that because from my personal and professional experience we are all learning to become truly connected to ourselves; being able to feel empathy and a full range of emotion and human conditions while bringing this state to our higher power for strength and support.  Detachment becomes a problem when we detach from ourselves (the most vulnerable self, our truest self) to any degree.  Detachment is not surrender.  Surrendering parts of me or surrendering me to my higher power is healthy.  Detaching from parts of me that threaten fear or overwhelm is not healthy.

Detachment from self (my truest self) exists on a continuum, from low level detachment (daydreaming a few seconds, compartmentalizing) to high level depersonalization/derealization/dissociation (multiple personalities, memory loss, experience of life not feeling real, the continual experience of watching me through my own eyes).  With most of us existing somewhere in between the two extremes.  One way to know if you have a dangerous level of detachment is to look at the root motivation for what you do.  If you trace your choices backwards do you find "self" or "self-protection" at the root of your choices?  Do you find conscience, a higher power's will, the greater "good" at the root of your choices?  This may seem counter-intuitive but, if many of your choices are motivated by self-protection that may show a strong tendency to detach from your true humanity or your most truest sense of you and a feeding of your nature where self-protection reigns supreme. 

Where self-protection reigns, love and connection are blocked out.  They are walled out.  Change cannot happen very deeply because I am blind to me.  I cannot hear my own inner voice let alone hear the voice of my higher power speaking to me.  I have in a sense rejected myself or parts of me so deeply that I have silenced the voice that communicates to me the needs of that part of me.  It as if it no longer exists.  I have not seen it or felt or heard it in so long its no longer there or part of my awareness.  It would be quite literally like lopping off an arm or leg and letting go of all need or memory of it.  In some cases people reject their own gender, sexuality, body parts, body size, and begin to feel estranged from the very body they live in.  Dissociation can be quite destructive on the extreme end.

 So, how about you?  Do you disconnect from yourself at any level?  Are there areas of you that are too dangerous to feel, look at, deal with?  Unless you are willing to take an honest look there your growth will stay blocked because higher power is not welcome there to lovingly take inventory and fill that with love.  Connect with your truest you and you will be more able to connect with your higher power and receive his healing.     

Friday, January 25, 2019

If I'm Honest

If I'm honest I'll admit that I cling tightly to the blessings that are and have been mine. If I'm honest I would admit that I believe at most times that I know many things, enough, and believe that I know myself for the most part. If I'm honest I will admit that what I have and who I believe that I am is what comforts me each day.

But when I stand in the presence of God long enough, broken enough, with enough longing for answers, tolerating the discomfort of my emotions and my circumstances without running or avoiding, I inevitably come face to face with a God who demands my full attention, my full surrender, my full embrace, my full loyalty, my full commitment to Him and Him alone.

When that inevitable moment comes and I receive the call to let go of my firm grasp on who I believe I am through my stuff, my knowledge, and my relationships that's when I connect with my soul sickness. My deep constitution within that is permeated with self. And I know, at that moment, being honest, I have no power over that level of freedom from self. Only God can do that deepest work in that place of me, My core.

If I'm honest.