Monday, July 25, 2011

Visualization of the various routes through a ...Image via WikipediaGOOGLE

Where does it come from? Why do we always think that everyone else is in control of our life? My son has just spent 18 hours trying to be right about something he could never possibly be right about, especially in his alcoholic mind. Knowing this was the case, I took my attention completely away from what he was saying and doing. Literally, just no attention whatsoever to whatever he did.  He finally got to the point where he had over-thought everything that had happened to him all day yesterday to the point of near insanity. Well, maybe not near, pretty much, right on.
How hard is life? Why does anyone even ask a question like that? Life is hard, yes, every minute of every day, if that is what you think it is. Everything is just what you think, because you are the one doing the thinking. One is never privy to what others are thinking unless they are being told what the other is thinking. None of us can read the mind of others; that is why Eckhart Tolle suggests we think, “It is not our business what others think of us,” because we can never GUESS what they are thinking. So why try? We try because we don’t have the answers, and we don’t have the answers because we are not looking for them, we are only looking to be right. What a waste of time and energy that is.
Finally, my son comes to me and asks me why life is so hard and why he is not getting it; and I say this. “The next time you are having a day like you did yesterday just ask yourself this question, “What would Jesus do?” He starts to think about that for a minute and then we both start laughing at how simple that is. “Change your mind, change your life,” is how Wayne Dyer puts it.
I told him the story about how when I was at one of my lowest points during this last bout with mental illness, I heard this statement “what is one thing that your father said to you that changed your life?” And then proceeded to tell him how when I read or heard that I started laughing and thought, “are you kidding me, what could I possibly learn from an abusive alcoholic?” In the next minute, two thoughts ran through my head, they were…”Be a leader not a follower,” and “it’s all in your head.” He started laughing with me. I said “seriously do you think I would have ever thought about those things had I not had my mind open to the voice within? No, I couldn’t, I would have still been too afraid of what was in my head.”
The greatest fear most people have is the fear of dying. My son says that when the craving for the alcohol comes he thinks he might die if he does not get a drink soon. Well, I asked him, “Why are people afraid of dying?” I then proceeded to tell him that they are afraid of dying because some part of them believes in the afterlife and does not remember or believe that the work has already been done for them and they will have an amazing afterlife at the hand of Jesus. God sent his only son to walk amongst other humans so “He” had a first-hand look at how hard it was going to be for us, so he gave his only son to save us from our sins, knowing full well that every man would sin, maybe even every day, so he gave us an out(grace). That doesn’t mean we should go about our lives sinning and just waiting to ask for forgiveness. It means that we get up every day and face whatever challenges he puts in front of us and we do the very best we can to get through them in the very best way we can. We get through them as Jesus would. So asking ourselves “what would Jesus do?” and then sitting in our quiet mind, the answer comes and we do the right thing, instead of trying to be right. The right thing is clearly written for us in the Bible. So the answer to every question we could possibly ask ourselves is already in there.
My son had tears in his eyes through most of our conversation, some from laughter, some from pain, but he got the answer he was looking for, not the one that made him right, but the one that was the “right answer.”
I also reminded him of how I came back to my faith. I was again in that fearful place in my mind and looked up and saw my mother’s bible on the entertainment center in my living room. I hadn’t seen that bible in more years than I could remember and I have no plausible explanation for it, I just know that when I walked over and picked it up I found the message my mother left for me on the inside cover. I had been complaining to many people, that my mother had never said she loved me, she never said good-bye, and she never thanked me for taking care of her those last six months or her life as she wrestled and lost her battle with colon cancer. The message read Prove 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.” And then Acts 17:28 “For in him we live and move, and have our being; for we are also his offspring.” Funny how things come to us, but as I was writing what she had written just now, I looked on the next side of the page and it said “Day of Pentecost” (Birthday of Church) (6-6-65) Day apostles received Holy Ghost and ability to speak in tongues.” I just read that yesterday in my daily Bible reading. It all just goes to show that while we are communing with God, all day every day, he is communing with us.
I spent most of the day yesterday singing, “Just as I Am without One Plea,” and replaying the words “but that thy blood was shed for me,” did I ever think I would need those words today or that an opportunity to use them would come to me so quickly. “And thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

I wonder what my next thought will be"I wonder what my next thought will be?"Google

Realizing that the time is coming near when I should be able to make a living from the labor of my disability recovery, I am finding that knowledge is within. Duh, we all know that, at least to some degree. But, the true knowledge is that which we already have enhanced, by the gifts that we have each been given. That is why we all think in different ways. We can’t all understand the concept of Algebra in the same way, or the blueprint to a house or draw an architectural design to build a house, but we all have inner gifts, talents, and knowledge that we have already received that makes us capable of greater achievements for the better of mankind. Not material gain for ourselves, but for the better of another.
Tapping into the resources is the trick. Not so much a trick but a journey. If we were able to line up all the knowledge we have gained over our lifetime and blend it perfectly with our innate knowledge, we would be able to expand our possibilities, immediately. Most already know this. That is why there are so many rich people in the world, and I don’t necessarily mean material wealth.  Material wealth is not what makes us feel good about our life, or lets us know when we are doing the right thing with our gifts, it is just a display that some use to further their personal gain. We are all different that way. My oldest son has always said, “Mom, if you ever win the lottery we would have to take it all away from you because you would give it all away.” I should have found humor in that but I didn’t. It just made me realize even more how much I had denied my children over the years; meaning the purpose of a life and “how to build one.”  He still thought material wealth was the secret to a great life. Material things are great when everyone else has everything else they need. When we gain material wealth and it is used to make us”happier than we are,” we fail. We have to fail, or we would never realize the truth of that.
The Reformation Study Bible states in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”  This is stated under the heading “False Teachers and True Contentment.”  It seems just today that twice I have had to refer to money as being the root of all evil but in different ways. The first was in response to a member of my church family who said she was beginning to experience anxiety because she was a perfectionist. But, she later added that it was the result of not having enough money to meet all her usual needs. I quickly recalled my first real battle with anxiety and related to her that new experiences after loss are much more difficult to overcome when the root of the problem stems from the loss of money or the lack of money. I have learned that when you focus on lack what you get is more lack. This is how wealth or money is the thing that takes us away from our faith. By focusing on not having enough money to meet our needs, a feeling of fear (an unfounded feeling) rises in us. Not knowing that we have nothing to fear escapes us, and we immediately begin to look outside of our self for the source of the fear.  There is no source of the fear. Our innate self does not possess fear. It is created in our mind. We create it out of our own devices, so to speak. The greatest fear that most people have is the fear of death. Well, the innate self knows that faith does not include the fear of death. Faith is what takes away our fear of death. Faith in God and our salvation does not include fear. Our salvation is the one thing that removes the fear. We will be at the right hand of God upon our demise, so what is there to fear?
This is where the outer self begins to create fear. Separated from faith, fear exists. So in most that are not living by their faith, they are living in fear of something that does not exist; because nothing outside of our faith exists. Nothing outside of God exists.  God is within. Once we capture the concept of that belief we have eliminated all fear and are capable of all things. “With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26. In the Reformation Study Bible it is states, “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. This is under the heading “Let the Children Come to Me.” Just before that title is the beginning of Chapter 19 with the heading “Teaching About Divorce.” When I read that chapter I finally realized that I could forgive myself for having been twice divorced, as it states in verse 9, “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” Funny that I can now be joyful, that both of my marriages ended as a result of unfaithfulness, on the part of both of my husbands. I am released from the bondage of guilt which is the grip of Satan. Wow, that also releases me from the unfounded fear that held me in its grip after each divorce. The part of me that stayed locked in fear for so long, when all I had to do was re-knew my faith. It all seems so simple as I write it now, but the depth of my fear was so great that it literally held me captive in my mind and body for so many years, I cannot begin to explain the relief of this burden I have been carrying. Who knew that the day I found my mother’s bible would be the day that I finally began to live the life I was meant to live. My mind races with new discovery as I contemplate and experience this joy. Years of wasted energy living in the external world and sinning with such an outward lack of guilt until it all came crashing down on me. And now, to be relieved so simply by a small passage that has always been a part of me, I just lost sight of it because of the (unfounded) fear I was carrying.
Yesterday another of my church family was compelled to act on her fear of thunder and lightning. We were having a yard sale and the thunder and lightning of an impending storm approached and she practically froze with fear. Her husband came and packed up her belongings to get her safely home where he knew she would feel safe and at peace. But, the truth is, as very strong Christians, they both should have been able to draw from their faith the courage to ignore the fear that only existed in her mind, and not in her soul. How simple it is now to look at that and see where we can all move forward with our lives so easily by regaining our ability to trust in God, the source of our total existence. I could have developed this knowledge years before, and saved myself so much time trying to move ahead; but being trapped in unfounded fear kept me building greater fear. This is the vicious circle, the catch-22. Why when I learned the caption “catch-22,” did I not then realize what I have just now come to see? God wanted me to find my way on my own. He wants all of us to do that, which is why he gives us challenges everyday for us to overcome. If we never overcame a challenge, we would never grow in knowledge or experience. I found the phrase: “Failure is just another door to success,” in my head one day. I adopted it as my own, not knowing where it came from. I see now that it came from the innate of me, the true self which is the God self, so the thought belongs to God, but I will borrow it for awhile to make my point.
This is all a rambling, expanding from the initial thoughts about fear and money, yet it has expanded far beyond anything I could have imagined. Years of trying to figure out what I was doing “wrong,” when what I was really doing was right where God wanted me to be. I was overcoming the challenges that God was giving me to be able to finally draw these conclusions, in the hope, now, that someone will read this and will be saved from the tribulations I had to face to get here. Wow, so simple and yet so profound to me. Not everyone will think this is profound, but that isn’t my intention. My intention is that one other will find, in this written piece, something that unlocks them from the fear that is binding them.  At this very moment the reason why the song “Just as I am without one Plea,” stayed in my head so long, has just come about. “But that thy blood was shed for me. Oh child of God, I come, I come.”
This is all about having one’s mind open. Most are afraid to leave it open, afraid of what might come in, but in reality, it is really what might come out. God meant for me to take this journey, in just this way, because had I done it any different, I would not have come to these discoveries today. Maybe years from now, or never maybe; but today I know I was meant to find them. What I do with them now is the next question I have to ask myself. How do I get these discoveries somewhere for someone else to learn from, and save them from the journey that I took? Maybe my journey is the journey for them. Maybe reading my journey will help them find their way in a much shorter time; or in God’s way for them. I can’t determine what is right for another, only God can do that; but if another reads this and finds something of value in it; then I have accomplished what God set me out for me to do today. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. How many times have we all used that phrase? Today I finally understand what that truly means. Today my life has changed in a matter of hours, just by thinking one thought, the thought about (unfounded) fear. I could tell my whole story but I’m, not sure that is what God wants for me, if he does then I will soon know, but today I am content to believe that one other will be saved because of m journey with God.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The "Gift" we have already been given.

ROSE OF SHARRON 2Image by dannie4852 via Flickr

I found the power of forgiveness this week. Tough lesson, and a long time coming; but so powerful. The burden that it releases is so full of emotion, but so peaceful in the end. Faith is a feeling... not a thought. How strange that it takes so long to learn something so simple. It makes one wonders how long they have been sleeping. This is the difference between the conscious and unconscious mind. Finding the inner self is a journey worth taking, as long as the path is clear. Many get hung up on the path itself and forget to listen for the directions. It is not the path, but the voice that comes from within; leading the way. An open mind can be a scary place to be for some, but the only path to peace is to open it up, and let faith guide one through the journey.
When we harbor ill will or blame others for our unhappiness, pain body, and sadness; we collect and carry the weight with us for a long time. Learning to immediately release forgiveness is the only way to stay on a peaceful course. We have already been given the directions, we just have to read them everyday and believe they are the truth. The truth is in the word of God, the only laws are God's laws and when we find them, we must commit them to memory. We must make them the language we use, the thoughts that we have, the information we share, and most of all, the way we live. So much comes in return, although following these laws does not guarantee reward or even compensation, the act itself is reward enough. To see another experience the joy of being forgiven, is joy enough to last a lifetime. To be forgiven is a gift we have already been given, we just have to use our faith to accept it. It will always be worth it in the end. Open your mind today, and if you hear nothing...open the BIBLE and read the truth.
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