The purpose of life is to know God and to do His will. I am so irritated about what’s going on with dogmatic Christianity. To motivate people with fear and cause them to believe that Heaven is about hell prevention as opposed to abundant life is abusive.
I really resent the Church for treating the “sheep” like they’re idiots. The visible church is a playhouse compared to the vastness of the invisible church. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection; the whole act of creation is an act of love from God to us and from us to God when we become aware of it. As much as we need God’s power to have manageability in our lives, God needs our cooperation to have power in His world. This is a two-way street. The knowledge of good and evil is meant to be understood and is what gives life texture and context.
One thing that I see very clearly reminds me of Richard Bach’s reluctant messiah in Illusions – people don’t really want to know the truth – they just want to find ways to justify themselves without being too uncomfortable.
There are many people who have sought light and truth, but they look for it outside themselves, where it is not. – Saint Augustine
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I don’t know where to start. I guess the bottom line is that all of my prayers and pleas and searching have led me to Jesus. Now I see why I’ve been conflicted. There’s Him and there’s me. I am aware of His presence in me a lot, but the reason there’s still this “other” part is because my self is not yet crucified. Jesus is in me, but we are not one and the same. There is a difference. Of myself I do not have the power to do the right thing. Of myself, I am nothing.
Anyway, I guess the bottom line is that I am truly realizing that this supernatural spiritual journey I have been having for all these years is tied to Jesus and that the work I feel called to do is His work that He began and continues to do through me and the other vessels.
I have been so competitive and unfair towards Jesus. My pride wanted to tell me that I am equal to Him on my own merit. My recent experience with the Fourth Step showed me that on my own merit, I should be dead. I need to accept that this love and loftiness that is in me is not me and that I cannot claim it for my own glory. It is mine in order to do what is the will of God. I have been wrong.
I’m just blown away by this majestic power that is yanking the shingles from my eyes. I truly feel like Saul/Paul. I made and continue to make many mistakes, but have been blinded by the light of Jesus after many years of persecuting Him in the name of God. My eyes are seeing clearly now and all I can say is Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of my life.
Christianity is not a message which has to be believed, but an experience of faith that becomes a message.- Edward Schillebeeckx
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As I uncover my delusional process, I see how truly “insane” I can be. It’s more than taking the first drink, it’s more than the crazy things I did while drinking, and it’s more than doing the same thing over and over again – expecting different results. Insanity is believing two things that oppose one another.
I can see that the recovery process is a continual process that is like gardening. I recently reread The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew13:24-30) that shed some light on what is going on with me. Jesus said not to pull the weeds while the good seed is still a seedling – to let them grow side by side until the good seed is a strong vine – to pull the weeds at the time of the harvest. The lies inside of me are the weeds.
When you drop your errors you will know the truth. – Anthony DeMello
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The sermon at church was about Jesus’ seamless life; absolutely no delineation between His intentions and His actions. How could I have been so deluded as to think that I have achieved such a thing? I’m pretty disgusted with this ego of mine. My head is full of knowledge, but knowledge without love is worthless. I know a lot of things – so much that people might really think I know what I’m talking about. I can’t even open my eyes without the power of God’s love.
I am confused because I am not sure if I am beating up on myself for being imperfect or if I am becoming aware of how truly self-centered and mean-spirited I can be; probably a little of both, but I suspect more of the latter.
One of my daily readers made reference today that our singleness of purpose is to work on improving the quality of human relationships as opposed to striving for material success. How can I be so backwards? I stink in relationships. I want more than anything to be a truly loving and supportive wife and mother rather than treating everyone as if they’re extensions of me and then withholding approval or attention if they don’t comply with my every demand, but I am powerless to do those things. Help!!!
I believe in my heart of hearts that God is taking care of this because it is coming into my awareness so fiercely. Still, seeing what a jerk I can be is very painful.
Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. – Richard Bach
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I have really been tapping into the core of my being and it is not the exhilarating experience that I had imagined. I am in touch with the fact that at a very deep level I believe that I am inherently flawed and defective. I am absolutely driven by a thousand forms of fear and delusion. I had no idea that I was so afraid. It’s actually a bit disconcerting. It seems as though, in many ways, my ego has been masquerading as God.
At least as a result of this, I can see on a whole new level that, of myself, I am nothing. I realize that all of this does not necessarily change anything as far as my goals and aspirations go, but it is changing everything concerning my motives. My tremendous need for recognition has come from deep, unmet needs for validation. External recognition is probably the last thing I really need right now because my ego gobbles it up before it ever makes it to my center.
“Project Charlie,” a volunteer program that I am teaching at Laurel’s school, is helping me to see that I am someone special … not because I am “chosen” or because I am super-evolved above others, but because there is no one else in the world exactly like me. My value already exists. I don’t have to achieve anything to bring it about. That concept is very hard for me to comprehend. I am already there if being valuable is the objective. Now, realizing it is a whole different story.
I put Toy Story on for Hope yesterday. The scene that stuck out to me was when Buzz Lightyear realized that he was “just a toy” and not really a “space ranger.” He was bummed. I could relate. Woody told him that there was no such thing as “just a toy.” He was someone’s toy and the little boy who he belonged to thought that he was a really cool toy.
I know that I have circled through this same thing over and over again, but I guess it’s just a deeper level or something. It feels like the first time. Once again, I’m realizing that I am “just a human being.” However, yesterday I got to see that I am someone’s mother and someone’s wife and someone’s friend and that they love me. Even more I could see how blessed I am to have these “someones” in my life.
In a sense, we really are nothing without relation to those around us. Einstein’s theory of relativity goes a lot further than time or space. I guess the bottom line is that I am seeing that I am not separate from those around me. We are a part of each other … a part of this cosmic weave called “life.” I am someone special, but so is everyone. Once again, on a deeper level, I see that there is no such thing as an ordinary person in an extraordinary world.
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This extensive method of doing the Fourth Step is showing me the truth behind my ideas of myself. I guess it’s showing me the beliefs of my heart … and some of them are very different from what my head says. I guess the journey from the head to the heart is the longest journey, but once again, I cannot “put new wine in old wine skins.” (Matthew 9:17) I must deny the lies before I can really believe the truth, but before I can deny them, I must identify them.
For example, because of an ingrained belief that I will “never beat Dad,” my heart whispers “Don’t win.” However, my head clamors “I am a winner.” No wonder I swing from one extreme to the other. No wonder I’m an egomaniac with low self-esteem. I’m beginning to see that the ideas imprinted in my heart were done so by a small child with a very limited perspective. No wonder growing up was so difficult. What I’m beginning to see is that what I want to be when I grow up is grown up.
Even though some of these realizations are painful because I am experiencing some ancient frozen emotions, I am pleased with the course that my life and recovery are taking. The hot-shot hero is fading away and a real person is coming into focus. All is well. What a gracious Father.
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. – Matthew 5:48
In Greek, perfect means “complete or of full age.”
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I had a realization in an Al-Anon meeting: I’ve never really looked at the fact that the objective in communication is to make a connection with the person you’re communicating with. My agenda has always been to get my point across. I debate and lecture. My conversations are monologues. No wonder my only tool for living was a hammer. I realized this as a result of reading Giving the Love That Heals. Hendrix and Hunt talk about conscious dialogue … the components being mirroring, validation, and empathy. I see in my recent inventory that I have a tremendous need to be validated. That is why I am sometimes overbearing in my opinions. My opinions are not necessarily the truth. Wow!
The A.A. literature says that there is a difference between a request and a demand. That’s news to me. In my family of origin, there was but one ultimate authority and it was not a loving God, but Dad. There were no “requests” … only orders. The result was either resentful compliance or pure rebellion. This really helps me to understand why a request can be perceived as a demand and why compliance with the requests of other people can feel so much like engulfment.
This new inventory in conjunction with the willingness to see the truth is a real eye-opener. I am grateful to once again be able to see that I am a work in progress. I need to get it through my thick head that the feeling of having arrived equals a resting period.
I must do these things in order to communicate:
Become aware of you (discover you).
Make you aware of me (uncover myself).
Be ready to change during our conversation.
And be willing to reveal my changes to you. – Hugh Prather
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February 9, 1998
This inventory is showing me that my idea of serenity has been to stand vigilantly at the door of a basement that is full of hungry dogs. I can’t believe how much I’ve lived in my head in order to deny my true emotions. I realize that I am terrified of being vulnerable, of being imperfect, of not being in control, of needing other people, and of making mistakes. In other words, I’m terrified of being human. I can now see that if I deny being driven by fear, I might as well accept that I am being driven by delusion. In denying my vulnerability, I have almost denied the part of me that loves.
Prior to metaphysics and God, I was my emotions and that wasn’t okay either. Then I became my thoughts, but that was still quite a delusion because I was so out-of-touch with my own weakness and limitation. Hopefully, I’m on my way to integration.
Yesterday, it occurred to me that to invite Jesus to be my personal Savior is not the same thing as saying that I believe that He’s the only way to God. Even if it is, who cares? I can’t work out my own salvation with diligence because I keep getting in my own way. It amazes me how I can continually forget that I am the problem.
Jesus Christ did not come only to teach. He came to make me what He teaches I should be. – Oswald Chambers
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Posted in Book Excerpts, Chapter 16: Becoming Human, tagged Meister Eckhart, memoir, personal growth, Recovery, Saint Augustine, seeking God, self-examination, Soul Searching, Spiritual Growth on November 29, 2012 |
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November 22, 1997
I started my new Fourth Step. I really didn’t see the point in doing it until I read the journal from ’88. For the first time I could see why everyone was so mad at me. I was a selfish fool. I just thought everyone was picking on me. When I saw the truth, I knew I had to get to the roots.
This is the very perfection of man, to find out his own imperfections. – Saint Augustine
January 5, 1998
I have felt disconnected. It’s becoming obvious to me that being a perfectionist and over-achiever is not an asset – it’s a cover-up. Trying to hide my weakness with cocky bravado is a form of denial. I need to kiss my demons, not bury them. This is what “do not to resist an evil person” (Matthew 5:39) means to me.
February 7, 1998
I’ve been doing the “Big Book Awakening” Fourth Step, which has put me on an emotional roller-coaster; torn between sadness, anger, and fear. Thank God that my mentality is focused so that I can process this experience with discernment rather than just freak out with utter fear that I am going insane.
I can see that I have been deeply programmed to believe that negative emotional excess is crazy … that I better stuff it and not let anyone know how unmanageable my feelings really are. Thank God for books and people who have gone through this process. They validate for me that weepiness, anxiety, and rage are all a part of the unmasking.
I am not crazy and God will pull me through this. Although I am terribly uncomfortable, this too shall pass. Even though I am tempted to judge this as a “bad” experience, I know that it will lead to more freedom and authenticity. I’m ready, willing, and able to rise above all limitations within me … with God’s help.
This inventory process is showing me how emotionally unavailable I have really been. It’s hard for me to believe that “Miss A.A./Miss One-With-God” has been yet another disguise for my ego; another mask for my deep-seeded fears and insecurities.
To get into the core of God at his greatest, one must first get into the core of himself at his least, for no one can know God who has not first known himself. – Meister Eckhart
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November 11, 1997
I recently got involved in an intense study of the A.A. book that intuitively feels important. Randy is interested in it also. Of course, this study guide is the only spiritual book I’ve ever been interested in that I didn’t try to persuade Randy to read. One more time – powerless – that truly is my dilemma.
I’ve been experiencing a great surge of motivation lately to work on the journal project. I really believe in that idea, but on the other hand, I don’t want to delude myself. I guess it really doesn’t matter because I have truly found what I was looking for and no one can ever take it from me – except my self-will.
For today, my will is to do the will of God. I have been having some awesome experiences lately. God has blessed me with the ability to be helpful; to truly be of service. It is so ironic that the greatest lessons come with simply being willing to do what is mine to do.
We alcoholics crack me up. We go from being totally self-destructive maniacs to wanting to be the next Mother Teresa. Today, I see that in the first things first department, we have to stop the madness. Next, we have to learn to live a healthy, normal, balanced life. For most of us, that’s a lifetime achievement. Then and only then are we able to progress on to “greatness.” Without the program, my tendency is to do last things first. Who would have dreamed that being a good mother is more important than being an inspiring speaker?
Well done is better than well said. – Benjamin Franklin
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