Category: mental


Seek and you will find -Jesus

What does this mean? Most of my adult life has interpreted this verse in the typical “churchy”  way. In terms of seeking God and those sorts of things. The “seeker sensitive” churches are all about this for sure. But what if we are overly-religious in how we look at what Jesus said and miss the clear wisdom of the statement?

Observing my diverse group of friends as well as myself has brought me to the conclusion that folks really do ultimately find what they are seeking. We all tend to see what we want to see. For example; when I was a younger man and really into Left Behind type of spirituality I could see the end of the world looming behind every single news story. Also, when I thought humanity was really evil on the whole I would see evil behind everything as well. I liked politics back then and could always see how ‘my side’ had it right.

I never saw that my mind was already made up as I interpreted everything I saw so…..seeking, and I was finding. Thankfully, my journey has been one that has experienced much healing and over the past several years I had found what I had been seeking to be lacking and also a bit depressing. The hard part is that what I was seeking was always being confirmed so it made it hard to evaluate fairly other points of view. This isn’t just true for me on the ‘religious right’ though. I hear skeptics, secularists and cynics finding everything they are seeking to validate their own worldview as well.

I began to want and seek healing, love, truth, beauty and community and guess what, I keep finding it!  As I began to seek healing for the various issues of my life such as; family of origin, poor choices, shame and guilt, I found these areas being healed through the process. Life still hurts and often times these issues have to be re-addressed but that is ok.

I also saw healing in the lives of those who were seeking it. The power behind what I saw was their vulnerability in places that were loving and safe. Vulnerability, in many ways is simply being secure enough to admit we’re unsure about stuff or how to handle it and then asking for help. Seeing Love in action is the most powerful thing in the universe. Love never condemns, especially the vulnerable. I also have seen the Truth in action as people learn of their worth and live in that truth. When we are open and seeking Truth, even if it seemingly contradicts what we “knew”, we become astounded at the Beauty all around us. Although, I do still love the quote “The truth will set you free but tends to piss you off first.”  Then as all these things coalesce the community arises! I have my community of family and friends. This helps me see the vast community of humanity and include all.

If we seek division, we’ll find it.

If we seek negativity, we’ll find it.

If we seek to numb ourselves, we’ll find it.

If we seek to look down on others, we’ll find it.

If we seek to exclude, we’ll find it.

If we seek darkness, we’ll find it.

I encourage you to be aware in 2015. Aware to that which you already seek. Aware to new things to seek. Life is Good and life is tragic all at the same time. It does take eyes to see and ears to hear to catch glimpses of the bigger story. Continue to Seek and you will find.

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This past week  my wife’s beloved Grandma, Mid, passed away. In November, I will have been an “official” member of this family for 15 years!  So, I had the privilege and honor to know and love this lady through her later years. She was 94, almost 95.  She taught me that a person can enjoy a happy hour without it becoming a drunk fest! She loved very well and it was evident at her funeral.

It is a shame that so often if a person is older when they engage in the next aspect of the journey that the pain is somehow dismissed. The death of a child or young person is truly tragic and can be very difficult to come to terms with but this doesn’t mean it is easy to come to terms with the death of an older person. The difficulty either way is the result of love.

A hard reality of life is that love equals pain because life carries as much loss as gain. Love gives us a sense of ownership to that which can never be truly owned.  I love my wife, my kids, my family and my friends. They are mine and I am theirs, yet we are all our own person. This is love.  If we allow ourselves to succumb to the true power of love the sadness is incredibly deep and hard. When we love deeply, we truly suffer when those we love are suffering. This is the great gamble. Only the deck is rigged. A great lie that is pervasive is that the pain is not worth it. Such bullshit!  It can be a subconscious lie that can cause us to detach and avoid. This is result of self-preservation gone wrong. When we seek to save our own perspectives more than reality we lose sight of the ability to allow love to have its way with us. When love has its way, you can lose all dignity. The ego doesn’t like this but its love is more self-serving which is an oxymoron.  The ego persistently communicates we are alone in all of this, yet Love whispers that we are not and have never been alone.

I believe this speaks to a way the Church has failed us all at times. When we suffer and love the rules are of no importance. The theology of in/out has no place. Spirituality is not about knowledge or praying a certain way or even understanding God in a way that can be taught rather than experienced. God is close to the brokenhearted and deep down that is known.  The gift to be shared is that God grieves with us! It is not a great plan of platitudes! Love is NOT a platitude. It is the actual reality when we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Love is overwhelmingly worth it! The hope I carry is that this is “Goodbye for now”.  The joy of the Love of Mid continues and will always be there until we see her smiling face.  This is faith, hope and love.  No certainty, no control, no knowledge. Faith, Hope and Love and that is enough.

 

 

All I Can Do (Thank You) by MikesChair

I could write a love song
Tell You what I think You wanna hear
But it wouldn’t be good enough, no
Yea I could try so hard
To give it everything I’ve got
But I’m not ever gonna measure up
[Chorus]
All I can do is thank You
For this life I never deserved
Wanna thank You for the grace
I know I don’t have to earn
You love me, You love me
Your mercy is proof
All I can do is say thank You
All I can do is say thank YouIt would have been easy
But I’m glad You never walked away
Cause Your love runs deep for me
And I see this beautiful world
And it brings tears in my eyes
And I think it’s beautiful to be free[Chorus](Thank You)
For hope, for love, for all the ways You move
(You)
For everything You do
(You)
What else can I say but thank You
Thank YouI could write a love song
Tell You what I think You wanna hear
But it wouldn’t be good enough

[Chorus]

All I can do, all I can do, all I can do
Is say thank You
All I can do, all I can do, all I can do
Is say thank You

I heard this song for the first time the other day and wanted to throw up. I know that they are trying to say that we don’t earn God’s love and to be grateful for that fact but come on, there is a lot of baggage in this song and it is worth looking at.
Why does the American Evangelical Church insist on saying, over and over again that we are worthless and will never be good enough? Why do we have to continue to live a groveling life?  Why is nothing we do ever enough. Why are our gifts worthless? Is God so uptight and picky that he has no use for what we bring Him?
I think we have become stuck in a thinking that if we act as if anything we do is good we are somehow trying to earn God’s love so we repeatedly have to tell God we know we are crap and not worth much. How well does this work? How close can you possibly feel to a God who thinks so critically of you?  The only thing you can do is say “thank you?” ?? Seriously,???!?!?! This is the governing philosophy of the american church?

I have been blessed with 3 beautiful children who are still young and nothing but a joy to me. My love for them is not dependent  on them at all. It is constant.  A few years ago my daughter wrote me a love song. This song was so precious to my heart. Did it earn her a better place in my heart? No. Was it “good enough”? Or did that  question even come to mind?

 

The Bible may call us “sinners” but it also calls us children, adopted, and heirs. Why does the church insist on making sure God knows  that we know how “unworthy” we are? What is the Gospel? Doesn’t God becoming flesh and blood say something about the worth of humanity in the eyes of God? But oh no, we have to walk around hating ourselves for not measuring up to some standard God isn’t even looking at. I think this adds to the stress of what it means to be a christian today.

Our false self is what is almost always insecure, uncomfortable and “unworthy” as it tries to measure up. The persona, the act, the masks. Acting out of these to earn the approval of God or people will inevitably be a losing game. But even if my kids are acting stupid and making poor choices would their hug, laughter or conversations not be “good enough”? To some extent yes, but only because their life is limited. Not my ability to love and appreciate them in the midst of the crap. I tend to believe God’s love is even a bit more tenacious than mine.

God sees your True self. The one made in His image. His child,His love, His precious one, Beloved.
When Christ became a human he identified with you and He is now (and forever) your brother! He is your family. You are the child the Father always wanted. Your gifts, drives and passions are Spirit and life that you are giving back to the source.
So, write a love song- it’s good enough.
Enjoy this life- you deserve it.
You are of intrinsic value and always have been.
Live from your heart and share it with God and others.
The world is waiting and longing for people to reveal who they really are.

I was having a conversation with a friend a few weeks back that has continued to be on my mind. He was saying that in their house that they do not let their kids say “I’m sorry.” but rather say “I apologize for ________ and ask your forgiveness”.  His point that a sorry can become flippant and without much feeling or understanding. This made some  sense to me.

There is another thing about this that got has gotten me thinking and I shared it with a group of friends the other day and it jived with them. Here it is; how often does the word sorry turn into a noun when you use it?

Years ago at a company meeting I got told “You say you’re sorry a lot”. Well, I was fairly new there and was doing my job very well so now looking back, I realize I was trying to maintain my image of being a good plumber and a “nice guy”. But what happens in your heart when you are always saying I’m sorry?

I am becoming convinced it eventually becomes your identity. The crappy part is that the mistake you are saying sorry for also can become your identity. It can become an internal script where you are sorry because you are a mistake. Make any sense?

This unintentional process also takes you out of the actual relationship where you are expressing your sorry-ness.  I can become so wrapped up in myself that I wonder how accurate my “sorry” actually is.

This has not worked in my life and as often as I hear sorry out there  I imagine I am not the only one. I am going to pick up the tool of “I apologize for ________ and ask your forgiveness” so I can actually experience the situation and get out of my mind and present to those I am sharing my heart with.

The truth is I am not sorry as my identity. I do act wrongly and selfishly at times. I make mistakes but I am not a mistake.  You are not sorry or a mistake either. One more time, YOU ARE NOT SORRY OR A MISTAKE.

Sorry No More

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