How well do we know ourselves? Our own motivations? Our own deepest desires? Our own true selves, our souls? I’ve been thinking lately about some of the inner “characters” who might be ruling our minds without us knowing it consciously. Do you, like me, have an
Inner Critic whose voice is loud and clear on many subjects about how we’re doing in our lives, work, relationships?
Inner Judge who has a critical opinion about everything and everyone as if we’re not liable to be judged, too?
Inner Worrier who sees everything as a threat to me and knows nothing will work out in my favor?
Inner On-Time-Or-Else Persona whose major goal in life is only that—to be on time for everything?
Inner Fear-driven Persona who worries about how everyone else sees me? Am I doing the right things” Am I wearing the appropriate clothes? Do I look okay? Did I say the right things?
Where in fact is the real me, the created-by-God person with all the talents and gifts and challenges that go along with that? In the face of these old drivers of my personality my truer self was never in evidence, because I couldn’t afford to listen to the deeper, truer voices of my soul and spirit, of God—I was too attached to these other voices. I was totally beholden to these louder inner voices and their grip on my personality, until I gave my life over to God. In one great moment of my life I surrendered the whole of my life to God, walked on air and joy for three days and then came crashing down to earth with this thought on my mind: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Then I spent three weeks listing the “gods” that I put before God—pages and pages of them. I called that list “gobs of gods.” These “gods” had me captivated and unhappy and nervous about everything I said and did; the list included an addiction to sugar and to everyone else’s opinion of me(that I projected) and many, many more things. From making everyone else in my life more important that my own true self and God to clothes being my consolation, only if I had the right ones.
Since that moment in the early 1980’s, God has been highlighting these worldly influences in me, seeking my permission to continue to heal and transform what is not of God in me and showing me how to love Him with more and more of myself every year. From
“I have an agenda for my life” (a shocking thought) to
“How can I say I love God if I can’t love my mother”(the first big issue) to
Asking me to allow God to heal what is broken inside me to
Healing those inner critics listed at the beginning of this week’s post.
It’s been a fascinating and engaging journey as God has healed and transformed me from the inside out. I have watched my resistance to God almost disappear and my ability to love other people right where they are to grow. I have seen my trust and dependence on Him grow daily and my love and surrender to Him in everything take shape. I am not in any way saying I am done, because I am sure that this is a life-long, transformative journey, not just a few steps, that will continue until the day I die.
I have learned that it is important to claim these negative influences on me—either out loud to God or in writing. Somehow claiming them loosens their hold on me and opens me up to God’s healing powers. If I don’t admit to them, I am still in their captive grip. So I have learned that owning everything that stands between me and God is essential. When I do that, I am giving God permission to enter into each issue and to heal and/or transform it. Within a few months of opening up the issue and stating my intention to release it totally, I can feel the difference in my spirit.
What I have learned is that only God can heal and transform, that I am too close to the subject–me–to be clear about what needs to happen in me. So my job is to stand aside while God heals me. Bit by bit He will highlight what needs changing in me and, with my permission, He will heal that issue. Then it’s on to the next. It’s a delightful process of releasing the false self and to begin to know one’s true self and to learn what God has in store for us. Step-by-step we are healed of our pain and suffering, our attachment to the world and to our own ways. Step-by-step we are transformed into the person God created us to be.
Questions to ponder over the week: What am I hiding about myself? Pain and suffering? Things I’ve said or done that are sinful? Or things that were done to me—like abuse or trauma? How much of my best energy do I think it takes to hide these things? What would I be willing to offer up to God first? Second? What will be the benefit of letting these things go? Doesn’t God already know about these things anyway? Why would I hide them?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who no longer hide anything about ourselves. May we see other people as flawed as we are and forgive them, too. May we learn how to love, forgive and accept ourselves and other—warts and all.
I am collecting conversion stories—How did it happen to you to give your life over to Christ? And what was that like? If you’d like to contribute yours, please click Message in the Comments, to add yours. I will not be using your name, only initials. I am not yet sure of what purpose I am collecting these for—my blog or another book, but I am always inspired like this for a purpose. Thank you so much in advance for joining in this project, if you decide to. Pat
An Invitation to All of Us to Pray for our nation: for mercy and compassion for all, for community values and a deep sense of caring for each other. For peace. For love to reign. For a return to the love of God. For us to have one nation under God” as our motto again. If many of us would pray these things for our country, we could change the world. Invite your friends and neighbors to pray with us. in love and faith, Pat
Visit my new website, patsaidadams.com, for more about the spiritual life with/in/for Christ: books, videos, archives of my blog, inspiration, and an opportunity to receive my blog directly in your email, either once a week or five-days-a-week, with the bonus of a free guided meditation for you!