Exposed, totally exposed with my control issues from reading a book, a thought-provoking one. I mistook it for a relaxing-by-the-pool book ~ those thrown into the beach bag ~ just to enjoy on vacation. The book with a nice cover. ( I wish I had known when browsing, the challenge the book would give.) What a set-up.
Reading a book: feeling undone.
I knew it. I had to lay down the book after the first chapter. Reading only a few paragraphs I knew it would lead to a questioning journey. Soon the sleep deprived, restless night would turn to self-realization: marked \\ painful self discovery. It made me want to close my eyes, roll over and pretend I could fall asleep. But it was too late. I recognized the beginnings of the restless toss and turn. No way to escape wrestling thoughts with this one.
2) Perfectly competent.
3) Need to feel in control.
And the list goes on. It leaves me sorting out vulnerable, racing triggers of my thoughts. It is the restless feelings, the gut queasiness that challenges my need to fall asleep.
My past comes to realize I need to surrender my struggle of fear and anxiety; if not, I will surrender to my cloak of dark fortress. This is the inner turmoil: the need for change and the wrestling questions of how to do it takes place. Can anyone else relate to the struggle? The need to be competent. Anyone?
Self-determination runs out of steam eventually. It leaves one empty without capability to make change. Permanent change is needed; change that doesn’t get pulled backward, but only moves forward and climbs upward. This great journey onward.
Self protection: it is such a fortress – We believe all is well, because we seem ok. We can always compare ourselves with others and come out better than most and usually ahead of the rest. You know, we are accomplished in maturity and comparison.
But when we are truly awaken to the need for continuing life-change, self protection has to be dismantled to really become authentic. When we are left empty ~ empty of ideas, empty of strengths ~ we may find we didn’t have authentic self-realization after all. This is often a questioning process, steps towards finding the revelation of faith. Many find this need to further investigate. It is the driving need to find answers to real life questions.
Cultural, emotional and mental strongholds of mind sets affect us all. They are built-in personal fortresses and we all suffer in our own limited way of thinking. Brick by brick these mind sets separate us from fully enjoying life and our acceptance of scriptural truth. We have to admit we’ve been wrong; or at the least, misguided in our basis of truth.
Mindsets are built during childhood, shaped by our family identity, and by many life experiences as we develop and mature. We form values and ways we view ourselves and others. Often we establish our own identity, our core values on partial truths or even lies of deception, as our way we view life as truth, the whole truth. We often become trapped in established coping skills and seeing life from a limited perspective. We follow the Yellow Brick Road just like Dorothy and her friends in the Land of Oz until we reach the awakening of our Emerald City.
Self awareness gives us opportunity not to wallow in self-pity, or air dirty laundry, but to become authentic. It is hard to believe there is a stark difference, but there is. Self-pity sees no hope, wants no change, often just seeks soothing attention to self plight.
It is hard to digest; being authentic bows to truth, accepts the reality of human condition, but does not stop there. Desiring change is the first step, but being willing to receive God’s means and process for effective change will grow us even further.
How painful the death of self: it seems such a great loss. We need honesty of our own nature – no excuses or blame game, but naked honesty with our personal need for change. Then comes the willingness to cooperate. That seems the harder part. We become the result of the surrender process. Self-centered pride does not allow this.
Eventually, we experience synergy to be raised again to new understanding, and spiritual life. It actually produces transformation from the old ways into the freedom of a spiritual awakening and renewal.
The thought of cooperating with the process of eliminating internal anxieties and private fears, our own hidden vulnerabilities, is rather terrifying to most people. We hide such a lot.
But tearing down those things that exalt against a personal knowledge of God’s love and compassion must happen. It is necessary to bring us into a realistic view of our own weaknesses so truth of God’s nature, seen in the life of Jesus, can be realized with truth of his love and his message. There is hope: divine hope for our new identity.
First is the act of humility to bow to a revelation of God when we are anxious and fearful. It is possible, however long we wrestle with arguments and wrestle against humility. It is this willful dance of being afraid of being known that is so difficult to give up, give in and yield to our own humility.
God’s nature longs for a personal loving relationship of Father/Son and Father/Daughter. Abba/Father lovingly-commits to bless his children and ultimately guides us to a good end. The process of change may seem so terrifying. It is why man in all his independence, fights to reject it. It is called unbelief.
It’s an act of truth to share our thoughts, our heart beat, to risk enough to allow him to know us in the most intimate core of our nature. This is true humility, our surrender: the beginning of an Abba/Father relationship. This reality is the synergy for change, the beginning of process, a total transformation of life-style.
How is it that we spend all our lives striving to remain in control, to be self confident, to project our strength, only to realize at some point that we have been so wrong? Wrong in our PRIDE of accomplishment, wrong in our SELF-projection – just plain WRONG in our dedication to CONTROL.
Scripture says, “when YOU are weak than I AM strong,” ~ I AM proves right. We are the weak. He is the strong. When this realization comes there is a massive pivot of self reality, we can give up dedication to our own control. We soon feel safe enough to turn to God. By confessing our need for help we receive God’s strength, not our OWN. It is a welcomed change, added strength to face this life with something better than our own, someone bigger than ourselves.
God’s nature is to ultimately reveal himself to man: he did it by revealing his nature through Jesus as Son to the world. He then uses all different means and ways to reveal this fatherhood to individuals. Sometimes he takes us on a revealing journey, one that may take us miles away (Toronto) to set us up (I thought it was attending a WRITING CONFERENCE) all the time allowing fears, thoughts, questions to rise to the surface in us.
But in the meantime – circumstances reveal our heart issues, reverting us back to the real you, the real me. I call it a rude spiritual awakening, the stark unveiling of our personal need. It leaves us stark naked. It precludes our desire for change. This restless need to be different, to want different – a brand new difference. This great need man has for receiving divine fatherhood.
God doesn’t seem bothered by our uncomfortableness of process. He lets out-of-control emotions run down-hill real fast. Pain inflicted by our own willfulness often increases. We seem to better recognize our need for help when experiencing awkward falls and bruised knees. He is after the core issues of our flesh; rebellion, wounded hearts, and resistance to his ways. Scripture illustrates it to be so: many men and women prove it true.
Strong men fall real hard and likewise, strong women; but they end up walking different, a brand-new different.
The possibilities of walking life different, self-assured as one loved and strengthened, by walking not alone but walking it out together with Abba/Father are many.
Abba sees our growth potential more valuable than our past experience. Our control issues melt in that sharing of life, as he gives strength for the journey and hope for our change.
This is the self-realization that’s HUGE ~ Our life of difference is our best challenge: our life lived in his great strength is our best future.