Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Know Who I Am, DO YOU?

     For about a week I was very angry at my husband.  We were recently separated, and I was contemplating divorce.  The separation was a vehicle for a lot of myself.  I think he changed too, but what matters is that it changed me.  When we reunited I was afraid that I would relapse into old behaviors and beliefs.  Guess what??  I DID!  There are two principles at work here, one is that fear is faith in what we don't want and faith is POWERFUL!  I had so much faith in my failure I created it.  The other principle is that I am the only one responsible for my beliefs and behaviors.  There is no way anyone else can change my beliefs and behaviors without my permission.  I was angry at my husband for misunderstanding me and misrepresenting me to others, but what I was asking him to provide for me was my identity. WOW! Seriously? Yeah.  I was expecting him to tell me who I am.  It's hard enough sometimes to know who we are let alone to tell someone else who they are.  There are basic things, like being children of God, etc.,  but as far as the intricate details of the divine characteristics we possess and our inner selves?  No-one but God can give us that picture, and we have to seek it for ourselves.  Once again, when I stopped expecting him to give me what I already have, and what I can give to myself I could love him freely and I could live free.

A while back I took the time to write down the signs of self-betrayal so I could recognize them more quickly and avoid spreading around the poison I felt inside by turning inward to my heart and to God.  When I catch myself in justification, it is clear that I am not happy with my choices.  Do you ever find yourself arguing with yourself?  these kind of arguments are often "in preparation" for being confronted by someone. Well, when that happens the joke is on us because WE ARE THE ONLY ONES TALKING!  Only one who is accused has a reason to justify themselves, and WE are our accusers.

In the 12-step program (alcaholics Annonymous) , originally started for the recovery of alcaholics I learned a tip: Question your motives.  As Byron Katy says, "Is it true?"  I may feel alone, rejected, wronged, or ashamed, but I might be wrong.  Those kinds of feelings can lie, and usually do.  The truth s that life ALWAYS gives back to us what we feed it with our actions, words, thoughts and beliefs.  The scriptures and other sources have beckoned us for the whole of the earth's life to use our thoughts productively in FAITH.  Faith is the assumption that something is happening, or is true. Faith doesn't just desire, it believes, even knows something.  In our lives be become our own personal prophets when be use our thoughts, feelings and beliefs on purpose--or consciously.  I recently found a page and a half of writing, statements of gratitude and I found that all of what I wrote on that page came to be.  These were statements of things that I desired at the time, the statement of gratitude was the greatest manifestation and reinforcement of my true belief that God would bring into my life all that was necessary for me to become and receive all I desired that was good, incidentally I'm writing more careful this time because some of the wording brought some pain as well.  God brings into our lives the things that we really want so we can decide more surely what we want.  Sometimes getting what we want and finding that we don't really want it helps us narrow our vision to what's most important to us.
     Another sign that we are betraying ourselves is emotions or attitudes that tend toward accusations.  Are we making accusations?  What are we the most angry about?  The characteristic we see in others that triggers the most emotion in us is the characteristic we embody and despise.  Another question to ask here is, "Am I seeking faults in them because I have behaved below my true self to them?  Am I looking for faults in others to avoid looking at myself?
     When we experience pain or discomfort it is because we believe a lie, or that we believe a lie about something.   Although some pain comes from adjustment to something we assumed to be one way being another, as in the death of a loved one.  Although, even in that many times the pain is in regrets, or believing the lie that death is the end.  When someone says something derogatory about us it is only painful when we believe it is true.  For years I resented someone who told me I was not a good mom.  I become free from this the day I realized it hurt because I felt like I wasn't a good mom. For some reason it is really common for parents to rely on others to tell them they are good, and when someone doesn't it devastating.  Other people's actions are only powerful to the extent we rely on them for our own self-worth.  Do I believe a lie?  Do I need someone else to "make me feel good"?  CAN someone else make me feel good?
     When I'm angry, bitter, resentful, or self-pittying it is a sure sign that I am betraying myself.  The truth I have noticed is that the day I cannot seem to be nice to anyone is the day I am not living up to the truth in me, or the truth God has given me.  This played out in recent years as I tried to run, like Jonah, from the promptings of my Heavenly Father to help and teach others the things He's taught me that have brought me peace, joy, freedom, and healing.  I was well-meaning, I thought I was staying true to principles I believed in, but I was using those principles to stay in my comfort zone and not risk rejection from others.

Nietzche wrote: "When we despise ourselves, we love the despisers in ourselves."  Emotions , repetition and time are currency.  The more time and emotions we put into things the bigger and stronger they get.  Our thoughts actually get implanted to our subconscious through emotions and repetition, our subconscious mind is constantly sending out signals of what we want and who we are. Do we want to feed the darkness in us or the light?  The ultimate battle is over darkness and light-good and evil-God and the Devil.  Which one will thrive and survive?  The one we feed.  The answer is not to run from the darkness, but to confront it with light.  We cannot overcome darkness by pretending it is not there, when we do that our darkness (or weakness) will surface, and usually when we least expect it and when it can do us the most harm.  We confront darkness by facing it, conquering it with truth and replacing it with light.  Truth is light, but light comes from a source and that source is Christ.  When we confront the darkness in us it is most perfectly healed when we then take it to Him and offer it up.  In exchange He gives us peace, light. and the strength-if we chose it-to change.  The concept of grace is the power Christ gives us to replace our weakness with His perfection.  His strength becomes ours as we "plug in" to it through acceptance of truth and living that truth.
     I have the power to change my life by choosing WHO I believe.

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Liz King Bradley