Humanity perceives that it is in it’s best interest to fragment itself through various religious identities, racism, classism etc. But if we allow ourselves to continue the legacy of separation by various religious labels, we continue our disease of separation where we divide the world into insiders who “get it” (a good thing) and outsiders who “don’t get it” (a bad thing), the purpose of life becomes so obvious! Our life work then is to decrease the bad and increase the good in the world. This has been the cause of many of the FB fights we see on posts etc. It appears that every group that was once a victim in turn becomes a perpetrator in some way. We must begin to see ourselves as part of the human family and embrace the world as our community. We must find where we are similar rather than different to gain the compassion and care we need for others, and stop the tyranny breathes from an insular world view. The healing can only begin as we learn to embrace and respect others even though their view point may differ largely from ours. Facebook and Word press are training grounds to test your tolerance or intolerance of others, tread wisely.
We are so much like this little guy in our lives, always storing and putting away things that we need and want. This external searching-looking to anything other than love to complete us and to be the source of our happiness–is the meaning of idolatry. But they never really fill us the way that learning to let go and let God will, because when you surrender control to Him, you stop “fighting for yours” and things will fall in their natural, perfect order. An order that has worked from the beginning of time. When you learn to let love be your prayer in everything to do, you realize that time spent on earth is not difficult as it once seemed when you were battling against every one of your responsibilities and seeking an escape. A life of love is safe and wonderful. When we surrender to God, we let go of the attachment to how things happen on the outside and we become more concerned with what happens on the inside.
That thing which you fight is exactly what you become. For example anger, this is a great example because so many have a problem with anger. If someone is angry and you meet them with anger, what is the outcome? Yes, more anger. Throwing fire on fire is no way to quench it.
Anger may be the result of many causes, and without understanding them there is no escape from anger. We have created the enemy, the bandit, and becoming ourselves the enemy in no way brings about a solution. We have to understand the cause and cease to feed it. We are responsible for bringing this enemy into being. We create the friend or the enemy in our own minds.
It is not what any other person has done that has caused this anger to well up in us, therefore the answer lies in taking responsibility for our thoughts, identifying the triggers of our anger, and taking up the arduous task that demands constant self-awareness and intelligent pliability, for what we are the society, the state, the world is. Right thinking begins with allowing love to permeate all that we do and think, love transcends the enemy and the friend. The water that you throw on the fire will out it.
There are two kinds of struggles that we have to face each day. We struggle because we cling to past habits and have a hard time separating ourselves from them. The second struggle occurs because we are attempting to cut loose from past habits. The first struggle where you are clinging to the past habits, is never ending, and will continue to cause you pain and hurt, ultimately defeating your best interest. The second struggle is painful for a while but you end up completely liberated, well, and whole. At some point in our lives we will have to question the status quo and dig deeper, or else we will never achieve the happiness we so deserve!
“Some people ask how they can muster up the energy each day to face the a world that they think is a hostile, unhappy place. When they feel so depressed about their lives and they don’t want to face other people, they feel like they just want to curl up and escape everything.
The question is how can we remain positive in a negative world. One answer is that there is alot of positivity in this world, one just has to take the time to see it, embrace it and enjoy it. We miss alot of the joy we can have because we are so caught up in our selfishness and negativity that we miss many moments that can be super!
If we begin to spend more time looking closer at those around us and looking for the beautiful things in them, just like when we go for a walk in the park, we can choose to see the dead leaf or the robin in the nest.
The human mind, on the other hand, uses both positive and negative thinking to try to “spin” the world into something more acceptable based on prior conceptions. For example we might have a mind that is trapped in a religious view of people and society which may not be a healthy conceptualization of the world. In other words we are trapped by our false conceptions of what happiness should look like, and also what we think is the acceptable way that others should behave. This is part of our survivalist instinct, but many times it leads to false assumptions and problems! Making a decision to create a new path, not based on past assumptions can be scary and liberating, but if you don’t venture here then you are stuck.
Instead of staying in the spin, breathe, stay in the present, and the spinning will slow until you face today and this moment with grace, energy and compassion.” LC
There is a growing problem today, that is one of rage, sometimes it takes the form of road rage, domestic violence or rude co-workers. Many are damaged but don’t know how to attempt to fix their brokenness. It is so sad that some people fight against themselves their entire lives and are never happy or content with who they truly are. They believe the lies their parents told them that they were not being “good” children, and that they will not be accepted unless they behave the way mommy and daddy think they should. The duality of their natures have left them perplexed too many a time and has led them to many forms of escapism and vices. Many have to hide to be themselves, because they think they will not be accepted when people learn who they truly are. There are many carrying burdens from childhood, anger that have been pent up for years, because they have not confronted the problems of yesteryear, outbursts are inevitable for there is only so much the psyche can handle.
This may be a reason why many never find happiness, because while it is right under their noses they can’t seem to live in the moment and enjoy the happiness they so much deserve. They are enslaved in their own minds because they are trying to live up to something that doesn’t exist. Some standard set by their parents, by a church or by a teacher about what is acceptable and what isn’t. These have caused them to feel guilt and insecurity when they do not live up to the high expectations of others. Many times people do not realize the destructiveness of such a life until it is too late. They have not properly let go of their past failures in relationships or of the hurt, guilt and bitterness they have for people who they have been hurt by.
Confrontation is a huge part of healing the body, mind, and spirit. Many decline from it, but it is only when you deal one on one with each issue that has affected you in your past, that you can gain the freedom to move on. You must confront those who have hurt you and forgive them, even if they never asked for forgiveness. For example, if you have a father who doesn’t care about you, you may be upset that he has hurt you, you may care about him, but find it hard to communicate this to him. Well you cannot have a relationship with someone who doesn’t want one, but you can let them know that you forgive them for not wanting one ,and you can let it go in your mind and heart. You still love them, but you have decided to let go so this has been laid to rest, it cannot hurt you anymore.
Letting go of the things you cannot change and deciding to make strides in positive relationships with those who are in your life presently are all part of the healing process. All are these are conscious decisions that can only make a difference in a life if they are fully embraced. Come face to face with your failures and accept that they have made you a better person. How have they done this? They have led you to keep trying and to have compassion for others who fail.
Spring has sprung here in Virginia! There is so much to do. Quite a busy time as I watch my seedlings develop and sharpen the tools to be ready for cultivating the soil. Just as we have to wait for the right time, when it is safe to plant, so we have to wait for the right times to plant the seeds in the garden of our hearts.
Last year I visited a friend of mine and while I was strolling through her garden I came across this special little rock in her garden which says: “To cultivate a garden is to walk with God”. This rock caught my attention, because in my own experience I have found this to be true. As I reminisce on the last six years of my life, I realize that being a gardener has changed me. It has brought me physical, spiritual and mental development, far more than any of the other hobbies I have pursued. Cultivating the garden has taught me more about God and His love than I could ever learn from any book I’ve ever read. The beauty that is gained in a gardening experience show us clearly what God’s character is like, He is truly beautiful. He seeks to place His character in us so that our fruit will be an awesome one and that we will be successful at the work that He has for each of us to do in this life. It has truly been a growing process being a gardener, because I have had to fully depend on God for all the fruit I plucked out of every garden branch.
Every year the gardening experience is different as the summers vary, sometimes the climate is perfect, but other times there is a drought, or a summer that is too wet. I have had to study when the best times for planting would be and then apply myself after to watch the changing whether to make sure I water those babies just the right amount and watch out for weeds and pests too. It takes work and diligent study to be a successful gardener who gets the best out of each growing season. The best pest repellant is the gardeners shadow. It has truly been a journey based faith. Being faithful to all my gardening tasks will lead to a great crop if it is God’s will.
God is the gardener of our heart, He is always planting good seeds of love, practical lessons based of the principles of His word are nourishment for our souls as we consider them daily and ask Him to make our Christian experience authentic. Remember that the word of God states in Matthew 4:4, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” God is always talking to us, are we listening or are we blocking our ears. Every word that proceeds from God’s mouth also includes those experiences that you have every day with your family and friends, when that still small voice tells you to surrender your heart in that moment of crisis, but you hold on to what you feel like saying. Better to take time and surrender your will to His purifying power, He will cleanse your attitude and thoughts and replace the negative with positive if you allow Him. This is why memorizing scripture passages which are empowering God can be so effective. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
One garden illustration that has stuck out in my mind and taught me a tremendous spiritual lesson, is that of the potatoes. The crop of potato is only ready to harvest after the beautiful bushy green plant has died and dried up. Then you know it is time to fork up those juicy potatoes. Well this is the same for us as Christians, we only produce proper spiritual fruit when we die to self, surrendering our will to be purified by His power and grace. When we realize that God is to be praised and honored for everything in this life and we are vessels of His glory and power, no greater joy can come, for this is our heart’s desire. The fruit of the harvest is something that we all love to enjoy, but it is truly a miracle of God’s creation! Just to think of the chemical reactions that occurred to make every thing happen and the Great Provider . He allows just the right amount of rain and sunshine to be added to each plant, to ensure its’ success. Consider that he will take of you in the same way. In each stage of a plant’s development we see the hand of God who in love sees to the needs of every detail of His creation.
Are you connected to the true Vine? This Vine is Christ Jesus, whom if we are connected to Him we will learn to abide in His presence all through the day moment by moment surrendering our hearts to His loving attitude instead of our own. Have you ever thought about how your heart needs to be fed? What do you think is your heart longs for? How is the garden of your heart getting the nourishment it needs for good fruit? Seek Him with all your heart, for He cares for you! 🙂