Tuesday, February 23, 2016

From Fear to Flow

"Imagine what it would be like to be free -- not of your faults but your fear of them."  Eric Elnes says those words in his book, "Gifts of the Dark Wood"on page 45.

What are your faults?  It reminds me of when you have a job interview and you want to have a fault in case they ask, but you want it to be a good one, like I work too hard or I care too much.

I like to be in control.  In our family, I pay the bills, I manage the calendar, and I do those things because I like to.  I like to know what is going on and who needs to be where.  But sometimes I think that I am the only one that can do something.  It is something that I have been working on, but I am so thankful that my partner in life is willing to help with kid activities and making kid lunches.  I used to not ask for help though.  I used to think that I could do it all, that I should be able to do it all.  But now, I lean in and I ask for help because I need it.  And because my life is better when it is shared.

For me part of wanting to be in control is also thinking that I am right.  Well, because I am right.  Just kidding!  I think :)  I really have to be on my toes and not sleepy or grumpy to see someone else's side.  I am not up for a "discussion" after 10 pm, because I get mean.  I think that we are often the meanest and cruelest to those that we hold closest.  We feel like they will love us no matter what, so we like to test it just to make sure!

Jesus says, "Whoever tries to preserve their life will lost it, but whoever loses their life will preserve it" (Luke 17:33).  About Jesus' words Elnes says, "Operating underneath the surface of Jesus' statement is a movement from fear to flow.  Flow is what results when you stop obsessing over your need to survive or be perfect and discover that you have been given distinctive gifts and abilities that bring you alive in this world (and may keep you alive here) that are accessible only when you let go of your need for survival, rightness, and perfection.  Such gifts are largely invisible when your view is clouded by fear and self-loathing or blaming others" (46).

So, my wanting to be in control is a gift that I have as well.  I have a gift for organization and it has kept me alive!  So, instead of beating myself up about it, I can see it as a gift.

So many of us focus on our shortcomings.  We think that we don't measure up.  And it might even carry over to our faith.  Elnes says, "Most people -- even those who by all outward appearances are pillars of faith -- quietly suspect that if God saw who they 'really' are they would be deemed unworthy of God's love and attention" (48).  We may say with our mouths that God loves us, but Elnes says internally we may do whatever we can to avoid any possibility of a deep or intimate relationship with God that would expose our darker side (48).

God loves me for all of me.  The good and the darker side. The things that drive people crazy included!

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