The Man in The Arena

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There are many different paths we can take, but the end result is the same if we desire change. That is beautiful. It is generous. It shows me that I don’t have to save everyone with how I think their life process should be.  God is in charge, not me. Thank the Lord.  I mean that is an enormous load.  I have recently seen spiritual growth as not so black and white. I mean I really want a+b to equal c, but it just doesn’t usually work that way.  I’m sorry but just because I am learning about shame, vulnerability, inner child and ego doesn’t mean you’re going to see it today like I do.  It works like this. When the light bulb goes on in your mind and you can see that a person you love is suffering because their bulb (soul) is burnt out, you may have another bulb in hand ready to supply for help because you want to share the joy life really has but unfortunately they have to say yes to the invitation.  

Here is what I have learned.  We all have our own destiny, free will, and choices. It’s a shift in perspective that happens at a moment in time. Change comes down to this. Am I sick and desperate enough to not do this another day? Can I begin to love myself, my true self? We will all have a choice to take the call that God has for us.  When you have beaten yourself bloody and understand that you can’t do it your way and have real joy, then you have to try something else. Not because you’re not bright enough, but because you are blinded by independence. This is freedom.  It all boils down to the shame we live in, the abandonment we are so desperate to try and run from and the fear that pulses through our bodies at any given moment.  I’m not good enough is the underlying vibration of which we are all living. 

I don’t care who you are, if you let me break off the layers, being not good enough is the core reason we are all walking around broken. Brene Brown is a vulnerability researcher and author who says “You’re not perfect, but you are worthy of love and belonging”. I am determined to teach myself and my kids this principle. If I start when they are young, I hope I can teach them not to depend on other flawed humans for their sense of worth. If I can teach them not to carry and bury their perceived shame and to know that they are loved and that anything else they hear in their head is a lie, then Jesus can take the wheel.

You know I went years without reading a book or learning anything new and guess what readers? I was not happy. I was not happy because I was not living in the destiny God had set for me. Folks you are not going to get there watching The Walking Dead.   It took me all these years not to obsessively scour my home in Clorox and clean my floors on my hands and knees. I was a slave to perfection because I was caught up so deeply in the fear and anxiety of not being loved and accepted. By the way, I created that obsession when I was very young but I carried it through my entire life. I am just now improving. If I could control the dirt, I could control people.

Oh if you could hear my laughter. It is absurd. If I could have all the hours back I spent making my life “perfect”. It’s actually really sad to me now.  I could have played a little longer with my kids or read them a book, but no, I had to freaking clean the freaking floor! For what??????  I had to be perfect. It’s all a lie.   If you could learn this now how set free could you be and more importantly your children?  I have this drive to help them suffer, but not the way I have. Yes, I said help them suffer. Not push suffering and discomfort away but let them sit in it.  Be the suffering and embrace the call to truth and freedom that is in the suffering.  It’s not a plague. Your soul knows this. That is why it attracts suffering.  The real you knows it will take you all the way to the top of spirit.

This last 3 months, I have never felt more alive. I recently met a woman that we’ll call Sue. She is adorable and she’s the kind of girl you know that is just kind and sweet. Sue is the perfect example of what God can do with a soul that is desperate and wants change.  Sue told me about her life as an adult dancer. She was in the industry for 5 years.  She said it was like a black hole that sucked her in every time she tried to get out. Sue took shame and turned it into tangible honor.  We recently have been talking more and it has most often been conversations about my blog.  Be honest to yourself and bare your soul and be awakened and vulnerable about the shame you have lived. Expose it, let the light shine in and through it, and it will flee.  I PROMISE.

Let’s go back to lies for a moment.  Shame is the cousin of lies.  Shame has this funny way of wrapping you in chains.  Shame lies and tells you that you’re not good enough and you don’t deserve to be anything other than that which your past defines you. Brene brown says, “The antidote to shame is empathy”  Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Ok so Brene you’re telling me that relating to someone can kill shame? Relating to others in an arena similar to your own who carry the same ugly cross as yourself is the answer? Know that you are not alone and that you are cared for and loved.

I’m going to link this whole blog today back to one area in your life.  Lies…..please readers stop believing the lies you hear in your own head. “I don’t need anyone to help.”  “I can do this on my own.” “I don’t have a problem.” “Everyone ______.”  “I don’t know how to change, I’m too far in.” Lies, lies, lies. This is exactly how you stay defeated and powerless. If you want change, then stand up and fight!

Here’s some raw truth if you ask anyone who has overcome any issue in their life. I promise you they did not do it alone. People who try to change alone fail every time. why?? They fail because God created us to be relational, period, end of story. There is nothing more gratifying than a relationship that touches your soul.  When you experience true love, no matter what it costs the parties involved, this is healing.  This is how we change the world one love at a time.  Never give up!!! If you’re reading this and you want to change, I encourage you to take the first step and have a little empathy for yourself. Get ready to fight because shame will try and knock you out and put you back in the ring for another round of punches.  Stop decorating your pit and climb out.  We will be all waiting for you at the top throwing down ropes to help you.  You must desire to get out of the pit of shame more than anything. 

It will be arduous, but I promise, love and empathy will set you free. Being honest and truthful with yourself is honestly the first step.  If you’re vulnerable you can beat shame once and for all. You are worthy of love and you don’t have to be perfect.  Here’s to fighting for yourself and for the people you love. I encourage you, if you have loved ones trapped in the pit of shame, implore them to keep fighting. And as for you, stand in the gap and love them.


 

“Love is a Battlefield”

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Growing up for everyone has its own story. I know very few people who have had a wonderful childhood. Most people have feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, fear, not being loved, being unwanted, being controlled and the list grows. By age 17, I had made some absolute agreements with myself. What do I mean by this statement? I had made promises to myself. Promises that I thought were really powerful. Promises that I believed would protect me and set me free from anyone that could potentially hurt me or get in the way of anything I wanted to pursue. I think that when people hurt you, you go either one of two ways, in or out of your soul. I chose out of my soul. I did not know this at the time. It took 32 years to figure this out. I made some promises to myself that, until last week, I didn’t really understand what I had actually told myself and in turn my body suffered.

Recently, I learned some things about spiritual malignancy which, in my mind, is what it really means to be diagnosed with any DIS…. EASE. One theory is that, in our minds, we let ego deviate from the program God has for us. This is spiritual malignancy. Let me dive in here. Marianne Williamson teaches that the cells in the body say things like, “I don’t want to exist as a ‘normal’ cell. I want to be my own separate thing and build up my own mass following.” Here are some of the lies I have told myself. No one is going to boss me around and tell me what to do. I listen to me and my own ideas. I think when you try and replace God with things you will eventually feel the sting. It really depends on how stubborn you are. I apparently am seeing how bull-headed I am. Making those agreements with my ego was very damaging. I thought I was protecting my soul but I was actually destroying it with these agreement lies. God was included in this agreement. I replaced spirit with alcohol and shallow relationships… epic fail. The good news is that nothing is wasted. He works all things for my good. That is a song we sing frequently at my church. It is true. Don’t ever believe the lie that time or self is wasted. It never is. The lord has his inconceivable ways of making our messed up lives beautiful even when we mess them up. Every time we mess it up, he is there as a loving Father connecting all the paths to freedom. All we have to do is say yes to the call of the Holy Spirit. Please keep in mind that undoing what you have done sometimes takes time. So be patient with your life.

Remember that song from the 80’s Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar? “We are young heart ache to heartache we stand….. No promises no demands……Love is a battlefield. We are strong…… no one can tell us we are wrong. Searching our hearts for so long… both of us knowing….love is a battlefield. Making me go and making me stay……..Why do you hurt me so bad? It would help me know, if I stand in your way or I am the best you have had, but I’m trapped by your love and chained to your side……we are losing control when you turn me away, touch me deep inside…When this all gets all old will it still feel the same. There is no way this will die…and if we get much closer I could lose control….and if your heart surrenders you will need me to hold”

I know this is a cheesy song and it reveals my age (43) but I love it and can’t help the analogy of it all. This song, to me, is the battle that goes on in our body, mind, and spirit. This song, for me, is the ego vs the soul (real self). When we are young, we move from heart ache to heartache, we stand in awe of the pain and confusion. No promises, no demands until we feel the pain and sting of rejection of love and eventually abandon our soul. LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD. We have such innocent claims to life. We have the highest of hopes. Making me stay and making me go. Why do you hurt me so bad? This line is about the soul wanting to emerge and as it peers out for a moment, that is when we let our guard down and love, but it gets crushed and retreats right back inside and waits for the awakened moment to surface and try again to love. It would help me to know if I stand in your way or the best you ever had. Lol I can’t believe how ironic this song is. Yeah, it would be great to look into the crystal ball of your spirit and ask….. do I stand in your way or am I the best self I could be? We don’t know, especially when we are not awake to the real purpose of life. Who knows accepting our flesh for truth, I am trapped by your love and chained by your side. Yes, yes, yes…… we are trapped by our love of ego and self. It’s all about you, right? Your heart, your love, your desire, you ..you…you? I hope I am not the first one to break this news to you. NOOOOOOOOOOO, it’s not about you. It’s about loving other people. I don’t mean we should not respect and honor ourselves. We absolutely should and this is a very important key to being set free. I mean, lay your life down and love some people! Stop thinking life is all about you and what you want. This is the most dangerous love of self and you’re feeding your ego not your soul. Live like this and I promise you, it’s not if, it’s when your body and mind breakdown you will be forced to deal with the storm you create. Take heart, we all do this and your calling, your will, and your surrender all determine how your own personal journey will end. My prayer for you is to take the call, live out your core desires, and be set free of yourself and the lies you have built to keep yourself safe. There are so many tools out there to do this. The most important tool you will even need is the Holy Spirit. You can’t go wrong when the Holy Spirit guides your path. God is waiting, for you, to answer the call that is already inside of you. All the answers are within your reach. It’s like unlocking a metaphoric door. Your soul is knocking and will keep knocking until you get off your butt and answer the door. God is your soul because we are made in his image and he lives in you. You think he doesn’t want out? To share and love????? He does love. He does.