Our conscious mind keeps very specific memories that fit into our sense of self and which sustain out behaviour now. Our childhood wounds inform us, but need not continue to control who we are currently. Jesus gave us new guidelines for how to live, yet He knows that we have been hurt by life. Thus we have made assumptions around our early experiences and created behaviours that have become controlling. We may have told ourselves that we don’t have a choice, because that’s how we’ve always been, but we need to allow our choices to be challenged by the other picture that Jesus gives us. When we tell ourselves things that steal our lives, like, “I can’t”, “I’m always too busy”, “I’m too old”, we take away hope for our future and remain stuck and fearful.
Learning a new skill will have its’ discomforts, and so too will our risking to choose new behaviours. We may simply so dislike the feelings of uncertainty that we prefer to go back to how we’ve always done things. Our fear of pain and discomfort can stop us from risking. Our background ‘voices’ that have told us lies about what’s possible, drown out God’s seemingly crazy invitation to, “Get out of the boat.”
The enemy’s strong counter winds seek to intimidate and thwart God’s best for us. Thus we so need stillness to hear the often drowned-out, still, small voice. Jesus keeps encouraging us to risk and let go of whatever keeps us from an abundant life.
Looking at just one day will show us what we truly value
Even though our dreams are often beyond our awareness, we all have guiding images which lead us. These are with us all our lives, shaping and directing us, and giving our everyday life substance. These are very necessary, as with no defining images our lives will become more and more fragmented. Since we can so easily fool ourselves, it is useful to imagine being an observer of one day of our lives. By doing this we will soon see what we are investing the bulk of our time on. Through what we do we can understand what we value the most, what we are giving ourselves up for. Through looking at one small sample of our existence, we can realise what’s guiding us through it and causing us to make the choices we do. Continue reading A Sample of Life→
Every venture of life involves our moving from a known reality and security to an unknown one over which we don’t have control. This always causes apprehension to rise in us as this movement involves taking a risk – whether it is in learning a new skill, being in a relationship, having faith in God, doing your work, going on a new adventure, even just living. But if we don’t take the risk we will lose ourselves. Continue reading Anxiety is the driver pushing us forward to learn, grow, change→
The expression of authentic manhood has become increasingly difficult in our society. These problems centre on men having a growing sense of frustration with not having a clear sense of meaning or purpose. As women develop more independence, the fear of becoming irrelevant can cause men to become depressed or abusive. This is often due to a lack of understanding of their true identity and their unique place in society.
Women have for some time been entering a new reality about their identity and their contribution to society. Changes in the way they see themselves and the options they have, are broadening their choices and giving many a greater sense of power and control.
Despite these interior shifts, women are still faced with hardened attitudes in parts of society, and especially in their relationships with men. Many communities still have an ethos of male control, despite noticeable changes in the views of many men.
Risking Manhood explores the seven risks which men traditionally have had to undergo to achieve authentic manhood. These form the basis for grounding the identity firmly within one’s unique self and for establishing life-giving relationships. Continue reading Risking Manhood→
Our core need as humans is to love and be loved. Since we need this so much, we may find ourselves going about it in a roundabout way, manipulating relationships in order to get our needs met. We may, for example, give to another, simply because we hope to get back from them what we are longing for. We may try to have our hunger met in undercover ways by saying something obtuse, but often people don’t think to give it back to us. Continue reading Our Quest to have Needs Met→
To be human is to have needs and the place where they’re nourished and restored is in relationships. However, if we’ve been hurt or disappointed, we may shut down and try the route of independence, saying, “I don’t need you.” Life and growth are always a risk and always involve an opening of ourselves to parts we might not yet be familiar with. But if we choose not to take this path, we will deaden and stagnate, our inner reality will shrink. Continue reading Needs Draw Us to Life→
Most of us were formed by people who programmed us to fit into society. It left us with feelings of ambivalence about who were, with feelings of inadequacy, instead of unconditional self-acceptance. We found ourselves wondering how to conform and how we could please others. Continue reading Pulling Out Our ‘Pegs’→