If we were learning to master the piano, we’d miss a lot if we only played in one section. Like with us, a piano only comes into it’s full expression when the high and low notes are in partnership.
We are needing to be aware of the interplay between our outer and inner worlds. Each influences the other, whether we realise it or not. Continue reading Playing the full spectrum of our emotions
The importance of a well-matched pair
I (Elizabeth) love the stories of my great grandfather who ran a wagon-making business in Wagenmakersvallei (now Wellington, W Cape). It was from this village that people continued by wagon over the mountains into the interior. Together with the high quality of the carriages, he was also strict with the pairing of his horses to pull the wagons. He was meticulous at matching the strength and personality of each pair. For once, a mis-matched pair had pulled unevenly, overturning the carriage, causing my great-grandmother to miscarry.
Integrating the spiritual and physical realities
Our two realities, the seen and unseen, are like these horses. They are meant to pull together seamlessly, but all too often don’t. We over-drive our physical reality and leave undeveloped and neglected our spiritual one. Instead of being in sync, this disconnection causes us to ‘pull’ in unhelpful directions. We see this when we focus mainly on succeeding in our work arena to the detriment of our family’s well-being, causing grave harm. Or, when we say we believe that relationships are important yet in actuality have them last on our ‘to do’ list.
Slowing down so we can hear our inner drivers
Jesus wants us to find increasing cohesion and integration. If we slow down and stop the gallop of our known world, and create spaces where we are really still with God, we can nurture sensitivity to that unseen and often neglected reality inside us. Within, we find emotions that are taking us along a particular path. We have made assumptions about life that drive those emotions and carry unquestioned beliefs that we hold fast to.
Finding healing in the light of God’s love
If we, with Jesus, can gently see where our emotions lead us, we will come to understand better what causes us to choose the behaviour that we do. We can help the healing of those parts of ourselves as we own and acknowledge them in the light of God’s love. We will find joy as we sense ourselves coming to journey through life in a more integrated, connected way – and like with those horses, enjoy the ride so much more!
There are parts of ourselves we like, and parts of ourselves we avoid
All of us are at home with the parts of ourselves that we like. These we elevate and present to the world. Yet this is not all of who we are. We often don’t have a good relationship with the parts that ‘don’t work’, and have separated some places into ‘No-Go’ zones. So, in order to cope with our lives, we don’t embrace some of our painful emotions that are not working so well in us – like our fear, remorse, guilt. We find it hard to appreciate those unlovely places. We might fill our empty spaces with noise and obligations so that these emotions get quietened or at least pushed down again. For we do not feel comfortable with our powerless feelings.
Continue reading Accepting parts of ourselves that ‘don’t work’ can enable us to have better relationships
Our feelings are accurate gauges of what is going on inside. They are there to inform us of our inner reality so we can become more aware. We’ve all experienced being demeaned, unfairly judged, and put down – some, way more than others. Indeed, if used too much against us, shaming can seriously damage our self-worth, Continue reading Shame
When we were young, it was easy for our rule-keepers to make us feel guilty for something we did. With our tender consciousness, we were susceptible to taking on a belief that in some way or other we were not okay. Instead of simply learning a healthy response of acknowledging and asking forgiveness for a misstep, we might have been left feeling overwhelmed and condemned. The negative side of guilt is that it so easily left us with a shade of unworthiness.
Continue reading Walking in Freedom from Guilt
In our garden is a vine that was planted by others long ago. As we opened up the overgrowth, we discovered more and more of it trailing through the branches. Its stem was thick and strong, but its outgrowth gave no fruit. It had become rank and unproductive.
Often our lives parallel this. God wants us to be fruitful, but our trailing thought patterns around regret of things that have happened leave us overgrown and unfruitful. Continue reading Pruned to bear more fruit
Most of the time we sail through life unaware of the unseen world beneath us. From time to time, evidence of this reality breaks through the surface and we are reminded of its existence. Only if we dive below, do we discover that there’s hidden beauty and fear – and there’s always more than we could have known, waiting to be explored. We sense that the seen and the unseen worlds are not separated, but that they depend on each other – for what happens in the one affects the other, and together form part of a larger whole. Similarly, as we explore and discover unseen realities of ourselves, we will be enlarged, if we don’t look just for what we want to see, or listen for only what we expect to hear.
Continue reading Diving Deep
If we could take a mirror and go into all our inner world, what would we notice? Would we see someone who needs others’ permission to be, or who lets someone else define the moment for us? Do we see someone who is making life-giving choices, who is taking authority over the moments each of us are given?
Continue reading Inner Dialogue – Inner Critic or Inner Freedom
God is always inviting us into places of greater openness and trust in Him. Even though we do not know what the future holds, He does. We can keep ourselves ‘small’ and controlled, and so miss His greater purpose for us – to become our fullest selves. His expansive call is, ‘Choose Life!’, for He knows how fear can lock us down. We so need to hold onto the way He sees us because the limited way we have been known is not nearly the whole picture. He, like any gardener, wants to take us out of our restricting container of beliefs and expectations and plant us so that we can really thrive. Continue reading Root-bound?
Sometimes our hardest task is to release those who have hurt us. Yet, it is one of the most profound aspects of being a life giver. We may have said the words, “I forgive you.”, but still feel resentment in our hearts. Events can have an immense afterlife and we can can hold onto them in order to hurt back in some way later.
Continue reading Finding freedom through forgiveness