We are creatures that are made to give life. At every stage of our relating to others we are making choices which will either be creative and life-giving or destructive. The investment we make to create a positive, loving space is essential to our union with others.
Intimacy starts with us, for we can only be as connected with another as we are able to value and trust ourselves. We will not be able to respect or love others if we have a low estimate of our own worth. Life batters and bruises all of us, but we are meant to persist with bringing light and healing to the world. Intimacy is a hard-won reality, but it is very worthwhile. Continue reading Our Deepest Longing
Reflecting on dreams which so affect our life journey
The countless dreams that motivate and energise us give us our life direction each day. We need to know our guiding images to understand what is inspiring or frightening us, where we’re being reactive or compliant. We tend to view dreams as being positive, but some can be enormous, yet unconscious, burdens if they are driving us to fulfill another’s expectations. Continue reading What guides us through life?
Ridding ourselves of problematic emotions is not the answer. Like a learner driver, we can learn to manage the powerful thrusts we experience.
Ridding ourselves of problematic emotions
Often people will think of their anxiety, fear and anger just as problematic, negative emotions. They are feelings that they’d prefer to get rid of. However, these strong emotions are needed by us in order to live each day. All three are engineered into our bodies.
It is possible to manage our emotions
What we need is to learn how to manage these emotions because if they do things in us that we can’t control they do cause big problems and harm. Like learning to drive a car we need time to learn how to engage these feelings, to find ways to stop them from making us jerk or stall so we can move more smoothly through life. Continue reading Learning to Manage Problematic Emotions
When I (Sergio) was at Wits in the 70s I remember being amazed at what one lecturer told us one rainy day. He explained that raindrops falling on the North side of our roof flowed down into the Braamfontein spruit, on into the Jukskei River, then into the Limpopo River, around the (then) Transvaal, through Mozambique, and ended up in the Indian Ocean. But the rain that fell on the South side of the roof flowed down into the Vaal River, on into the Orange River and ended up in the Atlantic Ocean. Two very different destinations! I hadn’t remembered it since then and the Holy Spirit just brought it to mind again in our choices around fear.
Continue reading Where do our choices around fear take us?
A compass on a steel yacht would be misleading if there weren’t magnets to keep it reading true. Those who sail need to be able to know that they can trust the direction the compass is showing them. Each compass needs to be swung, for if it’s incorrect by even 5°, it’ll mean sailors are really ‘at sea’, ending up where they didn’t want to be.
Like a compass that’s trying to tell us where to head, so our emotions are trying to communicate with us. We can’t just assume the compass is right though. Neither can we automatically assume that what our fear is telling us to do is correct. Our fears sometimes need to be recalibrated so we can trust them to give us good life direction. Continue reading Setting Sail: Trusting Our Inner Compass
In nature, creatures never try to be something else, but live simply, fully themselves. If there’s actual danger, they react with legitimate fear, but once it has passed, they relax. How would it be if we could rediscover what has been taken from us and live this freely? Continue reading Habitual Fear
Most of our childhood fears were learned from our parents. Today, we can explore past assumptions and embrace the gift of healthy fear.
We learned to fear as children
A baby is born with only two fears: that of falling and of loud noises, but all of us now carry many different fears in our bodies. These we’ve learnt from others as they tried to shape our behaviour, but which more often just hampered our natural learning. Continue reading Revisiting Our Childhood Fears
Often we identify with the feelings we have and make them so part of our identity that we can’t separate from them. We say, for example, ‘I am angry,’ or ‘I am fearful,’ instead of, ‘Sometimes I experience anger or fear.’ We shape our thoughts, and receive them from others, but we are not our thoughts and feelings. We need to take responsibility for every feeling. They should not be our masters, but be our servants.
We often associate with having fear negatively. We see it as something that we need to control and get rid of. But all our feelings, including fear, are important messengers. Continue reading Feel the Fear and Give it Containment
In order to become aware of the inner patterns and guiding images we all carry, we need to stop and look. This will need times of being alone with ourselves in order to grow in wholeness. This is essential so that we can also be there for others. This aloneness is a transformative, ‘pregnant’ waiting. It is not the same as loneliness, which carries with it feelings of lack, desperation and incompleteness. We dare not postpone living, waiting for our dream to materialize and for our present life to pass. This invitation to deepen intimacy with God and ourselves is done reverently, but not without fear. Indeed, intimacy implies this as ‘in timor’ means ‘into fear.’ Continue reading Loneliness or Aloneness
Looking at ways we’ve learned to value or devalue ourselves
Self-reflection is important because through it we discover how we came to be who we are now. We see, too, where our self-esteem is ‘firm’ and where we’re still ‘wobbly’ and scared to push out on it. Through it we also realise where our movement outward has been compromised.
Most of us have spent the first half of our lives trying to satisfy society’s expectations and ways of measuring us. Continue reading Measured and Found Wanting