“Christian life is not about changing who I use to be into who I ort to be, which is the mantra of the majority of the church that doesn’t understand grace. It’s not about changing who I use to be into who I ort to be, it’s about living out who God says I am.”
Bill Thrall, Restoring the Soul Podcast with Michael John Cusick, Episode 3 – Bill Thrall Part 1, “The Soul of a Leader”. ~13:30min
Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The great task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life.
Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl. 8
Keep your heart sweet
I’m not screwing around. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.
We are torn between desperately wanting everyone to see our struggle so that we can stop pretending, and desperately doing whatever it takes to make sure no one ever sees anything except what we’ve edited and approved for posting.
… it seems as if we spend the first half of our lives shutting down feelings to stop the hurt, and the second half trying to open everything back up to heal the hurt.
No matter how hard or far I fell, grace was there to pick me up, dust me off, and shove me back in for some more.
It was an ugly street fight and, even though I got my ass kicked, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. There was a significant amount of pain and loss, but something amazing happened along the way – I discovered me. The real me. The messy, imperfect, brave, scared, creative, loving, compassionate, wholehearted me.
“So I’ve started being vigilant about watching my thoughts all day, and monitoring them. I repeat this vow about 700 times a day: “I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore.” Every time a diminishing thought arises, I repeat the vow. I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore. The first time I heard myself say this, my inner ear perked up at the word “harbor,” which is a noun as well as a verb. A harbor, of course, is a place of refuge, a port of entry. I pictured the harbor of my mind – a little beat-up, perhaps, a little storm-worn, but well situated and with a nice depth. The harbor of my mind is an open bay, the only access to the island of my Self (which is a young and volcanic island, yes, but fertile and promising). This island has been through some wars, it is true, but it is now committed to peace, under a new leader (me) who has instituted new policies to protect the place. And now – let the word go out across the seven seas – there are much, much stricter laws on the books about who may enter this harbor.
You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts – all these will be turned away. Likewise, any thoughts that are filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontents and pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps and seditious stowaways – you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind – otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from whence you came.
That is my mission, and it will never end.”
Eat, Pray, Love… Elizabeth Gilbert
(Thanks to The Boho Life for writing out the quote, so I didn’t have to try and transcribed it from the audio book!)
From The Soul of Prayer
Only living Prayer keeps loneliness humane. 11
In every act of prayer we have already begun to do God’s will, for which above all things we pray. The prayer within all prayer is “Thy will be done.” And has that petition not a special significance here? (13)
When we are in God’s presence by prayer we are right, our will is morally right, we are doing His will. However unsure we may be about other acts and efforts to serve Him we know we are right in this. If we ask truly but ask amiss, it is not a sin, and He will in due course set us right in that respect. (26)
A prayer is also a promise. Every true prayer carries with it a vow. If it do not, it is not in earnest. It is not of a piece with life. Can we pray in earnest if we do not in the act commit ourselves to do our best to bring about the answer? …. What is the value of praying for the poor if all the rest of our time and interest is given only to becoming rich? (27)
No true God could promise us an answer to our every prayer. No Father of mankind could. The rain that saved my crop might ruin my neighbour’s. It would paralyse prayer to be sure that is would prevail as it is offered, certainly and at once. We should be terrified at the power put into our foolish hands. Nothing would do more to cure us of a belief in our own wisdom than the granting of some of our eager prayers. And nothing could humiliate us more than to have God say when the fulfilment of our desire brought leanness to our souls, “Well, you would have it.” (28-29)
The worst sin is praylessness
The Soul of Prayer. 11
“[Poetry is] communal and filial. It can only exist as a common ground between the poet and other poets and the other people, living and dead…Poetry can be written only because it has been written.”
Davis, Ellen F. Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture : An Agrarian Reading of the Bible. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 44
‘A man walks upright, and the food in his body is shut in as if in a well-made purse. When the time of his necessity comes, the purse is opened and then shut again, in most seemly fashion. And it is God who does this, as it is shown when he says that he comes down to us in our humblest needs. For he does not despise what he has made’
(Julian of Norwich)
From Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 6