Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What Happens When You Let God Love you

This is a 3 parts series of entries about the meaning of humility, surrender and the only thing your heart is asking you to do. This is Part 3. Find parts 1 and 2 in the links below:

Part 1.
Part 2.

The problem of the world today is that we all have said "yes" partially to God, we have said "yes, you can love the word through me but we'll do it my way". As we create more and more solutions from our own ways, we find more (in quantity as well as complexity) issues and barriers to overcome next. As the number of issues increase and we cling to our ways to let God love the world through us, the issues start to form a mass of one simple problem formed by many complex problems. This mass is the crisis the world is going through today. I think it can be defined as follows:

We can't go any further down or any lower than this. Think about it, we have reached a point where we think that people have to "earn" and "deserve" the right to live!! If we want food, clean water, clean air and live in harmony with the rest of humanity and the rest of life itself, we have to "earn" it and "deserve" it, which is, we have to enslave ourselves to do something we find absolutely purposeless to create false value in our societies and be able to survive, as if we could!!. Once life is conceived and a baby is born, they have to learn how to 'earn and deserve' their spot in the world. Being alive is not enough of a fact to deserve the entitlements that life brings with it (nurturing food, harmony in and with nature, the safest and greatest of the inventions of the human heart). What can be more dysfunctional than that??

With the economic crisis of the last couple of years, governments worry, among many other things, about how to create jobs. It does not matter what kind of job, just jobs. The jobs of today are all vulnerable to be replaced by technology. People worry about that. This is how bad things are!! People prefer to do the job of a machine every day for many years because it seems to be the only plausible option we have to live!! I believe we have reached the bottom of the barrel in terms of the dysfunctionality of humanity today and that is the trigger of the massive "awakening" we are seeing as well. Having hit the bottom, some people are surrendering ("a determination not to contribute to the messiness of the world by adding our own false self projects to it" - Fr. Thomas Keating), others are on their way to surrender or "humbling" themselves (all the economic, political, social, environmental and spiritual movements popping up everywhere) and many are still completely unaware of their self betrayal, still clinging to their own ways, still asking for mechanical jobs, committing suicide because rent can't be paid, stealing for money, killing (others and themselves through many different activities) for money.

As humanity goes deeper in the exploration of its collective betraying self, or as humanity moves in mass to the bottom of the barrel, God moves to the surface of earth through those who have decided to surrender to his love so that he can love the world through us. At the individual level, surrendering does mean to stop the doing and engage in being. It is challenging, "being" is often not the way we do things, is often not the way we love, we don't like being. But in the process of letting God heal us and surface in our lives, there is no much you can do other than identifying what aspect of your life you need to surrender next. Eventually, and I don't know when that happens, you have let God be you, become you, bring about the real and honest you that loves you, enough that He can express his love through you in the world. Then you start doing again and this doing becomes your work, as opposed to your job. This doing is irreplaceable by anything or anybody else. It is a doing where the heart commands and the mind acts in alignment and submission to the heart. In today's world, the mind acts by itself in complete misalignment with the heart, even when we're doing something that we think we really care and moves us deeply, the decision comes from the mind alone. You have experienced it yourself in your weight loss journey: You deeply care about your well being, you truly want to be healthy and look good and your mind says, "ok, let's do a diet , let's buy a supplement, let's take some tablets".  

When you surrender and let God make His way to the surface of your body, or in non-Christian words, when you let the truest and honest version of the you that loves you make its way to the surface of your body, you stop the unnecessary suffering. Example: If you planned a trip to X and you're very excited about it, you have your schedule of what your doing during your trip, where you're going, who you're visiting, you did all the shopping, have your tickets ready, all your bookings done, everything on time, all vaccinations, leave home with plenty of time to make it safely to the airport only to find an accident on your way that would make you miss your flight. Then, if surrendered, first you probably wouldn't have planned so much in the first place but assuming you still do because is part of your journey of healing or whatever, if surrendered, missing the flight would not cause the pain it normally does. You missed the flight, there is a reason for it, you still had a not very positive reaction, what of my old ways where acting when that happened?? oooh I see...this is why I did it!!! 

When you surrender the kind of suffering that comes from the outside is significantly reduced. You stop worrying about many things that seemed crucial before and also, you find more complex issues that make you worry about things that seem more important. You stop worrying about your partner's hair in the shower and start worrying about extreme hunger in Africa or child abuse. Eventually you recognize that these more important issues don't cause you the same type of suffering anymore. The issues are still there and you may still consider them extremely important, but you don't suffer...as in, you don't go nuts trying to make something happen anymore, you don't let your false self contribute its projects. A new kind of suffering is born. Your new suffering concerns to you and you only now. You still care about these important issues which of course means you care deeply about others but, how can you do something and ensure that the solution comes from your heart, that it is an act of God's love through you. That is the real and worthwhile suffering!! You will always think that what you do comes from your heart, as you surrender more and more of your life, you find that you can let more and more of your heart be in you, which often means doing less and less, and being more and more. 

It seems like many won't recognize their self betrayal behaviours. That is very unfortunate and that is my understanding of hell. It is not an unknown place with fire, it is a status, a condition of your humanity where your heart is crying to be let out and you won't let it. It is a burning feeling and it brings all sorts of suffering. All the sufferings that the Bible refers to but right here and right now in your life. The saddest aspect of your hell, is that you don't even know you're in it so very often you deny it making it even worse. How much you can bear it will determine when you'll start making your way out...through humility and surrender of course. 

Those already in the process of humbling and surrendering are on their way to heaven. Which isn't an place either. It is a status, a condition of your humanity where your heart expresses fully, where God is present through you wholly and you know it, where God loves the world through you and you are aware of being a vehicle of His plan of pure love, which brings enormous joy. Heaven on earth will happen, many will surrender and the earth will be transformed. Declaring yourself as a follower of a particular religion will not be important anymore, the suffering that comes from that debate is part of the non-surrendered you that clings to what you believe, not to what your heart knows. This is the remembrance of the body of Christ, all its members (each of us is a member) will come together and we'll all speak one language: The language of Unconditional Love, which is the language of God. Not matter what you believe, I may still disagree, but I will still love you unconditionally. This is the capacity that Jesus brought to us with his life. By dying in the cross He showed us that it is possible for us to do what seems irrational: Love your own murderers. Through the apostles He was teaching us how to do it, which means  not only that we can be like Him, but that by washing our sin we now have a responsibility: We must become Him!! not in the sense of mimicking Him, but by letting God work through us as Jesus did, that is perfect communion...that will be the kingdom of heaven in earth, that will be the restoration of the church, that will be the unification of languages to the one language that matters. 

Let God Love You

This is a 3 parts series of entries about the meaning of humility, surrender and the only thing your heart is asking you to do. This is Part 2. Find parts 1 and 3 in the links below:

Part 1.
Part 3.

How do we let Him love us?? That is to me, the meaning of surrender and humility. It is not about being docile and repressing your feelings to others. Quite the opposite. Surrendering and humility doesn't have anything to do with others, although when you surrender and humble yourself, others notice it even if they don't tell you. You surrender when in your many attempts to do the right thing, you find out that there is always something in your way and you can't avoid it and more importantly can't solve it your way. You let Him love you when you reach that point and let Him love you. You don't surrender to an external punishing being behind some clouds either as I shall explain.

Let me give you an example: 

You want to lose weight: You say "Yes, but we'll do it my way" and you try as many diets as possible. Often fail to start the process, if you do, often fail to reach the goal and if you do, you fail to keep the weight in the long term, you have to rely in chemical aids or surgeries to prolong the results. So much so that some diets now give you a day a week to go nuts and eat as much as you want of anything and everything. Some people never stop trying. Some people do reach their weight goal and replace their overeating with some other excess in their lives. Some people eventually draw a big picture of the situation and assess it. It looks something like this: "I want to lose these 1 - 60 kg. Every time I try a diet I find myself opening the fridge to motivate the temptation. Then I tried to eat healthy. How inconvenient!! You have to cook from scratch!! I don't like vegetables even tho I know they're beneficial. I love Coke even tho I know is a chemical soup. Buying organic is so expensive we can't afford it. Cooking every meal for 5 people?? Even making the kids snacks?? or buying them organic?? cooking separately for my diet and the rest of the family??" With every option I face something that makes my life hard enough as to make my goal seem unreachable. Often I quit. I need a miracle to lose my weight and I can't make it happen myself. I want to lose these stupid 30kg!!". 

Humility occurs when you tell yourself the story of your failures and you recognize that your way of doing things always seems like it's missing something. (Declaring you're a sinner in Christian terms). Humility occurs when you realize that the cause of your failures is not that others haven't come up with the right chemical soup or solution to your problem, but that the problem is that you don't have the strength to overcome the obstacles of the journey. It is when you have the experience of finding the problem within you rather than in others, that you can let others "offend" you once and twice and although you may not like the offense, and may indeed feel offended, you would know what is happening with the offender: They still think that the problem is you, you have been there, you know how it is...now you can forgive them.

Surrendering occurs when you don't quit your desire (to lose weight in this case) but admit that because you've tried it all and you've caught yourself betraying yourself in the process, you need a miracle that you can't produce and don't know where to find it (you've gone to specialists already and the problem still is that you don't stick to the plans). So you surrender and, if you are not familiar nor comfortable with the-God-vocabulary, you surrender to the deepest and truest version of you that you imagine possible...that's where God is at this stage of your life. When you surrender to the deepest feeling of you, which you may grasp as the most honest conversation you've had with yourself, or as talking to and from your heart, you admit and ask your heart to guide you. You ask the best version of you, the one you know is not lying to you because it's witnessed it all, to guide you all the way and help you. And this is how you let God step in and come up from the deep place where you've kept Him for so long. Letting God to step in, surrendering to God, is letting the best of your humanity to show up because we are all made to His image and likeness, not the other way around. He loves you whether you're a Christian or not. We are the ones that don't love non-Christians and to tell you the truth, we don't even love other Christians. 

But God doesn't just come up like by magic. It is a process and for each step that He needs to take in your life, He lets you decide whether you want to do it or not. You've put God so deep that almost seems unreachable. On the way up from deep within your heart to transforming you and acting through you, there is like a thousand tonnes of the habits of the you that has been betraying you all this time. Habits like self judgement, judgement of others, prejudice, attention and approval seeking and others. We have to admit that these habits make up about 99% of the story our our lives. You already admitted many of them in your assessment of the big picture of your weight loss journey. God has to find the way up through all that!! And "all that" is not related with just food, it is your whole life!!. In order to find the way up, He has to clean the path, He has to heal us, which is, He has to heal every single aspect of us. 

When you drop the weight of your failures in achieving your goal, it feels wrong to the version of you who wants to keep trying by using the same strategy that has always failed. It feels a huge relief when you know that you can't do anything about it so you won't. Every bite of junk food you eat may feel like the wrong thing but now you're aware of it. You'll start to develop the awareness of when you overeat, how you do it and what triggers you to do it so eventually, you'll find out why you do it. Finding out why you do it, will be an answer to why you do many other things in your life and why you've had the habits you've had. All this finding out I'm talking about comes from a place of surrendering and the "why" that you'll discovered is a spiritual one, or one that comes precisely from that deep place within you, from the honest you that loves you more than anything else and wants you to lose that weight and be healthy...that is what God wants you to be. This is how He triggers the healing of our whole being, we asked and He gives us. Asking God is ultimately surrendering to the truest and honest you deep in your heart, and that is why He answers. A "why" from an place of no surrendering will tell you that you don't loose weight because you've been following the wrong diet, taking the wrong tablets, going to the wrong doctor or reading the wrong material and that you need to do more, a different version of the same stuff. 

However, the fact that he triggers the healing doesn't imply an immediate healing of our whole being. We need to consent to it...by surrendering again. We may have surrendered our weight loss fight, and with that action we let Him take one step closer to act through us. Now we have to surrender the obstacle that is present at that new stage. The next thing we  want to achieve in our own ways, the next thing we cling to so much, the next thought we think is so right and drives so many of our actions and reactions to situations, people and nature. The role of the trigger is to make the next surrender easier to identify. The answer to the "why" is what makes it easier because you can see the patterns from your eating disorder in other aspects of your life. Once you pick up a new aspect and you come up to the point of surrendering again, you will add a new insight to your answer of "why" you do things. Which will then help you identify even more aspects of your life that are not functional or betray your desire for love, peace and happiness. And it is this way that we let God love us. As we go deeper in our exploration of our dysfunctional betraying selves, God comes up to the surface of our being to work through us and we start to irradiate love, we become light to the world, after we let God be the light of our beings. 

Let God Love the World Through You

- I know one day we will all give God a full and committed “yes” when asked to let Him love others through us. That’s all his asking us: to let Him love us (clean our life’s history of pain, attachments, judgments, etc,.) and love others through us. And when I assert this, I’m not implying that one day you’ll believe what I believe or you’ll be a Christian. You’ll say “yes” in the language of love, which is the one language He speaks and He’ll listen regardless of the belief system you claim to follow. - 
This is a 3 parts series of entries about the meaning of humility, surrender and the only thing your heart is asking you to do. This is Part 1. Find parts 2 and 3 in the links below:

Part 2.
Part 3.

Someone recommended me to watch a movie called "The Machine Gun Preacher" to witness what Jesus could do in one man's life. I haven't watched it yet but I googled it to find the trailer and reviews. This particular review caught my attention because of its concerns on the effects of the movie on foreign policy issues. Specific statements kept me reading:

"Regardless of whether or not his claims are spurious, he is being cheered, financed and encouraged by an ever-growing base of support. Most of these people claim to be evangelical Christians but I am not sure Jesus would have encouraged re-paying evil with evil…

The train of thought must go something like this: “Well, we would never allow that in the US, but this is AFRICA and we don’t have to follow the rules because we are Americans and God gave us a vision to help these poor African kids. People need to see love and stuff and we will give them both.”
Is this our new view of how our foreign policy should be enacted? Is it ok to think that “at least he is doing something?” and it is ok because he believes God approves? I would vehemently oppose such statements.
Can you imagine if a Mexican crossed the border in to the States and decided that he would go after criminals indiscriminately with neither the support of the US law enforcement agencies nor the judicial system? In fact, looking at the comments on his blog, it would seem that people are encouraging people like Sam Childers simply because he feels God wants him to. Is that not the very definition religious radicalism? Indoctrination? Fanaticism?"

It moved me to write a comment and this was my message:

I haven’t watched the movie yet. And as a Christian I agree with some (if not most) of your arguments. I honestly don’t think God calls people to kill in his name, I don’t believe in violence to solve violence and I agree that in the context of policies and politics of this conflict, what he says he’s doing might not necessarily be too helpful. However, as a Christian, I believe one finds God deep within, and the truest act of love when you encounter a “criminal” or whatever the label we put on these people, is to love yourself and forgive yourself for all the pain and anger you feel when you see them. Of course this is easier said than done and I’m not claiming that I do it, although I do have the experience of having forgiven my dad’s killers and never wished for them to even be in jail. The feeling of this forgiveness, although it has just happened once directly to me, is still liberating in many ways. In the spiritual dimension of this issue, I would believe that Sam is in a journey where he’s pouring as much love as he thinks he has on to these children. If there is a message from God to him, it was this. I think the message was “let me love these children through you” and Sam said “Yes…ok” not knowing what that implies to his spiritual journey.
Sam’s background or life’s history is not a happy nor a peaceful one. He only knows the ways of violence, judgement and prejudice, and so do many of us. And because of that, the task is double. For Sam to let God love these children through him, he must learn to love himself, he must let God love him and clean him from his own baggage of violence, judgement, attention and approval seeking. Clearly he’s not quite there yet. So what is happening here is that Sam said to God “Yes, but we’ll do it my way”. Which is what many of us do as the comments supporting him show us. By taking this position, he accepted the task to love these children, but didn’t take the challenge to love himself and drop his cross. He is loving them his way, not God’s way. As a consequence, his actions are “faulty”. And I don’t think that is necessarily wrong or a bad thing. He is showing us what happens when we say “yes” to God partially. It is the world we have here today.
Do I have any evidence of this?? Other than what God tells me, no. So I can’t show you any tangible facts to back my arguments. That is often the case with God’s matters. Only hope and faith in Life moves me to write this today. I know one day we will all give God a full and committed “yes” when asked to let Him love others through us. That’s all his asking us: to let Him love us (clean our life’s history of pain, attachments, judgments, etc,.) and love others through us. And when I assert this, I’m not implying that one day you’ll believe what I believe or you’ll be a Christian. You’ll say “yes” in the language of love, which is the one language He speaks and He’ll listen regardless of the belief system you claim to follow.
I noticed you are very strict with punctuation, grammar and spelling. Please accept my apologies in advance. English is not my first language. I did my best.
I suppose there is a lot missing. Maybe reading Childer's book would give me a better insight into his life than watching the movie. The big lesson for me is what came up as I was writing the comment: Every attempt we make at helping others and solving the problems of the world, are an attempt to say "yes" to God's request. Just that we want to do it our way. To say yes completely committed, we also must say yes to God making a cleanse in our own lives. We must first accept His offering to love us. When we let that happen, we fill ourselves with love and then we can go and share that love with others.

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