Since I hate saying I “can’t“ have/do something, I usually try to stay away from being “on a diet” or saying that I’m “not drinking at all” or any type of arbitrary protocol that restricts or prevents the involvement in any type of activity or process. I like to live without boundaries... put me in a world full of forbidden fruit and next thing you know I’m fermenting forbidden fruit wine and kombucha and giving forbidden fruit baskets to all my neighbors. I'd even throw all my underwear away and buy 30 pairs of “forbidden fruit of the looms”.
Despite having some impulsive behaviors and problems following the rules, I'm going to try a swearing/cussing/foul language experiment. It has occurred to me that words really can be used to curse (people/places/ moments/etc...including ourselves). So I'm going to attempt to replace cuss words with saying like, "God bless" and "mercy, mercy!" and "What on God's green earth?!?" and "In the name of Jesus!"
The point is to replace unwanted words/phrases that get blurted out of my mouth with new words/phrases that are not only PG, but even words of praise, worship, or affirmation.
Maybe words can work on our subconscious mind, our psyche, like every other form of input does; maybe even saying words without any specific intent can rewire our brain and have this ripple effect where it manifests in our mood and actions... so just by eliminating curse words, we can eliminate that dopamine reward system associated with that "release" of filth in the moment. Maybe even replace it with an opportunity to feel or experience grace and mercy in that moment. Saying those replacement words of worship and praise and forgiveness, we can maybe change our entire vibration, energy, frequency. It could change who we are entirely.
"We are what we repeatedly do."
"As we think, we become."
"Our thoughts manifest into reality."
"As above, so below."
To me, life is often like a game or a puzzle. However imaginative you are, the more creative and engaging your life can become. In my life, it's all about finding God hidden in seemingly mundane moments. He's camouflaged into every wrinkle of time. Waiting to be discovered. The words of the Bible help us find God/the Holy Spirit in our everyday practical lives. The supernatural is just waiting to be discovered. This is why it is crucial that we feed our minds with the word of God. And perhaps even more importantly, this is why we must work to control and filter our external inputs throughout the day and be mindfully on guard of who/what we allow in to our brains. Even the things that see harmless or that have become "normal" and widely accepted in our culture can actually plant seeds deeply into that elusive, area of the subconscious mind.. The part which never sleeps and causes us to sometimes act in ways we cannot comprehend. Think the music you listen to or shows you watch at night are irrelevant/harmless/mindless/ just for entertainment? Think again... Those things are shaping you and molding your mind in a way that literally dictates the way you view yourself, and the world around you. Those inputs we expose ourselves to seep into the core of who we all become.
Shifting gears now, there is something that has been on my mind for some time now that I feel compelled to address. Luckily I have a blog to sound off on and you as the reader can choose to listen or choose to laugh/mock/disregard. Either way, I have noticed a lot of preachers/pastors/ministers on Facebook that have a tendency to post things that are very daunting and damning towards our society. They are not focused on love and grace. They are hung up on the end of the world and how ruined our society is. They are often speaking out on abortion or gay marriage or, now, school shootings. All are topics that the church and Christian religion SHOULD be very intimately tied to, I am not disputing that. But what good is it doing to constantly tell others how flawed our culture is and how so many people are going to hell? As a person in the role of leading people to God, why are so many faces/voices of the church consistently speaking out about how wrong people are behaving? I see this mentality being almost like a disease...It takes over your mind and makes everything about the world seem so dark and depressing. I can assure you, the world is full of hate and violence and acts against God's will, but my goodness....STOP WATCHING THE NEWS if you cannot distinguish the difference between a healthy input and a habitually negative input. I am not at all suggesting we should all turn a blind eye to the evil in the world and only preach the message of grace. I am suggesting we push pause on trying to scare people into believing in God. I am simply offering up the idea that maybe, just maybe, we should look at the psychology of behavior and try to look deeper into the characteristics of Jesus Christ, and maybe stop focusing so adamantly on the fall of man or the evil that has "overtaken" the world. This type of preaching is exactly what turned me off of religion for so long. I DO NOT like being so critical of others, I actually pray a lot about this and try to remove my emotion before I speak out on such topics. But I am growing more and more inspired to speak out on the possibility of taking a different approach to evangelism. Even if that means I ruffle some feathers of church leaders, that's okay. I am open for discussion and I have the UPMOST respect for anybody who has decided to give their entire life to God. So please, do not be offended when I say:
Don’t listen to the dooms day prophets out there, spooking people into terror and out of faith or glory. We are not in the end times, folks. We’re in the prime Reign of Jesus Christ. Our Kingdom is going strong here on earth. I know this only through my own tunnel of reality where I have experienced Love and mercy and grace.. I’ve witnessed the work of God.. I’ve been taken by the hand and guided through the castle in the sky, with a wave of his hand Jesus revealed the kingdom of heaven to me. And guess what? It’s already been won. We simply have to change our minds to believe this. That takes time, effort, the Bible, meditation, prayer, life experience... the gateway to the supernatural is in the mind’s eye. This is not a suggestion to go smoke DMT or align your chakras. This is a challenge for you to open your heart to the vastness and absolute that is God. The revelation of God does not instill fear or terror. Instead, it pulls our lives together with wholeness. The signs of God are clear and only point to the RIGHT ROAD. If it feels scary and of evil, work to eliminate that emotion, don’t allow it to take over your entire being. Once separated from the emotion, come back to the thing that scared you and take authority over it. When you’ve seen it with this level of objectivity, you’ll know in your heart if it is of God. If it is not, keep walking.
The life-maps of God are right, they show you the way to joy. His direction will be plain and easy on the eyes. If you follow them, you will find the hidden treasure of life that you seek. God’s word warns us of danger, it never leads us to danger.
I believe we can amplify and magnify the experience of life on earth. We can do this with our body in the external, physical realm. That includes our jobs, relationships, hobbies, health, church, environment. We can also do this with our mind and our internal realm. This is how the “heaven on earth” experience truly begins. Align your mind, align your body with fellowship, faith, family, friends, and fun. Okay I just picked those because it sounded cool if they all began with an F. #alliteration
It’s a valid question. One that deserves the most beautifully engaging and compelling response. My response, however:
It just depends...
"Why bother" is a personal question with infinite solutions, dependent upon which variables you choose to plug into the formula.
If you feel as though your life is going extraordinarily well;
“life is as good as it gets, some things suck and other things are great... I don’t need spirituality because I’m perfectly content with life as it is. “
Then yea, why bother? Keep doing you and never open up to this. You can probably expect a mediocre life, regardless of your success or accomplishments. Regardless of your health, you’ve managed to push through to see the end of a very limited, grey experience called life. I can’t really say anything beyond that because spirituality is something that has to come from within. It can be inspired or celebrated by others in a way that arouses your own spirituality, but ultimately it’s a pursuit you have to want. All I can say is that it’s always felt natural for me to seek and long for meaning to all this and an understanding of why life happens...It always felt wrong not to wonder.
If you’re not happy with how your life is going; you’re angry a lot, unhealthy physically and emotionally, you feel like life isn’t fair, you feel alone, you’re tired of “just getting by”, you’re sick, you’re hungry, you’re poor, you’re afraid..... then “Why bother?” is a simple question to answer:
Because you have NO IDEA what’s waiting for you on the other side of your current so-called life. God wants you...and all of your struggle and strife and sorrow will serve as a wonderful fuel for your fire!
This is about as Evangelical as I get. I don’t like when people want to “sell” God to me. I don’t like when Church feels uncomfortable or uptight. I don’t like any form of evangelism that makes people feel guilt, shame, fear... I think God will place that emotion on them as necessary. The church is supposed to be “the body of Christ” so its job should be to make EVERYONE feel welcomed onto team God. It should be in the business of unification, not segregation or manipulation. Forget the denominations or rituals for just a moment. We all learn differently, and we all come to the Truth in our own time and pace and style. What led me back to God as an adult was experiencing the characteristics of Christ first hand: mercy, grace, acceptance, and the AWE-someness of God. Only then was I open to learning and trusting the Bible. To borrow some parenting advice my girlfriend has given me, "Connection before correction." This means I had to come to know and experience and connect with my true self, my higher self, the divine within me, before I was able to even know what parts of me were in need of correcting. The same should apply for all people of God who are hoping to lead nonbelievers to His Glory.
The biggest fear we often have in faith, is just letting go of our perceived “control” in life. It’s hard to admit that maybe you’ve spent a decent amount of time and energy on things that ultimately do not matter at all. It’s not easy to admit “I don’t got it” and lean into the arms of someone/something that will always accept you and help you.
My thing was, I liked drugs. I like to party. I liked chasing things that were heavy in short term gratification, and shallow in long term gratification. I was living fast and didn’t want to slow down. Slowing down meant dying.
“Be still and know that I am God”
Then, I found real meditation. Real prayer. I found out how to get a grasp on my impulsive thoughts and reckless behavior. I slowed down mentally so I could speed up spiritually. I honesty don’t know if drugs are bad in the eyes of God. I think everything can potentially have a time and place if you know what you’re doing and you’re aligned with God, both Mentally and Physically. I think meditation and fasting and yoga are great ways to have a sober experience with God. I think prioritizing time to read the Bible and maybe even write out some thoughts about what you read is a flawless way to experience God. As in, that’s the only way I know of that is a guaranteed method for feeling the presence of something Divine bleed into the focus of your mind and nature of your existence.
This brings me to the title of this post: "Untangling the knot of fear"
I recently posted something on Facebook that went into deep explanation of the idea behind "Biology of Belief", which is the title of a book by Bruce Lipton. The article dove into the principles of quantum biology and how the subconscious mind can impact our everyday conscious mind. It talked about how we can use things like sound wave therapy and aroma therapy and humming, chanting, and vibratory mechanisms that affect our body and aid in the healing process at the cellular level. All things woo-woo. Then if that didn't have you rolling your eyes yet, the article suggested that we can use our thoughts to heal ourselves and have an effect on our body at the cellular level; specially at the quantum level. These are things which cannot necessarily be measured just yet, but they are things that are as old as time. Modern science, academia, medicine, culture, etc., have all tried to compartmentalize and extrapolate methods only using what we can observe and measure. So, this area (not surprisingly) gets laughed at....JUST LIKE PRAYER gets laughed at by someone who does not believe in it. So, my fellow children of God, I am challenging you to take a deeper look at what the human mind is capable of through prayer, meditation, using mantras. Prayer does not have to be in the format of a child's letter to Santa Claus, listing requests and giving praise in hopes of having their wishes granted. Prayer can be intensely focused thought on one specific need. It can be in the form of visualization. It can be in the form of deep, deep feelings of gratitude that trigger an emotional response that becomes visible and physically noticeable.
My theory on all things evil is that they all stem from the emotion of fear. The Bible teaches us to fear not. A simple google search of "bible verses on fear" will provide countless examples of this. Why? What did the authors know about fear that they needed to tell us? My personal belief is that anything we encounter that makes us feel unease, anxious, angry, selfish, hatefully etc., are all manifestations of the seed that originated in fear. They can be traced alllllll the way back in the deepest parts of your mind to some sort of feeling of fear.
Fear is the enemy.
Fear is the work of the devil (if you need to make that connection in your mind to provide the appropriate imagery for understanding the concept). Fear is what separates us from God. Fear is the wall that blocks us off from experiencing the closest thing to Heaven on Earth that we can possibly fathom. I am obsessed with Fear. I look for it, I embrace it. I seek opportunities to encounter fear, simply so I can put myself to the test. I want to know what I am capable of psychologically, spiritually, and physically. I am not saying that once I conquer fear I can be like Eleven in Stranger things and start moving objects with my mind. No, but I am saying that once I am able to recognize my mood/state of mind being shifted or altered in a negative way, I can remain calm and redirect my thoughts so that I do not become rattled. I untangle the web of fear and trace the feelings back to the root of the emotion. And even when I cannot quite take the problem apart enough to completely understand it, I am still able to dissect it enough and hand it over to God in a way that empowers me. My body IS a temple, I invited God in to help me clean it up so that he and I could both live here. I want to protect this house. I want to live my life feeling relaxed and content, knowing that I am loved. I want to live my life feeling resilient and focused, knowing that I am accepted.