October 17, 2007

Thankfully this does not happen very often; but lately I have caught myself doing exactly this.  I could come up with many valid reasons why I do it but unless I find the mental cause and change it, the self destructive pattern is likely to continue. 


When I was dealing with this inner turmoil I did what most of us do.  I picked on the ones who I knew love me.  My wife got the brunt of it; fortunately for me my wife really does love me.


It is also fortunate for me that my wife and I communicate well with each other.  Sometimes the only thing that can help when people are hurting is effective communication skills.


So we were able to keep peace while I was warring inside.  It seems that getting in touch with the real feelings is the biggest challenge for me.  And with a little help; some active listening from some good friends, I was able to identify some major inner upsets.  Once again the big anxiety was unidentified concerns over choices made in faith.


This is when I felt the shift inside me happen, a tangible drawing off of tension akin to a drain plug being pulled.  I had seen where I was hanging on and could now surrender.  True growth happens when we surrender our perceived control to a greater power, when we do it consciously and with faith.  It is only faith that truly separates spirituality from the hard sciences and practicality.  So the action that puts us into the unknown must ultimately be an act of faith.  Yet even when we make choices in faith it is possible to begin to question, to doubt those decisions.  It is possible to unconsciously create stress especially when the action taken is intrinsically new.


So when I let go of my outside work and started working full time as a pastor of a small church with no outside backing, I didn’t fully realize how big a step I was taking.  I didn’t hear that little voice of fear inside judging harshly my actions.  Then when faith and inspiration guided me to invite another minister in to my little church and share the leadership I had no idea how much that little me was wanting to hang on to the illusion of control.


There it was, the source of hidden anxiety, the source of an urge to be controlling.  That little part on the inside didn’t really want to let go of control.  As much as I had said the words “I let go”, there was some small ego that continued to hang on.  And I have no doubt, that little part left unchecked could have made some major havoc in my life if I had not seen it and dealt with it.


How often have you found that a little and unintentional word escaped you and seemed to go out and cause far more damage than you would have thought possible?  Have you ever been left wondering where that little comment came from? And how it could possibly cause the damage it did?   If you are anything like me then take a look inside.  That is where you will discover the habits and patterns which hold you back.  That is where you will begin to find what it is that you need to change.


We can all live a life of distractions.  There is enough going on that we never need to acknowledge who we are and what we are doing.  We can drift through life hurting and being hurt by the ones we love, growing to dislike them and leave them.  We can find new best friends and start all over again.  The same scenarios will likely happen again because in changing the people we have forgotten about ourselves.


I strongly believe the only person worth changing in my life is me and until I start consciously moving myself into change my life has little true value.  I may have created challenges for myself but for every challenge I created, here I am. I have successfully moved to a new vantage of self awareness and every victory brought with it a new level of happiness.  Growth is about consciously stretching ourselves beyond our mediocre patterns of normal reactions and actions.  It is never easy because we are breaking old and unproductive habits, but when we do go forward with determination I can assure you our lives will be transformed in every good way.