Who My Spirit Is

I have wondered here before about who we are at the base of it all. I was doing some reading that gave me an idea. I am so grateful for the gifts God gives people, and the fact that they use it to help other people. So this is a case of that.

The book, I mentioned before, ‘The Case for Grace‘ by Lee Strobel. As I said, he’s a great author, a Christian apologist, and very easy to understand.

Near the end of the book, he relays an experience he had due to a health condition that filled him with fear and doubt. His son came to him and said a prayer I found very interesting. Here is part of it:

“I affirm that I’m not defined by my abilities, my roles, or my accomplishments. At my deepest places, I’m not my behaviors, my feelings, my choices, my personality quirks, my virtues, or my vices. I am not defined by how much I succeed or what other people think of me.”

That is such a relief to me! I hate my behaviors, feelings and choices. All of those things that I fight against every day ARE NOT ME! What a relief, and what a gift to have it spelled out like that.

So who am I?

The prayer goes on…

I am yours, God, created for union with you. In my deepest place, I am a naked spirit clothed in the righteousness of Christ. I am precious in your eyes. I am fully pardoned of my guilt and fully accepted by you. I am your child, beloved by you for eternity and held in your everlasting embrace. THAT is who I truly am.

I read in the Screwtape Letters today that God seeks to separate us from ourselves in order to restore us to ourselves. While the enemy just seeks to separate us from ourselves.

I don’t always know who I am, but I believe restoring myself to God is a matter of just accepting His grace daily. Recommitting and re-adhering to what I believe and who I love.

Who My Spirit Is

Trust

It’s a weird thing to think about whether or not to trust people. I think about it all the time. I don’t trust anybody. Not really. Not even my parents. And why?

Because we all have a secret life. Sometimes it’s bigger and sometimes smaller. There are things going on you never dreamed of.

That’s ok, because that’s true, and everybody navigates this.

Recently I’ve begun trusting some people, even knowing they have secret lives. Because there’s nothing wrong with having a secret life unless it spills over into real life and hurts someone else.

My secret life hurt a lot, a lot of people. Yet I want people to trust me. I’m sober, I’m medication compliant, I’ve done all this work. But I hurt people. Getting over that takes time.

I have a girlfriend, we get on really well. She’s in recovery with me, and she’s bipolar. So, we get each other. She says ‘I hope I didn’t offend you.’ I say ‘ don’t worry about that. We’re friends, if you offend me I’ll let you know. We’re not ending the friendship.’ She’s relieved, and we go on……I trust her. I don’t know why, other than the basis of our friendship being in our relationship with God and our recovery.

I think it can be that way with other people. So I’m going to give that a try. Maybe when you heal enough, trust is easier.

Trust

I can’t do it

When I was in the 2nd grade, my teacher was Mrs. Cash. She wrote with her left hand because her right one was broken and crooked. She fell down some steps as a child and it wasn’t set properly, and it was bent and useless.

The kids and I didn’t understand why she couldn’t write with it. She would say that she couldn’t straighten it out. We couldn’t relate. Our hands worked. If we bent them. How could it not straighten?

That’s how I feel when I have a mannerism or behavior that is odd. For example, I have been working for someone and they complained that I didn’t check with them enough about what they wanted. From my point of view,  I asked and got no feedback, left notes and got no feedback, plenty of times stuck my head in the person’s office and they said they would let me know….but I am willing to admit  I’m not totally aggressive or direct. I’m more of an e-mail type of gal.

My hand won’t bend that way. That’s all I’m saying.

I can’t do it

Getting Rid of Obsessive Thoughts

I’ve always been obsessive. I read books over and over. I watch the same movies time and again. I have just finished 2 or 3 years of listening to Foster the People almost every day. It comforts me.

It’s a double-edged sword; however. I obsess about bad things. Things that went wrong. Troubles with other people. Fear and pain.

That part of it really sucks. I wasn’t built like the kind of person who just rationalizes things out of their brains.

Recently something has been bothering me. My sponsor helped by having me write a letter. It worked for a bit. It creeps into my brain. I feel like it’s a habit that arises out of my sub conscience. I could ask for medication to help, but honestly, I’m of a mind to avoid that if I can. Plus there aren’t any guarantees.

So  purchased an mp3 at iTunes to help relax and release obsessive thoughts. It has music and you relax and it says to imagine you are in a chair with a fireplace and so on. It then gives some things to visualize about letting go.

I find I’m unable to focus on it enough. It’s bedtime, I don’t want to work at it. Not late at night. It said to imagine lying on a raft, and the obsessive thoughts are like flies and to swat them in the water.

Well, I think I could have thought of something more creative. The idea of touching a fly upsets me. Being swarmed on a raft is not relaxing or relieving to me.

So I came up with my own. There is a video on Youtube now about putting a baby to sleep.  

Basically it is someone who brushes their baby’s face with a napkin or tissue for 40 seconds and puts the baby to sleep. It’s quite amazing, and from someone with insomnia, I’m quite jealous. But it gave me this idea.

When I have obsessive thoughts, I brush my face from my forehead down, on my cheeks and wish the thought away. it calms me, and it brushes the images away (at least temporarily). It helps clear it up. It’s relaxing. Can’t do it in my car, but otherwise, a nice trick for now. I always seek new and more effective tricks. The world is full of them.

Getting Rid of Obsessive Thoughts

Soundtrack to Your Life

I thought I heard that phrase one time with regard to itunes or headphones or something. In today’s world where we have cheap, portable music, it’s really true you can have your own soundtrack wherever you go.

Music moves me. It reaches deep inside. I have music for every mood. The thing I enjoy most about working is that I’m allowed to wear headphones.

I recently pulled up and oldie but goodie. Charlie Peacock. Many will remember my fondness for a song of his sung at my wedding.

I saw Charlie Peacock at Fishnet in 1990. It was the worst day. It was a rainy, muddy day, and it was cold, except when the sun came out and then it was hot. All my clothing was wet. I remember having one black sleeveless top that was damp and hot, and then the sun was on it, it was roasting and humid.

In spite of that, I saw this guy perform. He wasn’t that good-looking. He didn’t have a snazzy show. It was simple, but his lyrics were stunning to me and the partner he sang with was amazing, and I was completely drawn to his music.

I bought an album of his….at least one, perhaps three. I wore them out. I got his music on cd and wore it out. Thank God for itunes, right?

Since the separation, I didn’t think I could handle his music. There are a lot of ‘woman/man’ kind of songs. Not your typical love songs, but lovely.

I put in something of his the other day and wow, I’m back. He’s back….whatever! I’ve chosen a song to represent his music….even though it is wildly diverse, I think this is a good representative.

It makes me sad, yes, but not predominantly. Predominantly it is binding me to some real fundamental Christian beliefs about love and living life. It makes me think of times in my walk that were warm, and felt secure, and joy. And the thing of it is that the joy didn’t come from a regular man. It came from Christ and my desire to follow Him. And it inspires me today.

Soundtrack to Your Life

How to Grow

I had a really cool realization the other day. I was reading in Corinthians about prophecy.

14 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.

I read it with fresh eyes, and I thought to myself, my gosh I don’t think I have ever believed prophesy is possible. While I’ve witnessed it in church, I haven’t  really thought it was true prophecy. Not in the part of my brain where things make sense.

So, I was kind of praying about it and here is what I felt God said to me.

Two years ago when I read passages, I questioned interpretation. I then read different interpretations and I thought ‘who is this guy who presumes to tell me what it means.’ But then I thought about my kids and how I never said to them ‘Well, I believe in God.’ I said to them ‘There is a God and He loves you.’

If I am talking to an unbeliever, I would say ‘this is what I believe.’  But I might even say ‘this is what I know to be true.’

It become possible for an author to know something about God that is true, that is new to me. I can listen, pray, and accept and believe what a teacher might say.

I can form my own interpretations through familiarity with the word. I can say with assurance what it is I believe and why. It is something that has grown out of my relationship to God and I’m very comfortable and secure in asserting my beliefs.

So, what I think God showed me is that prophesy is a gift that also grows out of our pursuit with God. I don’t know how it works, but the gifts I have now have grown from my walk with Christ. Prophesying will also grow out of our pursuit. We are told it’s something worth pursuing. This doesn’t mean something mystical is going to happen. It’s just being dogged after Christ and his gifts.

And when it does, and it seems like that, the result of working out your faith, it doesn’t make you more important, but I suspect you would already know that.

The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Co 14:1–3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

How to Grow

Call Me Crazy!

This is a very timely post, having just spent Easter with my children and their cousins. I’ve lamented the plight of the bipolar mother in the past, and it was reenacted this weekend.

I am touchy. I don’t take criticism well. And I’m paranoid.

The thing about paranoia is that you don’t know whether it’s rational or not. To me, it makes perfect sense, and I have a hard time seeing that it might not be true.

Even if it was, I have to get to a place where I am not so upset by all of it. I think I spoke in the past of a therapist who encouraged me to be flip: I’m bipolar! I found that to not work very well when the people who had criticism of me based it on my insanity.

When I’ve been criticized, I withdrew that portion of my life. Now, my life is pretty sheltered. I don’t give people much of a chance.

Now, I could go down the road of how self-absorbed this all is. I’m not going to deny it, but my life right now is the result of personal necessity.

I don’t know how to improve my relationships, but some things I’m doing are: going to AA meetings. Calling people in the program, meeting up for coffee.

That’s not enough I suppose, but that’s what I do today. I can think of other things, but I think working, going to meetings, living with my family, and be open to being right as well as being open to perhaps being wrong.

Call Me Crazy!