Friday, May 25, 2012
A Thousand Little Deaths
Hell can be described as a perpetual alienation from our true being, our true self, which is in God."
In my posts, Utterly encompassed and The Kingdom of Light, I spoke of how we create "false kingdoms" for ourselves and rule over them like little gods. I'd like to continue on this subject because of how critical it is that we allow God to tear down these kingdoms that have little to no basis in God's reality. How are these "kingdoms" taken down? By allowing God to destroy the false self we have created and set up as gods in these kingdoms of "me, myself and I".
What? You think we are better than our first parents, Adam and Eve? That we didn't inherit their fallen nature?
We, too, have bitten the apple that contained the worm of "You shall be as gods." And ever since the fall, we have set ourselves on the throne where only the living God can truly be. There is no life without God and if we do not renounce our thrones, we live in a world of our own making. Fallen human hearts are wily by nature. By simply paying attention to the ways we try to justify our sins, this can be proven. For a woman of average intelligence, I can be quite a genius when it comes to evil. I've even caught myself enumerating to God why I sin the way I do some days. "This insomnia crushes me and makes me cranky. If you could lift the insomnia I don't think I would have committed this sin." Yeah, right."This migraine was too much to take so I couldn't help yelling at my daughter." Say what? "If that man on the road hadn't yelled at me I wouldn't have been grumpy with my husband." If my back didn't ache, if I didn't have the flu, if I wasn't depressed, if I didn't have Myasthenia Gravis. (Yes, I was healed of this but I used to use it as an excuse for why my behavior was not so good.) I think you get my drift, I used outward circumstances to absolve myself to some degree of my sin. Not in the Confessional, of course, just in my head. Now, there is no need for me to justify my actions before God...He knows me better than I know myself. I'm pretty sure this justification is for my own benefit. So I can sit on my throne a bit longer, perhaps? After all, if I am booted off my throne I have to eat dust and dust just isn't my favorite snack. Neither is humble pie, come to think of it.
I just don't trust myself. I have long since realized that I am my own biggest cross and it will stay this way until I renounce my ego and allow God to bring forth the real me. The one who has no need of masks, no need to please others, no need to emotionally manipulate others to have my needs met. The "real" person that God created has all his or her needs met by God; it is the false self that has needs and expectations that can never be met. This false self is a figment of our sinful imaginations. A wisp of smoke; a caricature of the true self which lives in God.
I have often thought that God allows many humiliations and failures in our lives because they are aimed at this falseness in our nature. The saints took humiliating experiences with equanimity because these experiences do not harm the true self that is caught up in the love of God. They destroy the false self and help us to see ourselves for who we truly are, not for who we imagine ourselves to be.
We want to be as gods and the Lord gives us what we want...and then we realize that we make lousy gods and the dethroning begins.
These thousands of "little deaths" make us humble. They crucify our ill will so that God's will may reign supreme in our hearts.
Dust and humble pie will probably stay on the menu for quite some time, no doubt. At least John the Baptist got to eat locusts and wild honey.