Friday, January 11, 2013

A Firm Foundation for Healing

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a crooked little house.
                           A Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme

I always loved this nursery rhyme. Even as an adult I can relate to this "crooked man who walked a crooked mile". Every part of his life was crooked and I wonder if he was even aware how crooked everything in his life was? Or, did everything look straight from his crooked perspective?

Sometimes we are not even aware of just how crooked and skewed our perspective on life is and things look straight to us when they are really off kilter. We have a difficult time discerning the truth about things. For example, look at what's going on around the earth right now.

It hasn't escaped my notice that even the earth rotates on a tilted axis. I sometimes kid around with the Lord and ask if He did it on purpose to make up for our skewed vision. "I'll just tilt them a bit to the right since they tend to list to the left by nature."

 I know, that is sooo...not funny ;) Plus, it doesn't really tilt to the right - it all depends on how we look
  at it.

But the point I'm making is that we often don't even see  our own "crookedness". We are bent but since everyone around is bent too it's not as obvious as it should be.

Or it wasn't...until someone who was not bent at all stepped into the picture. He came and taught us how we should live. He laughed and He cried. He grieved and felt fear. He got angry. He was not afraid to show his emotions.

In my last post I spoke about the difficulties we face when we stifle or bury our emotions. We may lack peace and joy in our lives or feel as if something is missing. We feel far from complete. I think the first thing  some of us may need to understand is that all people have the same basic emotions as we do. God didn't parcel out joy to one, sadness to another, fear to the third - it just doesn't work this way. Yes, each person is unique and some emotions may take precedence over others depending on the person's individual personality but God doesn't withhold joy on a whim. Temperaments are different but we all carry the full package of emotions.

So where do those who need emotional healing start?

As I wrote in a previous post a good place to begin may be with the way you see yourself. I say this  because it's much more difficult to accept the healing that the Lord longs to do if you don't love yourself. I'm not talking about the negative kind of self-love that is selfish and self-serving - I'm talking about the kind of love that stems from the knowledge that God loves you totally and completely. The bad kind of self-love stems from loving the false you - the one you created (with the help of others), not the real you that God created in his image and likeness. The reason why I published the post on self-image first is because we have to be able to accept gifts freely. How can God heal someone who pushes away the gift He offers? (I don't deserve this gift, etc...) God's grace is not about deserving, it's not performance related. We have to cut loose wrong thinking such as:

If I try hard enough to please Him maybe God will heal me. Many of us realize that this type of faulty thinking doesn't come from God but usually stems from an upbringing that was based on conditional love... and there may have been many, many, conditions to receiving this love. These messages may have been spoken or they may have been silent messages - love withheld for performance reasons that leave a child in a place of trying to earn love all the time. The problem with this is that we take these spoken or unspoken messages into adulthood with us and continue with that "people pleasing" mentality. And it never, ever works. Just take a look at the performance based society we live in and then take a look at the fruit it has borne. Abortion is another fruit of this type of thinking.

God works things the other way around. First you are loved and all else that you do proceeds (or should) from this love. Mother Teresa knew God's love and her great works proceeded from this love.

Man, if you only knew how hard God has had to pound this into my head. "You are loved not for what you do but for who you are - my child."  I was a people pleasing, performance based thinker through and through. I still battle with this at times. No wonder the Scripture, "And Pilot, wanting to please the crowd, released to them Barabbas" always bothered me so much. This people pleasing thing had to go. The work wasn't the problem, the thinking was. (Remember when I mentioned the "double yoke" syndrome in a previous post? Here's another reason for it.)

The performance based life makes you feel like a puppet, the love based life frees you. This base matters very much. It's far easier to do things from a position of love. Think of the word "performing"-
doesn't it make you think of acting or pretending? God doesn't like "performing" either - we are people, not trained monkeys. (Please note : I am not speaking about the theological issue of justification here but rather our having a firm foundation of love to stand on.)

A big plus of working from a love base versus a performance base is that the first allows grace free reign while the second stifles it.

 So, the question is:

  Are we living out our lives from the solid base of God's love? From our true selves? Or does the way we live proceed from the very shaky foundation of trying to please others (performing/ego boosting).

I stress this love base so much because in order for us to receive the emotional healing we need we have to trust God and feel safe in His Presence because that's exactly where we want to place ourselves to receive this healing. If we don't have this confidence we will more than likely get up and walk away the minute our "avalanche of suppressed emotion" really starts dislodging. Especially if you were taught that certain emotions were sinful. But here's a comforting thought: God already knows everything that is within you  (the good, the bad, and the ugly and some of it is very ugly) and has loved you up until now so it's safe to let this stuff out because you aren't hiding anything from Him anyway.

Emotional healing often comes through prayer. If we don't recognize that God is doing this interior work in us we may mistake it for harassment during prayer. I was afraid at first when "emotional junk" started coming up during my prayer sessions years ago. There were times when my entire prayer session strictly consisted of this kind of upheaval. I used to battle it until I figured out what was going on. Over time, I began to notice how much better I felt within a day or two after these sessions. As if huge burdens were lifted off of me.

We can ask God specifically for this type of healing too. He certainly knows we all need it to some degree or another.

Another thing that has helped me tremendously is praying for intergenerational healing and healing of the family tree. This had an enormous effect on my life. I noticed some immediate changes after going through these series of prayers. If there is a lot of "yuck" in your family history this may be a good area to hit. I had a grandfather who was a 32nd degree Mason and I will go so far as to say it's crucial to do this if any of your ancestors were involved with freemasonry or any other type of occult activity.
We had other issues in our family line but none as detrimental as this. It was worst than everything else all  put together. Freemasonry and Christianity can never be mixed.

In my next post I'll share some other tools and resources that have been helpful to me. God gives us so many avenues of healing that it is a shame if we don't reach out and grasp them. When one person in a family is healed the whole clan reaps the spiritual benefits of it.

Especially the children.



Intense love does not measure, it just gives.
                                    Mother Teresa












20 comments:

  1. As humans we tend to "see" and "understand" God from a human perspective. But God is not human. He is God and does things from His perspective.

    He does not ask us to "understand" Him. All He asks is that we love and trust Him.

    Our Catholic Church has in the past, (and to some extent still does), taught that we earn our place in Heaven and we do God favours so that He may reward us now or in the future life. We rae taught to do sacrifices, to fast, to repeat certain prayers ad-infinitum, to light candles and so on.

    But God does not "need" anything from us. In the sense that He is in no way lacking or left wanting if we don't do these things for Him - we don't light candles or don't fast and so on.

    God's love for us is unconditional. He loves us for what we are not for what we do for Him. We are His creations. All He asks, as I said above, is that we love and trust Him ... Oh ... and also that we love one another. But we are incapable of that. Many of us these days don't believe in Him and we certainly don't love each other judging by the state of the world these days.

    Of course, it's right and good to pray, light candles and so on. But we should do this as a sign of love, respect and honour to God. Not to gain His favours. God does not want us to beg like dogs for His favours.

    He listens to our prayers and sometimes He answers. Sometimes He does not.

    Why?

    I suspect the simple answer is "Why not?" He does things from His perspective, not ours.

    Thank you Mary for a wonderful thought-provoking post. You raise many important issues which sadly are not often discussed in Church these days.

    God bless.

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  2. I particularly enjoyed this post because there were several things that hit home for me including: being a people pleaser and intergenerational healing. I didn't realize the people pleasing thing about myself until someone made fun of me for it. I had thought all along I was supposed to do that. As for intergenerational healing, my husband and I have in the last few weeks been praying prayers just for this purpose! A lot of good things are happening in our lives and this may be part of the reason. Thanks for your well thought-out post.

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  3. Mary,
    As I was reading this and came to the part about God loving us not for what we do but because we are His children, I couldn't help notice that that section fell beside the image of the Sacred Heart on your sidebar. You may have not have had control over that, but He did :)
    Those emotional "purgings" you spoke about during prayer~ I've had a few, but never realized what was happening until reading your posts. I always felt like a whiny complaining brat. I can see from reading what you have written that that is not the case at all. I am still working on or maybe I should say letting God work on the fact that He loves me unconditionally and I don't have to be good enough in order for Him to love me.
    You have spoken of anointed writing, this series seems to fall in that category. God has given you a gift to write about a difficult topic with clarity. Thank you for sharing it.

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  4. Mary,

    What stood out for me in your post was conditional love. Some parents think they are doing the right thing by loving conditionally... They think their children will not strive forward without the carrot of love held out before them. But of course, children never reach the carrot. They feel they are just not good enough. Anyway, that's what I experienced.

    Today I know I am loved by God and those who matter, but it is so easy for me to fall back into old patterns when I return home to my parents. I feel like that young insecure girl again. I never feel comfortable.

    Good to talk about such things.

    God bless!

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  5. Hi Victor,
    In a perfect world I guess we WOULD do things for all the right reasons but we are fallen and often do things imperfectly instead. No, God doesn't want us begging like dogs - He wants us to trust Him.

    The Catholic Church doesn't really teach that we have to earn our way to heaven but I understand what you mean - the nuns who taught me when I was young could be pretty scary sometimes when they told us what would happen if we didn't pray, fast, etc...
    I can smile about it now but it scared the heck out of me when I was a kid!

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  6. Hi Monica,
    You bring up an interesting point here: people pleasing looks like a good quality on the surface so many of us aren't even aware that we are doing this. I certainly didn't become aware of this until I was an adult.

    I think the intergenerational healing prayers could help many families these days.

    Thanks for commenting!

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  7. Hi Karin,
    I didn't notice this but it's a perfect place to line up, isn't it?

    I really do think God heals us of many things during our prayer time and emotional issues seem to be a common area He tackles. Other people have told me that this happens to them too so you are in good company:)

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  8. Hi Sue,
    Yes, that's exactly what I mean. In the long run it's harmful because kids need a strong love base to grow as they should spiritually.

    I'm the same way at my parents. This goes to show how far that conditioning went, doesn't it?

    God bless you too!

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  9. I grew up thinking that God had a little black book with a list of all the bad things I did. I call it the "Santa Claus" image of God. This is when we think if we are good, God will be good to us and if we are bad, he will not give us anything good. Like coal in our stocking!
    I held onto this image well into adulthood. It was when I became Catholic and began to have a personal relationship with Jesus and worked on inner healing that I learned about unconditional love.
    A great quote from a Christian writer - Philip Yancey - "There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less."
    I never question God's love for me anymore.
    Thanks for another great post.

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  10. Colleen makes a good point about the "Santa" image of God.

    That's the way we were taught by the Church when we were young. We had to be good or else we'd go to hell.

    There were rules to follow. If we ate meat on Fridays it was a mortal sin and we'd go to hell if un-confessed. We had to fast before taking Communion. If we took Communion daily, which we did as Altar boys, we were always fasting. And if we miss Mass on a Holy Day of obligation then we'd go to hell because it is a mortal sin.

    I wondered when young where in the Bible God says don't eat meat on Fridays and why He would send a good person to hell for just missing Mass.

    God loves us unconditionally. We send ourselves to hell by our deliberate rejection of this love and by challenging its existance.

    God bless.

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  11. Dear one this whole aspect on Healing has taken a new meaning for me this past year. When I finally learned that my SAvior not only took upon Himself my sins on the cross, but already purchased my sickeness and disase, I know I am already healed. It is just satan trying to put sickness on me.

    I am on a journy of faith Mary. And faith plays a big part in receiving my healing that I already have.

    Hugs.

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  12. Mary you are so wrong-- your left- tilted planet comment was tooo funny. I too have been dealing with a lot of junk. My blog discernment turned out to be emotional junk from the ego of a performance based life. Thanks for putting it that way and giving me a lot of insight on what matters: love. Those intergenerational healing Masses are so awesome. We had them offered for both our side of the family and that's when things started changing for my husband and I. Can't wait to read all those tools you recommend.

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  13. Hi Colleen,
    You mean He didn't have a black book? Lol!

    Yes, I thought this too. Like you, things didn't start changing until I had a personal relationship with Christ. Great quote!

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  14. Hi Grace,
    I'm guessing you must grin when you visit here and read about our "Catholic guilt"...lol.

    Yes, faith matters a lot. I think healing is difficult without strong faith.

    Hugs to you too!

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  15. Hi Victor,
    Well, I do have to admit I worried an awful lot about going to hell when I young. I think I was terrified of God. With what you've said I'm guessing you were too.

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  16. Victor,
    I forgot to add that I agree about sending ourselves to hell.

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  17. Hi Anabelle,
    That's because you have a weird sense of humor like I do!

    I am so glad you are going to continue blogging. I was worried that I'd have to blackmail you and I wasn't sure my blackmailing skills were still up to snuff. Nor are my bribery skills on par with yours :)

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  18. My sister used to always say 'Uh-oh' when I would go to a family tree Mass. Something would usually be overhauled somewhere in the family, and often in the same manner that wheat is separated from chaff :)

    I am a fan of cognitive behavioural therapy, the attempt to see things differently, to adjust learned patterns of thought and behaviour, to 'put on the mind of Christ' and be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Is that payrise a blessing because I am getting more than I was, or is it an insult because someone else got a bigger payrise? The choice of perspective is mine. (I didn't get a payrise, by the way - lol)

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  19. A lot to think about here, Mary.

    Thank you and God Bless.

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