Meditation on Loneliness: Why It’s difficult, and Why It’s Essential, Staying Behind the 8 Ball

September 30th, 2020

Loneliness is a pain in our heart; it is very difficult to deal with. Partly at least because circumstance seems to validate the feeling. But there is much within loneliness that is essential to our growth.  Contained in the pain of loneliness is yearning. If we are overwhelmed by the pain and circumstance loneliness crashes over the yearning and can become despair, disconnect and depression. I think of loneliness as staying behind the 8 ball. Keeping the 8 ball in our perception which means to feel the pain but not let it crush us. From here we can meditate into and discern what it is about.

Yearning is a very spiritual feeling. Loneliness is on a continuum from  yearning all the way to despair. Yearning seeks direction, affection and connection but it takes focus to discern what it is about. What we call Loneliness, on the continuum, has given into hopelessness; it is like white light or the snow on a TV where we can’t see our way. But if one looks into white light we find it has a whole rainbow of colors as when it is passed through a prism. Each color has a meaning. The white snow on a TV is buzzy like anxiety. We have to take our eyes off of the circumstances and move back to our heart, and listen to the feelings of yearning and they will begin to tell us what they are about. In yearning there are rich seedlings of love and hope, the beginning of manifesting meaningful connections within and without.

    We may be yearning for a meaningful relationship, for intimacy, for affection, for sex. In examining these we can’t always trust what we feel and must discern their origin and intent. There are often old, outdated strategies that we picked up in our need to survive that have dysfunctional ways; and underneath these is our core self that can be trusted. All of these parts are not to be dismissed but taken care of and restored, like a parent with a child, by the core self. They all have needs and demands, but are relatively un-resourced but can be taught and nurtured to serve a better purpose. In yearning all these things can be recognized and brought to light, but it is a process of trial and error. We cannot have outwardly what we are looking for immediately which is most pronounced in relationships and sex, but in the yearning there is awareness and direction.

   Nevertheless, there is no resolving the causes of loneliness unless we come into a deep awareness of our core self. In our core self we can receive the affection and acknowledgement that we yearn for and that nothing else can give us like we can. We have to take this action for our self. The great leap is to see that the core self is directly connected to God. In this acknowledgement we receive the compassion and sense of being seen that we have always yearned for, that others did not give us. Often parents, or others fail to see us, and actually pass the pain they cannot deal with into us. It is essential to realize that this core relationship is received by understanding that God as the divine human. One cannot have a relationship with a cloud, or an amorphous supreme being, but we can with the divine human who sees us all the way through. He called himself our Father, Mother, Friend, Hero and Comforter. These are all very personal and immediate.

The funny thing in dealing with loneliness/yearning is that the more one becomes aware and open the more our body also becomes sensitive and aware; this is a good thing, but it awakens the yearning and desire for intimacy, connection, touch and sex to be more acute. This is part of awakening our capacity for joy and being vulnerable. I think it is also part of God’s process for moving us out of comfort zones when we get too settled so to keep us growing. It’s a sort of test but the core self brings us back to what is really true for us. We keep getting better at the whole process and come to know who we are; we come to know what we want and what we don’t, what works and what doesn’t and what is morally and spiritually in keeping in being right with God. So, in letting the stuff go that doesn’t work we become more content.

Staying behind the 8 ball means we feel and discern the cause of our yearning. Perception by nature keeps the cause of pain in our sight so to speak as opposed to crashing in a wave of emotion (but all things are our teacher by trail and error). In yearning there is something God has for us to learn and do. The yearning often cannot be outwardly fulfilled, but it is fulfilling in itself to feel and understand what it is about. In submitting the yearning to our core self for care there is spiritual, mental and even physical satisfaction in our body, mind and soul. The core self takes care of our whole self; it removes false expectations and other people’s thoughts that muck up our thinking and separate us from our self. The core self is tethered directly to the Lord. 

“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” John 16:32

 

 

Meditation on Shame and Restoration

September 12th, 2020

 

Shame is not the currency of God. It is man, taking something of God, and making it toxic and destructive. God seeks to prick and awaken the conscience of people and this involves a certain amount of pain known as shame and embarrassment, sometimes a lot of pain. But God always gives a way through and out. God looks to humble us, and in humility there is great relief; it is a profound spiritual experience of deepening and softening our soul. 

But Man in his selfish nature, and limited awareness, takes this process and condemns and holds control over others. All people have inclinations to evil, and all too often in the hands of people, shame becomes destructive and debilitating. Man doesn’t ‘humble’ but humiliates, and this becomes toxic in a persons system.

When we are children we usually do not have the awareness, experience or strength to protect ourself from difficult people; especially when it comes from our own parents. A person who is in pain and can’t face it and deal with it, cannot help but put it out on others and make them feel responsible. What one will not deal with in themself they consciously or unconsciously put on to others. Parents do this to their own children. A child is already in an intense struggle to get to know themself and who they are. They look to parents or someone to be a mentor that they can trust and that will help them to find strength. 

       Kids need to be corrected and taught, but in doing so it is good to correct the behavior but not condemn the person. Kids need to be mentored, they need to be able to trust. They need the parent or mentor to care enough to understand their nature as best they can, and to see and encourage the good in them. God can always be trusted, and knows us all through, and helps us to treat others well. 

When it comes to shame we all have a little kid in us. When triggered we regress back to feeling of the mistreated kid.

The heart and mind of a child goes from one extreme to another; feeling intense love for the good parent one moment, and then murderous hatred for the bad parent the next. If the parent is unaware, in denial and can’t handle their own pain, they cannot help but put it in the child, and the child takes it in and tries to heal it so that they can feel Ok and ‘everything will be OK’. But it’s not OK; In the un-resourced child, shame, like a foreign species, tells them they are stupid, bad or weird because they made mistakes or failed in some way. 

The Bible promises: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1) In the flesh are all the motivations and justifications that come from hereditary evil; in the spirit there is trust and spiritual sight and intelligence from God. To the degree we have love for the Lord and centering in self awareness we don’t need to shame others, we have no desire to go there. Jesus told us not to judge others, to look at the splinter in our own eye. Bottom line – it is the evil in us that is willing to hurt others with shame or judgement. In a practical sense to not judge doesn’t mean we can’t discern and see things to a degree, but we don’t add on our desire to cause pain, and don’t claim what we don’t know. We realize God knows us far better than we know ourself or others, and when we do have to address the negative or discipline we do it with a desire to bring about a good result.

God gives us the ability and the liberty to restore our core self to wholeness. When the mob was ready to condemn and stone the adulterous woman Jesus said, “He who is without sin throw the first stone.” By this he shocked and awakened their conscience. And when they had all dropped their stones and gone He told the woman, “Where are your accusers?” She said, ‘they are all gone’, and he told her, ‘neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more’. This woman could of been mired in toxic shame her whole life. Jesus has no intention to condemn anyone; He sees into our whole self and nature, and seeks to make us whole. We, in being humbled, have the opportunity to receive it and accept it, and humbly return to life restored.

     Mary of Bethany seized the moment and burst into a dinner party Jesus attended with religious leaders. Mary – being on fire with love and awareness that Jesus is God – anointed Jesus’ hair with precious oil for his burial while he was alive. The important men around tried to reject and condemn her, but Jesus saw into her depths and received the whole of her. He said to the men, ‘She has never stopped kissing me since she came in, leave her be, what have you done for me?”. And He told Mary, “Because of the greatness of your love, though your sins are many, they are forgiven”. This shows that the fire of love, and awareness of truth, heals our soul and removes evil inclinations; it brings salvation. It is remarkable that Jesus sees into the whole nature of a person and shows the way to restoration. In these moments there is a bond that takes place between ourself and Him – and this is the treasure of life! He seeks for us liberty and inner peace, not the dead-end of self-condemnation and shame. We must be softened in our heart and body to be prepared to receive it. He knows when we are ready.

Hebrews 10:22: “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” 

Feeling the energy of anger forces one to interpret its cause and in the process exposes the source of evil. This awakens in us the fighting spirit to know one self and God. Fighting for a personal relationship with God also means fighting to reawaken our capacity for affection, love, kindness, intimacy and joy.

“But how do I hide from God?” God knows everything about us, we hide from God when we don’t tell Him what’s in our heart, when we let shame shut is down, when we think we can solve everything by ourself. So ww don’t bother God, but He desires for us to take all our fears, emotions, and loves to Him. He says, “Cast all your care upon me”.