Tuesday, March 4

Bad Idea: Creating God's Character in Our Image. A Happy Innkeeper 3/4/14

The hills where I sprouted as a kid.  Fremont, CA. They look this way, after receiving rain. 
"We unwittingly project onto God our own attitudes and feelings toward ourselves... But we cannot assume that He feels about us the way we feel about ourselves -- unless we love ourselves compassionately, intensely and freely.”     Brennan Manning, Abba's Child: The Cry of           the Heart for Intimate Belonging
        It is uplifting knowing God has
more love for us than we have towards ourselves.  I shared the quote above with others recently.  It is unique, isn't it?  But the rarity of its expression doesn't negate it.

        We live in a post-faith age. Spirituality for many is non-existent. Understandable, but tragic.  We can't handle life's dilemmas by our strength alone.

  " We admitted we were powerless over    [fill in the blank with your circumstance: fear, anxiety, resent-ment, bitterness, disappointment, you name it.]   __, that our lives have become unmanageable."                   Step One 
        Life is overwhelming. Especially if we are reduced to go at it with our charm, intelligence, money and human resources alone. This thought taken from Step One, in recovery, challenges us to come to terms with this reality.  There is only one God and we are not it. This step reminds us that our best thinking and behavior brought the difficulties that inundate us.  Yes, recognizing our powerlessness is humbling.

     The following thought is important to consider too:
Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions.
The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody." ... [My dark side says,] I am no good... I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned.
Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved." Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.           Henri Nouwen

       Isn't reassuring knowing God's love for us isn't hampered by our view of ourselves?  How would we live our lives, if we operated from the perspective expressed in this quote? Many of us are motivated by our neediness---seeking the applause of others.
“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself. ― Rita Mae Brown
My Gratitudes for Today:
1.  I am loved. Wow.  Life is cozier and easier to tolerate when I wrap myself with the warm blanket of the loving support I receive from Safe People.  These are individuals who make our lives brighter.  They don't criticize us when we fail.  With Safe People, we become better, simply by being in their presence.
2.  Growing every day, every week makes life exciting.  Safe People grow.  Unsafe People don't.  I am becoming more the person I want to be, with each day.
    "No man steps in the same river twice."                                 Heraclitus
    "What man should fear is not death.  What man              should fear is never beginning to live."                                             Marcus Aurelius. 
3. Two others and myself could have been killed Sunday.  We weren't.  My car went out, while navigating an especially treacherous highway, Hwy 17, after I had passed the summit and I was on my way to Santa Cruz.

     Someone said he had fixed my fuel pump, when he hadn't.   Now, I thank God for every breath I take.  I'll write more about what happened, when I'm not tired.
4.  Someone dear to me told me she loved me.  There's nothing better than that.  What's interesting is noting the difference in me, verbally kissed by her comment.  I have none of the anxieties that would surface, before, in similar circumstances, before I developed my personal recovery through Al-Anon Family Groups program.

    I am thrilled with the shape and direction of our relationship. What is best, is that this woman is amazing.  A gift. Our conversations are exceptional, enlightening, full of humor and honesty. The little Pablo within me sparkles, when I'm with her. A good thing. Really.
5.  I love the diversity of my days at work.  Life couldn't be better. I am doing what I love.
How About You?
1.  Do you project your baggage onto God the attitude you have about yourself?
2.  What area are you powerless over, right now?
3.  What might be an area you want to turn over to God?
4.  What are three gratitudes you have for today?

      Let me hear your answers. It contributes to the community we share in this inn.   Thank you for dropping by and reading!

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Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.