No seriously – they are awesome. You should meet them, because they’re the best.
In the movie, The Matrix, Neo and his companions appear dressed in dark long coats and intimidating black-on-black outfits with sunglasses they wear indoors. They call this their “mental projection.” In other words, the Matrix creates an image that directly reflects the way individuals perceive themselves. And, for the hero, Neo, this changes!
I wonder if this could work in the real world? Want to be taken seriously? Start taking yourself seriously and see what happens!
When we allow ourselves time away from entertainment, we discover our own creativity!
Give it a try!
EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a counseling approach built around the brain’s built-in capacity for healing. By activating this system, the brain is able to resolve almost any internal conflict. If you are struggling with an undesirable emotion or behavior, odds are EMDR is right for you. Jump over to my website and schedule a session to find out!
That’s what it was called: The Knowledge of Good and Evil. Not the judgment of good and evil.
So then why are we spending so much time and energy judging? Was there another tree I don’t know about?
Adam and Eve started off judging themselves. So, over the next few days, try noticing the ways you judge yourself. Then ask yourself this question: "What if I’m wrong about me?"
Last night my pastor, Alan Smith, taught on the Spiritual discipline of speaking in tongues or, if you prefer, praying in the Spirit.
For those of you unfamiliar with this practice, it can seem pretty weird. Basically, it sounds like nonsense coming out the mouth of a grown up! But, while that may adequately explain the behavioral component of this practice, the inner experience is quite different.
I have a confession to make: I pray in tongues. (Are we still friends?)
On the few occasions I have done this, I felt quite silly at first. Then I started to notice a change in my heart.
Because I have a 3 ½ yr old daughter, I have the entire movie, “Frozen” memorized. For those other parents out there, you may be familiar with the scene where Elsa (you know, magical ice powers, low self-confidence, older sister – I can’t believe I’m broadcasting this embarrassingly infantile illustration to the world!) steps onto the beginning of a flight of stairs she created. If you remember, she doesn’t really know what’s going to happen. I can imagine her mind thinking “Will I fall? Will the stairs break?” Then, as soon as she takes her first step, the stairs become more solid as does her confidence as evidenced by a big grin on her face.
This is kind of what praying in the Spirit can be like to someone who has never or rarely done it before. “Am I about to do something silly?” “Will I regret this?” “Am I crazy?” Then you take the first step. For me, I opened my mouth, mentally confirmed my faith, and let sound come out! What a freeing experience!
I recall a passage from the letter to the Hebrews. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” I think praying in the spirit, or speaking in tongues, is much less about a behavior and much more about the activity of the heart. I am becoming more and more convinced that, no matter what your behavior, it will be edifying (“Christianese” for positive or encouraging and uplifting) if it is done in faith.
So, whether your stepping out in faith to try something new and foreign or past and forgotten, or just doing the dishes. Try living, eating, drinking, talking, sleeping, underwater basket weaving, and whatever else you may do as an expression of faith.
A favorite teacher of mine, Bob Hamp, has profoundly said, “Whatever you feed, grows.” Feed your faith by expressing it in the small things in life, such as seemingly random noises coming out of your mouth, and watch it grow!
As for me, I will be praying in the Spirit much more often. In fact, I’ve already started, and I’m already noticing my conscious contact with God growing along with all the fruits that come with that. Want to try it with me?
Let it go! (I couldn’t resist…ok I could have, but just didn’t)
It’s not what I thought.
Last night I was so confused and upset and not really sure why. I felt like I had been receiving a lot of criticism lately and I was just mad. “How dare they say this” “Why would they say that.”
Anyone ever felt unappreciated? Taken advantage of? Invisible until there’s something somebody wants? I did.
I used to think that there was really no place for anger. People would say to me that anger is actually sometimes helpful and necessary. I don’t really have any more solid an opinion now than I did then, but I cam to see what I think people might be saying when they tell me anger can be a good thing.
Last night I vented. I sat down with my journal and just started scribbling things that would probably not be helpful to repeat here. The whole time I was thinking “this is exactly what I think is not helpful for others.” But you know what? Afterward, I felt better! I was shocked! (I’ll leave you to determine what that says about me!!)
I started to rethink anger. What is it that helped when I vented last night?
I still think that anger is a coverup for some more deep and true emotions. But you might be surprised to hear that I now see a place for expressing anger. If I hadn’t vented last night, I never would have come to the conclusions I did. I never would have understood what was going on with me like I now do.
For those, like me who try to bottle up their anger, I recommend putting your anger on paper (and not blowing it into other peoples’ faces!). It really helps with perspective. As I read over all my scribbles and exclamation points (go figure I still use punctuation when I’m mad), I saw what was happening in me. Exposing my anger allowed me to see the more deeply true emotion in play.
In my venting (and before I was starting to understand anything) I started to list all the things other people (whether in reality or in my perception or both) thought I was screwing up. Then, I accidentally listed something no one has ever criticized me for. I realized in that moment that I wasn’t just angry at my critics – I was agreeing with them!
I felt like a screw up and, because I didn’t want to face that feeling, I got angry.
Here’s the truth as best I understand it:
No one, not even me, has the authority to call me a screw up. No one has the authority to tell me what I’m worth or who I am. In that moment, in a flash, I put down my gavel, and received what God’s judgment over and above my own.
No matter how much I screw up, how many mistakes I make, how many times I forget what I was trying to remember, let someone down, or drop the ball, I am loved. I am important. Before everything, God chose to make me. He didn’t have to. He didn’t need to. He made me because He wanted to, because He likes me – and that’s still true. No matter what, God wants to spend time with me and tell me what He thinks of me. God doesn’t think I’m a screw up. God isn’t casting down criticism on my head. God is inviting me to grab on to Him and transcend circumstance or personal success or failure. God and I are in love, and if you’ve ever been in love you know that what used to be important just isn’t so much any more. I don’t think God is telling me that things aren’t important. I think He’s telling me that our relationship is most important.
Next time I’m feeling like a screw up (or I’m feeling angry because someone else seems to think I’m a screw up) I hope I remember my connection to God and how much more important that is over my mistakes.
Thank you, God, for giving me the freedom to claim what You say about me. I choose to receive Your judgment over and above my own or the opinions of others. Thank You that You are the only One with the authority to judge, and that You dump buckets upon buckets of grace and love onto my head. I will gladly receive it. Amen.
This just in:
Adam is now accepting new clients! Use the built in scheduler or contact Adam directly to setup your first appointment.
See you soon!
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