How to Escape from Yourself…


Life has many ironies which God seems to have thrown in for good measure, as if to say things aren’t always what they look like. Ironically, sometimes the thing you need most to do in order to alleviate your present dilemma appears to be the exact opposite of what “you” think you should do. Today the world seems consumed with this notion of self and a myriad of things you need to do to best care for yourself. But, what if many of those suggestions are based in error? What if your solution for your problem isn’t at all what you thought it was? What if your best efforts to feel better ( and let’s face it, a lot of what we do or try to figure out is in an effort to feel better) are unsuccessful because the starting premise is wrong? Error only works when you are unable to see it for what it is…

We all want to be happy. We all want to feel good. We all are aware that life is filled with challenges and we all understand that every day isn’t necessarily going to be a blissful experience because of those challenges. But, we also all know what life is like when we feel good and for that we are forever on a quest to feel good. When our mind feels out of sorts; when we feel agitated or troubled; when our experience feels boring or lacking fulfillment, we know that also. We accurately perceive when our energy is down; when our excitement is diminished; when our enthusiasm is missing and in our desperation we turn inwards. Our mission to feel good drives us further and further into ourselves, searching ardently for that thief, that hindrance, that devious bastard keeping us from our pure happiness. “Maybe it’s because of how I have been acting lately. Maybe it’s my diet. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Maybe it’s my wife or my husband or my job or my family or my…….” Whatever we think it might be and however it affects us, the end result is the same in that our focus and attention is driven and pressed and steered deeper and deeper into ourselves…

It has been said that the deeper you look at the things God has created, the more perfect they become (think snowflakes, leaves, granules of salt, to name a few). Conversely, the more deeply you inspect things that man has made, the more their errors and imperfections become evident. Similarly, the more you focus (or more accurately are driven to focus) on yourself, the more miserable you will become. Oh sure, you think looking inward will lead you to some divine enlightenment you have heretofore been missing. You believe buried somewhere in your subconscious mind is a temple of knowledge awaiting your arrival. But, sadly, you are wrong. All you will find, if you must persist, is more and more unhappiness and the distinct absence of what you have been searching for so diligently!

Your problem isn’t how you feel, though Lord knows it seems like it. Your problem is one of focus or where you are focusing your attention. If I may say it bluntly, you are inspecting your own imperfection and expecting perfection. You are considering your own weakness in an effort to find strength. You are searching for human solutions to spiritual problems and by spiritual problems I mean the real source of your difficulties. As odd as it may seem to you, your challenges are being engendered by something outside of yourself. And that same damnable force behind your troubles is the same one pushing you inward, deeper and deeper inward for a solution that doesn’t exist within yourself. Your efforts are futile, no matter how well intended they may be. The answer isn’t to look within, but rather to look without.

When you finally figure this out, you will begin to see that you were designed to seek outside of yourself for help. Your focus is supposed to be on God from which all good feelings like joy and peace and love, freely flow. In essence you just give all of your human bullshit to God and leave it with Him. You have to get outside of yourself. You have to escape from yourself and all of your associated baggage. You must stop putting yourself and how you feel at any given moment ahead of everything else in life. It’s not self-care, it’s self-sabotage! It’s a deception of gargantuan proportions. The world’s remedies consisting of focusing on yourself and your happiness and your feelings and your problems don’t lead you out of darkness but instead to more and more darkness. Happiness comes back with a quickness as you move the focus away from yourself! True happiness comes when you walk in the light!

If you’ve been around long enough you know that when you stop moving forward in life and start slowing down and looking around you or within you, you are going to find more and more of that which troubles you. You will discern more and more darkness and more and more reasons to be distressed. Stop doing that! Get up mentally and move ahead. Lay your troubles on God and thank Him for helping you discover what has gone south on you. Ask Him to make it clear again and to restore your soul to that grand place you like to dwell in. It is that simple…

When you find yourself unhappy, disturbed, perplexed or confused, don’t look within, look without. Don’t spend another millisecond muddling through the heaviness. Unload it all as you were intended to do and change your subject of focus. Your answers are there, your happiness is there, your enthusiasm and vitality for living are there, waiting for you to find them again. Don’t look within, look without! Your happiness depends upon you escaping from yourself!

Just some good thoughts…

 

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Real Life…Keep Your Head Up!


inward-to-upwardOver the years, I’ve been up on the mountaintops of life and down in the valleys. I have experienced joy unspeakable and heavy duty agitation. And while God has never failed in His goodness towards me, I have often forgotten the secret to living real life with God. Interestingly, the difficult, frustrating times have always seemed to follow a distinct pattern whereby my focus shifts (or gets shifted) away from God and His goodness back to myself and all of my inadequacies. In light of this dilemma, I offer this beautiful work called, “The Secret to a Holy Life.”

The secret to a holy life is to get your eyes off your own inadequacies and onto the Father and His glory.

Our service is first and foremost to God and with God, not always to man.

To walk worthily is to walk with thanksgiving to God first and foremost.

The secret to a holy life is not the labour we do but just to love Him first and foremost.

Then the work we do is not to be well pleasing to Him but because we already are!

~ Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille

Religion persists in getting man to focus on his sins and shortcomings under the guise of helping him to live a better life. It is rife with judgment and an ever growing list of labels identifying good an bad… The focus is always about people and their behavior. And, if you have been a person long enough you are well aware that your behavior sucks at times. Since your heart wants to do what is “right” you chastise yourself and berate yourself with demands to get better and do better! Perhaps you need more discipline! Maybe you just need to work harder; get stronger; purify yourself more; stop doing this and start doing that. Maybe you are just evil! Maybe God is very upset with you! Maybe… The not so obvious problem with this line of thinking is that it drives you further and further away from God and the “real” life He has given you. It subtly turns your focus inward, not upward. Life basically becomes about you. Welcome to the deep valleys and the strangling agitation.

Try as you may, focusing on what you do “wrong” (so called) will never, ever get you to what is “right.” Again.. Focusing on what you “think” you do wrong, will never get you to what you “think” is right! You see, the issue isn’t really about doing right and doing wrong, the issue is about your focus and who/what is number one in your life. Religion has convinced us that a relationship with God is all about doing what’s right. The problem with that logic is figuring out what is “right.” One group says you can’t smoke. Another says you can’t do frontal hugs until you’re married (thanks Duggars). The enemy makes a clever appeal to our ego by promising us that we can do something to make God do something. In reality, we never have to make God do anything as He is already everything we could ever want. And to take it a step further, God sent His son to pay the full price for everything you and I ever did wrong, so we would never have to try and pay that price ourselves again!

Let’s say you had a child that continued to misbehave (according to what you thought was right). You scolded him, chastised him, threatened him, took things away from him and grounded him. Did those behaviors on your part make him do right? Of course not! If anything he simply did what it seemed like you wanted until the trouble stopped. Real change in a child only happens when the child chooses his own behavior without compulsion from others. It’s no different for us adults. We can modify our behavior; exercise discipline and everything else when it comes from a heart that is choosing freely without compulsion. God has done that for us. He has completely set us free in every regard so that we could truly be free to choose right. You get it? Free is free. No law is no law. Nothing you could ever do or not do will change God’s opinion of you! Nothing.

So the secret to real life is to get off your own back and stop making life and happiness all about what you do. Stop looking at your imperfection and focus on God’s perfection instead. Serve God not by clinging to approved behaviors, but by cleaving to God’s love for you and your love for Him. Thank Him for making you worthy no matter what the whole world says to the contrary. Then, you’ll find that you no longer have to work to earn His love and blessings, but will do what you do because you’re well pleasing to Him already!

True life; real life was never about choosing all the right behaviors to stand approved before men. Instead it’s about choosing to keep God first and foremost in your heart and life. Take a deep breath and let go of all that work and stress and anxiety you’ve amassed killing yourself to earn God’s love and protection and safety and a good life. Relax and breathe in the pure reality that He already gave all of that to you!

You are just fine, just the way you are…