The difference between blaming and vulnerability

It's all too easy to find things to blame...

"My job is boring."

But, it's far more difficult to take the time to try to understand our feelings, to be vulnerable with ourselves, to admit why we truly feel the way we do:

"My job is slow and doesn’t feel very meaningful. I think this is likely because I don't feel like my work is important, I feel insignificant about myself, depressed, and like I'm wasting my days away. Ultimately, I feel ashamed.


"You make me furious!"

Instead of...

"When you don't clean up the kitchen after yourself, I know this isn't how you likely perceive your actions, but it makes me feel like you don't care about me."

There's something magical that happens when we muster up the courage to share what we truly feel with ourselves.... and then, those we trust.

This week, make an effort to slow down. See what’s truly lying under your impulses. And even better, share what you find with a close friend.

Watch how the world opens up to you in new ways as you focus on becoming more aware and curious of your underlying feelings.

God & the ego

In the absence of strong, present parental care throughout our childhood, a false caregiver and provider forms in our subconscious mind as a stand-in "guide" and protector. This “caregiver” is what jumps out when we’re triggered and want attention in a group of people and we do something unnecessary for attention, or when were triggered in anger because we feel hurt and we do something we regret, or when we avoid our difficult thoughts and uncomfortable emotions through mindless activities to escape. This subconscious personality is the false self, or what Freud called, the ego. The beauty, however, is that as this superficial protector develops and the ego expands, a space also forms for God to step in and join us there.

We may think that self-work and self-exploration is all about ourselves, but truthfully, it's not. Its intention is to bring us back to him, to a relationship, to intimacy and wholeness.

Therefore, when you go into the depths of yourself...

Do you let him in? Do you take him down there with you?

Filling the void

When we attempt to find relief from our insecurities, pain, or any form of emotional discomfort with a momentary relieving behavior like porn, impulsive shopping, or working to stay busy, we actually remove ourselves from a vulnerable and intimate place where God would like to emotionally come in and fill us with the comfort and stillness we need.

In a way then, pain is a gateway into the comfort and kindness of God.

Today, before you reach out and act impulsively, slow down to breathe. See if you're desire is multi-layered and try to understand what's really pushing you to do something you might regret. But most importantly, slow down and let God in.

The gap in our gospel

Before we have a gospel for others, we must know the gospel intimately for ourselves.

What this means is that we must be capable of loving ourselves when we are our own enemy.  We must be capable of extending grace to ourselves when we are what we most detest and after we make mistakes.  We must possess the ability to extend acceptance toward ourselves when we feel the most ashamed.

When we are honest, the gospel is hard enough to extend to ourselves, let alone others. For some, spreading the word about the love of God to strangers in the streets is easier than extending the gospel to themselves in their own mirror... Let alone, in their worst moments.  

It’s so easy to forget, but Jesus’ message of inclusivity, simple living, compassion, and possessing a love for one's enemy is for your soul too.

It’s a gospel worth preaching daily to yourself:

You no longer need to be at war with your heart.  You belong.  Even when you fail and lie and cheat, you still are not left out or too broken or too imperfect for an embrace.

If the gospel is for anyone, it's for you.

Forming your life's masterpiece

David statue.jpeg

During the Renaissance in the 1500s, after two years of work, Michaelangelo finished carving his iconic 17-foot marble statue of King David.  It became a cultural symbol for Florence at the time and is now arguably the most renown sculpture in human history.  Upon completion, he was later asked how he created such a remarkably beautiful work.  He responded by saying,” I saw in the marble an angel, and I carved until I set him free.” 

The story of one of the worlds most renown sculptures is a beautiful metaphor for what takes place in our own lives when we reach for our potential.

Like I mentioned in last week's post, we make our way to our personal destiny by walking. By chipping away a step at a time.  By facing "the resistance," as Steven Pressfield beautifully puts in his book, "The War of Art."  (which I highly recommend if you feel like fear and procrastination are holding you back).

Our work matters. 

We’re not putting forth such efforts of the soul to check off a weekly task, nor are we going to coaching or therapy because we're "broken", or because we "have to."

We chip away because we know there’s more within us, because we see a masterpiece in the marble, because there's no denying that we’re capable of becoming more than we are right now.

You may feel like you're not getting anywhere, but if you're putting in the work, chip by chip, your masterpiece is forming.

Day by day, your potential is being set free.