If you find yourself feeling weighed down, burdened and wrestling with dark and oppressive thoughts, it’s time to do some maintenance! Unlike a daily shower where you can easily wash off the dirt of the day, this type of maintenance can be compared to .. well… cleaning a vacuum as I mentioned in one of my other posts.
As a caregiver, whether you are a pastor, a mom or in a service related job, you will be affected by the lives of those around you. Their tragedies and their joys. Unfortunately, as is common with human beings, we seem to get more pleasure in talking about our pain than we do about our pleasures.
Complaining, and negative speaking is the routine of the day – even when we didn’t mean to. Gratitude and thankfulness requires a little more conscious effort and unfortunately, most of us react from our unconscious thoughts, not our consciousness.
The gunk that plugs up our soul and sucks life from us are negative thoughts and experiences, negative belief systems and the dreaded “shoulds”. We are more easily driven by law based thinking thank we are by love based.
Law based thinking comes with rules and regulations that constantly change, depending on who is enforcing them. Your culture, your family, your religious beliefs and a desire to be ‘good’ ensnares us into captivity with the underlying motive of pride and arrogance that comes from being created in the image of God – but as fallen creation.
Heaven forbid that we should ever be found to be ‘wrong’! We’d rather be ‘right’ than to be whole. We choose to remain in our pain and our non-beneficial choices in a desire to fulfill the law – without grace.
Living in love is admitting that you can’t do it yourself. You own the fact that you are imperfect and that you make poor choices. In an attitude of humility you receive the grace, forgiveness and mercy that is given to you and in gratitude can then give it to others and live in a state of grace and love that truly covers a multitude of sins (and defects.)
It is impossible for us to do regular maintenance on our own without the help of others. We need each other! There is great wisdom to be gained by someone who has been where we are now, who can tell us, “you’ll make it, just take it one step at a time… this won’t last forever and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Even better are those who understand the process of discovery and have a gift of asking the right questions to help you unravel your cluttered thoughts and emotions. Even after we’ve made a major mess of things and lives have been destroyed, or our credit blow to bits … (or any number of ways we are so adept at destroying ourselves) … there’s those who know how to help us to heal and to unravel the toxic beliefs and lies that we’ve claimed as truths.
Shame will prevent us from seeking help. It prevents us from receiving it too when it finds us. Shame passes judgment on us and says that we’ve failed the test – we ARE wrong and unworthy to live. Death is the sentence but because we must continue to live, we are filled with guilt for even breathing and embarrassed that we still exist on this planet.
NOT ONE OF US is without sin. It’s a part of living in a fallen world. If you are struggling – seek help. What ever you have to do to get answers for YOU … seek it out. It’s truly a matter of life … or death.