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god love

Boutique spirituality

I have met quite a few people over the years who claimed to be spiritual, but were very protective of their so-called balance.

In a nutshell, they had built a mystic space for themselves where they could seek shelter from life challenges.

Some of those people became friends of mine in spite of clear differences in vision.

As a follower of Jesus, I attempt to reconcile myself with people who are different from me. But I also surrender to the fact that most people will not be a good fit to become a close friend or have access to the depths of my soul.

My experience with these people who develop what I call ’boutique spirituality’ has not been a positive one.

They are more than willing to share their spiritual ideas and sell them, but at moments of difficulty, they dodge you.

One thing that changed radically in me after my conversion was that I developed a genuine desire to support others. Even when I was not in a good place myself. And helping someone else always strengthens me.

As followers of Jesus, it is absolutely essential that we support others in need. We’re blessed to know that’s precisely the path to strengthen ourselves.

That doesn’t mean we’ll allow them to use us as clutches! We should aim to empower. But if we can’t support others in need, then how really are we loving one another?

It is true that there are situations where we can’t objectively help. But we can always at least reach out, listen and share kind words of encouragement.

Next time someone in need reaches out to you, don’t make it about you – your weaknesses and limitations. Make it about God.

God wants us to love him by loving others.

Categories
love

Limit your concessions before they limit you

It is natural to make concessions in relationships. We’re all essentially different and need to have the ability to negotiate differences if we want to let anyone get close.

However, we must set limits as to how far we’ll go to accommodate others around us. If not, we will find ourselves in a position of extreme inequality that might dilute our souls.

Making concessions should not make us feel as though others can express themselves freely, but we can’t.

Limiting our concessions will save us from being oppressed by inequality.

I’ve been realizing how many concessions I’ve made for people in order to make them feel comfortable… till I wasn’t!

From silly things to big things, we must assert ourselves.

Of course we should have a commitment to becoming better and not feeding unhealthy habits. But it’s all about balance.

Categories
love

Did you take more than you could handle?

Feeling hurt can become a handicap and, sometimes, it gives us the impression that we’re all alone hurting in the world. But we’re not. Often times there’s so much worse than our hurt going on in the world.

Yet it is necessary to let the hurt take its course. I think we’re becoming afraid of pain – and I have to admit I am going through that at this very moment, just because the pain is greater than expected and I am typically very balanced and handle emotions exceedingly well.

But pain is usually a good moment to connect with God and to completely surrender to his Grace.

 

I think my struggle is to understand why exactly I am hurting. And suddenly the thought of being loved by God is not enough. It’s scary. My self-love actually falters me!

So far the lesson I am learning from this is that I might have just taken far more than I could handle. I have gotten much better at evaluating my limits, but there’s clearly still work to do. I felt pushed in both situations to make a decision I had already considered, but didn’t think I should – or could make. The ‘push’, I assume, came from the Holy Spirit.

We all need to learn when to draw the line before things get much worse.

It’s all about balance.

Categories
love

A time and place for sharing

When we share anything about ourselves with others, we actually are sharing ourselves with them. We let them in and exchange far more than we understand. If you love quantum mechanics like I do, you probably have a pretty good idea of what this exchange possibly involves: both are affected in ways that are not very well understood.

Sharing and letting people in really is quite a delicate matter. Have you ever felt that sharing with others made you feel more confused, misunderstood and alone? I felt that a lot in my life, but being an extrovert I never tried to simply keep to myself until after my conversion. Since then, I have learned to let people in rarely and very selectively – and this has brought me so much peace.

I have also experienced a more powerful ability to discern and make good decisions after I limited sharing and letting people in. God is always guiding me through love, I just need to be ready to listen. Not to mention he really is the only one that is in the rightful position to judge me – and yet he doesn’t, he loves and teaches me in kind, loving ways.

A time and place for sharing protects you and strengthens you. It makes you develop a better understanding of yourself, your surroundings and then puts you in the perfect position to set your boundaries. These boundaries help you heal, because they allow you to save your energy to invest it in growth as opposed to investing it in an exchange with others that might not edify you:

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

It’s not that we, people, are always pigs. But we are all full of flaws and often lack the balance to share with each other in edifying ways.

Thus we’re empowered to choose a time and place for sharing so that doesn’t tear us to pieces. When we learn when and where is good to share and let people in, our exchanges become more peaceful, compassionate and foster love, kindness and mutual growth.

Categories
god love spirituality

No center, no balance

There is a basic principle in physics called center of gravity that accounts for balance. The position of this “center” is not always actually a “center”, since it relates to mass. The more complex the object, the harder it is to identify its center of gravity.

And why am I bringing this up here? Because I am confident that whoever doesn’t identify the right “center of gravity” for his life, will not find balance. 

Most of my life I had people, places and even ideas as my “center of gravity”. That never brought me balance. Obviously we’re all imperfect in an imperfect world, so once there is a failure, our pseudo-balance collapses along with it.

I have found genuine balance in my reconnection with God. And from that “center of gravity”, I have been able to extend balance to my life as a whole. The secret to finding that is acknowledging that you have no balance and asking for help. Again it feels like stepping into the abyss, but once you take that first step, the path is there and all you have to do is follow it.