Archive for May, 2010

Tears as Medicine

Monday, May 10th, 2010

We live in a culture that’s afraid of grieving; we don’t know how to cry. When our lives fall apart in one way or another, we usually try to take control of things and solve them, forget them, or deny them — rather than experience them, accept them, or see the meaning they may hold for us. That’s because underlying many of our responses to difficulty is the unstated assumption that we should be able to engage in life, liberty, and the unbridled pursuit of happiness without ever having to grieve — over anything. It’s almost as if we believe that pain, suffering, and challenge are bad and should never be a part of our path.

The truth is that pain is one of our greatest teachers, hurt can be a birth, and our sufferings are the portals to change. This being true, we need to know how to grieve, to mourn, to shed our tears, because grief is the cure for the pain of loss. Tears are the medicine of grieving.

When life is hard, when you’re in a crisis, you should cry not because you’re weak but because crying holds the power of healing. Tears, in fact, are the vehicle for transformation. When you cry, your loss moves through you to the point of exit. What was holding you up and eating you up, what was stuck inside your body, gets released and moves outside your body. Your physical structure is quite literally cleansed and, like a blackboard sponged clean, is available to receive the imprint of whatever wants to come next. That’s why, when you have cried, you will be reborn, free to begin again.

— Daphne Rose Kingma, The Ten things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart, p. 4-5

Strength to Climb It

Monday, May 10th, 2010

If you pray that God will move a mountain and he doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead and see him transfigured.

— Beth Moore, Praying God’s Word Day by Day, p. 137

Our Destiny

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Because love is what we are created for; it is the reason for our existence. Love is our destiny. Love God and love one another — these are the two great commands upon the human race. The secret to life is this — we are here in order to learn how to love.

It is really quite an epiphany when the truth finally strikes home. It might be the most liberating realization we ever come to. We are here in order to learn how to love. It is our greatest mission of all, our destiny.

— John and Stasi Eldredge, Love and War, p. 195

Multi-Volume Sets

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets. In our lives, even though one episode amounts to a crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another. There are always more opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them. Don’t waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success. Listen, learn, go on. That is what we are doing with this tale. We are listening to its ancient message. We are learning about deteriorative patterns so we can go on with the strength of one who can sense the traps and cages and baits before we are upon them or caught in them.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. 237

A Call to Feel

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Living by duty to please God just doesn’t work. It didn’t work for the rich young ruler, so why do we think it will work for us? And even more important, God is not pleased with our efforts. He wants so much more for us, his precious children. As he said through his prophet Ezekiel, “I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart.”

So put off the shackles of duty, legalism, and your attempts to be perfect. Jesus didn’t call you to a life like that. Take on a life of delighting in God and loving him….

Jesus calls you now to unshakable love, to unspeakable joy, to hope in sorrow, and ultimate delight as you dwell in his presence. Lift your voice with me now and let’s cry out to God that he would open our hearts to all the abundance in life he longs to give….

Stop struggling to keep your emotions in check, and start living in and through and with them. Emotion is the only motivation that is able to propel us toward a radically obedient and abundant life.

— Matthew Elliott, Feel, p. 46-47

Their Own Choices

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

You cannot save another person from his or her spiritual lessons, no matter how much you may want to or how hard you try….

For in the same way that we have seen that no one can steal your destiny, it is also true that you cannot force others to achieve their own destiny. You can merely provide gentle guidance and allow them to make their own choices.

— Kathleen McGowan, The Source of Miracles, p. 184, 185

Don’t Miss the Party.

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

The Bible was telling me that people who simply pursue duty and follow the rules often miss the party. And the biggest thing they miss out on is the relationship. . . .

In all of these stories, I was impressed by the prominent role that emotions played. Not only that, but these stories were about emotion — how people could taste the vibrant life they saw in Jesus. Everyone who encountered Jesus began to feel.

And even more, these stories were about people like me — people who were stuck in their lives of obedience and duty — and how duty, while good in its own way, is not sufficient. The rich young ruler and Zacchaeus and Mary all wanted something more — the promise of the passion they saw in Jesus.

— Matthew Elliott, Feel: The Power of Listening to Your Heart, p. 21-22