Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Chapter 3

>> Sunday, October 17, 2010

This chapter had unique timing for me. For the past week or so my mind has been spinning non stop. I have had very few moments where I have been still with God and let him speak to me. I have run, run, run and as I sat down to read this afternoon, my mind was in a constant struggle to stay focused. I am so wordly, I think about worldy things 99% of my waking hours and reflect on God the other 1%. Even at church I am constantly fighting my mind from thinking about one of my projects, or something I have to do in class this week. It's no wonder that I am constantly frazzled.

In this Chapter Scazerro adds another level to our journey towards emotionally healthy spirituality, the practice of contemplation. "Francies de Sale describes it as the mind's loving, unmixed, permanent attention to the things of God." Unmixed and permanent...not two words I would use to describe my daily interaction with God. It basically comes down to the fact that walking with God is not just doing, it's also being. The being part is the hardest for me. A couple of years ago I was in a bible study that read a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Great book! Maybe we could go through that one next. No suprise, I am a Martha. I would venture to say that 90% of bloggers are probably Marthas. Who actually has time to write a blog? I bet before we all started writing blogs we already felt like we could use an extra 3 hours in the day to get things done. I never would have thought 5 years ago that I would be giving one of those hours to blog writing or reading. I did not even know what a blog was 5 years ago. But here I am, having made a choice. But I will tell you, every morning I sit down to write or read a blog post before I have spent any time with the Lord, I hear a voice in the back of my head saying "When are you going to choose Me first?" and the reality of how wordly I really am sets in and terrifies me.

He first reviews the characteristics of Emotional Health

  • I break free to live in truth. I stop pretending to myself, to others, and to God about what is truly taking place inside me.
  • I break free by choosing to live the unique live God has given me. I no longer live the lie of someone else's life or journey.
  • I break free by acknowledging my brokenness and vulnerability rather than trying to cover them over. I rediscover God's mercy and grace.
  • I break free from the need to attach myself to accomplishments, things, or people's approval to feel okay about myself. I experience the gift of being God's child.
  • I break free from the generational patterns of my family and culture that negatively shape how I relate and live today.
  • I break free from the illusion that there is something richer, more beautiful, than the gift of loving and being loved.
Then he add the qualities of Contemplative Spirituality
  • I break free, on a new level, from layers of my "false self" that I am shedding so that my authentic self in Christ might emerge.
  • I break free by realizing things are not as they appear to be. The idols in my life are smashed as the illusion of what they promised is exposed. I get perspective on my life in Christ over and against success defined by the world.
  • I break free from the illusion that I will live forever. Contemplative spirituality keeps the shortness of my earthly life as well as the reality of eternity before me each day.
  • I break free from selfish desires that consistently move me away from God to do my own will, not his.
It's about being half and half, a balance between doing and being. I am pretty self aware, but most of the time that does not call me to action. I dream of the serenity Mary had as she sat at Jesus' feet. My body is there, but I know there is a lot of world I am going to have to shed before my heart and mind are going to be able to join us. How about you?

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