I have wondered about time and seasons for much of my life. I have noticed that some years nothing happens, and then some years, it seems that everything happens at once. Time seems to be a human construct to me because human logic doesn’t do well with spiritual reality and the concept of eternity. I don’t know about anyone else, but I seem to have seasons of defining moments that pour into paradigm shifts about every 3-4 years. 2015 was a year like that. As we approach 2019, I wonder what kind of crazy ride that I have been prepared for. 2018 was unprecedented in what it brought me into the awareness of. On November 21, 2015, I was given a vision for things to come that only continued to escalate until that wave broke on the shore of what, indeed, appears to be a Promised Land. When I say that, I don’t mean a place of religious significance or perceived privilege, governed by human ego. I am referring to a place that I have been able to see in the distance since the day I had that vision. And it truly feels like home, for once in my life. At this point, I definitely understand the Biblical references in that story. The giants I had to kill were in my own soul, as well as, in the perceptions I had of others, and how they would treat me.
Throughout all of this, I learned something that would have been a gamechanger if I had learned it sooner. Attachments are reactive because they are the outflow of need, which is not necessarily loving. When we are raised in survival, coping mechanisms are all we know. Self-deception is what we accept as personal reality. And that is actually what makes us fake. However, connection is eternal. It isn’t affected by time, distance, or circumstances. It’s there, doesn’t fade away, and can be picked back up after a season of separation. In pretty much every area of life, a connection is what gives us access to the power that allows us to network, communicate, and promote what needs to be given a place to grow. But attachments usually have to be scanned for viruses that can infect and multiply our problems. This is where I learned the difference between someone who is toxic and poisoning the “garden,” and someone who actually wants to share that intimate space with those that can reach up, grow, and adjust to what requires shared responsibility.
One of my favorite movies is “Crocodile Dundee.” There is a famous scene that everyone can quote because it is such a great scene. “That’s not a knife. This is a knife.” Sometimes, all it takes to deter threats is to carry a bigger weapon than what is being used to threaten your life. As long as people can cause fear and pain in what they feel powerful with, they will keep doing it. In a moment of introspection one day, it occurred to me that is how spiritual reality works in abundant life, too. Many times in my life what has traumatized me the most has been a false pretense. Deception was used to create a real emotional response to something that was really just a manipulation of perception. Basically, what was being revealed to me was this. “That’s not a life. This is a life!” Imagine God saying that to whatever you fear most, “You are not a threat, I AM. I AM LIFE.” And that is actually what He spoke to Death when He overcame its power with His own life.
Whenever someone threatens me with loss, they are just showing me what they fear most. Whatever they withhold the favor of, they are making toxic in their own lives. Basically, they are revealing their own ruins. Desolation is the result of what has been desecrated and stolen in secret places. Spiritual abuse is what flows when we choose to agree with our history instead of having vision that develops with increasing clarity. Abusive attitudes are about giving our egos strength instead of our souls. We create monsters instead of overcoming what empowers them.
What is perceived as rejection by us is usually not as personal as it is made to feel. There will be whispers in the dark long before there will be bombshells dropped on your head. The bombshells are usually the emotional evidence of whatever we have made a place of worship, that others see being uncovered, but were taught to hide in shame. When this starts happening, be sure that you are on your way up from whatever has tried to drag you back down again to its own mediocrity. Being given authority is different than being given responsibility. Authority can be abused for personal advantage. But responsibility can be denied and escaped from. When your soul is being expressed instead of your ego, there will be no shortage of people who will take shots at you. Sadly, it is usually those you share bloodlines with that feel the most justified in doing this.
In spiritual terms, I have found bloodlines to be interesting in what they symbolize. We are led to believe that if something is generational it is inevitably passed down through the family. This may be true of physical realities but we can choose how we respond to spiritual reality. Like everyone else I know I was taught from a young age to internalize shame while externalizing self-pity. This was supposedly intended to keep me from ever seeing myself as I really was. I was taught the direct opposite of everything good and holy even though everyone around me professed faith in God. When all was said and done what I had really learned was how to live in frustration and confusion because that was the outflow of being punished for truth that would have set me free from all of my identity issues. As an older adult on the other side of all of the spiritual abuse that should have crushed my soul into oblivion, I have found something interesting that I wish I had known for all of my adult life. Feeling guilty is actually a natural response to offense. It gives us a fair chance to clean up our messes and to recover from them. However, condemnation and shame attacks our identity and makes us want to hide. It is a demotivator that doesn’t lead to a more abundant flow of life. It is actually what keeps us from properly feeling joy when we could. I came up with an acronym that describes what it really does to us in ways most won’t acknowledge. S.H.A.M.E. = Self Hatred Against My Eternity. For every time someone has lashed out at me for addressing and discussing what should have been in mature and personal ways, I have found this dynamic flowing literally every time. I believe that it is a lack of spiritual flow that makes things stagnant and toxic. And that it is usually the result of deception that is taught to protect interests that would never survive the impact of any level of accountability. Ironically, while people are acting like they have done nothing wrong and that it is your reaction that is really the problem, they are inadvertently revealing how much they even hate their own behavior. An understanding of this is the beginning of learning empathy. Sympathy means that we understand why someone feels the way they do. Empathy means that we actually feel the unspoken depths of unbearable pain.
To me, eternity is not some future concept but something that just is. We need defining moments to be able to find our place in our own eternity. Otherwise, we would just go crazy. This is why it is so important for us to have some self-awareness in what we are in alignment within ourselves. Self-hatred will always go against whatever our eternity always intended for us. We are loved by our Creator. We are known intimately and it is always a false pretense when we feel alone. Death is a lie just like loneliness is. This is something that feels very real to us but is a matter of perception and perspective. We need a reality check when we start believing what our history says about us instead of what a real future would allow the reality of. So what have I found on the other side of this? What we need is the awareness of Presence. Sometimes, you have to lose your mind to find your soul, and then God restores the value of life back to both. This is the most stunning revelation to me, ever. I spent years thinking that I was mentally ill because of the denial of others. What I found out is that I was having a normal reaction to an abnormal level of self-hatred. What was being projected onto me was merely the reflection of the torment that someone else had either been isolated into themselves or had chosen not to challenge the reality of. Yes, there are true victims in this. However, they are usually the ones that won’t pull that card because they know that it isn’t worth it. That’s how I know now that whoever tries to create a place of privilege in their denial fully knows what they do. Love will always be the greater element that rises above what is only trying to counterfeit its power to resolve. That’s why I find it interesting that there are different definitions for the word “aether.” We won’t realize just how toxic the air we breathe is until we are given some purity in higher places.