Sometimes life is very difficult and even painful.
Some of this pain is due to loss. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
- The loss of a friend due to a move, a job change, or simply drifting away from one another.
- The loss of a team. You feel as you are alone on your job. You miss the team at your former job.
- The loss of your youth. Maybe you see this in your appearance, your weight, or other body features.
- The loss of your health.
- The loss of your financial security.
- The loss of your dream.
- The loss of your job.
- The loss of your church. You are at a different church now. You really feel the losses.
- The loss of your innocence.
- The loss of your faith.
So often, we attach ourselves to something that promises to relieve us of pain. We may watch television from morning to night. We may constantly be in a hurry, scurrying from one activity to the next without really being present for any of them. Some of us spend more money than we have, while others of us eat more than we ought. Then some live in the dark world of pornography. Still others lose themselves in their families or careers.
Peter Scazzero in his book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, writes:
The world is filled with illusions and pretense. We convince ourselves that we cannot live without certain earthly pleasures, accomplishments, and relationships. We become “attached” (or “addicted,” to use a contemporary word). We attach our wills to the belief that something less than God will satisfy us. We think if we just accomplish that one big goal, then we will really feel content and good about ourselves. We will be “finished” and able to rest.
But slowly we find the accumulation of things–clothes, new electronic toys, cars, houses–no longer gives us the initial “rush” it once did. The great feeling wears off, so we convince ourselves we need more. We are seduced by the false gods of status, attention, and fame. We fall captive to the illusion that if we just get a few more words of praise from a few more important people, it will somehow be enough.
Does this sound familiar?
We are in pain and so we withdraw. We keep to ourselves. We share our true thoughts with no one. When this pain is not dealt with, we often mask it through some kind of addiction. We will do anything to somehow take the pain away. The problem is that these attachments or addictions only mask pain.
Perhaps, what many of us need is to spend time before God in solitude and silence. Regular time with God will not only help you to see your true self but will be a time to meet God.
If you are not in the habit of doing this, start with ten minutes. Ten minutes with no phone, computer, texting, etc. Ten minutes with no radio or television. Pay attention to your thoughts during this time. Pay attention to what you might feel. Pray that just for a moment that you will see yourself as God sees you.
What daily or weekly habits have been particularly helpful to you as you attempt to stay attuned to what you are feeling/thinking and what God is calling you to become?