Joakim wrote:Can I ask you if you naturally started seeing things as gifts as your love grew? Or did you first use it as an intellectual concept that you could develop a feeling on later? If that question makes sense? The reason I ask is because what if I don't (in general) feel things as gifts? What if I feel I am lacking in appreciation and gratitude.
I too feel the same way at times. It's usually when I'm caught up in addiction and am wanting control over the way I actually feel. What's underneath is a needy feeling—which is always an addiction. Sometimes you just gotta let it roll. Let your feelings happen. Try not giving yourself any addictions for as long as possible and if you can make it to the point your wanting something so bad and you're about to give it to yourself, go sit and pray and just admit to yourself you don't want the Truth. Admit to God you don't want it. Feel how badly you'd like to have your addictions instead—even though you know it's causing you more harm. Cry and feel the frustration and how badly you don't agree with it all. You wanna get to the point where you're being completely truthful and you're not willing to pretend any longer. Admit you don't have faith in this path and just feel all of the feelings that come up. Get real truthful with yourself. After crying and feeling all these feelings that are waiting to be felt you'll get to a state where you're so relaxed that you immediately recognize when you're starting to tense up in certain areas of your body—and just allow those areas to relax and feel the feelings that come out of these areas. If you still feel like you want those addictions, feel how badly you want them and be honest with yourself about how you truly believe your addictions are the only things that make you happy. Pray and pray and pray for God to help you to feel these addictive cravings and just feel the cravings and the control you'd like to have over the things that come up. Do your best brother not to give them to yourself anymore. Drink tons of water, as Jesus and Mary prescribe.
Everything on this path started off as a concept for me because I didn't believe any of it. I need a concept for anything I don't believe. I've begun to feel that once my soul feels that something is true or is definitely more true to my soul than it's ever been, the word concept kind of fades away—and is only used in describing what my soul can feel.
The concept "seeing everything as a gift" requires a desire for personal truth. This desire was developed as I gave up addictions. In an "addiction-free" state, the only thing I can rely on is my development in love—and if I choose, God. In this state, I can only develop in love when I'm open to having my feelings about everything otherwise it's likely I'll start using addictions again to avoid certain feelings. You'll eventually get to a place where you'll start to feel and become more sensitive to your emotional addictions. The greater the sensitivity the more overwhelming these emotional addictions feel. I still often feel very confused about how overwhelming they are and wonder whether or not I'm processing ethically and morally—or as God would suggest. This is when I pray and ask for guidance. If I can't connect to God in this moment, it's always something I feel I need that I don't want to admit or give up. If there's an addiction there, I ask God to help me feel the addictive craving—many times it's a control issue, for myself personally. I sometimes ask to feel the damage I'm causing others by having this addiction—this helps me to get in a condition of repentance. One thing I try and always consider is the effect my sin is creating—how it's causing ripple effects throughout humanity. I consider the impressionable children I'm harming by projecting these feelings that I feel in my soul that I'm not "ready" to repent for. Once I get to a state of repentance, I try and stay there for as long as possible. I pray and pray for help to stay there.
Experimenting with feeling my addictions while not giving them to myself helped me to understand the importance of personal truth. Jesus describes the Law of Attraction as God's messenger of Truth. When you start to observe your law of attraction feeding you personal truth in every moment—and knowing the potential of healing and growing in divine love with God—you'll start to see how it's possible everything is a gift. But you have to engage God about your true condition.
Joakim wrote: Can I just ask you for an example? So for instance when you encounter this oppressive person of authority at work, what could be an example of your prayer in that moment? Do you pray, or do you just let the emotions wash over you and pray about it later? Or are the feelings the prayer?
I've had some pretty ugly experiences with male authority figures throughout my work history experience. I was in and out of restaurants for about 5 years after college. One of the restaurants I worked at in New York City was in the theater district and we were really busy every night before the Broadway shows opened their doors—7 days a week. Good money but the guy I was working for didn't care to know about my feelings—or me in general. I witnessed him using his monetary power to manipulate and hurt a lot of people and I just stood back and watched. I still feel a lot of shame about this. I didn't know how to approach him about these interactions without losing my job and getting really angry. I had a new baby at the time and I didn't feel it was worth the risk. He'd often use his anger to gain control over an interaction I was having with him. I recall talking with a customer at their table one evening and he stopped by the table, challenged me on a topic and then projected some anger at me while looking into my eyes—that was my last night working there. I found this to be a very frightening place to work but an elevating experience as I was able to work through a lot of fear, unknowingly.
I eventually moved on and chose an employer I felt honored love similar to the way I did and this was at a catholic high school as a maintenance guy. The first day I met my boss he was so upset I was hired. He wanted to be a part of the hiring process and basically projected his annoyance and frustration at me for the first 30 minutes of our relationship. I couldn't believe how consistently I was attracting these sort of oppressive male figures. About a year and half into this job I found Divine Truth and was made aware of the anger and fear I could release. Every time I saw this guy I was able to use the anger and annoyance he felt about me to discover my real feelings and work on getting used to feeling them. I had so much rage with men and the amount of control I felt they had over me. After about a year of releasing rage and sorting through my beliefs about anger and getting in to some fear about being attacked by men, my boss came at me one day and I just basically told him that "things were going to change." In this moment I was trying to feel fear but it was difficult because I was used to feeling anger under these terrifying circumstances. He wanted to pretend like he didn't know what I was talking about and I explained to him how he'd been using his anger to control me ever since I took the job (my voice sounding like I was about to cry). He kept asking me what I was talking about and I told him that every time he's angry with me, I have to feel his anger in my body and it feels violating. I know this was shocking to him but I felt it was the right thing to do. My intention was to inform him I wasn't okay with that sort of treatment of myself. Because it's a Catholic school I reminded him that he was actually violating the teachings of Christ every time he did this, particularly the teaching about treating others as he'd like to be treated. Since this conversation, I've had to remind him about a handful of times about his treatment of myself but it's much better. I still feel fear around him but now that I'm okay with feeling it I'm able to be more truthful and function the way I'd like—be myself. I've also had conversations with staff and faculty at this school regarding their treatment of myself, each other and students. I still work through fear everyday and am much better at feeling it in the presence of others.
Side note, there's no way that I would have been able to do this if I hadn't prayed. None of it would've been possible if I hadn't prayed to understand the way I actually was under all the addictive behavior and feelings I wanted to have about myself. I thought I was a good guy getting a raw deal but I was in pretty bad shape.
I've come to understand that God loves helping me feel personal Truth when I'm seeking it in my heart. If personal truth can improve my condition than it's surely a gift to receive it from God who can give it to me straight! It's pretty cool God can give us things. I find it even more amazing that God will have nothing to do with me when I'm in addiction! How helpful! Not sure how that would go over if I started treating my boss that way but I feel closer than ever to having that sort of relationship with him and others in my life. Almost everyone wants to have these addictions with me still but I do feel they're beginning to understand that I'm doing something that they might want to do at some point, especially when they can see that I care less about what they want me to do for them.
Joakim wrote:Mainly regarding my addictions and pains and relationships. I have had some physical pains lately and it was very hard to focus on prayer when the pain was bad. I prayed about finding the truth about the emotions behind the physical pain, but for some reason I couldn't receive an answer. I prayed to feel the emotions that were causing the physical pain. Maybe I should have been more persistent. After a few days I just couldn't take it anymore and took pills for the pain.
This is a difficult place to be. I remember having a really painful nasal infection after I heard about this same concept through Jesus and I tried for so long to get some sort of feedback from God while I was in pain. Don't give up on this concept. Sometimes we ignore areas of our physical body for too long and when there's no awareness of that area, there's no energy moving through it. Harmful bacterial and viral infections can form in these "inflamed" areas because of the acidic environment inflammation creates. The body is amazing! It does everything in its power to keep me healthy. It fights everything off! I give it crap to avoid some fear and it destroys anything compromising my health. I enable disease and sickness to attack the body by choosing to give my body foods that create these areas that diseases are attracted to. Understanding how to properly care for the physical body will result in a health that prefers a sensitive emotional condition. You mention how "maybe" you should be more persistent in praying to feel the emotions causing your physical pain. Although I do agree with this, I've found it to be of tremendous help and far more productive to give up the sugary and fatty foods that serve no purpose in the physical body and just learn to love myself. I feel that praying to understand the cause of physical pain will eventually be strongly desired after heart-felt love for oneself is developed. I've had a major food addiction all of my life, not sure if you can relate, but it's difficult.
Connect to God's heart and seek his counsel on every subject, brother.
Hope to be of some help here,