Hello!

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Jenny
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Re: Hello!

Post by Jenny » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:23 pm

Thanks, Courtney, I got your message but for some reason I'm not able to reply. There was a little message about being a new member and participating more, so I'll figure that out and connect with you once the issue is resolved.

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Courtney
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Re: Hello!

Post by Courtney » Sun May 01, 2016 6:33 pm

Hi Everyone!

I joined this forum a while ago but figured this is the best place to post this. I started a DT-based blog about a month ago, wrote the About Me, had all kinds of emotions come up and since haven't written more on it. Nicky has given me some great feedback on the general topic of my fears of sharing myself publicly, so I'm attempting to challenge that fear by sharing some more here. In this moment I feel a great fear of being self-important or self-indulgent, and like I'm not sure why anyone would want to read something so long, but here goes. So this is some of what I wrote on my blog about my story. I wrote it in the context of my relationship with God, but I'm open to share any other aspects of my life thus far too.

------

For all of my childhood, I attended a picturesque tiny one-room methodist church in rural Vermont–just the kind you would see on a postcard. I didn’t like the hard wooden pews, but I did love the music, the stained glass windows, and most of all-I liked God. I was lucky in that my church-going experience was not damaging like religion can be for many people; the sermons at the little church were about how God loved us, our gratitude for God’s goodness and how we could be kind, moral people in our day-to-day lives. I don’t remember any fire and brimstone or fear or judgement at the church. I felt happy being there, coloring in my coloring books while the pastor spoke about how wonderful God was and putting them down to sing with the congregation when they sang.

As a child I felt God with me. One of my favorite things to do was-–and has become again–-to go off into the wilderness by myself just to talk to and be with God. I'd wander and explore the forest, find a stream to sit next to or a clearing to lay down in, but it was always because I wanted to be with God. I felt that God was my friend and that God cared about me. I felt that God had created a beautiful natural world and inferred partly from that that God was very good. No one told me to go do this nor did I ever tell anyone that's what I was doing when I went out. In fact, my family thought it was very strange that such a young child would want to go wander in the woods without any toys or other kids with me.

My parents had much more conservative teachings about God and life than our church did, so much so they eventually left that particular congregation altogether because they disagreed with its liberal nature–-a loss I deeply grieved. My parents’ personal beliefs about life and God were also far from what I have learnt is loving, as were many of their actions in life. There was emotional abuse towards myself from both parents, and some physical abuse and sexual projection from my dad towards me, and other very toxic dynamics in my family, and as I grew up, when a traumatic event would happen or toxic dynamics flared up, I would often sob myself to sleep asking over and over, “God, why won’t you take me away?” “God, please can you stop this?” “I’ll go anywhere, God, just make it stop or take me away from here.”

At the time, of course, I had no framework to understand why God doesn’t interfere with the free will of parents (or anyone) or to understand that God did care what was happening and didn’t endorse it. Additionally, like most children, I never was allowed to process through these traumas, and my parents also reinforced that everything they did was right and loving. As the damage accumulated more and more, I started to feel less and less close to God. I was too young to analyze it at the time, but I began to conclude that God must not care about what was happening to me after all. God wasn’t there for me; God had abandoned me. It gradually happened, but by the time I was about 12, I had lost pretty much all connection with God.

For most of my teen years after that I didn’t have a thought about God; God was not part of my life whatsoever. Ironically, my family never chose a new church so we had stopped going altogether. I was extremely and increasingly unhappy as a teenager and by age 17, I had been diagnosed with depression and eating disorders and was barely functioning. I felt suicidal in a sense; I knew for a fact I wouldn’t actually take my own life but I often wished someone else would do it for me in a way I had no choice about.

After some time in this dark place, I found myself starting to wonder about the bigger questions again. Perhaps it was out of desperation and an intuition that if I continued down the path I was on emotionally, I’d end up completely non-functional, possibly institutionalized–-I didn’t know really–-but the matter of my sanity and survival felt impending.

“There has to be something more.” “Maybe God does exist? Or doesn’t he?” “I just want to know if there’s more meaning to life.” I know it couldn’t sound more cliche, but it’s what began happening in my heart. I also started seeking out natural remedies for the numerous physical ailments I had developed despite being only 17 and rarely having being sick as a child, including chronic fatigue syndrome, severe viral problems, autoimmune symptoms, hormonal issues and more. In this research I was introduced to the idea that our emotions and our spiritual condition could affect our health, and I suddenly found myself starving and desperate to soak up anything I could that would give me meaning spiritually.

I devoured new age books, personal development and psychology books, Buddhist books, Hindu books, books that talked exclusively God and books that didn’t talk about God at all and talked about “the universe” instead. I read about affirmations and meditation and prayer and essential oils. You name it–I was open to it. I went vegan (and still am 10 years later), went to therapy, I cried for the first time in a long time, and all of my health issues cleared up within a year. I still wasn’t very happy, but compared to the deep darkness of where I was before, things had considerably improved.

From about age 18 on it was pretty much my sole mission to find physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. I traveled to and lived in spiritual communities and spent all of my time on these endeavors. I really, really wanted to know the truth about life and what real spirituality was. During this time I was introduced, within some books about healing eating disorders, to info that really helped me: they presented some basic truths that my disordered eating behavior was caused by suppressing painful emotions. They said that my despair and darkness was due to my not feeling I could cope with the various feelings from my past and present, and that the only way to change my behavior, life, and to become happier was to feel everything I’d avoided feeling all my life. That I could actually release those painful emotions by feeling them–fully. Some of these books even suggested that God could help with that.

And so I tried it. I began to feel my stuff. The ocean of rage, panic, terror, hopelessness, despair, and grief felt so massive I worried I’d never get through it or that my body would not be able to handle the feelings, but I began opening up. I screamed, I raged, I had emotional breakdown after emotional breakdown, I sobbed and snotted all over everything. And things did get even a bit better than before. But at this point God was not really a big part of it. God and “the universe” were interchangeable at that point and I was not engaged with a relationship with God as I know it now. I did find, however, that when I was in the depths of a really huge emotion, that I would find myself reaching out to God without having planned to: “God, I feel like this emotion will kill me. Please help me not die.” “Please catch me as I’m falling, God.” But I really only talked to God in these moments of deep pain and not really aside from that.

I watched my first seminar of Jesus and Mary’s in the summer of 2011. I was a tad skeptical during the first one as it challenged some new-age beliefs I’d been on board with, but a few days later wanted to watch more of their youtube videos, and within a few seminars I was completely captivated with the material. I couldn’t get enough! I felt like I had finally, finally found the information and truths that I’d been seeking for years. It made far more sense than anything else ever had. I adored it.

In the near 5 years since that first seminar, I’ve regularly listened to the Divine Truth material, gone to a couple seminars myself, received amazing personal feedback from Jesus and Mary, and probably healed a few things, though huge amounts of addictions, and fears have still driven my life during that time and most of the time, I wanted the addictions and to avoid my fears far more than I wanted to love or than I wanted God.

I did not start truly engaging a relationship with God until about the late summer/early fall last year, despite that being the most important part of the Divine Love Path. In fact so important, that if it’s not the main thing we’re up to, we’re not even on that particular path. You see, I loved hearing Jesus and Mary talk about God and how God really is and created things. And sometimes I wrote to God in my journal or thought about God, but I wasn’t really connecting often or with much desire. But I finally was honest with myself last year that I was not praying as taught by Jesus and Mary, and I never really had since finding Divine Truth. There is a seminar where Jesus and Mary say something like, “If you think about God on Wednesday and then don’t think about God again till Sunday, can you really say you want God?” No. And I didn’t really want God. For the first 4 years of listening to Divine Truth, I didn’t really want God.

After admitting I didn’t desire God very much, I began to ask myself why. Pretty immediately--likely with the help of my guide--I could feel that I didn’t want to pray because I was still very angry at God. I still felt like that little girl who felt abandoned by God when I needed Him the most. Even though I intellectually knew all these things about a loving God that Jesus and Mary had said, my true feelings were that God didn’t care much about me, didn’t care what happened to me, couldn’t be bothered, wasn’t reliable, and just didn’t love me all that much. I didn’t want to pray because I interpreted that as having to earn God’s love, and I was over earning love in my life. I wanted God to prove to me that God cared. I didn’t want to go back and give my heart to God again, because I’d already done that and He failed me.

This was the truth about how I felt, even though it’s not the ultimate Truth. And so, with the wonderful framework Jesus and Mary have provided us to process things, I began to feel that heap of rage and abandonment feelings I had towards God, which took a couple months. And I found that a few things happened:

One was that when I delved into my feelings about God, without trying to, I would eventually arrive at the pain and grief of the original dynamics or events in my childhood that I had wanted God to make stop. And when I got there, I wasn’t blaming God anymore. I realized that actually these feelings I had about God--that God was ambiguous, wanted me to earn love, wanted me to prove myself, had better things to do, didn’t care what was happening to me, etc–-were actually attributable to my parents’ treatment of and feelings about me when I was little, not to God’s treatment and feelings about me. All my life, I had preferred to direct all of the blame and hurt towards God instead of accrediting them to adults in my childhood, because it was safer in so many ways to just put it on God instead of my parents. And as a little child, I probably wasn’t able to cope with the idea my parents were treating me badly, and of course they reinforced everything they did was indeed loving, and so the confusing messages from them and as well as my need to emotionally survive as a child caused me to fixate on God being the one who didn't care.

The other thing that happened is that as I was feeling and releasing the beliefs and feelings I had about God (really my parents), and then the causal emotions about the original events in my childhood and the true persons who perpetrated them, I began to feel some feelings come into me from the outside. Some of the feelings were new, but some were sort of familiar and ones I hadn’t felt since those young years of connection with God. I’d be releasing a feeling about God (my parents) and I’d start to feel the exact opposite feeling coming in. I’d be releasing the feeling that God (my parents) didn’t care about me, and I’d start to feel God’s care. I’d be releasing that God (my parents) was hot-and-cold with His Love, and I’d start to feel God’s complete and utter steadiness of love. I began to feel in my soul, for the first time in 4+ years of hearing things about God intellectually, that God loved me, cared about me, had never left me, never endorsed the things that happened to me, and was eager to help me heal them.

And after I released a sizable amount of that rage, abandonment, pain, despair, and grief, I found myself wanting to pray for the first time. Not because Jesus and Mary said I should, but because I truly wanted to. I want to know this loving, wonderful, creative, gentle, intelligent God who I felt faintly during my childhood and who I feel faintly again and with whom I'm starting to develop a relationship beyond what I felt as a child. Now I really love prayer, and I do it often and I marvel that God has created such a simple, direct, ineffably powerful communication. If I’m sincere in my prayers, I will often get feelings back from God, and prayer almost always triggers releases of stagnant and suppressed emotion, and frequently ones I didn’t expect to be what would come up when I prayed about something. I’ve worked through some emotional injuries since engaging a relationship with God that I was not getting through at all before having God’s help and which I often wonder if I could have even done if I had continued to reject Her.

This is not to say that I do not still have lots of blocks to God or that my relationship with God is stellar. I’m just at the very, very, very (how many “very”‘s can illustrate it accurately?) beginning of this relationship. But I’m excited about this relationship with God, inspired to learn about love and to follow my passions.

If you got to the end, thanks for reading this marathon of a page! :)

Love,
Courtney

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Lena
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Re: Hello!

Post by Lena » Mon May 02, 2016 10:23 am

Hi Courtney,

thanks for sharing your new intro!

I loved reading it. A lot of things you have shared have echoed in my heart deeply.

I got very emotional from this part onwards: "I didn’t want to pray because I interpreted that as having to earn God’s love, and I was over earning love in my life. I wanted God to prove to me that God cared. I didn’t want to go back and give my heart to God again, because I’d already done that and He failed me."

Love, Lena

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Teresa French
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Re: Hello!

Post by Teresa French » Mon May 02, 2016 10:09 pm

Thank you for sharing this Courtney. This helps me with faith (in that I read it now when I really need to) and shows me where I need to go now.
Thank you, in gratitude
Teresa

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julie_bennion
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Re: Hello!

Post by julie_bennion » Tue May 03, 2016 1:35 am

Hi Courtney ~
This is just so awesome to hear ~ you're doing the work, and it's working! :) I'm so grateful you took the risk ~ firstly to more fully engage yourself on this path and secondly, to share about the changes you are making and the changes you are experiencing in connection with God.

I especially love hearing that releasing some of the emotions around how your parents have treated you has led to you naturally wanting to pray, wanting to get to know the parent who Really loves you. It's super inspiring to hear & feel the most important progress you are making. Def. makes me want to open myself more to knowing & sharing stuff with God... yes yes.

It's also really great to get to know you better. Thank you!

Julie

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Pierrejoseph
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Re: Hello!

Post by Pierrejoseph » Wed May 04, 2016 11:46 am

Thank you so much for sharing Courtney, your journey is very inspiring to me and I am very happy for you that you could break through your major blocks to desire God's love after 4 years of listening to DT. I wish I could follow your example and many others so. I feel anybody breaking through makes it a bit easier for the other to follow the pathway. So in that way, it is a huge gift to all. Thanks.
Pierre

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Amanda Stracey
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Re: Hello!

Post by Amanda Stracey » Thu May 05, 2016 9:27 am

Hi Courtney

How lovely of you to share your progress. I'm sure it's going to help many many people see what putting Divine Truth teachings into practice looks like. I've had some weird fears that having God in my life will make me look like some two headed monster spouting rubbish and speaking in tongues and attracting a lot of ridicule and attack so glad to see that hasn't happened to you!!!

Much love

Amanda

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Maxine
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Re: Hello!

Post by Maxine » Thu May 05, 2016 8:20 pm

Hi Courtney,

This is wonderful. It felt honest and is really helpful in my own reflections.

It has also helped me consider something I have been trying to say, but haven't been able to yet. I pray and hope to speak with as much humility as you have.

Thank you x

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Courtney
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Re: Hello!

Post by Courtney » Fri May 06, 2016 4:15 pm

Hey Everyone, thanks for your replies; I'm so very glad it might have been some help.

Hi Amanda-- I'm not through all my fear of sharing, with my full enthusiasm, my love for God, but it is one of the fears I am currently working through. I've had some similar worries, more that people will think I'm naive or not cool if I'm bursting in excitement about God. I have found though that as I confront the fear by taking the action of being myself fully in that way with people, I've found it truly is a False Expectation Appearing Real, in that while I'm sure some people think I'm odd, I have not had a condescending or ridiculing response yet, even from my atheist friends.

lindabest
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Re: Hello!

Post by lindabest » Sun May 08, 2016 1:01 am

You are genuine, Courtney. Thank you! Linda

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