Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Thought Processes

It's been a few days!  Honestly, I've been writing a lot more in my spiritual journal than anything else.  Not that I don't have much to say, it's that lately I haven't had much to share.  That happens, doesn't it?  Do you ever find sometimes it is better to keep to yourself than not?  Without a doubt, it is an interesting dynamic and one which requires intentionality.  In fact, this is somewhat the basis for what I am writing about today.  There is a verse of scripture I have loved for a long while; one that I pull out and ruminate on from time to time.  This morning, again for the first time, I have read it in the full context of Paul's third letter to the church. 2 Corinthians verse 9 says, "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."  

People, those that have read this blog of mine since its inception and those who happened to stumble upon this through the help of Google, I have a weakness.  I think we all do, but that is neither here nor there, this post is admittedly about me.  This weakness of mine causes me to spiral into the deepest pits of depression, it causes me to cover everything under a cloak of darkness - a seemingly doomsday approach to the actual goings-on.  This weakness takes reality and twists it so completely out of alignment it is hard to discern the facts from my perception of them.  This weakness has caused me to lose days, weeks, and sometimes months of my life.  Sadly, it has also caused me to lose friendships, opportunities, and the joy of the simple things in life.  People, this weakness of mine is crippling.

As I wrote in my Spiritual Journal this morning, this weakness locks me up in a prison and keeps me bound; the more I struggle the tighter it holds me.  This weakness is a battlefield which is in a constant state of war - most often at the worst possible times - times when I should be focusing on important things, like work, family, and responsibilities.  The saddest part of it all is when the war spills over and manifests itself in other ways - ways that let others in on the weakness's power over me. Oh, the horrible power it has. 

My biggest weakness isn't chocolate, alcohol, shopping, or anything of that nature.  No, those are the results of a war that has spilled over.  My greatest weakness is the thought processes inside my head. I am remiss to control them.  They bind me up so tightly that for days on end I struggle to breathe.  I find one specific idea and it becomes the catalyst for the next battle. These battles start out small, then shot after shot is taken in my mind and before I know it, what was fact becomes a contorted view of reality. Don't misunderstand this for proper discernment of a situation. No, this is when perception overrides logic when reason is cast aside for folly.  There are proper times and places for analyzing your circumstance, to weigh your role in an outcome, but in other times it is a non-essential step that clouds your ability to function.

This is where I get stuck.  I get stuck between the actual and the perceived.  I run them through a filter that is clogged with feelings of inadequacy, fear, self-loathing, jealousy, and insecurity.  When I do this the war becomes tipped to the other side, even when I think I have the winning blow.  I am not fighting an actual fight but fighting against the one thing I truly want - acceptance. But I'm fighting it through wrong views.  (It's kind of like trying to drive while using someone else's glasses - you might get there, but you're going to cause some damage on the way.)

I want to tell you that by simply admitting this, I have control.  I very much do not.  However, I will tell you in the past couple of weeks I have taken a step back in the fight.  I've not charged the front line. I've set the battle equipment down and I've prayed.  I've prayed so hard at times tears have reduced my ability to actually see.  I've done this at work, while driving my van, and when sitting in my living room.  Although I've not come out the victor at these times, I have removed a lot of the initial thought process that filtered their way through and in so doing I have mitigated an ugly fight - one where I was, without a doubt, going to come up the loser.

Friends, I don't tell you this to have a negative view of me, that is for you to decide on your own.  I tell you this because weaknesses can destroy you.  It is so easy to put ownership of something on another.  Sure, we all like self-preservation, but what that does is intensify the situation by creating the exact opposite response you are "fighting" for.  But...oh the glorious riches the word "but" can bring.  We do not have to go to battle alone.  We have the power of the one who thought the world needed us.  Give your weakness to Him.  He is so much better at handling it than you ever will be.  I'm learning this, albeit very slowly.  After all, my weakness has become my security blanket.  

I want you to know, those good days - they are not because I have conquered this thing, but only because He that is in me is stronger than I am - and I've stepped aside long enough to give Him the control.  (FYI - I'm exceedingly bull-headed, strong-willed, and down right an Alpha...who knew the difficulty this would provide?! Ha!)

Don't be afraid of your weakness, give it to the one who can make you stronger in spite of it! You might just find the person on the other side is a much better version of the one you were trying to become on your own.  Well, that is what I am hoping for - in my case at least.

- M