As with my Dad, I bought into or transferred my belief system that told me God could not really love, accept or approve of me unless I measured up to His expectations. In essence I had a codependent perspective in that I believed that I needed to somehow get my Dad to validate and affirm my efforts, worth and value before I could validate and affirm my efforts, worth and value. In essence at a core level I believed I had to make my Dad OK with me, so that We could be OK, so that I could be OK with me. In this construct of belief I was led to believe that I needed to some how be perfect before I could hope to be OK with me. In the process I embraced an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. My identity and value as an individual became preoccupied with justifying my worth and value through doing rather than being.
Consequently, I developed a performance based acceptance self-image, which reinforced my low self-esteem and self-worth, because I was frequently criticized for not doing or essentially being enough. The second spiritual awakening came when I realized that many of my relationships mirrored my relationship with my Dad. Unconsciously I went about picking and being involved with groups, organizations and churches that reinforced my belief that I did not do enough and as a result, I was not enough. Subsequent to maintaining these relationships I adopted the notion that I needed to please and receive approval from the leaders and members of these groups, churches and organization, so that I they could be OK, so that we could be OK, before I could be OK with me.
To fail at pleasing and receiving approval would once again reinforce the belief that I was not enough. At the age of 17 in August 1974 I had asked Jesus Christ to come into my life to be my Lord and Savior. I was invited and started attending a catholic charismatic fellowship during my senior year of High School. After graduation from High School, I left home to attend the university. As part of my undergraduate experience I got involved with a series of churches. The leadership in these churches mirrored my relationship with my Dad. One of these churches asked me to leave and not come back because I had an unrepentant spirit of striving. I am sure you are shaking your head as you read that… “The leadership of the church asked me to leave and not come back because I had an unrepentant spirit of striving”.
For many years I found myself between a rock and a hard place. Either I did not do enough or I did too much. On many occasions I was told, “You try too hard”. Nevertheless, I continued attending various churches in my attempts to find out how to be OK. In many of those churches I heard the message that God loved me and that because of His love for me I needed to adhere to what I was being taught from the pulpit and what was I was learning through my studies in the Bible. My mind filtered many of the messages and what I read with the stipulation of expectations – adhere to what I was being taught and I would please God and be approved by Him or reap what you sow. The consequence for being displeasing to God meant that bad stuff would happen to me. I felt the familiar message I had received from my Dad, come close and go away. Consequently, I interpreted my circumstances as punitive and my experiences as a chastisement for not being or doing enough.
One day I woke up and decided I could not keep treating myself with indignity and contempt. I made the decision that I had to separate myself from churches and other groups that alienated me from my Source of hope. With time I have come to accept that my good is good enough. I have also come to know in my heart of hearts that the God of my understanding is 110% my corner. Through my journey and my process I have come to believe that a power greater than myself, knows what is best for me and I can trust that power, a loving God. I have come to realize that every circumstance that has been part of my life, as well as the experiences that I have encountered along the way has prepared me and continues to prepare me to live the life I have imagined. My destiny is unfolding before my very eyes, one day at a time. Because I know that God loves me unconditionally – ALL THE TIME – I can trust the process…
What I share on Second Chance to Live comes through my relationship with the God of my understanding — a loving God. Because I KNOW that God is working all things together for my good I am settled in my core beliefs. As I have stated my core beliefs in Second Chance to Live – Special Edition 200 (Part 2) I believe the following truths. I believe that our circumstances are at the foundation upon which we build our internal house. Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but they are provided to build us up. As we learn from the circumstances that are presented to us — as empowered beings – we create the experiences that enable us to take advantage of the opportunities that become available through living life on life’s terms. Opportunities subsequently become the essential building blocks that empower you and I to build through our experiences. Knowledge is then tempered by the experience that comes through the opportunities that are given to us, which in turn becomes the wisdom that guides you and I to our destinies.
Through my process I have come to believe that I can trust a power greater than myself, a loving God.
In the event that you would like to be in touch with me, please use my Contact Page. Send comments or questions and I will respond to you. All questions are good questions.
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