” Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.”
Yesterday, I brought up the subject of CHOOSING to love God in those moments of decision when you are facing bitterness.
Today, I want to expand on that topic a little bit more, and incorporate the idea that choosing in any given moment to love God, and to love other people can literally be that one choice that changes everything in your life.
Power in its most basic form is undifferentiated energy.
How you choose to use it is completely up to you.
All around us there exists both light and shadow powers.
Mastering the Art of Surrender is all about learning to choose those things that add joy to your life, and finding yourself more and more often walking away from things that will ultimately cause you to feel guilt, fear, and all the other lower emotions.
Its really about getting to know yourself, and creating a world that reflects those parts of you that are good and praise worthy.
This is not a new idea.
The bible discusses this in great length. One of my favorite passages of scripture that teaches on this is found in Matthew.
(Matthew 6:24) “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
What is the difference between the two masters.
In this particular verse, he uses God and money, but what about genuine holiness and legalism?
What about a genuine concern for others, and a superficial sweetness that covers a jealous heart.
Or in my case, Loving God or bitterness.
When you are serving God, you will be led by your heart. The motivating forces in your life will come from compassion, collaboration, hope, integrity, humility, and a genuine concern for the higher good.
Serving the worldly powers usually stem from fear and are extremely magnetic and enticing. The motivating forces in your life will come from manipulation, greed, selfishness,revenge, and cutthroat tactics to get what you want.
We ALL have a shadow side!
It’s not just “them”.
It’s being human.
In (Romans 3:23) it says,
“For all have sinned and fallen short the glory of God.”
All of us are capable of such beautiful acts of kindness, and also of startling cruelty.
This is true whether you are a saint like Mother Teresa, or a serial killer on death row.
Some of the most “likable” people I have met in my life, the ones who have influenced me for good, were the inmates I worked with for 7 years at the state prison.
I knew they were murderers, or rapists, or whatever, but they were also a person, with dreams, ideas, and lots of regrets.
They shared their stories and advice freely with me.
Their experiences have helped me gain a much clearer understanding of the dual nature that we all possess.
Dark energy is REAL and extremely addictive. It must always be respected.
I have felt it’s enticing draw in erotic moments, and in some situations when I had some power and authority.
The chilling part about this dark energy is how is can so easily lure you in with its tantalizing power, and you unconsciously begin to glaze over and forget your priorities.
One of the very best examples of this unconscious lure is n the movie The Lord of the Rings, when Frodo is being seduced by the dark power of the ring. He becomes almost unconscious of anything but the lure of its power.
We are no different really.
We all have that metaphorical “ring” that we are vulnerable to.
I know, I have had moments in my life when I have felt the pull of this power, and I was willing to give anything to keep that rush going, and I nearly lost myself to its darkness.
I think we can all, quite easily recall such moments in our lives.
However, to ensure that we don’t surrender to our shadow sides and start to become the kind of person we loathe, we all must take command of our shadow side so that it does not have the power to unconsciously run our lives.
This is really powerful stuff.
It is not just some new age speculation.
The people in the Bible were constantly falling prey to it.
This is a force that appeared in the very first book of the bible.
This is REAL.
And needs to be given the respect and attention that it deserves if you ever want to get it under control.
You can NEVER eradicate it completely from your life, but there are ways of keeping this side of your nature under control.
We must all, identify and bravely, with conviction, say “NO” again and again to the less than admirable or seducible aspects of ourselves or the behavior of others.
This may mean that we turn down some ” irresistible” relationships and opportunities, as frustrating and painful as that is, so that we can succeed without forfeiting our souls.
The popular paradigm of power supports doing what ever is necessary to win.
Many people who buy into this paradigm operate by shadow ethics, though, I am sure they don’t see it that way.
They believe that certain behaviors are acceptable because they have convinced themselves that “That is how the real world operates.”
In the paradigm of power that supports your higher self, your good side, It says that ” You are either adding to the light, or taking away from it.”
Every action counts!
Not that we don’t make mistakes or fumble and forget, but we need to be conscious and aware enough of what we are thinking, feeling, and doing that we are able to pick ourselves up when we do fall, and keep moving toward an illuminated path, even if the entire world seems to be in the shadow.
In the World – But Not of the World
Many of you have heard this sentence spoken by your pastors. They often teach us to be in the world, but not of the world in our walk with the Lord.
Not only is this a very catchy phrase and saying, but this is also a rock, solid, God-truth that is coming straight out of our Bible.
What does it mean?
What is the difference of “in the world” and “not of the world”
What is the difference between light and shadow?
I believe that so many of us are afraid to claim our power because we associate it with the shadow side, a dynamic that is so often unconscious.
You may have seen your parents abuse their power. Or been rejected in the past and so are afraid of it in the present, so you are reluctant or weary to even ask for what you want or need, or to even boldly present your ideas to anyone.
Some people try to repress their shadow sides by becoming overly nice, overly “spiritual”, or saccharine.
This NEVER works and is a set up for their darkness to finally erupt as depression, anger, or violence.
For myself, this fear stems from my abusive marriages, where I learned it was not safe to express any power what so ever. I learned to just be small, and pleasing, and never to need or ask for ANYTHING.
I spent years frightened to reveal any talents that I possesed, for fear that I would be punished for trying to stand out.
But when my step son took his life, I realized that I possibly could have saved him if I had just had the courage to fight for him more. I took his words to heart and revealed to the world that I was a very talented artist. I have built a very successful painting business by using my gift.
I began to write, which is my passion, and the best way I know how to speak my truth.
I stand firm in my convictions.
I have learned that being in the world but not of it sometimes means being powerful.
Jesus was the ultimate example of a person who correctly used his power. He was the man of velvet and steel.
Today, I encourage you to honestly examine your relationship to power and how to best use it in your life.
Be gentle with yourself.
Take ownership of your shadow side so that you don’t act it out, or keep attracting people who will act it out FOR you.
If you are deceptive, you’ll attract deception.
If you are forthright, you will attract honesty in others.
Of course, we all get caught by our ego, insecurities, ambition, and excessive control.
There is no shame in that, just don’t get stuck obsessing over that “ring of power”