Welcome back to Your Heart’s Desire.
Please know that as you do these questions and exercises
you are moving closer and closer to your goal.
Some of the questions and exercises
may not seem to lead anywhere,
but rest assured they do.
I have gone through everything I am suggesting you do,
so you are not alone.
Paragraphs 5 and 6, by Emmet Fox
“Modern psychology has been slowly realizing that many human ills are traceable to mental suppression, but our study of fundamental Truth teaches us that all trouble of every kind is really failure on the part of the individual to be a completely free focal point of expression for God.
You say that you are unhappy, dissatisfied, perhaps ill or impoverished, a failure; and this is simply another way of putting the fact that you are not allowing the Will of God to have free play in your life—you are not doing the thing He meant you to do. You are drifting; or else you are trying to do something that He never intended you to do, and doing it badly, and distorting your soul in the process.”
Commentary, Questions, and Exercises
These are two potentially controversial paragraphs. They might bring up strong feelings. They might even cause some people to shut the book on their Heart’s Desire because they do not agree with them. The point isn’t to have all of the answers or to understand all of the deep theological significance of certain statements, but to tease out how we can apply them to following our dreams. That said, it might do us well to address, at least in a general way, the trouble spots.
One potential trouble spot is the assertion that Fox gives again (he gave it in the first paragraph, remember) in which he states that all of our troubles are due to failing to be a “completely free focal point of expression for God.”
I make no claims to understand all of the theological ramifications of everything Fox says. It’s just that I had to come to grips with things that happened to me that were traumatic; that shouldn’t have happened; that were terrifying, violent, and so on. Over the years however, my victimhood—the prison I locked myself into—had to be torn down. And little by little, as I learned to feel the pain, rage, shame, and terror, and not act violently on those feelings; as I learned to eventually come to a place of forgiveness of those involved, I settled into peace.
Essentially, I had to raise my consciousness above the trauma. Put more accurately, I had to let others help me raise my consciousness above the traumas.
When I was going through deep emotional pain as a result of childhood abuse, my friend Lefty said that my healing myself by working through those memories will not only also help me heal my family, but the world. That does not mean I understand why those things happened to me. It just means I accepted that they did and I needed to rise above them not to the level of survivor, but to the level of living, truly living. And to do this I had to not only feel pain, but change my thinking. My thoughts were steeped in trauma, depression, and rage. They were dyed with shame, panic attacks, and a severe poverty of spirit. The more I thought of the abuse, the more stuck to the abuse I became. The more I thought about my perpetrators as evil, the more paranoid and untrusting of the world I became. The further I sank into the ache to know why and to change it all, the further away from happiness I moved. What I think upon grows.
I had to come to a place where I was OK with saying, “I don’t know.” I do not know the answers to such deep, emotion-inducing facts of things like my abuse or like the starvation and violence found around the world. What I do know is that if I let myself stop there and live in the outrage of these intensely charged dilemmas, then I will never move forward. I will sacrifice my dreams in order to be right about something I ultimately can never know until I make it to the other side. I will use those feelings of outrage as excuses not to follow the will of God as I can—here and now—not in some other country someplace, but here and now, where I stand. I am not a victim. I stand in freedom. The God of my understanding loves me and guides my steps towards my Heart’s Desire. I have accepted this love and guidance. I have seen and experienced the truth of these facts in my life. And if this is true for me then I believe it is true for all of God’s kids, and we are all God’s kids.
So the solution is both personal and global. I need to lift myself out of the consciousness of sin, for lack of a better word, by taking living actions towards others and myself, and I also need to change how I think. The same is true for our cities and towns, villages, and countries. We all need to help each other rise up from the poverty, the violence, the horror. And that’s why following Your Heart’s Desire is so crucial. When we are following it we are actually following God’s Will. And the more this happens, the more peace will settle upon the earth.
Finally, in the next few paragraphs Emmet Fox himself gives a very comforting explanation of the difficult ideas found in these two paragraphs. So hang tight, all is well.
Before moving on to the questions and exercises, there is one more thing I would like to comment on: the last sentence in paragraph six.
That last sentence sums up, in a nutshell the nature of addictions. In an addiction, we are drifting. Our lives become empty, brittle shells. We are trying to do “something that God never intended us to do.” And ultimately, Fox says, we “distort our souls in the process.” Aside from trauma and abuse, there is nothing as soul-distorting as addictions. And we all have them. In one way shape or form there are things we do that are harmful to ourselves and others that we cannot (or will not) stop doing. Things we have tried countless times to stop. Things we feel shame about doing or at very least vaguely empty after we do them. Things that we feel good about while we’re doing them only to hate ourselves later and wonder how we could have gotten ourselves into that stuff again. Things we have promised ourselves, others, God that we would never again do. Things we judge others harshly for doing as we go and do them in secret. And so on.
It is important to remember that an addiction does not need to be hard-core. It can be low-level, moderate, or severe. Take an area of your life you know you need to change—the thing that just flashed into your mind right now when you read these words, and imagine doing without it. If you’re like me the justifications, rationalizations, and explanations start flying as to why I need that particular vice (what an appropriate word, by the way…). Truth never needs justifying or rationalizing. So if we hear ourselves engaged in those thoughts about some area of our lives we can automatically know that we are not OK with ourselves in that area. We only justify and rationalize wrong, self-centered behaviors. And in the process, our souls become distorted. Like water taking the shape of the vessel it’s poured into, our soul takes the shape of whatever we pour it into. If we pour our soul, our time, and our energy into drugs, sex, money, video games, news media, food, power, romance, movies, shopping, etc., then our soul takes the shape of those vessels. The real shape of our soul is shapeless; it is a river of peace leading to the ocean of God. It is wave of His ocean. But when we pour ourselves into addictions, we are putting limitations around our soul and as a result we hurt others and ourselves. And we all know that hurt people hurt other people.
It is the human condition to seek comfort, but in the case of addictions, the comforting behaviors have taken over.
Lastly, we all intuitively know God’s will. Anyone who says they don’t know what God’s will is, is only looking in particulars or for a finish line. God’s will is easy—He wants us, as the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “to be happy, joyous, and free.” That’s it. If you are these things then you can rest easy in knowing you are flowing with God’s will and purpose for your life. Even if you feel like you do not know specifically what your Heart’s Desire is yet, if you are feeling those three things NOW then you are on the way, you are IN the way, as in flowing with God’s river of Providence. You’re in the Tao, the Way, the Truth—you’re living in the Light.
But enough commentary. Let’s move on to questions and exercises.
1). Do you believe you have, on any level, to any degree, an(y) addiction(s)?
2). If you answered yes to question one, are you willing to seek support, make changes, and become free of those addictions?
3). Do you have any thoughts or memories that you stuff down or “suppress” when they surface? If so, are you willing to seek support for those issues and face them once and for all?
4). Reflect back on your answer to Question 2 in Part One of Your Heart’s Desire. Do you feel the same way now about the idea that all of our troubles are rooted in not following God’s Will or our Heart’s Desires? Explain.
5). Reflect on the idea that God’s will is for everyone to be “happy, joyous, and free;” that God wants everyone thriving, abundant, healthy, safe, and loved. Do you believe this to be so? Expand on your answer either way. Do you believe God wants these things for YOU?
1). Pretend you have the ultimate creative ability—you can create the God you would like to believe in. Reflect on and write about the kind of God you would like to believe in. If you already feel you have a God you are comfortable with, then write about the qualities He/She/It has.
2). The best way to manifest Your Heart’s Desire is to help others. Go to our sister blog’s http://blog.7daymentaldiet.net/?ci=23323 link for Thirst Relief International https://secure.thirstrelief.org/momentum/fundraising_page/45, or some other charity, and make a donation. In addition, find someone that you know is struggling with some hurt; contact them in some way, make an effort to comfort them in some appropriate manner.
Thank you Friends. Next week we will look at paragraph 7. Cheers.
Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog