Sunday, July 5, 2015

Trust from the inside

This is a little beat up print I saw in a local antique store but left behind. I noticed it on two different occasions, but rather than go with what my insides were telling me,

 "Ooh, look, there it is again! You should ask what they'll take for it, it won't hurt to ask!" 

 I tried to be all logical and responsible, 

"The frame is dinged to bits, you don't need another country scene, it's just a waste of money and you've spent too much this month already, you'll never hang it anywhere..." 

and I walked away from it. I still think about that print and now I really wish I had it, dinged to bits and all. It would be perfect here now in happy company with a bunch of other dinged up old prints I've found and love and the texture of the house wouldn't be right without anymore.

Pia Mellody talks about about codependents having an "external locus of control." I used to think that was letting other people tell you what to do and I'm not generally a rollover kind of girl, so I've just brushed it off.  I'm beginning to think it's more of a second guessing of your own instincts and looking for rational exterior validation, be it in the form of running your idea past someone else first or just reusing a checklist of criteria taught to you at some point as a model of critical thinking. Having a checklist is good when you are very young, engaged in fighting an addiction, or when you are first starting on a new trade or program, but after awhile, I'm thinking your own instincts have to take first priority. There is actually safety in trusting yourself over trying to fit into someone else's example.

About a year or so ago I read Grandchildren of Alcoholics: Another Generation of Co-Dependency and was shocked at how much I identified with it. I haven't any stories to tell about a drunken grandparent, but I have reason to believe at least one of them was an alcoholic, and possibly more of the great-grandparents. Yesterday I listened to most of Adult Children of Alcoholics after seeing this checklist online. 

1. Adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal behavior is.

That's an external locus of control. We're looking around to see what it is we're supposed to be thinking and doing, because things weren't predictable or reliable at home and we never really know what we're "supposed" to be doing to make life come out "right."

It's very nerve wracking at first trusting one's own instincts ALL the time, or quitting as a habit trying to fix the world and just go about doing what one wants to do, to be fully occupied with one's own interests and business and not worrying anymore about anyone else (to include the whole world.) I mean, there's really big S#!$ going on out there! And fixing it isn't my problem right now and God is okay with that.

That's a really big internal transition to make. If you are still running around thinking God is holding you accountable for everyone else, then you know what I mean.

The way I "stepped over the log" to make that transition comes out of an online conversation a couple of days ago. Someone was conflating God's nature and image with physicality, so I ended up giving a long winded explanation. (I don't always, but sometimes I do. ;D )

"...the image of God is not in our physical bodies, God is outside of creation. When the Word of God became flesh, he had to get it the same way you and I did, thru our mothers. God is Spirit (John 4:24), all the attributes we know of Him describe His wisdom, power, grace, justice, etc., and none of them speak of his sexuality, genome, IQ, health or height, for He has none of those attributes, they are all physical. (Funny to think of Him as not having an IQ, but that speaks to the content and quickness of the mind, and His thoughts are nothing like ours - He knows everything, always has.)"

As I thought more about the mind of God the next day, knowing everything and always having known it, the nature of His thoughts being perfectly within Him for all eternity, I began to imagine His way of knowing Himself - from within, without change or challenge, without fault and perfectly contained - I felt in my imagination His power residing perfectly within Himself, incomprehensible power at rest. (Here's the funny bit.) The feeling I got was like the sound of a warp engine drive in a starship. Power to bend the universe contained in a vessel. That safe, yet powerful feeling is what it is to contain and trust yourself as you move thru your life.

Maybe you've always been that way, good for you. Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about, can't help you anymore than this today. Maybe you've got some things to think about, yay for you. Maybe you want to read the rest of what I wrote and quoted above, go here. It's late, I've got to meet a guy to see the new Terminator movie, they say it's good.