Lost and Found

The recovery process: finding my true self

The recovery process, I am told is a journey.

I am embarking on a journey to discover my true self.

That is exactly the language of New Age spirituality and postmodern narcissism that I was warned about while I was being raised in a conservative, religious social context. The self is considered a false idol. The branded messaging of the hierarchy is to look only to God in prayer and everything will be alright.

I once was blind, but now I see.

At some point, one must admit one’s own blindness to have the humility to ask for one’s sight back. Humility is the first miracle. We must admit that we don’t know what we don’t know.

Understanding God: Attempt Number One

The Kingdoms of Man

I read my Bible. I know how it turns out for the people who never quite understood what God was up to. The people keep going their own way. They worshipped the idol while waiting for Moses to come down the mountain with the Ten Commandments. They wandered the desert for forty years, rather than face the giants in the promised land. They cut up the body of a raped woman into twelve pieces and delivered it to the twelve tribes of Israel, inciting civil war, genocide, and sexual slavery. They ask for a king so they can be like all the other nations, rather than listen to God, who warned them that the king will eventually turn into a despotic tyrant. One king builds a temple in Jerusalem as a dwelling for God, even though God says that he doesn’t need a house to live in. The kingdom of Israel is split into two kingdoms that engage in a civil war. After a foreign kingdom lays siege to Jerusalem, the nation and the temple are destroyed and the people are taken captive and are assimilated into the foreign culture.

Understanding God: Attempt Number One

The Kingdom of God

I read history (yes, it is biased toward the west, because that’s all I know so far). I know how it turns out for the people who never quite understood what God was up to. The people keep going their own way. They worshipped the power of the sword and enjoyed the privileges of empire while considering which books to include in the canon of holy scripture. They divided the world into east and west over theological disputes. The pope built a cathedral in Rome as a dwelling for God, even though God says that he doesn’t need a house to live in. The religious hierarchy is further divided into Protestant and Catholic over theological disputes and engage in civil war. After the enlightenment and the industrial revolution lays siege to the authority of the religious hierarchies, the religious hierarchies lose their credibility and authority and are taken captive and assimilated by a hostile economic and political system.

Assimilation

One of the things that makes these narratives believable to me is the familiar pattern. There is something about these two narratives that are so strikingly similar that I cannot discount the idea that Daniel speaks of in his dream about an idol and the empires that they represent. Empires die. God is eternal.

Poetic Justice

I always wondered why God would stop speaking to people for a couple thousand years. Why are we not adding more ideas to the canon of scripture? One reason is that he told us not to add anything more after John gave his Revelation.

Pure Conjecture

I may be wrong. I am probably wrong. I don’t have a monopoly on understanding God. I dare not predict the end of the world, because no one can claim to know when that will be, according to these scriptures. But we were instructed to read the signs.

Lost and Found

With everything that is now happening in world politics, it might seem that we are on the brink of losing so much of what we have gained so far. Are we all losing our minds?

  1. Replace the loss.
  2. Grieve alone.
  3. Just give it time.
  4. Be strong for others.
  5. Keep busy.
  1. We do not depend on others to tell us who we are.
  2. We are not automatically frightened by angry people and no longer regard personal criticism as a threat.
  3. We do not have a compulsive need to recreate abandonment.
  4. We stop living life from the standpoint of victims and are not attracted by this trait in our important relationships.
  5. We do not use enabling as a way to avoid looking at our own shortcomings.
  6. We do not feel guilty when we stand up for ourselves.
  7. We avoid emotional intoxication and choose workable relationships instead of constant upset.
  8. We are able to distinguish love from pity, and do not think “rescuing” people we “pity” is an act of love.
  9. We come out of denial about our traumatic childhoods and regain the ability to feel and express our emotions.
  10. We stop judging and condemning ourselves and discover a sense of self-worth.
  11. We grow in independence and are no longer terrified of abandonment. We have interdependent relationships with healthy people, not dependent relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable.
  12. The characteristics of alcoholism and para-alcoholism we have internalized are identified, acknowledged, and removed.
  13. We are actors, not reactors.

Written by

Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design. https://stephenbau.com

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