Happy New Year! I hope it is a slow, unstable, gradual, and anxious one for you. Could you imagine getting a card with this in it? Well, the following words from Teilhard shed light on what this spiritual formation process feels like. The ending part on "accepting the anxiety" has ministered to me greatly. I thought them worthy of reflection for 2018. “Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being
Home is where the heart is. Sounds encouraging. And it should be. Home should be the place where our souls are safe, encouraged, and loved. Home should be the best place to be. But there is another way to think of the phrase, “Home is where the heart is.” And it isn’t necessarily good news. Because the state of our home, especially our family of origin when we are young, has a huge impact on where the heart is emotionally. And if the home system is not healthy or holy we will struggle when it comes to how close
God created us to be a complex mix of biology and experience. We are embodied souls who have minds that inevitably draw us into relationships. Gregory Boyd calls this complex interface a matrix (Escaping the Matrix). He explains what he means by saying, biologically, we are given billions of neurons that connect via trillions of neuro synapsis. We are also given the manner by which the brain is constructed to function (e.g. neurons firing together wire together). God created us this way and it is “very good” (and incredibly complex!). Now what gets registered in our God-given neuro
Seasons of life come to us whether we want them to or not. It’s interesting that this is the way God organized and planned the rhythm of life from the beginning. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8;11 states: There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal A time to tear down and a time to rebuild. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a
We all begin our journey from a state of connection and union with our primary caregivers, usually our mother and father. Developmental psychologists make the case that every infant is actually one with their caregivers. Infants literally borrow the brain of their caregiver to help hold and shape their earliest life experiences. We begin our journey from a place of psychological union not separation. My (Rich) granddaughter Kate is four months old and now when she looks at you there is no longer the glazed, trance-like look of a new born. From her place of union she’s is on
Being loved grounds us. When we are loved we have an essential experience of belonging. An infant in the experience of being loved forms a relational attachment with mom and dad. This relation attachment is essential for physical survival and all future psychological and spiritual development. Without this primitive experience of belonging, of being grounded in love, life will unravel for the child as his or her sense of self begins to fragment. The essential psychological and spiritual need of an infant child is to be loved. Our soul’s deepest sense of being grounded is always anchored relationally!
Taken from The Relational Soul – It is in our closest relationships that our attachment pattern and learned level of intimacy shows up most dramatically. We can meet a stranger on the sidewalk and be courteous and kind. But work in business with someone, serve in ministry with someone, live in a marriage with someone and our “stuff” begins to show. When it does we can make commitments to connect better, be more kind, to spend more time with each other, to not let another hit our emotional buttons (the list goes on and on). But more often than not we
Taken from The Relational Soul – Trust fosters an open, receptive soul that is able to give one’s self and receive the presence of another in a free, responsible, and loving way. Mistrust leads to a closed, reactive soul that is unavailable to another in both detached and enmeshed ways. A receptive way of relating is the result of early relational connections in which one felt safe, secure, and deeply loved. It is marked BY a willingness to be present to others as they are without exaggerated evaluation or judgment or protection.
Taken from The Relational Soul – When it comes to the thermostat of our learned level of emotional intimacy there are three things to keep in mind. First, the early setting becomes one’s normal … Second, the setting on the soul’s thermostat ranges from icy cold to boiling hot, from detached to enmeshed ways of being with others … The third thing to note about the thermostat is this—the thermostat is defective (as if we didn’t have enough to worry about already!).
Taken from The Relational Soul – Our attachment pattern contributes to the level of closeness that makes us feel safe. For some closeness creates anxiety. For others separation creates anxiety. This learned level of closeness in which one feels safe is called the “proximity principle” or one’s “learned level of intimacy.” The proximity principle functions much like the thermostat that regulates the temperature in a house.