Walking across the Storton Bridge from Capitola, I was praying. I can feel myself caught in fear. A deep place of fear, and pain of abandonment by God has surfaced. This feeling has kept me spinning for a few weeks now.
From acknowledging this state, a prayer of gratitude emerged. “Thank you God that this deep place of pain has surfaced so I can open it to be healed! This is a huge gift. Thank you God that more love and trust will result from this opening.” I could feel the shift as I prayed. I could feel myself becoming more grounded in trust and gratitude.
Then this image and story came into my mind as I told myself to “Choose Love!”
I am sitting in a recliner chair. The room is dark and dingy. A giant screen TV is on in front of me, playing the scenes of every painful moment and failure from my life along with everything I hate about my body, my shame and anger about my current financial situation, frustration about a house that doesn’t support my business needs while offering so many wonderful features, and my unsatisfied desires. Each scene agitates me more, grinding in the feelings of unworthiness and pain.
There is a drink on a table next to the chair. I am sipping from it. This drink is the poison of self-hatred, anger, resentment, bitterness, sorrow, and unworthiness. I don’t realize that I am slowly killing myself in this environment.
Then one day, a little breeze wafts through the stale, dark room blowing a crack in the curtains. I never even noticed there was a window before as a tiny ray of light shoots through the crack. This ray of light draws my attention away from the screen and the drink. The dust and grim from the air swirls in the ray of light. I am fascinated by it and get out of the chair so see more.
I walk to the window and pull open the curtains. The brilliance of the sun light is blinding at first! After so long in darkness and ignorance, I gasp in surprise and my arm reflexively covers my eyes from the blinding light. Frozen for an instant in the fear of this sudden change, my eyes adjust to the light. My hand comes down and I look out the window.
It’s sunny and green out there! People are walking by laughing. Children are playing. There is life out there! As I’m looking out, my peripheral vision draws my attention to the room. Now that it is lit, I start to see other things I never noticed before. A Door! Slowly and fearfully, I creep toward the door. Standing with my hand on the door handle, I take a deep breath and open it.
I’m in a hallway with other doors.
That is the little world of my pain and fear. Once it captures me, it doesn’t matter how incredible other parts of my life are, this little world is all I know. I completely forget that I have other choices until that little ray of light breaks the spell illuminating the darkness of ignorance.
It’s an old habit going into this room. Something triggers a feeling and before I know it, I’m back in that chair, watching all the scenes of pain, drinking the poison of self-hatred. But now the curtain is cracked open. That little ray of light is always in the room. Once it gets my attention, I can get up out of the chair and make other choices. I can choose to walk out of this room and open the door to love.
“In my Father’s mansion are many rooms. I go to prepare a room for you.” As Jesus said, in the mansion of our being, there are many rooms, many options. We just get into the habit of going into that one room when something triggers the reaction. At some point, the ray of light shines in and we become aware that we can leave this room and make other choices. We can choose love, forgiveness, peace, humility, devotion, grace, truth, blessings, gratitude. Some of these rooms are our issues or illusions. Other rooms are qualities of our souls.
We can change by choosing to go into the rooms with soul qualities rather than get sucked into the rooms of self-torture. We have the choice. It is a powerful addiction that we must face as we make this choice. We do it one step at a time. One incident at a time. Each time we choose a quality of soul over the issue, we strengthen that part of our being and it becomes easier.
Choose love. At every opportunity, gain self-awareness and find a way to choose love. No matter how dire the situation seems, you can always ask for help and choose love. The help will come. When the light is on, you can see that you are surrounded with loving beings just waiting to help. They are waiting for you to reach out your hand. They will take it and lead you from darkness into light. Where do you think the breeze came from that opened the crack in the curtains that let the light in?