Life has such a way of bringing up the things within us that show us what needs to be dealt with. We think it’s people, places, and things, but the reality, in my opinion, is that it isn’t that as much as it is that we just have such a hard time accepting life as it really is. When we hold a value or character trait close to our own heart, and then someone crosses that line of ours, the tendency is to shut down towards those, rather than deal with the line we drew in the sand in the first place for ourselves. I’m not talking about healthy boundaries. Those are needed. But, what determines what is healthy? Some, in order to protect those spaces will begin drawing line after line until before they know it, they live within a very small circle of life. Every time those situations or person’s “image” flutters through the consciousness, the old pain surfaces quickly and then the shut down starts another line.
When we hold people hostage in our hearts or “minds eye”, we don’t always know it, but it becomes us who become the prisoners. Everything we look at becomes tainted with the “past experience”, and before long, every other experience becomes perceived by that one. Even freedom at times is based on what happened “back there”, and we solidify our position that it “will never happen again”.
But, can we control life that much? Would it be the situation or our response to it which determines how it will go this time?
I’ve read that “we have no enemies, only teachers”. When I read that, it struck me as true because we so often create “enemies” because of those “line crossings”.
As a Christ follower, I came to the realization that I often lived my life “asleep” because I saw so many things not as teachers, but as enemies to my soul. That belief kept me living in a lack of awareness of my own determinations of what was and wasn’t acceptable. It put me in a place of thinking that my judgment mattered to God. But, when I began to see that I lived behind these lines in the sand, and only a chosen few could come and out of them, I was amazed at how small my world had become.
I wanted to wake up. I asked to wake up, and it was then that I saw the lines that surrounded me became a prison cell were of my own making, and that if I chose to look up, there were no bars above my head. I could climb out of that which kept me bound in an allusion of “control” and “safety”. I believed that I had to live in that control because of the values and character traits that I worshiped. They had become little idols that I set in place on the altar of my ego and had to be “carefully kept”
Holding people hostage to live the way I believed was correct, only kept those same people from becoming known. And when you don’t allow yourself to really know people, you can’t really ever love them either. The same happens when we only love people within the confines of our own beliefs.
The choice was set before me. Life and death, so to speak.
“The Light of the body is the eye”. ~ Jesus~
How do I choose to see?
I chose life, climbed over the bars that I could see, and began living in a wider, open space. WOW. I had missed so much beautiful scenery! Beautiful people!
Love has become much clearer. It’s not that I don’t have boundaries. I’ve created some really healthy ones since I stepped out, but my heart isn’t closed to anyone because of past experiences, or offenses. These things are not my enemies. They have become my teachers.
And that perspective is making all the difference in the way I love.
It’s throwback Thursday, but we don’t have to live in those past pictures. They are there to remind us that change is inevitable and it’s up to us to choose how to grow..