Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hug Me! Do We Fight Our Help?


I love this adorable cartoon post.

Dinosaur number one pleads, “Hug me!” to Dinosaur number two, who responds, “I’m trying.”

I immediately thought of the “fighting your help” principle, both on the recovery front and the much larger spiritual playing field.

Many of us struggling with addictions, disorders and vices often employ a lot of self-sabotage when it comes to interaction and, yes, actual help.

We reiterate such statements as...

“I’m worthless.”

“I’m unlovable.”

“I’ve made too many mistakes.”

With those statements, we push others away; we fight our help.

And, of course, we do this with God.

Why else, perhaps, does there exist this scripture, were it not for this resisting attitude?

“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”

Matthew 23:37

To paraphrase and play with Matthew 26:41, “God, the Spirit, is willing, but we, the flesh, are weak.”

Scripture, indeed, gives us ample evidence we are loved by a Creator Who desires to heal and help us...

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’”

Jeremiah 31:3

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will guide you with My eye.”

Psalm 32:8

“… I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal you…”

2 Kings 20:5

“‘If You will, Thou canst make me clean.’ And He (Jesus) stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be clean.’”

Luke 5:12-13

And it’s that last one, in particular, which calls into question the equally precise question, “Do we want that help?”

 “…‘Do you want to get well?’"

John 5:6

Squirming yet?

This question, uttered by our Messiah, cuts through all of the physical, emotional, situational and spiritual red tape.

Do we want to be healed? Do we?

Often, let’s be honest, that answer is “no.”

And the best we can hope for is the double minded, wishy-washy perspective of “wanting our cake and eating it too.”

Yeah, I know. This is the wonderful perplexity of addict land.

(Please keeps your arms in the vehicle at all times during our tour).

Addiction pulls on us so much of the time because it, quite honestly, feels like love. It feels warm, safe, nurturing, rewarding, encouraging, euphoric and empowering. It feels like all of the things we wish love could actually be to us.

Yet, because addiction is only a counterfeit to actual love, let alone, God’s love, inevitably, we are left wanting and disappointed when our “true love” failed to deliver on its “solution” promise.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:18-19

So, now we have trust issues. Now we are faced with another question, “Do we trust love?”

And again, all too often the answer is “no.”

So, tightly, we hold onto our addiction; forcefully, we push away any and all help, God included.

Again, just like our cute dinosaur friends...

“Hug me!”

“I’m trying.”

Here we are, at a crossroads. How do we truly view the “I’m trying” response from the Source of all help?

Do we believe He is willing and able to be our Alpha and Omega?

“And he said unto me, ‘It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.’”

Revelation 21:6

Upon studying our little dinosaur conversation, I zoomed in on the arms. We have to acknowledge the arms. Look at those suckers.

 Indeed, there has been much discussion and humor about how these fierce prehistoric creatures couldn’t even pick up their prey with those short little limbs.

And this discussion about short arms brings us back to the God element of things.

We are confronted with two seemingly, diametrically opposing sentiments.

 On the one “hand...”

 “Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”

Isaiah 59:1

Yet, on the other “hand...”

“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”

Matthew 23:37

Huh? Well, which one is it?

Answer: both.

For this brings to light the joint venture of our recovery. It is part us, part God. One without the other cannot facilitate healing. We cannot cure ourselves independently. Likewise, we cannot opt out of participation and expect better health either.

And, while God can do anything/everything, He does not go against our free will, even when that free will “fights our help.”

So, we have the dilemma, the constant challenge of what we believe, why we believe it and the results of how those mindsets fight or help Divine intervention and recovery in our lives.

I know. It is maddening. It is...human...

But again, if we return to the “I’m trying” response in the dinosaur conversation, we see the willingness is there.

Remember willingness?

“‘If You will, Thou canst make me clean.’ And He (Jesus) stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be clean.’”

Luke 5:12-13

1 John further backs this up...

 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

1 John 5:14-15

God wants to love us. God wants to help us. God wants to heal us.

“Hug me!”

“I’m trying.”

“‘If You will, Thou canst make me clean.’

... ‘I am willing; be clean.’”

Do we fight the Truth or embrace it?

Are we the ones who need to “hug back?”

Copyright © 2017 by Sheryle Cruse


About Talking About Me...

My Reaction When Someone Hurts Someone I Love...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's Getting Ridiculous

The Heart and the Mind...

The Search For Rejection?


“Actors search for rejection. If they don’t get it, they reject themselves.”

Charlie Chaplin

As someone with a theatre background, I’ve often encountered rejection.

I’ve endured many auditions and have heard my fair share of no. I didn’t look the part, sound the part, I couldn’t get a handle on a certain accent or I simply was not “good enough.”

Ah, yes, “good enough.” For many of us perfectionists and/or recovering addicts, this little phrase cuts right to the core.

In one way or another, we are recovering from something in life. And yes, it’s often fueled by rejection.

Years ago, when I played the crazy housewife character, Bananas in John Guare’s, “The House of Blue Leaves,” I behaved like a dog, begging for attention.

It wasn’t my first stint at begging, however. Like many of us, my rejection issues stemmed from unmet needs involving my parents. I discuss it in my book, “Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey Through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder.”

 “I desperately wanted my dad to notice me. I learned very quickly that one surefire way to do that was by winning awards. When I won something, I wasn’t completely worthless... I was “earning my keep.” I set impossible standards for myself.

...For three years in a row, I did not missed one day of school, knowing that I would win a perfect attendance certificate, tangible proof on paper that I was worthwhile. It became a standard I had to maintain because my dad seemed pleased in my performance... So for the next few years, I went to school with colds, sore throats and influenza. I remember going to school once with a temperature of over 101, sitting at my desk, on the verge of throwing up, yet only thinking of that certificate.

When I reached junior high, I became so sick once I had to stay home... My dad, who had never really been sick with so much as a cold, was unsympathetic to my condition. With each passing day I stayed home from school, the tension mounted... After three days home, he had enough. He decided he would take me into school to make sure I got there.

On the way to school, he was fuming and I was scared to death, but my fourteen-year-old mind wanted to know something... I got up the nerve to ask him, ‘Do you still love me?’ His answer? ‘If you do this again, I won’t.’

His answer proved it. It was my fault. I had to prove myself in order to be loved...”

However, there was an ugly little reality I didn’t want to admit; I was getting a payoff from the rejection.

Whether it was an excuse to wallow, a free pass from accountability or just me being a true drama queen, my rejection perception was giving me something. I say perception because, let’s get real, nine times out of ten there was no actual rejection going on at all. It was simply my feelings run amuck.

Furthermore, I missed one critical Truth that, as an adult, I’m now acknowledging: my dad’s behavior- or anyone else’s- was not necessarily The Most High’s response.

He feels and acts differently when it comes to the love issue:

“...‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’”

                                                             Jeremiah 31:3             

Furthermore, He doesn’t reject.

 “I have chosen you and have not cast you away.”

Isaiah 41:9

"...‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’"
Hebrews 13:5

So, where does all this reveling in rejection come from?

Again, there could be a payoff that, perhaps, we get addicted to. Yes, we can get addicted to feelings, unhealthy drama and chaos.

Pity parties can feel wonderful. Being intense and moody can give us the illusion of being powerful. Rejecting ourselves before anyone else gets a crack at us can appear to de-victimize us.

Scripture calls us out on the rejection reality concerning each of us:

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:9
Life may deal some crushing blows, rejection being one of them. However, we need to determine the true source and the meaning, exactly, of our trials.

No one gets through life unscathed. Pain is a human experience, not a selective attack.

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. “


Ecclesiastes 9:11


So, if we’re feeling rejected, could it be really, our own doing? And, if so, are we getting some payoff from the self-inflicted pain? It’s worth searching.

“Search me... and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalms 139:23-24

And, in the meantime, we can remember a spiritual truth; Elohim never rejects:

“I have chosen you and have not cast you away.”

Isaiah 41:9

"...‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’"
Hebrews 13:5

Let’s bask, therefore, in His acceptance. Period.

Copyright © 2017 by Sheryle Cruse







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