Crowns, Horns, and Thrones

Self Esteem

A friend repeated a phrase back to me that I’d used many years ago. My phrase or sentiment was that I had to take care of myself. That I needed certain things out of a relationship and if those needs weren’t met then I would move on, instead of clinging to the hope things would change. When it came back from another’s voice it sounded shallow. Callous. Selfish. Cold-hearted. But that’s not how I’d meant it. Maybe that’s what they heard. I wear the crown for my life. Only I can make me happy or sad. And that’s how I feel about religion, God, and spiritual pursuits. I have to take care of me. Living my life constantly wondering if a god or a man is pleased with me is self abusive. Waiting for someone to come and rescue me, to heal me, to feed me or even to talk to me when I can get up and take care of myself is harmful to me.

Those who grew up in moderate religions may not be able to relate. They probably can’t grasp the concept of denying my rights to make choices for the sake of “deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me.”  “He who loves his family more than me, is not worthy of me.” This is the burden of Christianity. Not a suggestion, a demand.

I believed. I gave up my life, which as a child I never really owned. So I never claimed ownership of my life.

I believed strongly in the scriptures:

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. http://biblehub.com/matthew/16-24.htm

This was my creed, my belief in who God was. These were my mantras:

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Matthew 25:39-40

When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I was so blinded by what I believed the bible said and what I wanted it to say, that it was easy to overlook the verses that said something opposite. Like I heard once, I had my God filtered glasses on. All I saw was the love.

I now realize there are scriptures that say other things.

Matthew 10:38

37“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. http://biblehub.com/matthew/10-38.htm

I Timothy 2:12

I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

Do I disregard the verses that I don’t like. Pick off the offending vegetables? Maybe mark them out with a black marker? No, because there is scripture saying not to do that. Either I accept the total religion or move on. I no longer have to carry the burden of rescuing others from hell. My life is no longer carefully monitored to make sure I don’t offend. No one’s salvation is hinging on my behavior. I’m free to live my life.
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Why Bad Times Make for Good Lives

I sometimes call it the leaky life. When your life slips away so un-noticeably, it’s like your storage tank has a leak. It’s just one drip at a time. What causes it? And what can you do to stop it?

Don’t let your life be driven by the automatics.  You turn 16 and buy a car. You get a job. You go to college. Find a boyfriend/girlfriend. Fall in love. Get married. Buy a house. Have a baby. This is a life that ran away, one trickle, one dribble at a time. Stolen away by the force of automatics.

In the case of the automatics, the normal stoppages are considered roadblocks. Bad times. Scary events. We’d like to think that success brings a satisfying life. Winning the lottery or getting a promotion you wanted doesn’t usually bring satisfaction. There’s no feeling at the end of the day that tells you, Completion.

This is why people say strange things like “losing my job was a godsend” or “getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.” It’s not that cancer is something to seek after, we all realize that, but cancer was the tool that helped them notice their own life. Most of us go on with our lives, one event leading into another until the next expected event isn’t there. You’re happily married and planning a family but you can’t conceive. You go the next step. You try fertility treatments, special diets, new positions and still no baby. Frustration sets in. Now you have to stop and really notice your life. You take a good look at what you want. Am I content without a child? Would I like to adopt?

Don’t let the automatics steal your life. You don’t have to wait for a near death experience to get a handle on your life. This moment right here and now can be lived without expectations, without the normal predictable patterns. You just have to wake up. Do the unpredictable thing. Don’t do the beach vacation, give the time and/or money to the homeless shelter. Go overseas and help a small village with their water supply. Or vacation at an unusual spot. World’s Most Unusual Beaches

Wake up!  It’s not about what you do or where you go. It’s about waking up and noticing your life. Are you proud of your life or is it just a life? Just one in a billion normal everyday lives. If all you ever want to do in your life is to read the current best-selling books, make it happen. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing what you want. Myself, I’m not a world traveler. I don’t have political aspirations. I have pretty simple needs and part of them I’ve already experienced. My life is very satisfying to me.

I have people ask me often, don’t you want to get married? My response is, why? I’ve experienced that. Because I have stopped and evaluated my life, I have a better idea than most people what I want. This is my little spark of life force, given to me by the stars and the universe. It was a gift for me to decide what to do with. It’s inherent with responsibility. Just like with our children, there are expectations not to waste our lives. Isn’t that the meaning of Jesus’s parable of the talents? Parable of the Talents

When you see a drug addict, you automatically think it’s a wasted life, and yes I think so too, but what about the person whose whole life wrapped up in becoming famous? Or getting money? If what you want is wealth or fame, it’s all there for the taking. If what you want is a satisfying life, fame and money are not your answer. Decide what you really want or what makes you smile the most and experience that. You don’t have to have a terminal illness to have a good life.