Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The "must" of the deep, Part 4

Over life’s journey I have had to learn how insidious, death-dealing is toxic shame. Since our origin is the infinite love and will of our creator God we of our essence are good.  Fr.Rohr puts it this way. "Our deepest DNA is divine." Do we believe in that essential goodness? If a person is the victim of toxic shame they do not believe that The Divine dwells within.  You see toxic shame take away your five rights. Here I am stealing from John Bradshaw.  I have had him as my master for over 30 years, and what a comforting and challenging presence he has been.  I have been taught that toxic shame takes away your five rights, your right to love, be loved ( the beloved), to belong, to have worthwhileness and to enjoyment. A shame based life is in reality no life at all, it is just a moment struggle for existence.

Toxic shame is the source of all our addictions and compulsions. When we do not believe in our essential goodness, and that the source of all life, and all our needs for healthy living lies is deep within us then we have no other option than to look on the outside. We look to the outside to medicate the pain that comes with a toxic shame based life. We go for our medicators we look to booze, drugs, sex, work, food, exercise, shopping, gambling, and religion.  I said religion not spirituality.  As one author has put it "so many hide from God behind religion."  To accept the invitation to move from religiosity to spirituality is an awe-full, fear-full lived experience. Conversion is the word that is used today.

To be converted we have to make an about turn from the direction we are going and face the unknown. It was so consoling to learn that our journey of faith is not a journey into certainty, it is a journey into uncertainty.  I was shocked to read that what we know is not God, it is what we do not know." It is so difficult to let go of the known, the familiar, and journey into the unknown which is another word for God, the great Unknown. So then we discover that a healthy spiritual journey leads to the use of many words when we want to convey our understanding of our Higher Power. God as The Mystery I am becoming more comfortable with.  Grace, Love, Beauty, Lover, The Only, The Alone, are all words that taken together deepen our understanding of That Presence which beyond all of our understanding.  So The Ineffable One also brings us to new horizons.  Now there are no boundaries only horizons.

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