Monday, September 8, 2008

Something is Wrong

"But I wonder if most people who look god all the time are really out of touch with themselves, unaware of how they impact others, and covering up deep pain with the pleasures of activity and achievements. Perhaps much of what passes for spiritual maturity is maintained by a rigid denial of all that is happening beneath the surface of their lives. Maybe in this life it's impossible to be as together as some people look."
"Just a quick glance beneath the surface of our life makes it clear that more is going on that loving God and loving others. It requires only a moment of honest self-reflection to realize that, no matter how much we may have already changed, we still have a long way to go. Most of us know things about ourself that no one else would guess: thoughts, fantasies, things we do in private, secrets that make us feel ashamed. We know things are not as they should be. Something is wrong."
"We wish we were better than we are, but we're not. And that realization brings shame, a desire to hide, to avoid real contact, to present to others only that part of us we think will be well received. We want to hide the rest - not because we desire to avoid offending others with our ugly side, but because we fear their rejection. We live for the purpose of self-protection, clinging to whatever brings us happiness and security. The effect is a discouraging distance between ourself and the people we long to be close to. The quality of our life diminishes."
"Most of us spend our life trying to pretend things are better than they are. When reality breaks through - perhaps in a glimpse of how disappointed or imperfect we are - we're strongly inclined to do whatever restores our feigned sense of well-being. We may count our blessings, cut the lawn, pray for strength, eat something sweet, consult a counselor, join the church choir, fight with our spouse, read a favorite psalm, turn on the TV, scold ourself for being a downer, re-surrender ourself to God, or go out with friends for pizza - anything to get away from that nagging sense that something is missing, something is wrong."
"Perhaps the majority of people who report pleasant feelings with only occasional struggles are building their houses on sand by preserving their happiness through pretense; or, to change the image, maybe they're rearranging the furniture in the motel room, hoping it will feel like home. When we succeed at arranging our life so that "all is well," we keep ourself from facing all that's going on inside. And when we ignore what's happening on the inside, we lose all power to change what we do on the outside in a meaningful way. We rearrange rather than change and in so doing, we never become the transformed person God calls us to be. We never experience freedom from destructive patterns of living."

Dr. Larry Crab Inside Out

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