Daily Riches: Feel Your Feelings (Lynn Baab)

“When I’m stressed about something, my feelings get buried under my thoughts. Some of those thoughts center around questions about the future: “What if this happens? What if that happens?” Other thoughts are about the feelings: “You shouldn’t be feeling these negative feelings. You should be trusting God.”Some months ago [my therapist] suggested that I practice self-compassion as a way to cope with negative feelings, and I’ve had a wonderful year learning more about what self-compassion looks like and why God would desire it for me. The form of self-compassion that I have found helpful is summarized in the acronym RAIN:

1. Recognize [feelings]. It takes a bit of effort to figure out what I’m feeling because the thoughts swirling around my brain are so vivid and powerful. When I feel my negative thoughts careening out of control, I’m learning to stop and try to discern the feelings that lie behind the thoughts. Most often those feelings are fear or sadness, but I also sometimes feel anger, hopelessness and frustration.

2. Acknowledge [feelings]. After recognizing the emotion, I sit with it for several breaths. I focus on my breathing and let myself feel whatever it is.

3. Investigate [feelings]. I try to identify where the emotion is located in my body, because this helps identify emotions the next time they happen. I also try to figure out what the emotion wants. Sometimes it wants to dominate my life. Sometimes it just wants to be acknowledged.

4. Non-identify [with feelings]. When the feeling wants to dominate, it wants to be pervasive. It wants me to identify myself with that feeling. When I non-identify with the feeling, I might think about feelings as weather. They come and go. …Or I might focus on other feelings I’ve had that day–such as contentment, joy, happiness, or gratitude, no matter how fleeting–to demonstrate to my brain that this strong negative feeling is only a part of me, a part that needs to be acknowledged, but a part that does not define me.

…Why is feeling feelings a Christian spiritual practice? The Psalms demonstrate that all emotions can be brought into God’s presence. How can we do that if we don’t know what we’re feeling? God made us, knows us, and calls us to love and serve him. How can we do that with our whole beings if our feelings are driving us into counterproductive thoughts and behavior? My swirling negative thoughts truly are demonic, and I’m much better able to let them go if I acknowledge the feelings that lie behind them. This process of feeling the feelings, called self-compassion by some people, extends the same kind of compassion to myself that God asks me to extend to others. Why would God want me to show compassion for others but not for myself? Living under the burden of stress makes it harder for me to love and serve God. This gift of self-compassion through the RAIN process enables me to love and serve God more fully because I am not preoccupied with my swirling thoughts and feelings. Christian spiritual practices help us walk with Jesus and help us grow in faithfulness, and this process helps me do that.” Lynn Baab

“Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes
asked Jesus to leave them,
because they were overcome with fear.”
Luke 8:37

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you dominated by your emotions?
  • Do you see emotions as misleading?
  • What can you learn from your emotions?

Abba, teach me to listen for your voice in my emotions.

For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero

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Thanks for following this blog. Longer this time. Too hard to abbreviate more, too important not to do.

Daily Riches: Confusing Our Will With God’s Will (Pete Scazzero and Ignatius of Loyola)

“By indifference, [Ignatius of Loyola] does not mean apathy or disinterest. He simply means we must become indifferent to anything but the will of God. Ignatius taught that the degree to which we are open to any outcome or answer from God is the degree to which we are ready to really hear what God has to say. If we are clutching or overly attached to one outcome versus another, we won’t hear God clearly. Our spiritual ears will be deafened by the racket of our disordered loves, fears, and attachments. In such a state, it is almost a forgone conclusion that we will confuse our will with God’s will. Ignatius considered this state of indifference to be spiritual freedom. We place our lives in God’s hands and trust him for the outcome. Arriving at this place of interior indifference and trusting that God’s will is good – no matter the outcome – is no small task. We are attached to all kinds of secondary things – titles, positions, honors, places, persons, and security, and the opinions of others. When these attachments are excessive, they become disordered attachments, or disordered loves, that push God out of the center of our lives. …Jesus teaches us that indifference, the key to true obedience, must be learned, struggled for, and prayed for. We see this in Gethsemane as he prayed three times. …If it took falling with his face to the ground and great struggle for the Son of God to submit himself to the will of the Father, how can we expect that it will require any less of us?” Pete Scazzero

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth,
he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears…
Son though he was, he learned obedience
from what he suffered.”
Hebrews 5:7-8

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you attempting to learn “indifference?” … to be “open to any outcome from God?” How exactly?
  • Are you aware of the deafening racket created by your “disordered loves, fears, and attachments?”
  • What are some “attachments” in your life that hinder hearing “what God has to say?”

Father, I am indifferent to every outcome except your will. I want nothing more or less than your desire…. (Scazzero)

For More: The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Pete Scazzero

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

 

 

Daily Riches: Stopping for the Bush that Burns (Walter Rauschenbusch) *

“O God, we thank you for this universe, our great home; for its vastness and its riches, and for the manifoldness of the life which teems upon it and of which we are a part. …Grant us, we pray you, a heart wide open to all this joy and beauty, and save our souls from being so steeped in care or so darkened by passion that we pass heedless and unseeing when even the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God.”  Walter Rauschenbusch

“Now Moses … led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”  Exodus 3:1-3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you able to stay open to our world’s daily “joy and beauty” when your heart is “steeped in care?”  when it is “darkened by passion?”
  • Are you able to be unhurried enough, and present enough, so that if “the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame” you’ll stop to investigate?
  • What specific action can you take to be more mindful of what’s happening in you and around you as you move through your day today?

Abba, my heart’s cares and dark passions are constantly hindering me from hearing and seeing what you have for me. Please help me to work on being more present to you and to my world.

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to provide you with something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Solitude – Seek It or Fly From It? (Richard Baxter and Jurgen Moltmann) *

“We seldom read of God’s appearing

by Himself or His angels
or to any of His prophets or saints in a throng
but frequently when they are alone.”
Richard Baxter

“… what are virtues for the mystic are torment and sickness for the modern man or woman: estrangement, loneliness, silence, solitude, inner emptiness, deprivation, poverty, not-knowing, and so forth …. What the monks sought for in order to find God, modern men and women fly from as if it were the devil.” Jurgen Moltmann

“…Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida,
while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them,
he went up on a mountainside to pray.” Mark 6:45,46
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them,
whom he also designated apostles:”  Luke 6:12
“About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him
and went up onto a mountain to pray.”  Luke 9:28

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Why do you think God most often makes himself known to someone who is alone?
  • Are you regularly alone before God, or would that represent “torment and sickness” for you?
  • What plan can you make to regularly escape the “throng” as Jesus did, and give God more of your undivided attention?

Abba, help me to learn to leave the crowd behind and make myself available to you – not focusing on my problems or needs, but simply giving you my affection and undivided attention.

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For More: Experiences of God by Jurgen Moltmann

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to provide you with something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Mindfulness (Walter Rauschenbusch)

“O God, we thank you for this universe, our great home; for its vastness and its riches, and for the manifoldness of the life which teems upon it and of which we are a part. …Grant us, we pray you, a heart wide open to all this joy and beauty, and save our souls from being so steeped in care or so darkened by passion that we pass heedless and unseeing when even the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God.”  Walter Rauschenbusch

“Now Moses … led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”  Exodus 3:1-3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you able to stay open to our world’s daily “joy and beauty” when your heart is “steeped in care?”  when it is “darkened by passion?”
  • Are you able to be unhurried enough, and present enough, so that if “the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame” you’ll stop to investigate?
  • What specific action can you take to be more mindful of what’s happening in you and around you as you move through your day today?

Abba, my heart’s cares and dark passions are constantly hindering me from hearing and seeing what you have for me. Please help me to work on being more present to you and to my world.

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to provide you with something of uncommon value each day in less than 300 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)