Not since the terrible illness and the brain surgeries...but I believe way before this time. That part of my life was simply a larger spring board. In some ways, I believe that I allowed or contracted this illness to bring about my healing and freedom.
Perhaps in some place before time and space, in the stillness of being where my creator and I planned my existence. With love and grace, I believe we picked and chose the lessons I would need to become fully me, to realize my destiny. Free will came when I would again and again need to choose to surrender to love and healing, or to continue on in bondage and delay my freedom.
I believe that we do choose bondage constantly. We seem to desperately seek it out.
Consider for a moment all of the people, places and things that we run to in order to remain bound.
Religion, that was a biggie for me. I am wholly united and in love with God, don't get me wrong.
I am Him, and He is me...if you can get your mind around that without labeling me a heretic.
Religion, however gave me SO many chances to deny myself in a not-so-healthy way. To choose the style of conservative, Patriarchal brand of religion that I once embraced was probably one of my sickest moments. To believe that my God would have created me to be any less than His other creations, and that I should remain in abject submission to man in order to be right with God now strikes me as sheer insanity.
Part of my healing and freedom over these years has been the process of unwinding my beliefs and taking them to God for review. So far, no matter how ugly or angrily I have come to him, he has yet to smote me on the ashes of ruin.
Next to religion, we choose bizarre and hurtful cultural beliefs as a way to be bound. Just looking a the cover of a popular magazine in the supermarket should show us how harmful our cultural concepts of female beauty are. How many girls and women utterly hate themselves because they cannot look like the airbrushed model before them.
Even the word model...as if this standard of beauty should be adopted and modeled my us.
Let's not forget the desperate seeking of love and acceptance that most of spend our lives dedicated to.
I think it is because we are so bound, of our own making and sometimes from the abuse another bound person perpetrated upon us...whatever the reason, we cannot find God or love or freedom, so we choose again and again to be bound and hurt by people.
If religion, unattainable standards of perfection or people aren't enough bondage...we will choose harmful substances and behaviors that will further bind us. I will not elaborate, but I have had more than my fair share of experience in this area of addiction.
Addiction is not only choosing to ingest harmful substances, but addiction is any form of self abuse, mentally or physically. Stress and worry are one of the most popular forms of self abuse around!
Knowing this, and knowing that only I can free myself from the many bandages that I willingly walk, or run into is such a powerful thought for me right now.
Where once I strove to have it all together (whatever that means) and to please God with all sorts of things that He never asked of me, I now stand in a place of complete surrender and brokenness.
Not a brokenness of spirit or soul, but a brokenness that I fought for and agonized over for so long. A completely dismantling of all my beliefs and a realization of how they allowed me to perpetrate bondage.
Why on earth would I/We willingly stay bound, in fact seek out new ways to ensure that we do?
It is easier to stay bound than it is to surrender to LOVE.
It is easier to feed the distraction, the sickness and the chatter between our ears than it is to sit in stillness and realize, slowly and perhaps for the first time ever that we are already perfect in God's sight.
That we are ENOUGH.
That there is nothing more that we have to do to earn God's love or approval.
Realizing that will completely change your life. It has mine. Every time something else pops up to challenge that is an opportunity to reexamine the belief behind that distraction and the freedom to cast it aside.
Healing is surrender to LOVE.
For me, at least for this moment, I choose LOVE.