Posted by: Marie | July 15, 2011

(569) My obligations as a human being

Post #569
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, January 5, 2010]

So . . . after a low-spirited holiday season, I’m glad to get back into the full swing of a regular schedule (minus the bus driving job) and get my creative energy back into a more positive state. And, I’ve been reading some more of the Conversations with God book and am intrigued by the idea it presents concerning my obligations as a human being . . .

The books suggested that I am obligated to no one . . . there is absolutely nothing in this world I am obligated to do. Instead, the relationships I voluntarily enter into, and the interactions I choose to have with people and with communities provide opportunities for creating harm or for creating benefit. How – and if – I use those opportunities are choices, not obligations.

I like that.

Furthermore, the book suggests, God expects nothing of me. I am under no obligation to “behave” and follow holy rules. If I choose to “behave” – if I choose to act in a way that brings benefit to myself and others – it will be because it is what I prefer to do – not because I am obligated to do so. And, not “behaving” won’t cause God to be angry with me and it won’t cause me to go to hell. It only creates disharmony and pain for me and for others. Therefore, my motivation can be: “Because it is my preference.”

Photo by Martin Chen

Of course, there are consequences to my behaviors – the helpful and the hurtful alike. And, I’m not the only one who is impacted by those consequences – the consequences spread outward in an ever-growing circle. So, being aware of that can influence what I prefer to do.

The good news is that God won’t get angry at me in the times I have hurtful preferences because he knows eventually my preferences will turn towards helpful and healing behaviors – it is just a matter of time – and time is irrelevant to him. He doesn’t care how many lifetimes it takes me to figure it out. He has all the time in the universe – and then some.

That is a very freeing thought. That means God won’t be disappointed in me if I don’t get my “to do” list done. Now that’s a new concept . . . I was raised to believe that God is watching over me, taking note of every little thing I do and every little thought I have, judging and disapproving if I didn’t measure up to “good girl” standards.

Whew . . . that’s a weight off my shoulders!

That means it is okay if I push off working on my “to do” list so I can take time to curl up in bed, under the blankets, and practice feeling safe – when my body is telling me that is what my spirit needs me to do.

Recently, I noticed a habit of identifying a “need time under the blankets” state of mind and then declaring to myself that is the state in which I will remain for the entire day because I am helpless and unable to shift my state – in other words, because I’m stuck in that state until I’ve had time to sleep it off.

Now, I am learning that it is possible – even likely – that my state can shift towards the better at some time later in the day. In that event, I want to not be held back by my assertion earlier in the day that my “need time under the blankets” state of mind will not change until the next day, at the earliest. I now give myself permission to reassess and to choose a lighter set of behaviors at a later time in the day.

How’s that for a shift in my way of being!

Anyway . . . today, I sent a status email to my therapist to let him know what I’ve been up to over the holiday break:

Hi, Edward –

I trust your holidays were restful and joyful!

For a status report . . . I’m not sure where I’ll be with either or both of the following by next Wednesday, but here is what I’ve been focusing on the most in the last three weeks:

1) Capturing what I really would like to say to my dad . . . possibly a rewrite of the letter to my dad to include some of what I said in my letter to God (per your idea) and to also include some of what I said in my confrontational letters to Mark (former therapist) — I think I projected a lot of my anger about my dad’s behavior onto both of them.

2) A summary of what I have learned from reading the first volume of “Conversations with God”. The content of the book has had a profound effect on me, even to the point of propelling forward my healing journey by several leaps and bounds.

So . . . I’ll see you in a week!

– Marie

———————-

Dear Marie,

Delighted to read the CWG book has been impact-full.

I look forward to our forthcoming time together.

Warmly,

Edward

It will be good to see Edward again. I’ve missed our time together.


Responses

  1. It certainly sounds like things are moving along for you.

    • Hey, Evan –

      About this point in my journey, there began a shift towards a lighter way of being. I started seeing meaningful changes in my daily “mood” and willingness to really live.

      Thanks for your encouragement!

      – Marie

  2. Conversations With God sounds like a good read. I really like the two themes you shared here – that relationships are not obligations – they are choices. And that God has an infinite amount of time to wait for us to figure it all out. That is very comforting.

    • Hey, OAD –

      It has been a very interesting book . . . it’s one that causes me to read some, ponder a whole bunch, read some more, take a break, come back to it . . . . a little bit goes a long way!

      I find comfort in the fact that I’m not obligated to “buy into” it wholly — I’m free to take what fits and leave the rest.

      Thanks for your input!

      – Marie


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