Convictions

I’m all about following your convictions.  If I’ve learned anything over the last year and a half-it’s to follow your heart. Follow that inner voice, the compass, the Spirit-and be true to your convictions.  I didn’t realize how often I was ignoring that inner voice before-sometimes because of perceived outside pressure, after all-everyone’s got an opinion and I would often feel tossed to and fro with what to do, what’s best, what brings happiness, and on and on.  But I found the voice-and I’m trying to follow it.  And I feel more like myself than ever before-I feel happy and life’s good.  But what about those times where people each have their convictions-and these convictions seem to be at odds with each other?  Well I feel like that’s when the magic happens.  I haven’t always felt this way-I feel the Lord teaching me a better way-a 3rd alternative that I really never thought of.

So before this 3rd alternative-I would process everything through  a filter…”hmmm, is this right, is this wrong…how does this fit with my view of the world?  And while I embraced a lot, other times I would often ignore information, ideas, and people thinking “that’s just nutty.”  And I would interpret the world around me this way.  This is different than personality traits, food preferences, and what you like to do in your spare time.  I can understand how people prefer different things and that’s great.  What I’ve been pondering on goes deeper.  It’s no coincidence that a few things came up all around the same time that really shook me-to the core.  Yet I felt invited to search and discover, and I pondered over a lot of things that have changed my heart and mind.  I found myself in a situation where I was just so sure I was right-like I felt peace about it and everything.  I was dead-set.  Only thing was, this didn’t involve only me.  There was another person that was part of this decision-and they felt the opposite.  I felt so set on my convictions-and they were just as set on theirs.  Funny thing is, I pled with the Lord to change their heart-to help them see the light.  Ha!  It’s funny to me now cause I had a lot yet to learn here.  But I was so sure THEY had a lot to learn.  I honestly felt like I was coming from a good place, but it was really a “Oh bless their heart-they just don’t know…”  Which is really like saying, “It’s too bad they don’t know what I do, but someday they will…and hopefully sooner than later cause this is wearing me out!”

But there was this feeling, like a whisper to my heart, “There’s more here…keep searching.”  I knew I was missing something.  But I didn’t know what.  Then one thing after another came up that made me rethink my whole view of the world.  “This is beyond right and wrong.”  I have heard that phrase come to me more times than I can count.  But with some things, I really felt like, “Nope-this is right and that’s wrong and that’s it.”  But I kept hearing the phrase, “This is beyond right and wrong” and I felt like I was being invited on this search-which involved big stuff, deep down stuff.  I kept asking God, “What’s right and wrong here?”  And the answer was the same, “Put down your right/wrong view of life.”  But I kept coming back and asking, “No seriously, who is right and wrong-we can’t both be, it doesn’t make any sense.  Aren’t some things a right/wrong issue??”  Finally, after asking so many times and sensing the same answer, I felt like He was laughing.  Which helped me lighten up-and I knew I needed to trust Him.  And then I realized this is all related to releasing judgment-and in determining right/wrong-I’m being the judge, which can really be annoying.  Eespecially when people near and dear to me don’t see it the way I do and we have to decide together!  Cause I can try and love em into changing and making good choices-but then I’m missing a real, pure love.  How about loving them without judgment-with no strings attached, “I truly love you just the way you are.”  God doesn’t give us truth and light to judge others, but to love others.

I’m learning the value of following convictions.  And I know it’s no coincidence that answers to some big problems in my life have been out of the ordinary.  I can look back and see it so clearly, though in the middle of discovery, it’s really a search…with twists and turns, a stop (or several) while I throw my hands up…a really rocky road to the answer.  But it’s such a road worth taking.  The answers are often not what’s typical, not what the experts say…but I know in my heart what I’m feeling and what brings me peace.  Yet I would start to feel the tension rise within me, when my convictions don’t jive with someone else’s-and we have to work together.  I’ve had to learn something about convictions-I won’t get convictions for someone else.  And the beauty of it is in the differences.  “But how can they think this and I think that-we can’t both be right?!”  We are supposed to think differently-and we are all supposed to follow our heart.  And that won’t lead us to the same destination-or maybe it will in that we are all realizing our potential.  The more I follow my own unique path, the more I feel free to encourage others to do the same.  It’s unique and it’s supposed to be.  The issue isn’t who’s right and who’s wrong-and it never will be.  It’s learning unconditional love.  It’s no coincidence that the earth is filled with all kinds of ideas, passions, cultures, religions-We have been given so much good on this planet, but when the focus is on right/wrong and our differences, we lose our power as a great big family.  I’ve been learning right and wrong is irrelevant.  And guess what happens when I quit worrying about it-from what we like to eat, to our deepest-held views of the meaning of life…I find love.  I see people.  I feel free to love them with no walls, no conditions, no “bless your heart you’ll see the light someday.”  I feel free to learn from some pretty incredible people-and they’re everywhere!

If I could put into words my conversations with God through this experience, it would look something like this.  (Although the impressions came as feelings to my heart and mind):

God:  “It doesn’t matter…either way is ok.”

Me:  “Really??  But I’ve worried so much about making the right choice!  It seems like it matters-like a lot.  How could this not matter?  I don’t want to do the wrong thing…make the wrong choice.”

God: “This isn’t an issue of right/wrong, this is about love.  Your life is so full of opportunities to learn love.  You think it’s a matter of making all the right choices so you can be with me….It’s beyond that.  You’re here to learn love, to feel joy, to be happy!  And to share this kind of love with others.  Fill your life with this love and you’ll feel me with you now…not just after this life.  (Then He brings to my mind times where I was doing my own thing and He stepped in to prevent me from making some choices that really were a big deal-letting me know not to sweat the small stuff.  And He reminds me that people feel passionate about all sorts of things-and that it’s ok. That’s the grand design.  And in our differences we can learn love, compassion, joy, and see the world anew.)

Me:  “No way!  Really??  It’s ok either way? But this seems too good to be true…wow, if this is true, then I don’t feel all stressed, worried and fearful.”

God:  “Exactly-those feelings don’t come from Me.”

Me:  “Sweet!  Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!”

And the gratitude keeps on going…and the burdens keep on lifting.  And I realize how many things I’ve been worrying about that I can let go of.  I’m finding a lot of “it doesn’t matter” stuff and it’s great.  I know I haven’t lost any weight over this-but I feel so much lighter!