God helps those who help themselves
This means that God helps those who turn to him. Begin with a gift list...
MY GIFT LIST TO GOD
I have a lot of gifts for God this year. Here is my list so far….
How are these gifts? A Course in Miracles calls the ‘gifts’ on my list ‘sharp edged toys’ and boy do we love to play with them - despite the obvious perils. Why are these considered gifts? Why do we even think God wants these toys? Because we are his children and we are effectively (and constantly) running with scissors. So what is a parent to do?
If we see our young child running with scissors, picking up a sharp knife or lighting matches we’d probably gently ask the child for the dangerous object, hoping he will give it up of his own free will. Above all we’d remain patient so as not to make a bad situation worse. Like a parent, God will not wrestle the object from our hands as he knows this will only make us hold on tighter and cause us more pain. He will wait patiently, as only a parent can, until we loosen our grasp, open up our little hand and ultimately offer it up to him. Once offered the 'gifts' are received and can no longer hurt us.
All of the dangerous gifts above are acquired, given to us through conditioning and learning, through society and enculturation. We are not born with anger, hate and judgment but we have accepted them as part of our nature. We accept blame, we accept shame, we accept guilt, we accept pain, we accept suffering and even death in some form or another everyday. We believe that all of this is part of life and that we deserve it.
Without realizing it we share these gifts with others. For years my parenting strategy was to guilt my kids into doing things. If you love me - you should want to do this…. Do it for me…. Oy the Jewish guilt!
One of my most endearing traits is that I suck at keeping in touch with family and friends. For years I accepted the blame and accompanying guilt for failing those around me in this regard. I was angry at others for their expectations of me and disappointed at myself because I really couldn't seem to change it. I have also dutifully learned that I can be ashamed of myself, my behavior and my body. I have been taught that I am an anxious person. It turns out that I am a very good student. I even have a Ph.D in judgment. Judging we all know is what people do. First impressions (aka first judgements) are everything. We have learned that whether we like it or not we have to be wary of those who somewhere somehow will judge us. Politics comes to mind. Rather than relinquishing the sharp toy of judgment we strive to be judgement proof.
It is sadly ironic that as we go through life we are taught to fear what people think of us so we act properly and don’t embarrass ourselves, while at the same time we are expected to achieve the elevated status of not caring what others think. That will mess up the kids!!!
In truth we are all whole perfect and complete. We are as God created us. All that other stuff we picked up ourselves (like lint on velcro) and we ran with it. We have no need for any of these sharp edged toys, never did. We have outgrown them and it is time to give them up - to gift them to God. In the absence of all the closeted clutter that accompanies these high maintenance toys we return to our natural state of being - peaceful, loving, joyful and free.
For Fear: Be a Giver
1) Make your gift list for God - don’t be stingy.
2) For each item on the list write a little individual note as to where this toy is showing up for you. Use my examples of guilt, shame and blame in the blog to guide you.
3) Gather all your gifts in a box seal it up, wrap it and gift it to God in whatever way speaks to you. You can put it under your tree or in your fireplace - if you are truly giving it God will receive it.
4) Most importantly, once you give a gift, don’t ask for it back!
In the spirit of giving, I say give your gifts to God with gusto this year and have a very blissful, peaceful and inspired new year!!!
Peace out ’til 2017!
*Typos happen but only ego judges :-)