Clarity

Excerpt from The Clarity Cleanse, by Dr. Habib Sadeghi:

“The more we reach for clarity, the more space we create in our consciousness. The more space we create, the more room there is inside of us for love to expand and grow.

Love is a natural state of being, the divine state of being. When we empty ourselves of all the clutter and muck we have been needlessly carrying around with us from experience to experience, love naturally grows in the space we have created. As it says in the Bible (I John 4:8 NIV), ‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.'”

“Too often people resign themselves to living lives that aren’t worthy of them because they don’t think they can have something better. I believe every one of us can have more, can be more. There are numerous statements in the Bible that assure us God is willing to give us more if we only ask for it, such as, ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.’ (Matthew 7:7 NIV).

[…]

Too many of us lose out on a great relationship, fulfilling job, a beautiful experience, a full and wonderful life because we don’t ask for it. We don’t ask because we don’t believe we can have it. There are no shortcuts to living the life you’ve always wanted to live, to be the person you’ve always wanted to be. You have to believe, you have to ask, and you have to do the work– […] There’s a difference between asking for tea with your cup held tightly to your breast so that it’s difficult for the pourer to reach it and asking with your arm outstretched, holding your empty cup out in an open gesture of receiving.” Dr. Habib Sadeghi, 239-240, The Clarity Cleanse

“There’s a difference between asking for tea with your cup held tightly to your breast so that it’s difficult for the pourer to reach it and asking with your arm outstretched, holding your empty cup out in an open gesture of receiving.”

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That Kind of Love

It’s amazing to find that love that makes you feel safe.

You know– that love where you know everything will be okay because you have this incredible force of love and strength in your life.

A love that is enduring through time, where years later, while you just sit there and talk, you can smile at each other and just know.

A love that binds two completely different people into something strong and unbreakable, for which no words exist.

A love where you can be so honest. A love you don’t let go of. A love you are crazy about.

A love that makes your heart swell. A love of silent understandings. A love that accepts your quirks, and who finds your nerdy weirdness endearing.

A love that starts in friendship and expands because you know you have found most amazing person you have ever met.

A love that can’t be escaped. A love that is there to rescue you and help you fix whatever needs fixing.

A love that laughs at your wacky dance. A love that helps you see the stars you never noticed.

A love that carries you when you are in pain. A love that keeps your little notes and drawings; a love that believes in your dreams more than you. A love that makes your life a garden.

A love you believe in without question. A love you never want to see a day without. A love that can block out life’s loudest noise and helps you find rest.

A love that is a home. A love that makes you better because you know that person deserves the best.

A love that changes your life. A love unmatched. A love that imparts life.

Construction Paper Hearts

(A vulnerable and open brain dump that marks the beginning of some serious healing. Proceed if you dare.)

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Some of us in the world experience a deep rejection and distancing from a close family member. Maybe, it’s a sibling or even a spouse. Where close love can exist, true pain can also be born.

I have known my fair share of people who have not known how to fight for those they love or for unity. People who have only thought about themselves and the illusory idea of happiness they have stuck in their heads.

It has been a difficult thing to swallow. You keep thinking, “Not us” or “Not me.” And then instead, you are disappointed when someone acts selfishly or destructively. It’s even more painful when a person physically leaves or blocks communication.

I realized that each time this happens, when someone leaves or detaches themselves, I am left feeling exposed, vulnerable, foolish, distrustful, disregarded and set aside.

But the thing is, this isn’t about me. And it’s not about me and the other person. It was never between me and him or her. It was always between him/her and God. Bear with me.

Who we are in our relationships shows a lot about whether we truly know God, and how we relate to Him.

And if I have felt rejected— I can’t imagine the pain of an all-loving and sacrificing God being rejected.

Here is the deal—
People who leave or detach themselves, take their issues with them. They take their dishonesty, their instability, the resentment, guilt and negativity. These things even leave an imprint on their physical well-being.

Spiritually, we always say that sin destroys us. Yet I have been reading a book by functional doctor Habib Sadeghi, who explains how our emotions affect our health and ability to heal from disease. Things like anger, dishonesty and guilt can leave imprints on us physically, and they manifest through illness, discomfort, etc.

This means that to be well, both the one who has suffered trauma and the one inflicting trauma must seek spiritual healing, or they will likely see things worsen.

Relationally, we are like construction paper hearts. We are glued to other hearts, and then if someone leaves, it’s like the construction paper hearts are ripped apart. A residue remains.

Maybe the heart that understands true love and its healing power can have the residue picked off, and look whole again— but as long as we ignore suffering and don’t use it as a tool for growth— we are ripped up and tattered.

It’s like the art where people take broken pottery and bind it together again using gold. (This is an example Dr. Sadeghi uses). Healing can make us more beautiful and valuable if we allow it.

One thing I can say for sure is that evil doesn’t prosper. For something to last, whether it be a building structure or a relationship, you must look at how it started. Was there a foundation of integrity?

If not, it’s doomed from the start. A person can deceive themselves and things can remain dormant for a while, but then, the truth and reality of people’s hearts and the structure of things are tested.

Life knocks all of us on our knees— the question is what will come out of your soul when this happens?

Revisiting the story of Adam and Eve, we criticize them and sometimes think of them as foolish, when we see what they did. But ultimately, we all do the same thing. The root of their problem was doubting God’s goodness, thinking God was withholding something good (when in fact he was withholding pain and suffering until they chose otherwise), and the pride of thinking they knew better than God.

After reflecting on all these things, I knew that to be well and whole, I needed to make sure that forgiveness was deep seated in my heart.

It’s a powerful thing to tell God that you are letting go of something (not forgetting it happened, not denying the pain it caused and not excusing the other person); letting it go and letting God handle the consequences of such actions.

Letting God pick off the construction paper residue from your own heart, so it can be whole and beautiful.

God wants healing. He wants love. He wants health. He wants joy. He wants to make us whole. He wants us to experience true love in Him and wants us to impart true love to others.

God, in Jesus, showed a love that humbles itself, sacrifices itself and gives itself for what it loves.

God was not and is not someone who leaves. And if we are to reflect Him, we won’t leave either. Jesus fought for us through submitting to suffering, resting and then living a renewed life that held a sure promise of hope.

I pray that we too can submit to the suffering life hands us. May we find rest in Him, in the midst of it all, and may we live a renewed life. A life that shows His love. His work. His power. His faithfulness. For His glory.

It’s the kind of life that stays; the kind of life that fights to love, even those who have chosen to reject you.

 

Wisdom from Brené Brown’s Wilderness

Quotes from Braving the Wilderness:

“All too often our so-called strength comes from fear, not love; instead of having a strong back, many of us have a defended front shielding a weak spine. In other words, we walk around brittle and defensive, trying to conceal our lack of confidence. If we strengthen our backs, metaphorically speaking, and develop a spine that’s flexible but sturdy, then we can risk having a front that’s soft and open… How can we give and accept care with strong-back, soft-front compassion, moving past fear into a place of genuine tenderness? I believe it comes about when we can be truly transparent, seeing the world clearly— and letting the world see into us.” Roshi Joan Halifax (pg. 147)

“When the culture of any organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of the individuals who serve that system or who are served by that system, you can be certain that the shame is systemic, the money is driving the ethics, and the accountability is all but dead. This is true in corporations, nonprofits, universities, governments, faith communities, schools, families, and sports programs. If you think back on any major scandal fueled by cover-ups, you’ll see this same pattern. And the restitution and resolution of cover-ups almost always happens in the wilderness— when one person steps outside their bunker and speaks their truth.” pg. 78, Brené Brown, Braving the Wildnerness

“We pay for hate with our lives, and that’s too big a price to pay.” pg 70, Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness

Exterior Things

By: Gabriela Yareliz

“Exterior things come and go, but why should they disturb me? Why should joy excite me or sorrow cast me down, achievement delight me or failure depress me, life attract or death repel me, if I live only in the Life that is within me by God’s gift?” Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, pg. 160

When I read that passage above, all I could think about was how beautiful that perspective is. Why should we let both the good and bad of “exterior things” affect us so much? For it has no lasting effect… Usually, if we allow things to affect us to that degree, then we are mistakenly seeking something in it that we can only receive from God.

As humans, we crave acceptance, value, attention. But what a powerful thought— that we can, as those same humans, keep our focus on the only One who matters, God, and not allow anything external to disturb our core.

The key here is that everything exterior comes and goes. Only the unseen, as scripture says, is eternal. Instead of allowing ourselves to go on an emotional roller coaster, we should embrace the gift of life that we are living. Scripture states that to have life means that we have the breath of God within us. (Job 33:4)