I have a question for you. If all of the power and magnificence and radiance and love that is God is hanging out and living in my soul, why don’t I feel it? I mean if all of that power is inside of me, why don’t I feel it? Shouldn’t I feel it? What’s wrong with me that I don’t?
The answer to that goes all the way back to the beginning of time. All the way back to when humans began. All the way back to the Garden of Eden. So, we all know the story of Adam and Eve, right? God made Adam and then he thought Adam might get a little lonely, so he created Eve. They were just hanging out in the Garden of Eden, running around stark naked, enjoying the good life. They could see God and talk to him. Life was good. They only had one rule. Just one rule. Don’t eat any of the apples from the tree of knowledge. Seems easy enough. Right? Don’t eat the apples. Well, you know what happened. That ol’ snake convinced Eve to trick poor, innocent Adam into eating an apple and POOF. They noticed they were naked and ran to get some clothes on. God got mad and told them “That’s it! You are out of the garden! Life won’t be rosy anymore.”
Were Adam and Eve mean evil people who spit in God’s face? Did they say “I’m gonna eat this apple and You can’t stop me”! I don’t think so. Was God a mean, spiteful God? I don’t think so. Here’s what I think probably happened. Now before you get all excited, I know that snakes can’t talk. But bear with me. Here’s what I think could have happened. I think Adam and Eve were human. They were just human. They weren’t mean or evil. They were human. And as humans they had fears. Big fears. I think Eve loved Adam with her whole heart. He was everything to her. Then the serpent came up and said “Eve, honey. I hate to be the one to tell you this. But word around the Garden is, Adam thinks you’ve put on a little weight. He’s just not as attracted to you. The spark is fizzling out. But… If he eats one of these apples, he’ll get that spark back! Your marriage will be strong again.” Well, poor Eve started thinking. “Maybe Adam doesn’t find me as attractive. I’ve noticed that things have been a little off lately. Maybe that apple would help things.” Now Eve wasn’t mean. She wasn’t trying to defy God. She wasn’t even thinking about God (problem). She was scared of losing Adam and she just wanted to take control of the situation before it got out of hand. How many of us have done the same thing? I have. So, she goes to Adam with the apple and she tells him what the serpent said. Well, Adam had been noticing that things were a little off with Eve lately. And he loved her with his whole heart. He didn’t want to lose Eve. He was scared. So, he ate the apple. Not because he was a bad person. Not because he got tricked by mean, ol’ Eve. But because his fear monster got stirred up. So they took control of things, ate the apple and without even knowing it – moved a teeny, tiny step away from God. They put on clothes. Those clothes separated them from their soul. The tree of knowledge that the apple came from was the knowledge to build up defenses so you could hide from the fear monster. It was the knowledge that they could build up a brick wall to protect themselves from the fear monster. We all have this deep, down fear that we won’t be loved and we’ll be all alone. That fear got stirred up so Adam ate the apple. They weren’t bad. They were just doing what we do. Running from their fear monster. Every time we run from that monster, we build another defense, we put another brick up in the wall around our heart, we put on more clothes. God wasn’t mean and spiteful. They moved away from Him. He didn’t do that. He didn’t put the clothes on them. I’m not even sure He punished them. But putting on clothes and building up a brick wall to protect you from your fears has consequences. Those consequences are moving away from God. And that means your fears just grow and grow and grow. And what do we do? We run and run and run. What’s worse? We don’t even know we’re doing it. We have a huge pile of dirty laundry separating us from our soul and we don’t even notice it. We have a huge brick wall separating us from God and we don’t even see it. Huh.
That’s what I think happened to Adam and Eve. Or something like that. They moved away from the Spirit of God in their soul because they were afraid of losing each other. They were afraid that they wouldn’t be loved. They were afraid that something was wrong with them and the other person was going to leave them. They were afraid of being alone. So, they took control of the situation. They wanted to nip that problem in the bud. They didn’t want it getting out of hand because they could lose each other. So they ate the apple because they were scared. That’s what sin is. It’s not about degrees of how wrong something is. It’s not about telling a little white lie or a great, big, fat lie. It’s about moving away from God. It’s about being so afraid of that fear monster that we go running away from it and build up defenses so it can’t hurt us and (without meaning to) running away from God in the process. We don’t mean to eat the apple. We just don’t want to get hurt, so we try to take control of things and put up defenses so the monster can’t hurt us. But, it’s those very defenses that separate us from God. We need to stop and face the monster and trust that God will take care of us. Boy, is that hard to do.
Want your mind blown? We’re all Adam and Eve! We’re Adam and Eve. And the Garden of Eden is right inside of us in our soul. We think “Wow! I would love to live in the Garden of Eden. If I was Adam and Eve, I would have never eaten that apple.” Well, I’m telling you it’s right there inside of you and you move away from it every day. I move away from it every day. We don’t know how to get back to it. We’re just wandering around lost, running away from the fear monster in us and we don’t know how to get back to Eden. We don’t even know that we’re running.
Here’s an example for you. After 51 years of living on this planet, I’ve built up lots of defenses to protect myself from my fear monster. It’s not done on purpose. I don’t even know that I’m doing it. It’s all subconscious. We have something in our brain that’s called the amygdala. This amygdala is like a nervous watchman. It’s constantly on the lookout for something that could hurt our feelings. And when something comes up that makes the amygdala think we could get hurt, it either builds up a defense to keep the fear monster away or it uses a defense we already have to run away. The human brain has been developing this amygdala for thousands of years and it’s gotten good. Really good. It’s so good, we don’t even know its happening. We don’t know we’re running from the Garden of Eden. We don’t know that we’re eating the apple. We don’t know we’re running from God. It’s that good.
So, like I said, my amygdala has built up a whole arsenal of defenses to protect me from getting my feelings hurt. One of them is that I rarely talk to people that I don’t know. I would rather have root canal surgery than go to a party where I don’t know anybody and they all know each other. Torture!!! That’s my defense. Stay home. Don’t socialize with people you don’t know well. That’s the brick wall that I put up to keep the fear monster out. But that same brick wall is blocking me from my soul. Is it wrong to not go to a party where I don’t know anyone? Of course not. It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about the fact that I didn’t want to get hurt so I didn’t trust God and I took things into my own hands. I ate the apple. If I had stayed home from the party because I just didn’t feel like going – no problem. If I stayed home because I was afraid people would hurt me and I was running from my fear monster – Houston we have a problem. Would I have gotten my feelings hurt if I went to the party? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s not really about people treating me nicely and not hurting my feelings. It’s about me trusting God. It’s about me trusting that even if they’re mean to me, I’ll be ok. It’s about me wishing them much peace and love (and really meaning it) and being happy no matter what people do or say. Trusting God doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen to me. Trusting God doesn’t mean that I won’t get my feelings hurt and want to cry. It means facing that monster so I can chip away at it. If I do that enough, I’ll be back in Eden. If I do that enough, I’ll be at peace even if the world is going crazy. If I do that enough, I’ll get back to the real Molly that hangs out in my soul with God.
So, how do I face that monster? I do the steps to contentment of course! There’s just no getting away from those darn steps. So, here I go:
- I need to take responsibility for my fear of going to a party where I don’t know anyone AND I need to own up to the fact that if people hurt my feelings, it’s just my fears being stirred up. My feelings are my responsibility. Not theirs. They can’t hurt my feelings. My fear monster hurts my feelings. So I just say: “I’m feeling anxious about going to a party where I don’t know anyone, but I know that’s just my fear monster getting stirred up and I’m going to work to bring peace to my life. I’m going to work to move closer to God”.
- I need to figure out how my fear of going to a party where I don’t know anybody is connected to my deep, down fear of not being loved. I do that by asking myself the hard, embarrassing questions. It’s time to have a conversation with myself: Why are you afraid to go to a party where you don’t know anyone and they all know each other? Because what if nobody really wants me around? What if nobody talks to me? What if I just sit in the corner like a big loser? Why are you scared that nobody would want you around or talk to you and that you would sit in the corner like a big loser? Because that would mean that nobody cared about me. Why does it scare you that nobody cares about you? Because if they don’t care about me, maybe they saw inside of me and they know what a hot mess I am. And then maybe other people will see that and then nobody will care about me. Why are you scared that people will see what a hot mess you are and not care about you? Because if everyone knows that I don’t have a clue what I’m doing and that I’m just tripping my way through life; and if they can all see that I’m not a very nice person, then maybe God will find that out too. Then maybe He won’t love me either and I will truly be unloved and completely alone. I dug down to the bottom of the fear. Now I get to release it to God and let Him do all the work to chip away at that big ol’ fear monster. So I say “Dear God, I have a huge fear that I will not be loved and that I will be all alone. It came out as my fear of going to a party where I don’t know anyone. I give this fear to You God. Do whatever you want with it”. Whew. That was hard work. And a little embarrassing. Good thing nobody knows about it! Haha.
- Next I move on to step three. I love step three. I just need to find things to be grateful for about that situation. Gratitude makes what I have feel like it’s enough. It will actually take my pain, break it up, and replace it with peace. So I’m going to say to myself (over and over all day long) “I’m so grateful that I got to face my fear so God can chip away at it. I’m so grateful that I’m able to admit embarrassing things about myself. I’m so grateful that my husband loves me, craziness and all. I’m so grateful that my family loves me and likes to hang out with me. I’m so grateful that I have a dear friend who checks on me every day. I’m so grateful….. I’m so grateful…..”
- Time for step four. With step four I have to remember that I’m connected to every single person on this planet (through God), including the people at that party I was so scared to go to. I need to remember that God is living in their souls and I need try and visualize myself being connected to them. I need to really try and see myself connected to them by a ray of light (my soul). I also need to remember that the energy I put out is what I’m inviting back into my life. So, I need to silently wish them all much peace and love (and mean it). I need to put out as much positive energy as I can by wishing them much peace and love. If you forgotten about step 4, just go to the main menu and click on the Steps to Contentment tab.
- And last, but not least, I need to try to keep picturing God right there with me holding my hand. I need to really try and feel Him in me, helping me. I need to meditate and hang out with God (if you forgot how it’s in the main menu bar under meditation and under Step 5 of the Steps to Contentment). Meditating or sitting quietly with God is the best feeling in the world. It’s actually hanging out with Him. You can do it any time you want for as long as you want. God is never on the phone or too busy to talk. He’s just waiting for you to go to Him. Pretty cool. Well, those are the steps. Once again, I’ve faced that big fear monster that says I won’t be loved and that I’ll be all alone. Now God will chip away at it. This getting back to Eden stuff is hard work. But, it’s sooooo worth it.
So, that’s what I SHOULD do. But is it what I DO? Not usually. Usually, I avoid those situations like the plague. Usually, I run from those fears. Easier. Nope. Easier for the moment – harder in the long run. Take a step away from God. That’s what I do. Take a step away from God. Eat the apple. Is it a sin to not go to a party where I don’t know anyone? No. Is it a sin to ignore my fear and squish it down? Yep. Every time I ignore what my real fear is, I build up more of my brick wall (my defenses) that separate me from my soul. My amygdala tries to take control of things so that I don’t get hurt. It’s all done unconsciously, so I need to start forcing myself to be aware of EVERYTHING that I think and do and feel. That way I can consciously move back toward God. Whew. This is hard work. I’m fighting thousands of years of humanity running from their fear monster. I’m fighting 51 years of building up that wall around my heart. But every time I hide behind that wall to escape my fear I hide from my soul. Not good. I don’t mean to. I’m just trying to not get hurt. You gotta open yourself up to hurt if you want to get back with your soul. Grab your sword. Grab your guns. Grab your light sabor. Gotta face the fear. I want my Mommy!!!! Stupid fears. It’s all Adam and Eve’s fault. I blame them. Oh wait. I am Eve. Yikes. Guess I have nobody to blame but myself. That stinks. Well, I guess all I can say is “CHARGE…..”
Wishing you all the peace and love in the world,