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Ditching The Dogma – Asking God Into My Life

Ditching The Dogma – Asking God Into My Life

One Way - Another - Way

Lost & Found

 

I was lost for a long time before I made the decision to ask God into my life. I always believed in God, but never knew how to connect to God’s light. I have a somewhat complicated relationship with the church and organized religion in general. I allowed these complications to become obstacles in my relationship with God. One day I ditched the dogma and simply asked wholeheartedly for God’s help.

Of course, there is more to the story than simply asking God into my life. There was so much (good and bad) happening around me when I finally broke down. There are two things in retrospect that are important to know about my decision. They are relevant to you if you are considering doing the same.

 

 

Thing #1 – The Decision

 

There is a huge difference between going through the motions that have been programmed into you since the day you were born (church, communion, meditation, confession, etc.) and making a conscious decision to open your heart and invite God into your life. The former is reactive and the latter is proactive. That distinction makes all the difference.

As you begin to study different systems of thought and make your way along your spiritual path you will find that intent is the key to every form of progress. Your intent interacts with the world around you to facilitate all the tools and situations you will need for growth along the way.

Like most people, I had asked God for help countless times in my life up until that point. The problem was that it was always in the moment and born of a desire for self-preservation. There was no intent behind the request(s)—just knee-jerk reactiveness to whatever situation was confronting me at the moment.

This time was different though. It was deliberate and full of intent. I took a moment to clear all other thoughts from my mind, closed my eyes, and asked God to come into my life.

Thing #2 – The Consequences

 

God is always there. It does not matter who you are, what your beliefs are, or where the world places you on its sliding scale of good and evil. Saints, sinners, priests, and pedophiles—God is there for them all.

The funny thing is that the previous statement is anathema to both atheists and secular believers alike. The atheist scoffs at the idea of God. The secular believer scoffs at the idea of God being there for anyone who does not share their secular belief. It does not matter—God is there for both the scoffer and the scoffed.

But there is an important difference between being ‘there for’ and being ‘with’. The moment you make the decision—and go through with—asking God into your life ‘there for’ becomes ‘with’ and everything changes! If you have honestly and wholeheartedly asked the question the answer is immediate, definite, and unalterable—God is now with you and leading the way!

The consequence—and the blessing—is that you will never be alone again. You will now begin to understand yourself as a part of the whole and that can be a scary (or downright undesirable) notion for a self-involved human being. There will be no more hiding from yourself. The little white lies that used to get you through the day will now point out the unlimited amount of things you’ve been doing wrong all this time. Please do not misunderstand—I am not trying to dissuade you from making this decision. I just want you to understand that there is no going back.

Moving Forward

 

Faith is what comes next. Relax, breath, and let God be your guide. Tools and situations will be provided to guide you along the path. You will begin to notice ‘spiritual waypoints’. They might come in the form of life events, harsh words from a friend, kind words from an enemy, or even stumbling upon a website like this. The further you travel, the more it will makes sense—good luck and God Bless!

Dave

 

Manic Panic

Manic Panic

Storm Before the Calm

Storm Before the Calm

Panic Without a Prelude

 

Panic attacks are like the first blustery wind of an unexpected storm. They come from nowhere, with no warning, and no indication of how long they will last, or how severe they will be. It can happen anywhere, or anytime. You can be in the worst of moods, or the best—it does not matter.

When it happens it is like somebody flicked the lights off and then used the cover of darkness to punch you in the gut. I understand that’s an odd analogy, but it is exactly how it feels.

 

Wrong Without Warning

 

Imagine you are moving along through your day and (without warning) everything is suddenly wrong. You can’t move forward. You can’t move backward. All you can do is stand there and wonder what happened. You feel nauseous because you cannot put your finger on it, and you know the people around you can see something is wrong. You know that someone will ask you if you are okay—and you will say “yes”. You are not, but it does not matter because you couldn’t explain what was wrong if you wanted to.

The feeling of helplessness is vicious and feeds upon itself. Your heart rate increases, palms start to sweat, your chest tightens up, and a little voice in the back of your head tells you that you’re having a heart attack. The rational side of you says you’re not, but the truth is there’s no way to be sure. The lack of certainty sends your thoughts spinning. Should you go to the hospital? If it is a heart attack would you make it in time? If it’s not will the doctor’s laugh at you? Does your daughter know how much you love her? Will she be okay when you’re gone?

Each thought cripples you a little more. It’s a cascade of irrationality fueled by the reality that all of the things you are thinking—while maybe not true in this exact moment—are completely plausible possibilities. People die of sudden, massive, heart attacks every day. Why not you? Why not today?

 

My Panic, Not Yours

 

This is what a panic attack usually feels like to me. If you see me standing stuck in a moment this is what’s going on in my head. I do not know if it is the same for everyone. For me the attacks vary by degrees—sometimes they are small and last seconds, other times they are massive and consume my day. They were less severe when I was younger, and have grown exponentially over the past couple of years.

Oddly enough, the heart attack scenario represents the best case for me. Arguing with myself whether or not I am having a heart attack is at least tangible. Sometimes, the attacks do not present a reason for attacking. Sometimes they are just a sudden onset of terror and an inexplicable surety that everything is not okay. There is no discernible cause—just a hopelessly empty feeling and sudden desire to be anywhere other than where I am. I have left family events, work, even dates when one of these empty moments struck. I have had times when even the company of the person I love most in this world—my daughter—was not enough to make me feel anything other than lost.

 

Bubble, Bubble, Toil, and Trouble

 

I do not exist in a bubble. I deal with these panic attacks much like you might deal with a sinus infection or a broken arm. I adjust and power through it. If you know me then you have most definitely spoken to me while I was in the midst of one of them. Ninety percent of the time you will never know. The other ten percent? Those are the times when I inexplicably disappear. Maybe I told you the truth. Maybe I made up an excuse. Either way, it was necessary to remove myself from whatever situation I was in and deal with the darkness that had descended upon me.

 

Silence Kills

 

I am grateful that I understand what is happening now. Like so many others I suffered for years in silence. Now that I know it is real I can deal with it. One of the ways I deal with it is by writing. If you are dealing with the panic attacks please share how you deal with them below if you are so inclined. If you need someone to talk to but do not want to do it publicly you can reach out to me at eyeofh@gmail.com. I cannot give you answers, but I can listen—and sometimes that helps.

 

Best,

Dave

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