“Do not quench the Spirit.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:19 (NRSV)
Our failures, especially those we replay over and again, have the power to vanquish our spirit of boldness. We easily quench the Spirit within. And others by their criticisms do the same thing if they are not wary. The Spirit, interminably powerful, is also meek and so easily offended.
When we self-criticise, judge ourselves, or refuse ourselves access to forgiveness, we purge the life-giving power of the Spirit. And how then can God’s Presence survive in an uninhabitable vessel?
No matter what failures we’ve had, no matter who we have disappointed, and despite the actual consequences, we must ask ourselves, “What’s really been lost?”
On the scale of life, few things, if any, are really that major that they command such a spuriously berating review.
Depersonalising the Issues
It can be of great benefit to us if we are prepared to create a healthy distance between the issues confounding us and the Spirit within.
How else are we to process the issues in safety? This is the simplicity of it. If we can depersonalise the issue(s) we see from a safe distance and we retrieve perspective that we otherwise don’t currently have.
Depersonalising our issues is about seeing someone else in our position. It’s about noticing how we feel about it being their problem. We might even grab their insight regarding how they would handle it, and, no less, how they would see themselves in it. And if visualising a particular person doesn’t help we perhaps try another person. If that doesn’t help, we may be seeing the situation itself from a skewed viewpoint.
Life is Comprehensively Recoverable
No matter how bad life gets we can find positions to recover to. Just one fresh outlook away is liberation of spirit—away from the castigating and berating quagmire.
As we protect the Holy Spirit who lives within us, and we do so when we depersonalise ourselves from the issues enough to gain the truer perspective, we have much better access to grace. Self-forgiveness and the ability to move on come easier.
Wherever we find ourselves in life—from the stickiness of certain situations—some proving quite damning—we have a way up and, therefore, out and beyond. We can transcend our difficulties with a smidgen of hope.
We only have to look at the thousands upon thousands of inspirational people who have rebuilt their lives to draw inspiration for our own. And, again, our issues may be a whole lot less dramatic than others’ stories.
Many problems seem more overwhelming than they actually are. Many situations are far more recoverable than we initially realise. It’s good to look up, out, beyond.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.