Friday, January 25, 2008

Do You Want What You Want?

What would you want if you knew it was absolutely okay for you to want whatever you want?

Hmmm...scary question, huh? Until we free ourselves to want what we want, our wants tend to get all tangled up in other people's rules and expectations. What a wonderful way to live, right? Wrong!

Here's the thing: God didn't create you to be me, and I wasn't created to be you. We are not intended to be a replica or a duplicate or a reasonable facsimile of anyone else in the universe. We are intended to be the individual we were created to be. Our quirks and preferences and eccentricities don't break us, they make us.

So, what of this incredible urge many of us feel to conform? Okay, let's face it: a certain amount of conformity is good for us. It's scary enough, for instance, to drive in Houston, without having everyone deciding randomly whether to obey the traffic lights or not.

It's when we conform in ways that squelch our true selves, hide our light under a bushel or in any way diminish the glorious masterpiece that God created us to be that we fail ourselves deeply and profoundly. If there is any such thing as sin, that must be it.

Here we are, creatures of God, created in the image of God, and individuated for the purpose of having a unique experience of life for God, and we are desperately trying to squelch as many indications of our individuality as possible. And for what? For the pretense of acceptance, the illusion of approval, that fades away the second we fail to conform to an acceptable level.

We sell out our souls - for nothing. I say nothing because there is no substance to the approval of others, to someone else's validation. It is all smoke and mirrors and the slightest wisp of wind will reveal its fallacy.

Instead of trying desperately to secure the approval of others, why don't we begin to secure our own approval - that glorious feeling of looking into the mirror and liking, no loving, the person looking back at us; the delight of knowing that we have been true to our self and to the desires God has given us.

Our desires are an expression of God's intention to experience life in all its forms and potentialities. And yet we are free to choose. That's how much we are loved. We can absolutely go through life experiencing a tiny fraction of all that God has for us, if we so choose.

But is that what we really want? I think the problem today is consciousness. Obviously, it's not really a problem, but it does make it difficult to go on in our image-driven, other-centered, approval-seeking ways. At least it makes it difficult to do so comfortably. Enough of us are waking up that we are having difficulty ignoring the call that comes from the depths of our hearts and souls - the call to authenticity; the call to deepen and broaden and expand our experience of all that life offers; the call to make something meaningful and significant of the opportunities we are given.

The easiest thing to do may be to bury ourselves in some sort of unconscious behavior that will distract us from our longings so that we can go on with our lives. Isn't that tragic?

I could almost imagine God's disappointment. Except that there is no space for disappointment in unconditional love. God is perfectly okay with us squandering our life if that's what we choose to do. God's perfect, unconditional love accepts it all. And we can, too. But at the same time, if we can accept wasting our life on things that really mean nothing to us, why can't we imagine deciding instead to create the best life experience possible?

It truly is up to us. We get to decide. And then we get to live with the consequences of our decisions. It's something to think about.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:10 AM

    Beautiful thoughts.

    Do add an RSS feed enabling us to be notified when you post something new.



Thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to leave your comment, and as long as it's not spammy or troll-y, I'll be happy to approve it.