Isn’t it interesting how the most difficult thing we’ll ever do in our lifetime has nothing to do with the tangible things we create or the intangible inventions of thought we’re so likely to pride ourselves on?
No. The most difficult thing we’ll ever do as human beings is learn our way past the experience of the environments that shape our limiting beliefs about ourselves and the world.
Whenever I’m managing myself back to life after yet another involuntary personal/social suicide, I think about Pavlov’s dogs. I think about how they were trained in the belief that nourishment and a ringing bell were associated. I think about how Pavlov’s experiment demonstrated the extreme power of mental conditioning. That once the body and the mind learn a drill of sustainment, no matter how healthy or unhealthy, they’ll always work together toward that manifestation….until a course of reconditioning shows up on the mental scene.
And so here we are again. Right back to the Great Commission of Christianity: being truthful about our ways, thoughts, and feelings; becoming committed to the mind renewal process by submitting our faults to the perfect knowledge of God through Christ; and teaching what we learn.
I went to Luzugy‘s studio yesterday with plans to do some major work to fix some minor problems on my spoken word CD project. I had to admit myself, there wasn’t much wrong with it. But the isolated words here and there with fuzzy enunciation made the perfectionist in me itch in discomfort. I was convinced the little infractions ruined the whole and wanted to do the whole thing over.
It’s what I’ve always done…thrown the baby out with the bathwater. But that’s what a conditioning of criticism and judgment does. Cripples. One mistake inside the masterpiece and there my focus goes. The mental bells go off saying “bad”… “imperfect”… “not worthy”… “wasted.”
This process of thought has done it’s work in me so well, even its inverse works. The times I have managed to make something I thought was beautiful & good, I couldn’t enjoy it because of my suspicion. So use to being the author of unworthiness I couldn’t trust my judgment. Ultimately, I’d allow the fear of a mocked presentation to override my desires to give the thing air.
So Luguzy kept telling me it was fine. But I whined, “I was just messing around when you recorded those vocals.” “Alaina, they’re good.” “If it was you who’d made the mistake in the music, you’d want to do it again, too. Lemme do it again.” “Yeah, if it needed it I would but this is already there.” “That wasn’t the agreement! You said you’d let me do it again when the music was all done.” “Ok…fine. Do it. This is your project and I want you to be happy.” “Thank you.”
Nervous now with headphones on, I got back in the booth for the rerecord on the first poem, When I Was A Liar, and I promise you, I couldn’t open my mouth. God was silencing me and I knew it. My tears betrayed me; I broke down. I saw myself in the spirit realm dressed in the full fledged fatigues of self sabotage combat.
I came out of the booth, sat down in defeat, and knew in that moment I had to hear a prayer on my behalf. I asked Luguzy to pray for me. “I do. I will,” he said. “Now. Please.” And when he looked at me I knew he finally understood I was drowning in something neither of us could see. He took my hands and asked God to give me so many beautiful things but when he uttered the word COURAGE, everything else went unheard.
Yes! It was courage I needed to step beyond this invisible subconscious boundary that had been defining my audacity my whole life. I needed courage to trust the work was good enough, even with the flaws. Courage to believe in myself, in my God, and most of all, in His anointing.
We say all the time, mostly in our defense, “don’t touch the Lord’s anointed“.
But what I’m learning is, we do it every day we sabotage the anointing in ourselves… And what a work it is to learn the lessons that teach us to stop. We’ve been so well conditioned by a cunning adversary to kill, steal, and destroy first those things in us that yearn to bear fruit on God’s behalf. Only when we’ve sufficiently dismembered ourselves do we set our daggers toward the brethren.
So watch yourself. Be truthful before God about what you see: about who you are, how you feel, and what you think about yourself, which is ultimately what you think, feel and act towards others. And start today because this truth is what we wash our hearts in. And cleansed hearts make healthy minds make healthy hands to the Kingdom ploughs we’ve been called to service.
I pray your courage and patience on your journey to renew your mind in Christ. Because it’s the hardest, longest, most satisfying work you’ll ever do.