How to build faith in God through our emotional injuries
Mary: In order to connect to God, I’m going to need to be brave enough to grieve these feelings inside of me.
And also remember that the whole of humanity has them, so you’re also going to have to brave enough to confront the whole of humanity in the process, and their opposition to you dealing with these feelings.
Mary: So where does faith fall into this equation? Where do I decide to trust a different truth? Because the emotional truth is that I believe these things about God to some degree, although maybe not everything on your list. So where does my faith enter, or my trust?
The big problem we have is if we have these emotional beliefs about God, then how are we ever going to have a relationship with God?
There’s a big problem and then secondly, well if these emotions are within me already, how do I ever have the faith that these are not true? Because the feeling that I have is all of these things are true. The feeling I have inside of myself is that, “It is true that God’s cruel, and it is true that God doesn’t care and it is true that God’s wrathful and punishing. And it is true the only person that I can rely on is myself and if it were true, why would I want to connect with a God who’s just a RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD – WHY WE RESIST GOD JESUS (AJ MILLER)
cruel, punishing, wrathful person? I’d rather just rebel against God and do my own thing. And it is true that while I have all these gender based emotional beliefs that are imposed on God, well God’s not doing anything about that either. God’s not correcting us; God’s not showing to the world that God is different to this.” These are all feelings generally that are present in most people.
So when all these feelings are present, what do we do with them? Like how do we have faith that God is different to that? That’s a pretty good question, isn’t it? Because you’re going to at least have to have some faith that God’s different than that before you try to address these emotions. Because if you look at these issues from purely pragmatic perspectives, in our day to day life, how many times have you been able to truly rely on another individual for your life? Truly! Now you ask the average person that, “In stressful situations with every single person who’s around you, how many people have you actually been able to rely on, other than yourself?”
Now for many people, they’d have to honestly say zero. And for most people who don’t say zero, it’s very rare that it’s any more than five in their entire life. Now that understandably, from a pragmatic point of view, tends to indicate that, “I should rely on myself, that’s the only person I can rely on to look out for me.” And from a pragmatic perspective, “How can I change my mind on that issue? I’ve got no proof I can rely on anybody else, my whole life seems to be proof in the opposite direction to that.”
Then we look at this issue of a God who doesn’t care or is punishing, and we ask ourselves questions about what’s happening in the world. How many times have you seen something in the course of one day that you believe was totally unfair? Now for most people they’d have to answer that yes, pretty much every day of their life they observe something that they believe is totally unfair. ]
Now if God created this system of things, that means God is okay with it being unfair. Does it not? So I’m getting a feeling that God’s unfair. So what’s my pragmatic feeling associated with that? It’s, “God is unfair. I don’t see any proof otherwise. So how can I have faith when I don’t see any proof otherwise?” It’s very hard. So this is why the average person gives up the whole emotional reflection upon all of these subjects because it becomes very, very difficult. Then they look at this whole thing of God meeting my addictions. How many times have you, in very, very difficult times of your life, prayed to God for something to occur in a positive direction and it never has? Have all of you experienced that at some point?
Mary: In the teenage romance we talked about yesterday – that he would come back and love me.
So oftentimes we have all of these so called prayers that we have towards God, where we’ll long and long and long for something to happen. But it doesn’t happen. You think of how many people who are religious who are involved in war that prays in that way. Or who have been involved in the results of war, for instance people coming through and raping and pillaging the countryside. They pray for God to keep them safe and it doesn’t appear like God keeps them safe and they die, or they get raped, or they get hurt in some way. So when we look at that from a pragmatic perspective, and we go, “Yeah, God’s not doing anything there either, so how can I have any faith that God’s anything different or even exists, if God doesn’t do all these things?” Like you exist and you want to do something about it, even if you don’t feel like you have the power to do it. And therefore if God really wanted to do something about it, you feel that God should, but it
appears like God either doesn’t want to, doesn’t care, or doesn’t exist, as a result of these thing occurring.
If we’re honest with ourselves, that’s usually where we go emotionally. What I’m saying is that, yes, all of those belief systems are all present within us, and they’re all present within us because of what has happened to us in our life because
of what we believe is the lack of response from God. As a result of that, it’s very, very difficult for us to engage a conversation about what God is really like, because we already have established through what we see happening in the world what God appears to be and so therefore we accept that. So does that sound pretty negative? Yep? That’s good.
So the question Mary asked is how can we have some faith that God is different to that? Now, the question then becomes, well how does faith get established? I have given a talk called “Relationship with God – Faith” some time ago and we talked about faith and how it gets established. It can only get established through some actual event occurring that gives you the faith. There has to be some proof before faith can develop, but you have to engage the possibility of proof. What I RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD – WHY WE RESIST GOD JESUS (AJ MILLER)
mean by that is we have to allow for the fact that we might be wrong and that all of these things that we think, and all of these things that have happened to us, might have an alternative reason.
Coming to terms with how we feel about God
If we really want to understand the universe and understand everything in it, and understand ourselves completely, we
need to be sincere about working through our issues with God and we need to be sincere about where we are, what we
really do feel about God. When you talk to people who are religious (and in my life I’ve spoken to millions of people who
are religious), many of them believe concepts about God that they never voice in their religion, but they actually feel them
quite strongly. My own mother is a member of a Christian religion, and I’ve had discussions with her about God, for
example, and what I’ve found in every discussion is that she actually believes that God is cruel and punishing. One of the
reasons why she “worships” God is because she has this feeling that she wants to connect to God, but on the other hand
she is not open hearted in her connection with God because she actually believes, from her perspective, she says, “There’s
fifty million children that die every year of starvation on this planet, and God’s not doing a thing about it.”
Now if you’re honest with yourself and other people that is an issue that most people have with God. Most people have
this feeling that, you know, “If it was me, if I was God, I’d be doing something about it. God’s not doing anything about it.
What’s wrong with God? God mustn’t be as loving as I am.” Is the automatic assumption after that. And so there are a lot
of what I would classify as misconceptions and misunderstandings that people have about God that they don’t even allow
themselves to voice in their day-to-day life. And if you don’t voice them, you’re never going to face them emotionally and
if you don’t face them emotionally you’re never going to be able to have a relationship with God because you’ll carry
them in the relationship.
It’s a bit like if I believe Mary’s going to cheat on me every single day of our life together, can I have an open and close
relationship with Mary, if that’s my belief? If I believe Mary’s going to be dishonest with me, or Mary’s going to be cruel
with me, I’ll be constantly looking every single day for times when Mary seems like she might be heading in that
Accidents often occur out of self punishment or a desire for attention in children
Participant: And what about when something bad happens like an accident? The feeling I have is that I’m beingpunished by God, that it’s a reflection that I’ve done something wrong and it’s a kind of punishment from God for not doing something. Most accidents occur out of self-punishment actually. It’s a soul thing that we attract when we desire to punish ourselves. And generally most accidents, even for children, are results of a desire to self punish, or in children they can also be a desire for attention. So, quite often children don’t get attention, a hug until something happens that is bad to them.
They fall over then they get a hug, but generally many children, particularly if you think of my age group, the 50 plus age group, many times you didn’t get a hug at all unless something bad happened. For example, most people would consider
my mother to be a loving person, but my mother never hugged me in my entire life.
So what do you do? You create accidents and then you get the hug. Then you get the attention that you feel you’re missing, and that is a very common action on the part of a child. However it’s also part of self punishment in the sense that when you feel guilty about something, or you feel angry with things, generally there is this attraction that occurs immediately that causes accidents to occur. Yep. There are a multitude of causes for accidents of course but that is a big underlying factor. And it’s interesting that we then go down the track of going, “God doesn’t like me. God is punishing me. I did that wrong and this is the result.” And it just reinforces these beliefs about a cruel God. This is a problem on the planet; we keep reinforcing these totally inaccurate beliefs about God. We reinforce them over and over again.
Participant: Accidents are a major part of my condition from when I was a small child but I haven’t thought of it as self punishment.
When you’re a small child, it begins with the feelings of your parents. So if your child starts having accidents, it’s becauseof different feelings that they are having from their parents that cause the child to have accidents. Normally a child, by the
age of 2 or 3 and even before then if the child has been brought up in a very safe and loving environment, the child is very spatially aware; generally by the age of 7 a child is perfectly spatially aware. In other words they know exactly what they
can do with their body and what they can get away with without hurting their body. For most children still having accidents after that time, it is an indication that there is no spatial awareness inside of them. And if there’s no spatial awareness it’s because of something that’s happened with regards to space, that their parents want to be involved in their
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD – WHY WE RESIST GOD JESUS (AJ MILLER) life too much, or there’s something going on between their relationship with themselves and their parents that causes them to have a lack of spatial awareness.And that is also something we oppose upon God as well. Every time we have this feeling with our parents, we then start to believe God is like our parents. So this is one reason why people are addicted to rebellion with God, because they feel
God will get too involved in their life and cause too much change. So they’d prefer God only be a Sunday morning thing,if that. Or just an occasional thing, for example we stand on a mountain and look at the view and think, “You’re a lovely
God.” That’s the occasional worship or feelings that most people would prefer to have with God rather than having a day to day interaction that changes their entire life.
And so most of our parents have a deep resistance to having children daily interacting in their life and as a result of that, most parents feel quite overwhelmed when they have their children. I don’t know how many of you have had children, but
if you think back to the very first child you had, for most parents that was pretty scary, in particular the first child. And that’s why a lot of times the first child is very, very involved emotionally with their parents, trying to assuage the parents’
feelings that they don’t know what they’re doing with this first child. [00:40:17.05]
And as a result of that, when the parents have any different emotions towards the child, the child then will either go into a feeling of being rejected, which it then tries to avoid by being self punishing. And when it becomes self punishing, it then gets the reward of the cuddle or the reward of the re-establishment of the relationship. So accidents often occur frequently as a result in a person who hasn’t felt very loved in their childhood except when the accidents have actually occurred.
Participant: Just going back to the hugging of the children, so if you hug your children quite a lot, how do you know being in error, you are not doing it from a needy point of view and you‘re doing it from pure love? Well if you hug your children and the reason why you are hugging them is so that you can feel something yourself, then
that is an addiction. If the reason why you are hugging them is to help them feel your love, then that’s more of a pure desire. And this is a problem on the planet for many of us, and many women have children so that they will be looked
after at some point in the future or be loved.
There is this concept very similar to the animal concept that many people have when they have a pet and that is this ideathat the animal will love you unconditionally and there’s this idea that a child will love you unconditionally. They areaddictions. When we are in a true state of love with our children we can love them even if they totally have nothing to do with us, we can still love them and we can still feel those feelings of love for them rather than feeling resentful.
When the child is very small like yours we often have feelings of love for them in the sense that we want to care for them because they cannot care for themselves but at the same time we often also have feelings of his lovely feeling we have of being able to nurture the child and that’s what we’ve got to be careful of because it’s that emotion that finishes up developing into an addiction and we’ve got to be careful that we don’t have these addictions with our children because the children will then feel bound to us and we don’t want our children to feel bound to us. We are not actually their parent the true parent of your child is God and all you have done is create two bodies for this child of God. Through the process of intercourse you have created the spirit body and material body in conception and then this child of God has incarnated and connected to you.
If most parents had the attitude that, “This is a child of God that I am caring for, rather than my own child,” they would probably feel less bound to the child and would want the child to be less bound to them. They’d be more interested in
helping the child to connect to God instead. Now that doesn’t mean the parent wouldn’t love the child, because of course the parent would. The whole reason why you have a child is because you want to share your love with the child, and the
whole reason why God had Her children was that She wanted to share Her Love with Her children. It’s the same principle.But God didn’t want to get love from Her children. God doesn’t have an addiction for our love and whenever we impose
the same addiction on our child, we finish up damaging our child.
So these problems are all part of the gender based emotional injuries that we have generally. Unfortunately it gets carried down generation to generation to generation and before you know it, we have far more injuries with God than we have
with any other being. And as a result of that, when we start talking about God in a positive sense, it’s almost like our ears are turned off. It’s like (AJ sticks his fingers in his ears and starts singing to block out noise), “Na na na na na na na,” but
then we hear the word soulmate and we go, “Soulmate! Was that soulmate that I heard? I’ve got an ear open now.” Or, RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD – WHY WE RESIST GOD JESUS (AJ MILLER)
“Emotion! Emotion! Pleasure! Pleasure! Sex! Yes. I’ll talk about that one”. And we have this closed viewpoint when we’re talking about God. But when we’re talking about other subjects there’s a degree of openness present.
Reasons that we choose to self punish
Participant: So to deal with the injury that we have that we feel that God is punishing, is it just a matter of really allowing that grief that you feel like you’re being punished by God? Because I get a bit confused and I feel that I go into self punishment.
Can I show you how this belief that God is punishing gets established in us as a firm belief quite young? When we are being brought up by our parents, we generally learn quite early in our life that if we punish ourselves then we can escape the punishment of others. We usually learn this quite young, when our parents need to give us some form of correction
when we’ve done something wrong, but instead of just giving us correction that’s based on love and truth, most of the time it’s also guilt based. In other words our parent’s trying to make us feel guilty so that we don’t do the thing again. And what we learn in that process is that it’s actually better to punish ourselves than to receive punishment
And what we learn in that process is that it’s actually better to punish ourselves than to receive punishment from another person. It actually feels easier. It also feels less destructive to our soul because when we receive punishment from the other person we have a heap of emotions, including total rejection, feelings of abandonment, and quite a lot of other very, very difficult feelings for a child to address if they were totally open emotionally. So what they learn to do instead is they learn to blame themselves for what went wrong and so we learn to punish ourselves. But if you think about it, the only reason why we punish ourselves is to avoid the prospect of being punished by others.
So emotionally, what we’re doing when we’re punishing ourselves is we’re avoiding the prospect of being punished eventually by God. We’re hoping that if we punish ourselves enough God will actually be easy on us. Now if you look at the Christian faiths for example that are on the planet at the moment, this concept is rife in most of these Christian faiths; on the planet at the moment this is rife in most of
Reasons that we choose to self punish
Participant: So to deal with the injury that we have that we feel that God is punishing, is it just a matter of really allowing that grief that you feel like you’re being punished by God? Because I get a bit confused and Ifeel that I go into self punishment.
Can I show you how this belief that God is punishing gets established in us as a firm belief quite young? When we arebeing brought up by our parents, we generally learn quite early in our life that if we punish ourselves then we can escape the punishment of others. We usually learn this quite young, when our parents need to give us some form of correctionwhen we’ve done something wrong, but instead of just giving us correction that’s based on love and truth, most of the time it’s also guilt based. In other words our parent’s trying to make us feel guilty so that we don’t do the thing again. And what we learn in that process is that it’s actually better to punish ourselves than to receive punishment.
And what we learn in that process is that it’s actually better to punish ourselves than to receive punishment from another person. It actually feels easier. It also feels less destructive to our soul because when we receive punishment from theother person we have a heap of emotions, including total rejection, feelings of abandonment, and quite a lot of other very,vvery difficult feelings for a child to address if they were totally open emotionally. So what they learnvto do instead is theyvlearn to blame themselves for what went wrong and so we learn to punish ourselves. But if you think about it, the only reason why we punish ourselves is to avoid the prospect of being punished by others.
So emotionally, what we’re doing when we’re punishing ourselves is we’re avoiding the prospect of being punished eventually by God. We’re hoping that if we punish ourselves enough God will actually be easy on us. Now if you look at the Christian faiths for example that are on the planet at the moment, this concept is rife in most of these Christian faiths;on the planet at the moment this is rife in most of Christian faiths, this whole idea of self-sacrifice and self punishment. They even have parts of different faiths, including part of the Catholic faith, where they actually whip themselves when they noticed they’ve done something wrong. And that way they demonstrate their repentance towards God, who would otherwise punish them if they hadn’t realised. There is a very strong group of people in the Catholic
religion who still believe in that as a form of repentance with their relationship with God.
So this whole punishing god situation has caused us to revert to this self-punishment. So what we end up doing is we end up noticing when we’ve done something wrong. We want to punish ourselves for doing that wrong thing and the reason why is because we feel afraid that somebody else will punish us if we don’t punish ourselves. But the problem with that is we never address the underlying causal reason, the actual reason why we did that wrong thing.
So for example, let’s say during the day you know you had the opportunity to steal and you took the opportunity, but the feeling inside of you was, “It’s just a small thing”. You don’t even know why you did it and you even feel frightened about why you did it. If you believe in a punishing God, you will have a higher likelihood to try and punish yourself about that.
You’ll feel guilty that you did it; you’ll feel bad about yourself. You’ll feel like you can’t talk to anybody else about it because if you do they’ll feel you’re guilty and they’ll feel you’re bad as well. So you try to hold on to it all inside of yourself, you dream about it for a few days, you can’t sleep and you think all sorts of things happen as a result.
Interestingly though, what doesn’t happen in most cases is looking for the reason why. The reason why we don’t look forthe reason why is because we’re so involved in punishing ourselves, avoiding a punishing God or avoiding other people from thinking that we’re bad. So we never get below that to actually find out the reason why we did it. And then of courseit doesn’t get resolved, so months or years later we do the same thing, and then that adds to the previous feeling. But then
it doesn’t get resolved again and can you see how the turmoil inside just builds and builds and builds without ever being resolved?