‘If you really knew me, would you still love me?’ A grounded reality of knowing God speaks, ‘You are loved no matter what.’
For some reason, we prefer fabricated realities to the strong and sensitizing face of what is. The spiritual life begins with accepting and living our reality. Richard Rohr
I know someone who lies and embellishes the truth. They want to be known and loved, but the facade of lies they have built up around themselves has become their truth.
Sometimes, when they feel safe, they let their guard down, and the honesty flows. It’s beautiful to watch.
Here is the real person, the person God knows and loves, and yet this is the person they are most afraid of.
Tell us lies
We don’t like being presented with our failings. We prefer a fairy tale with a happy ending.
It’s been like this for a very long time.
God speaks through his prophet Isaiah about his people.
They tell my prophets,
“Shut up—we don’t want any more of your reports!”
Or they say,
“Don’t tell us the truth; tell us nice things; tell us lies. Forget all this gloom; we’ve heard more than enough about your ‘Holy One of Israel’ and all he says.” Isaiah 30:10-11 Living Bible (TLB)
We want good news, even if it’s false news. Spin doctors have been around a long time.
Grounded in reality
There is, however, an invitation to be grounded in reality.
To be grounded in reality is to be firmly connected with life, both the good and the bad. It’s not avoiding the tough work of day-to-day life in favor of chasing a wisp of a lie.
It’s getting advice, being ok with failures, of giving grace to yourself and others. It’s totally real and thoroughly honest. It’s vulnerable.
People who are grounded in reality are lovers of truth.
Nothing changes the human heart so deeply as to look bad in the presence of love, to be seen with all that is wickedly ugly about us and still be wanted, more, to be delighted in. That’s grace. Larry Crabb Papa Prayer
How to become grounded
- Review where your sense of self-worth comes from
We want to impress, to be loved and valued, and so subtly, we place our self-worth into the fickle hands of others.
If you’re dancing to another’s tune, you will never discover the beautiful song within yourself.
Perhaps your self-worth comes from your own sense of achievement.
You’re only as worthy as the success you achieve. If that’s the case, then how do you handle failure?
- Know your God knows you and loves you
Like the father in the story of the prodigal son, God is waiting for you to decide to come home. There are wide, embracing arms waiting for you to return.
What is God like to you?
Is God like a hard taskmaster, a fault-finder, a critical judge, a distant God who is unconcerned with you and distracted by so many other ‘important’ things.
God is love. The most grounded reality that God welcomes you into is one of immeasurable love.
- Invite God to chip away the facade you have been creating
God knows the real you and wants the world to see the creation.
Chipping away the old takes time, and that’s ok. Prayerfully ask God to guide you into a truth-filled grounded reality.
Truth is a cruel and persistent chisel upon those who stubbornly cling to their prejudice and delusion. Sooner or later, reality is going to crash in on their denial. David Riddell
- Find someone to be real with
Perhaps it’s a friend or maybe a therapist, but we all need ‘next to them’ people.
People who will work alongside. Souls that are ok with the rubble because they know there is a hidden treasure underneath.
Then slowly and carefully remove the facade and experience love.
Most of us try to make life work by living in denial. We don’t want to explore what’s happening in the soul. We don’t want to feel all the pain we feel, so we anesthetize ourselves in various self-reliant ways.
God meets us where we are. God doesn’t meet us where we pretend to be or where we wish we were. To be grounded in God’s reality requires a firm commitment to side with the truth.
Quotes to consider
- The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we’ll lose it. We fear that if we don’t have love we will be unhappy. ― Richard Bach
- Reality is often not what we perceive, especially when we have been hurt and betrayed in our formative years. How damaged is your perception? David Riddell
- The journey into total mental health begins with a commitment to come out of delusion into reality, no matter what the cost. David Riddell
- We all like a nicely padded delusion, only to find eventually that it comes with a sting in its tail. Stay in reality to stay safe. David Riddell
- The warfare the Christian is involved in is the battle between true and mistaken beliefs. It is warring for reality against the delusional world of lies. Which side will you take? David Riddell
- When I believe my feelings and those feelings misrepresent reality, I am headed for a self-referential pit that will get deeper and darker as I dig myself into my home-made delusion. David Riddell
Questions to answer
- What brings people to a place where they must confront the reality of what they have done?
- Why do we create delusional worlds?
- What would it be like to be thoroughly soaked in a sense of being loved by God?
- Woo Woo + La La Land = Spiritual Abdication
- 6 Markers of Mentally Healthy Spirituality
- Five Ideas To Help People Feel They Can Be Known.
Image cc: ShonEjai