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Conversations with God

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by North Star, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I ordered book one of the "Conversations with God" series today; I'm eager to get it. My friend has been reading it and telling me how much it is rocking her world.

    Now if this is too controversial a topic here (namely - religion) feel free to delete. But if it isn't...here goes.

    I've spent much of my adult life steeped in a conservative religion. My disillusionment over it "not working" pretty much destroyed my faith over time. I know it has been a source of fuel for my "reservoir of rage".

    As I pick through the ruins of my prior faith and walk through the mindbody connections, I see a lot of correlations. Namely, how unrealistic expectations and being hard on oneself yields a nasty harvest. (And religion does a great job of delivering the "you're not good enough" message!)

    Being free of religion but searching for spirituality and a life of TRUE grace has been, and continues to be, quite the ride. I'm not sure where this is all going but plod on I will.

    I am eager to read that book because based on the reviews and my friend's commentary I think it will help me sort out some more stuff. I don't know *what* I believe in any more other than I know love and kindness toward myself and others and gratitude is where I'm finding life.

    What about you?
     
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  2. phillyjoe

    phillyjoe Peer Supporter

    North Star, thank you for your post. Since joining the TMS club and being part of the original foum and this one I have been very senitive to the "religious" element of TMS recovery. Personally I use my faith as a foundation for my TMS along with the basic elemements of TMS theory and work. I truly understand your apprehension with bringing this issue into a discussion group. I am not a big Freud follower, I do like some areas of his work. I will turn to scriptures anytime before Freud. I am well intuned with how "religion" has caused more harm then good for many individuals. However, as I seek personally Jesus in my life I am constantly returning to the Beatitudes when in the midst of TMS attacks. Anger, forgiveness, unconditional love are all characteristics that I find in that section and become trademark reading material for me. I guess like the philosophy of 12 steps understanding a Higher Powwer as you know him, can be used here and being respectuful of each individual belief system. I won't ever attempt to "convert" another member but I do appreciate your willingness and may I say courage in briniging up this topic. I am confident that members in this forum are mature enough in their TMS recovery to take in what helps them and disregard material that doesn't fit their personal recovery and belief system. So as far as I'm concerened, keep talking with God. And if He gives you any direct answers about TMS stuff please let me know. Peace and Happy Thanksgiving.
     
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and G.R. like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I believe I'm in the same boat with you guys.
    I was a lifelong Catholic, went to confession every Saturday and Mass on Sunday,
    went on two retreats, one in the Chicago area and another in Salzburg, Austria
    when I was in the army in Germany.

    I had a crisis of religion when the Republicans began to inject politics into religion
    and the Church leaders told me what candidates not to vote for or it would be a sin
    (abortion and gay relationships were the main no-nos).

    I finally stopped going to Mass and thought my faith could remain but just be between
    me and God. But it didn't fulfill me. I didn't even feel like a "Sunday Catholic" anymore.
    I watched Mass on television but it didn't fill the hole inside of me.

    My computer has the bad habit of crashing when it feels like it, so I will post this
    and continue in the next post in about a minute.
     
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Back again.

    I began having bad back pain about a year ago and learned about Dr. Sarno and TMS.
    I began to think my pain was from early childhood when my mom, dad, and older brother
    and sister and I lived at poverty level during the 1930s Great Depression, and journaled to
    discover other repressed emotions. The pain began to go away, but some still remained.

    I read the Sarno books and Steve Ozanichs, but found something additional of great interest in
    Dr, SWcott Brady, MD's book, Pain Free for Life. He suggested adding the spiritual element to
    TMS healing, so I tried it. I thought about my dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church over
    politics, gay stuff, and the priest pedophilia coverup. I decided to take the advice of a priest
    who once told me he had problems with the Vatican and local Catholic hirearchy and decided since
    he couldn't change them, he would "toss the ball" to the Lord and let Him resolve the differences
    between us. I "returned" to the Catholic faith by confessing my alienation and doing penance
    and going on from there. I'm 83 and although I still don't go to Mass but watch it on tv every Sunday,
    and feel I have become at peace again with God, if not His Catholic church.

    I also have found a lot of spirituality watching the God Channel on tv. I don't care for the
    Bible-thumping evangelists or rock-and-roll Baptist preachers, but have found a lot of deep
    spiritual wisdom in other speakers. Catholic priests at Mass just give us about 10 minutes of
    thoughts on our faith, which is not enough. I get a lot more from the sermon/lectures of many
    on the God channel.

    At 83 I am searching for a new depth to the faith I have had all of my life up until I began
    to be told it is a sin to vote for anyone the Vatican disapproves of. I hope the new Pope changes
    that, but meanwhile

    I'll post this before the computer crashes, and post again in a minute.
     
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  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    ... but meanwhile, I am searching for a deeper spiritual connection with Jesus and God.
    I read the Bible more and follow the God Channel preachers who rely heavily on scripture.

    I think the problem is, I grew up and spent most of my life with a superficial understanding
    of Jesus and God. I never really got it. God sent his only son to live among us, teach us,
    and died for us. Then He ascended into heaven and sits at his father God's right hand, to
    judge the living and the dead. I want very much to believe all that and that when the
    bell tolls for me, I will be found worthy of being accepted into Heaven. I think I have led
    a good life, caring about others, helping those I can, and have not broken any real big laws
    of man or God.

    But I don't really have that feeling of faith that I keep trying to achieve. I think that would
    heal me both body and soul. I wish He was living today so I could ask Him to put his hand
    on me and bless me with a feeling of peace and faith in Him that would be whole and complete.
    I'm working hard on that. I think you fellows are working on it just as hard.

    Maybe few people ever achieve the feeling of faith I long for. Maybe God only reserves that
    for those who become saints.

    I do believe that just trying to achieve a strong faith in Jesus and God is helpful to the mind,
    spirit, body, and soul. We can't all be saints, and in this modern world we have a hard enough
    time not being sinners. We do the best we can to follow in Jesus' footsteps.

    Do you fellows have any thoughts on all of this? I agree that a post on religion in TMS was
    a brave move. I'm all for a lot of discussion on it.

    Walt
     
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  6. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am humbled by the responses. I was nervous posting this and immediately second-guessed myself. I'm so glad I did now. Phillyjoe, I appreciate your candor. And like you, I'm not out to convert anyone. (Though I DID spend many years trying just that.) I find myself looking at the religion created God vs. a Creator whose evidence is in every flower and singing bird. I examine my years of volunteer work, church attendance and doing good deeds (like any good TMS'er) and see it as a behavior conformity system held together by other equally needy souls searching for love.

    I just got so burned out on it all. So tired. You could never do enough. Never were enough. That was never spelled out that directly though. It was always more subtle. Are you reading your Bible enough? Tithing? Not sinning? (yeah, right!)

    I began questioning things when my special needs' son didn't fit with a typical church agenda. Oh the pain of that whole season! I discovered others were asking the same questions my hubby and I were asking. We got our hands on books that made us think that perhaps we DIDN'T go over to the dark side. (grin) We eventually quit attending the church we were part of many, many years.

    I feel like everything I've been taught about God has been wrong. Now mind you...I'm still not sure where I'm going. But I see an invitation to a relationship of love and acceptance vs. a self-improvement plan. I think I catch glimpses of this every once in a while but then boom! Another twinge of TMS pain. (Yes, it think there is a real anger connection there. Even as I type this, a monster scar I have is shooting out pain. In today's meditation, I really saw the connection between the scar pain and my inner pain.)

    Walt, your comments made me tear up. I call myself "a recovering Catholic" even though it's been since childhood that I left. As an adult, a less jaded one than when I WAS angry over my religion blowing up, I appreciate the mystery woven throughout Catholicism. I've even lingered in our cathedral in the town I live. It's sort of comforting to me in a way.

    And boy oh boy. I was steeped right in evangelical world when it married politics. Who can love their neighbor as themselves when there's a nation to take back for God? And please....I don't mean any offense to anyone. I know many well-meaning, good people who have been involved in politics.

    There was just a disconnect for me. And a growing anger that this God stuff wasn't fixing my headaches or emotional anguish....even if I was quoting Scripture. ;)

    Brene Brown's TED talk on shame really rocked my world. I think she nails it that when we exchange the mystery for certainty when it comes to faith, it does a LOT of damage.

    And as I journal, I'm seeing the effects have played a roll in my TMS development. I've found peace in reading John O'Donohue's work and this "Conversations with God" seems like it will be helpful to me. (I would have been tarred and feathered in my old church group for touching anything "New Age".) I'm also seeing value in eastern beliefs. I think many people/religions have a piece of the puzzle.

    And Walt, like you, I wish I could feel the hand of blessing bringing peace and healing. I suspect it's there....somewhere...it's a matter of having eyes to see it, perhaps?

    I dunno! It's a mystery.
     
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  7. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    North Star, I read Conversations with God a long time ago. I don't remember what it was about. I do try to fill my mind and heart with the Bible and
    inspiration books about God. I have this wonderful little book called Commanding Your Morning by Cindy Trimm. It has these powerful declarations
    in the back of the book that I declare over my life everyday. I could be very downtrodden but after I say these affirmations it lifts my spirit to a
    whole new level. I highly recommend this precious little book that would change your perspective of life.

    In both Fred Amir's book Rapid Recovery of Neck and Back and Dr. Scott Brady's book, they both feel God and your relationship with God is an
    important element in healing. I so agree with them.

    I do think sometimes religion (man made rules) often turned a lot of us off. I think because religion tends to loose the essence of God. For me,
    having a close relationship with God rocks my world. I know it was God who directed me to this site and TMS.

    Enjoy your adventures with God; He is there and He is real and He wants to direct us in all things.
     
  8. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree, GR. With God we can heal and be at peace.
     
  9. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think my challenge is deconstructing the image of the God man creates vs. who he really is. For instance, Jonathan Edward's famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" reworded as, "God in the Hands of Angry Sinners". :)

    I spent many, many years in performance based religion so I think this is why this topic is germane to my TMS healing.

    I appreciate everyone jumping in on this thread and sharing from your lives. I appreciate that this is a highly personal and intimate subject.

    I will check out that other book, GR. Thanks.
     
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  10. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like to think of God or Jesus as a beautiful person through the Holy Spirit that is there in time for anything. I can do all things and I mean all things through Christ who strengthens me and its not if im good enough, no Christ paid for that at the cross.

    The only thing ive ever known that hurts God is to doubt his love letters to us in the Bible. Thats the way I look at the word, in the form of power for living and love letters to us. Its filled with truths about healing and anything else you can imagine that scientist have been proving right for a long time now.

    Its not about attendance or if your good enough- its about a relationship with Jesus, the one that gives you all power over death hell and the Grave. If anyone judges you based on anything then get away from the person. For God did not send his son here to judge, Jesus was sent here to set us free from the burden of the oppressor which can be in the forms of doubt and worry we might have including your smallest to biggest needs.

    I noticed healing was also in acknowledging my own unconscious thoughts and actually putting my hand to the plow to help god help me ya know.

    Everything I read from the Bible I do it with love in my heart and if someone else doesn't study like I do or believe like I do then I still love them for who they are. I never talk religion cause to many arguments break out and folks take things to serious. All im saying is Jesus is your friend and hes still there for us all when ever we call his name.

    You guys are awesome
    Never listen to the wisdom of a man-
    over the wisdom of god, if someone says god said.
    Tell them to hold it and look it up for yourself-
    to see what god tells you, were all very special to God.

    Hes not judging us, he only wants us to know were that light on top of the hill
    that all men see. And with that light theirs nothing impossible to him or her that believes.
     
    G.R. likes this.
  11. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Herbie, I love your kind and gentle spirit. It comes across in your written words as well as on the Tues call. I don't say it of many people but I suspect you're the kind someone likes to have around when they're hurting.

    I so hear what you're saying. I don't understand the funk I've been going through with all things spiritual...it's been one looooooong dry spell. (Years!) I wish I could sense God's assistance in TMS healing but I've just felt so doggone alone through this. Peace is something I can only find through the work of disciplining my mind....hardly seems like a supernatural thing. Or is it?

    I just don't know. But I do know this - I really appreciate having a safe place to talk about this. Today's been a tough day...lots of TMS flares fueled by some on-going challenging family/financial challenges. I have to come back to gratitude to keep my head above water!

    And among the things I'm grateful for is this very special group of people here!
     
  12. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    North Star, Just know God is still there in your long dry season; He is probably carrying you, you just don't know it. One thing that helps me when
    I am in that season of dryness is journaling with God. I get really quiet and maybe take some deep breathes and then I ask God what are you saying to me,
    I believe the first thoughts that come to your mind are from God. Sometimes, I ask Him what is this TMS about? Trust, He wants to communicate with
    you, especially about the TMS.

    There is an excellent book on how to hear the voice of God. It is called Communion With God by Mark Vrinkler. It is excellent if you want
    to learn how to hear the voice of God.

    I just want you to know I really enjoy your posts. They warm my heart.
     
  13. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Happy Thanksgiving, GR. I'll get the Vrinkler book. It sounds wonderful.

    The turkey doesn't go into the oven until 1 pm so I have time to look at the forums.

    Holidays can bring up TMS because they weren't always so happy.
    I focus on the happy ones.

    Herbie offers some great thoughts for us all.

    I was even happy one Thanksgiving when I was alone at home.
    I put the turkey in the oven and went down to the basement where
    the ceiling was low and I kept hitting my head on the water pipes.
    I had a big can of orange paint and spent the afternoon painting them
    while listening to music and having a couple of cans of beer.

    I wasn't lonely at all.

    But it's better to have company. Hope you enjoy yours.
     
  14. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Really wish you and your sweet dog could join us, Walt! And GR, thank you for your encouragement. Your thoughts warm my heart too. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving all!
     
  15. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, North Star.
    It's so nice you've thought of me and Annie.
    We'll think of you at our turkey dinner this afternoon.
    A friend is bringing his puppy so Annie will have a playmate today.
    They've met before and had a great time together.

    Happy Gobble Gobble.

    I watched a Nature documentary last night about a man who spent
    nearly two years living with wild turkeys (no one else all that time).
    He quickly came to love the turkeys and one would rest in his lap and
    loved to be petted. It makes me feel guilty serving turkey this afternoon.
     
  16. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt....we've watched that program too! It is just wonderful. Glad both you and Annie will have a friend's company to enjoy. :)
     
  17. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you so much North Star, I really don't know of anyone that can hear those words of comfort enough. I am humbled by your words. Bless you

    God is in tms healing my dear, he said I give you the power to trample upon the enemy and all things that will come against you ( emphasis mine) - Thats exactly what were doing here, were using that power to win back our right to live life to the full. I knew it when I read the words of Dr. sarno that it lined perfectly up with the power that the lord says we have.

    I was so happy to hear that I can believe and heal- I can be made whole. It is true that often we feel alone at times while in the battle but he was with Moses in all his battles as he was with Joshua and after him King David. See, they all had times of aloneness. David cried out many times to God in the old testament ya know. The point is the same ( now a days ) cept were in a better position than any of the old time prophets- we have the Holy Spirit so we know the right direction when we see it. Its a feeling in your belly.

    Yes discipline of your mind is exactly what it takes to heal. We have self imposed pressures that we can learn to beat. We have self critical personalities that are no challenge to us anymore. Its about learning how the mind works so you can have total control of your mind body and spirit. I often see lots of good folks not correlate that when the word says these things that I do you'll do also. I see it as we are learning to control all aspects of our life in a correct fashion and it will also bring you closer to your higher power because it just proves that higher power was truth the whole time.

    I am so glad you feel safe, that says a lot. Family and finacial troubles can be the hardest to bare but i really think you have the answer when you say i have to come back to gratitude cause thankfulness is the law of attraction in action.

    Were all grateful for you, bless you North Star
     
  18. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Herbie. Thank you very much!
     
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  19. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Herbie has the spirit and shares and expresses it so well.
    It's a beacon of inner light to us all.

    Following TMS techniques to heal and believing in them and the
    Lord's promise "Peace I give you" are a potent combination.
     

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