“I am trying to point to, to name, to describe, and to understand that centre in each of us where both hope and despair, both faith and doubt, both love and indifference are born.”Sebastian Moore, Let This Mind Be In You
There are certain traits about being human that cause humanity problems. We tend to think in dualistic ways as if everything could be divided into this or that, but things are multifaceted and never as simple as they seem. We need to approach things, especially persons, in comprehensive ways. Nevertheless, we sense that deep within us is this wonky, wobbly place that can tip easily one way or another. We can just as easily be bad as we can be good.
It is not that there are two spirits within us, one calling us to goodness and the other to wickedness. There is only one source within us, but it can tip this way or that. We are created in the image and likeness of God and there is this one source, one center, one self. This true self hungers to become fully realized. At the core we are, every one of us, desirable and beloved human beings. God creates us and loves us fiercely and desires us just as we are, which makes us desirable. God also longs for us to become fully our unique, created selves. Every baby comes into this world ready to be loved and ready to learn how to love no matter what the physical container is like. Every baby comes into the world with a beautiful destiny, to be loved.
At our deepest level we are all searching for our desirability and lovableness to be affirmed and actualized. Unfortunately, the sinful world we find ourselves living in doesn’t cooperate and instead of being affirmed as desirable we end up repressed and we doubt our worth. The world’s value for persons is conditional and many people are seen as disposable. And we see ourselves through the eyes of other people, through the ways we are treated, and we are affected by the words we hear about ourselves. We lose sight of our desirability. This false sense of ourselves arrests our development. We fail to become the persons God created us to become.
The source within us, even while we doubt our worth, continues to hunger for that affirmation, even as we are stifled and repressed by a world that cannot see us. People who become mean, cruel, and create hell for other people are those who have learned to loath themselves, and out of that loathing they attack others. Their desirability has been denied, but it still burns within, buried and denied but never quiet. It yearns to be recognized and seen as beloved, but is not, even by the self.
Because humans hunger out of the fullness of their desirability, we have the natural trait of attaching ourselves to something larger than ourselves. We are social beings, but this trait to attach takes things further. We join associations, clubs, gangs, societies, unions, organizations, armies, political parties, militias, corporations, nations and cults. We melt into a group and absorb its culture. The emotional feedback from being part of the group can be overwhelming to the one who has been starving for affirmation. A person can go along blindly with whatever the group does in order to keep feeding this hunger, which is still not satisfied. Powerful leaders can use this natural human trait to their advantage. People can become “Minions” who will do anything to stay part of the group.
We need to be aware of this natural human tendency to attach to something larger than ourselves and be careful we don’t attach to a group following a leader who is pursuing evil. One antidote to being tempted into such a group is to become a member of the Body of Christ, and be led by Christ into the Unity of God’s love. When we are one with God no other group can possess us. We may participate in other groups, but our attachment will be to the Body of Christ. Within the Body of Christ we can finally discover what we have been hungering for all our lives — the affirmation that we are desirable and beloved. Within the Body of Christ we learn how to love because God first loves us and this love is patient, kind, accepting, forgiving, and not given to anger.
It is the experience of being accepted, liked, and loved, that helps us to grow into the persons we are created to become, fully alive. There is joy in finding a community that affirms your goodness and connects you to the God of Love, for you will be freed to become the you, you were always meant to become. Other faith traditions that connect you to the God of Love will also be a protective antidote to those groups that could lead us astray.
My beloved ones, let us all allow ourselves to be loved by God so we may become the persons we are meant to become.