Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah






Thursday, 17 April 2014

Security - Part 7

As we draw to a close this series exploring security and insecurity, I believe the ultimate alternative to insecurity is peace. But how do we live - and maintain - a sense of peace in this turbulent world? My experience says that the ultimate solution is surrendering to God: to His unconditional love, to His wisdom which passes understanding, to His promise to be faithful to us.



From Preface of FREE TO BE: Defeating Insecurity, Transforming Relationships, Building Character

Peace in this fast-paced and competitive world is desirable but rare. There are different kinds of peace—peace from war, peace with neighbours, internal peace. The type of peace I refer to is peace of mind, which is anxiety’s opposite. To be free from worry is to have peace.
What causes worry? Finances, concern for others’ well-being, a lack of control over our circumstances—all of these trigger worry. This book focuses on insecurity, the anxiety that springs from the fear that we aren't accepted. We worry about our relationships if we don’t feel loved. Unconditional love is the only solution to insecurity.
So where do we find unconditional love? And how do we sustain it?
This book is about you and me and how to overcome the nagging doubts about ourselves and our relationships. To be free from hiding behind a false persona and to find total peace of mind is what we want. That is the secure life. Anything less falls short.
Friends, it is liberating to live emotionally and socially secure, to feel loved unconditionally and to express freely who we were born to be. When we are free to be who we were created to be, then we are ready to do what we were created to do.
I fought insecurity and won. I believe if I can, anyone can, which is why I've written this book. Through my journey, I have come to long for others to the find the same peace that I have found.
Do you experience lasting peace? Do you feel loved beyond measure and confident that love is unshakable? How wonderful to have such security! If you've got that, I believe you are rare indeed. This book is a prescription to get to and remain in that state, regardless of your circumstances.
Do you know that we were created and are meant to live in security, confident we are loved for who we are? It took me half a lifetime to realize this truth. I believe we were created to love and to be loved simply for who we are. There are different kinds of love: romantic, sexual, brotherly. But the love I am referring to is unconditional love, love that is based on our existence, rather than on what we do in our existence. And when we experience this pure love, we experience pure freedom too.
Many of us have unwittingly settled for less than the personal freedom intended for us. We endure insecurity, fearing we will make a mistake and bring rejection upon ourselves, because we don’t know anything else. From the cradle our greatest need has been love, and perhaps we have grown sensitive to rejection.
I didn't recognize the full extent of my insecurity until my thirties. I wasted many years being anxious and stressed about my relationships because I thought it was normal. But it isn’t. While conflict in life is unavoidable, insecurity is a learned response, and what has been learned can be unlearned. I’d like you to glimpse my insecurity and my journey to overcome it, so that you can identify yours and be encouraged also.
When I learned that peace was possible, I then became aware that I didn't have it. Only then did I begin the long but rewarding road to healing. Now that I've overcome anxiety and found the peace that comes with self-acceptance, I long for others to find the same, so that all of us can be who we were created to be.
Insecure: by definition means “unsafe,” “liable to give way” (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English); “not secure,” “not confident of safety,” “not sufficiently strong or guarded” (The New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language).
I lived most of my early life with a strong sense of self-doubt and uncertainty when it came to my personal relationships. Though I was an able student and popular within my circle, later becoming a competent professional in my field and respected by my colleagues, I always felt isolated and unlovable. I thought I was trapped, wanting to please everyone but unable, and therefore unable to be accepted by everyone. I have since transformed my thinking, and so I am no longer riddled with anxiety and fear.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”1 I don’t believe that we are designed to be uneasy in our relationships, but we look for love in the wrong places, and therefore, so often, we end up protecting our wounded hearts. I offer an overview of my experience, combining Scriptures and suggestions to guide you on your way to freedom. Having analyzed my circumstances, I offer the practical direction I took so that, like me, you will be enabled to overcome the nagging feelings of inadequacy and fear that I did. To replace negativity with inner acceptance releases us into wholeness.
During my journey from a sort of shadowy existence to a life of what feels like sparkling assurance, I discovered truths and tools that I want to share. None of us will be accepted by everybody we meet. But we don’t have to fear rejection, even when exposed to other’s disdain. Because fear saps our confidence and steals our freedom, we need to learn how to rise above rejection.
The first step to discovering freedom is to recognize that change is not effected by an act of will but by a surrendering of it. It is “not by might” but by the power of the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6).
The Bible says, “Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.”2 When I discovered this quote, I was smitten by it. God tells us that oppression will come but it can be overcome. How to correct the oppression that lies within us is the course this book offers. Believe! It is possible to live free from fear—from the worry, panic and anxiety of approval seeking. My prayer and hope is that each of us who takes this journey to security will become the entire person she or he was created to be.
1 Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854, http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau.
2 Isaiah 1:17, emphasis added.
End of Preface

For further analysis, experience, and comment see Free to Be, my first book. Available on Amazon (paper, ebook) and Smashwords (ebook only).

I'll be back next week... same place. In the meantime, happy reflecting - on life, freedom and whatever are your aspirations.





Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:




END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.










My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
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