So he thought he was doing well. He claimed a sense of confidence had come over him. Despite his insecurities, he claimed he had succeeded in feeling equal to those powerful professional personalities among his friends because of how he himself was acting, positive, big, smart and important too. He was convinced. His confidence was complete because he saw himself as a “child of God. “I know who I am. Just because I sweep floors doesn’t make me less than them.”
Encouraging him to return to gratitude for this new found peace inside his heart, he went on to explain the next step in his thinking which led him to a very peculiar trap. Remember, we are studying human emotional anatomy. This brain of ours does not change. We are learning through gratitude, how to recognize these traps and navigate our experience in living. He proceeded to describe how his confidence turned against him.
“So I stopped acting as if I was better than who they think they are. I decided to be humble and quiet instead of pushy and loud. I was confident about who I am. I was no longer intimidated, embarrassed, ashamed, insecure and uneasy. I no longer had to put on my mask of power and superiority. I was better than that.
“So I took the back seat. They were no longer a threat to me. I didn’t have to act important anymore. I let go of this whole big shot facade because I felt confident about being a child of God.
“Yet the whispers were still there, still attacking me, stronger now, more persistent, relentless. I thought I was doing the right thing by being humble but I felt worse than ever. I was all the more aware of feeling awkward, embarrassed, ashamed and uncomfortable. These were the feelings that I had kept at a distance by using my big shot facade. Now they were stronger than ever.
“All the more persuasive, I believed the disparaging thoughts, feelings, imaginings and whispers which forced my shameful retreat.
“Becoming even more awkward than before, I would hide from my shame. I even prayed against those I was convinced were belittling and despising me. I hated them. I wanted them to feel my pain. My moods consumed me. I was lost.
“Then finally, through single breath relaxation, I found my place of peace. Navigating emotional anatomy, reinforced through gratitude, I could recognize how trapped I was by the very same insecurity I was trying to escape. What a wonderful gift I received. There is freedom to choose. This place of peace is real. I am reminded of green pasture and still water described in Psalm 23. From this place of peace, it is much easier for me to see the many faces of moods and attitudes that keep me trapped.”
This place of peace is far better than the horrible angst of shame that people have to suffer for too many years. The truth is we have freedom that helps us see false confidence, false pride, hatred, bitterness, anger and envy conspiring to make us miserable.
From early unpleasant and uncomfortable wounds, etched into emotional anatomy, these habits of thinking and emotional reflexes are destroying us. They leave us trapped in moods of despair, loneliness, isolation, and depression, slaves to the old movie.
Gratitude reboots the machine and gives us a chance to choose this place of peace.
Now I get to have sincere gratitude for my freedom to choose By practicing more and more “thank you” for this gift, I am able to choose to return to my place of peace and all the more give thanks because it is real. The more I use my single breath relaxation, the more I experience the relief of heart felt gratitude deep within me. Gratitude reboots the machine. It offers me freedom to choose. Check it out.