Transformation Brings Change
True change is only possible if the heart is transformed. In my particular church background, I was taught about Christ dwelling in my heart. At the same time, I was also told that I had to change what I was doing wrong through self-discipline and working hard at it. I had to do everything in my ability to lose my bad habits, destructive behaviors, and negative attitudes. But the more I tried to change, the more I failed. Sure, I succeeded from time to time, but often the success was short lived. Every time I felt like I came up short, I drowned in frustration, guilt, and insecurity.
I did not understand that trying hard to change actually produced the opposite feelings in my heart. Every time I told myself that I wanted to change or become a better person, I was actually telling myself that I did not consider myself a good person. If I am trying to become something, I have already persuaded myself in my heart that I am not that.
The more I try to become better, the more I convince myself that I am not. In the end, I was worse off than before because every time I failed my self-worth suffered irreparable harm. I defined the self-portrait of my heart and as I continued to fail, I became emotionally and mentally drained. I began to question the goodness of God and longed for some kind of supernatural intervention that would carry me through the next storm and another year.
This cycle of defeat is not uncommon. We run to one therapist after another or one more conference that promises that our lives will never be the same again. We are always chasing one more blessing. At the end of it all, nothing much changes except that our hearts have become bitter and hardened by empty promises and failed trusts.
Transformation happens when you awaken within to your true identity that is deeper than name and form. Your essential nature is pure awareness, or unconditioned consciousness. You are that awareness, inhabiting a body and possessing a mind. That awareness is the background to all your sense perception and thinking. In the first book of the Bible, the poetic texts describe this awareness as your God-given “breath of life.”
When you awaken within to this awareness, deeper than thought, you become aware of your oneness with God. As psalmist described it, “be still and know that I am God.” Another word for this awakening is faith. Your heart captures the true essence of who you are, and thus radiates the essence of God – love.
The reality you experience and observe is then altered in line with your transformed sense of self in your heart. You attract who you believe yourself to be in your heart. Like the sun that gives life to everything on earth, God’s light shines forth from your heart, changing you and attracting the change you desire to see.
Adapted from Unraveling Love’s Mystery, David Youngren (2012, chapter 6)
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