Recapping the ‘Developing My Will to Love’ Group
“I like Homeland, but I don’t think it’s as good as that other show, Previously on Homeland. That thing is action-packed.”—Amy Poehler at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards
Watching Group One
I had so much fun binge watching the recordings of our first Assistance Group – Developing My Will to Love.
Just like when I’ve seriously watched TV programmes in the past (BSG – I mean you) I went through the full gamut of emotions while watching these groups – anticipation, sorrow, laughter, cringes and so on.
I called Jesus on numerous occasions to tell how amazing he was. I wrote down certain things he said verbatim because I want to print them on t-shirts (or maybe tattoo them on my forearm for life-long handy reference).
At various times I talked out loud to the TV screen.
And even though there were no cliff hangers as such, I found there was a definite ‘tension’ between each presentation and its corresponding Q& A session. I had to see what would happen next. (smile)
Not actually being at the groups was so strange for me and it was completely novel to watch each recording just like so many of you overseas must do all the time. I really savoured the experience to sit and see things from a different perspective.
Even though I had been involved in preparing all of the material for these groups, while watching I really focused on receiving the gifts of Jesus’ presentation and everyone’s participation.
Because I approached things this way, I feel I personally gained so much for my own progression while watching.
It’s been a few weeks since I finished all of the videos and the other day I found myself doing a bit of a personal ‘recap’ of the most significant things that have stuck with me. Without referring to any previous notes or watching any video I sat down with my journal and wrote down the lessons from “Developing My Will to Love” that really impacted upon me.
Today I thought I’d write up a list of the questions I found myself naturally answering in case it assists any of you to do your own personal ‘recap’. I believe that it is so worthwhile to reflect on and experiment with some of the truths from our first group before we launch into the next.
If you would like to do some personal reflection on “Developing My Will to Love” here are some questions that may assist you:
What are some of the key points from the group that have stuck with me?
What were the injuries within me that I discovered that are impacting on my personal relationship with God, myself and others?
What lessons, truths and/or moments had the most impact on me emotionally?
(These emotionally charged moments are a clue to truths, lessons or emotions that have can have immediate positive impact on my progression if I continue to focus on them).
What did I learn?
What didn’t I understand? What frustrated me? When did I feel most resistive?
(These are also important clues to areas that are holding me back from more rapid progress).
What experiments am I engaging in relation to the material presented?
Has anything changed (have I taken any different action, do I respond differently to anything in my life) since I watched/ attended the group? If not, why not?
Some additional questions that can be useful to help in working through resistance to specific issues are:
What is my investment in not accepting this statement/opinion as truthful?
What fear would it challenge if I did?
What grief would it expose if I did?
In what way would accepting this truth cause me to act differently?
What emotion don’t I want to feel in relation to that action?
E.g. Fear of disapproval, fear of exposure
How would living as if this is the truth make me feel separate from key people in my life?
Why? What is my investment in feeling the same or accepted?
Is my judgement of this information as untruthful based on any evidence?
If so, from where did I get that ‘evidence’? Is it from personal experience?
Is it based on other people’s opinions?
If it’s from personal ‘experience’, how connected & present was I at the time?
Is my recall of what happened based on actual events?
Or is it blurred by suppressed fear and grief or anger?
Is there a way I can safely experiment to test for myself if it is true or not?
If you attended the group, or watched it on YouTube, I highly recommend doing your own personal ‘recap’, answering some of the questions I placed above. Not only is this exercise helpful in getting the most out of the last group, but if you plan to attend the next group (or watch it), it will help you to engage constructively the new material as well.
I haven’t shared my recap notes because obviously everyone’s reflections are personal and specific to their own progression and soul work. However, I couldn’t resist compiling just some of my favourite truths or perspectives I gained from viewing and I’ve pasted them at the bottom of this post. And my previous ‘Jesus Quote’ post on the blog comes directly from one of the presentations as well.
I’m pretty excited about our next group. Jesus has some excellent material to share with those who are attending. I hope you all love it as much as I loved helping him prepare it.
If you haven’t booked a place in Group 2 but would still like to attend there are some places available in Group 2.1 starting May 20th.
If, like me, you are planning to watch the “Developing My Loving Self” groups on video once they are available here is a funny video on the dangers of binge watching:
An Education in Love – Developing My Will to Love – Mary’s Highlights
These are just some personal notes and aren’t intended as a proper ‘recap’ of the content of the group.
Contrary to Amy Pohler’s preference for the recap of Homeland over the actual programme, I highly recommend watching both groups in full (smile). My, or anyone else’s recap, can’t hope to do it justice.
The World’s Definition of Love
The world’s definition of love is basically a bunch of fear based beliefs that foster addiction and co-dependence.
God’s definition of Love will be free of any fear or fear based reasoning.
God’s definition is mostly in opposition to the world’s definition.
Unless I give up my addiction to gaining approval from the world, I will not act or experience enough to gain God’s definition of Love.
Any fears of confrontation, rejection and ostracism I retain will negatively impact upon my progress in gaining an education in love. Any fears I hold onto will ultimately prevent my connection with God.
Most of the worldly education I have received has reinforced false beliefs within me, so part of using my will to love will be challenging those fears and releasing my worldly (family) education.
In order to gain God’s definition of love, I must be willing to disagree with most of the world, most of the time.
The Four Tools for Progression
Before, during and since the groups I have engaged some personal experiments with the four tools for progression that Jesus talked about. (Faith, Truth, Action and Emotion).
I’ve found that experimenting with any single one gives me insight into my resistance towards all the others. Perhaps at a future group I’ll be able to talk about that some more. But I highly recommend purposeful experiments with any one (or all) of the four tools for progression.
I’ve enjoyed finding out how closely related all four of these tools are and how we do end up working on all four in tandem.
Development of my faith is completely under my control.
If I don’t have any faith it’s because I am actively resisting developing it.
Part of developing my will to love is taking responsibility for my lack of faith. I actively maintain a lack of faith by:
- resisting taking loving actions
- resisting releasing painful past experiences
Faith in badness, sin and error damages me and others.
I have an investment in maintaining a lack of faith because it provides me with justification to not act, to not feel, and to not experiment with God’s Way.
In other words – even though I want to tell myself that my lack of faith is painful – I actually prefer to have a lack of faith because I can use it as an excuse to avoid many of my fears.
My faith in God, God’s Goodness and Love is something I can develop. Developing faith is NOT a passive process. It involves being humble to my pain and fear and taking positive action. This is a loving use of my will.
Unless I act, I cannot grow faith.
Unless I act differently I cannot challenge false beliefs (fears).
Feeling all the emotion in my soul is meaningless if I am unwilling to act in harmony with love.
Unless I act in accordance with the truth I have already learned and discovered I will degrade in my condition.
Taking action is powerful. Action is vital to all progress.
The areas in my life where I have the most fear are significant. Acting and changing in these areas will bring about rapid and substantial improvements in my day-to-day happiness.
I loved the discussion in one Q&A about the long-term effect (distress) that comes from not resolving issues and remaining inactive in regards to awareness of problems. Jesus talked about how when we become aware of a personal issue and resolve it rapidly we can attain a state of happiness until the next problem or personal issue becomes apparent.
On the other hand, if we gain awareness of problem after problem and take no action to resolve it, life becomes more and more miserable and we enter higher and higher states of distress. There was also a graph involved in this explanation (I love graphs and diagrams!). I recommend checking that discussion out if you haven’t already.
Humility & Emotion
I found it very moving when in one Q&A discussion Jesus spoke about his choice to actively ‘be humble’ even when situations are very challenging and he is being attacked.
This brief discussion caused me to feel that even though developing humility often feels like something that becomes more and more natural and easy over time, in the end it is a choice. Being humble is an act of will.
It is not something that magically occurs suddenly nor is it a quality that is impossibly unattainable. We can and will choose humility time and again if we want a relationship with God.
Part of one of our outlines for the next group speaks about what that choice actually means:
What I Will Do When I am Humble
- desire to feel suppressed pain caused by myself or others
- desire to feel current pain caused by my choices or others
- desire to feel future possible pain caused by my choice or others
- release emotions that negatively control beliefs, thoughts, and actions
- awaken to sin, and repent for past sin
- ask for God’s Love & Forgiveness
- listen to, absorb, & accept loving thoughts, beliefs & ideas
- develop, respond to, and act upon, loving longings & desires
- develop, respond to, and act upon,loving aspirations & intentions
- develop, respond to, and act upon, loving emotions & feelings
- plan, decide, and engage loving actions
- allow externally generated sources to encourage me to do all the above
As a side note, I really noticed how much resistance (fear) both audiences had in any presentation about emotion. There was a lot of personal questioning, resistance to taking on general principles about emotion, an all round wish to deny the reality of the need to feel emotions independently for oneself and attempts to steer Jesus away from addressing crucial points. This indicates how many are still struggling with fear of emotion and have the desire to remain dependent on others when it comes to emotions (rather than take personal responsibility for feeling them).
Aspiration vs Inspiration
It is so important to get real about the difference between when I’m relying on inspiration versus when I experiencing, growing and developing my personal aspiration to change and grow.
How much do I aspire to change? vs. How much do I love feeling reassured, supported and encouraged through receiving inspiration by listening to truth?
There are positive ways I can engage with inspiration and negative ones.
If I use inspiration addictively then my condition degrades. Examples of how I use inspiration addictively:
- to avoid faith (I ‘rest’ on another person’s faith and rely on them to provide truth, rather than engaging my own experiments)
- to avoid taking personal action (relying on the person ahead of me to take the action instead, trying to ‘tag on’ to their creations rather than experiencing my feeling of risk and fear by taking initiative with creation)
- to avoid emotion (I can use inspiration to reassure me that everything will be ‘alright’ in the end – avoidance of fear, I can use it to avoid feeling ‘all alone’ in my life.
- to avoid confrontation of personal truth (focus on external and universal truth and avoid seeing my life as it really is right now and the effects of how I am currently using my will)
This addictive process is the OPPOSITE of developing my will to love!
To positively engage with inspiration I will use it to assist me in:
- confronting my resistance
- engaging my own experiments
- taking personal responsibility for my life as it is right now (which is the result of my own actions)
In other words, if I positively engage with inspiration it will assist me in growing my personal aspiration.
My personal aspiration is not dependent on external circumstances, relationships etc. My personal aspiration comes from within and is an aspect of me embracing the use of my will actively and it will continue to motivate me towards change (without me having to rely on others for things).
Engaging with sources of inspiration is only beneficial if it spurs me towards challenging addiction, facade and false beliefs. When I do challenge these things I begin to develop my will to love.
I absolutely loved the discussion in the group about aspiration and inspiration.