Agape Christian Counselling, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Home Articles Professional Services What Clients Say About Us Contact Us
#2 of the Foundation Series of the Heal My Life Seminars
© George Hartwell M.Sc.., 2003, all rights reserved
www.HealMyLife.com, (416) 234-1850
A living soul, a human being, is energized by natural and chosen passions. As children we are born passionate. When in need or pain we cry out. When distressed we cry. We are curious, social and adventuring. We go after what we want. We are born with capacities for love, fun, feeling, sexuality, pleasure, work, aggression, learning, achievement and adventure. We are born alive, unique and passionate.
In "Foundation Issue #1" we discussed the right to be or 'freedom from shame.' Without the freedom to be it is hard to develop further emotionally. All one's energy is focussed on emotional survival. Instead of Basic Trust there is foundational fear of being alive - shame of being a person, ambarrassment at making requests or taking up space.
If one becomes secure in one's right to be (First Stage of Emotional Development) then one goes on to claim and express one's passions. The child screams when hungry or alone. The adult has the right to request that needs be met and is able to mobolize aggressive energy to pursue life.
All that animal energy, drive, aggression, and feeling is present in the young baby. Can you as an adult harness this passion, the primal energy, your animal drive to win, to live, to be loved and to make love? If so you can use this energy to compete, score goals, defeat opponents, take leadership, assert your rights, confront injustice, achieve goals, take initiative, repair relationships and love passionately.
However, one who believes they need to squelch this energy will shy from competition, passion, love and passion. Such a one (individual, family, corporation or nation) can lose the passion for life.
What if parents lack patience and love for a frustrated and crying baby? Imagine you are a baby being held by someone who is getting angry and anxious with your distress and your expression of it in your cry. Your spirit, your inner being, is picking up on their anxiety and frustration with you. This might well increase your distress. However the parent expresses their frustration, you are going to learn that your self-expression, your baby cry brings you rejection.
What if the parents are afraid of or displeased by your passion, your alive, unique, passionate nature? They may use many rules, commands, warnings and shaming to get you to cool it; to suppress your human nature. They take control punitively and create fear. They may take control early and intrusively of your natural functions such as elimination and eating.
At a deep level the child comes to believe that he or she is bad. That one's life passion, self-expression, aggressive drive and ability to take personal initiative is offensive and must be buried. One comes to believe that self-expression, taking initiative or taking risks is too dangerous.
The child decides to avoid all risk, all competition, all confrontation, all personal expression or initiative.
The child may decide to avoid all mistakes; to be perfect.
The child decides to clamp down on and suppress all aggressive, competitive, sexual and self-initiated impulses.
There is a disconnect between thought and feeling. Conversation avoids feelings. The subject of conversation is changed to small details, abstract ideas, things of people not present or even the opposite feeling.
Thinking and decision-making is fraught with doubt and uncertainty. It is hard to make a decision. There is much vacillation and procrastination.
Underlying is much fear: fear of making a mistake, fear of breaking the rules, and fear of taking a risk. Since life involves risks - fear of life.
Life passion may be characteristic of many of the Biblical heroic characters. Noah had the courage of his convictions and built the arc. Abraham was called to go it alone, and he did. Jacob, the grasper, went after the birthright and the blessing, held on to the angel demanding a blessing and was called a prince. Joseph boldly proclaimed his dreams though it offended his brothers. You can continue this.
It may be even more interesting to notice how often God is the initiator.
Study the gospel of Luke to see how often Jesus did the surprising thing, took initiative, was bold, was openly confrontive.
I am interested in some New Testament characters that showed unusual courage, boldness, persistence and even aggressiveness to reach Jesus and gain the blessing that was their objective.
Notice the leper that shows up in Jesus' face. What about the rules that lepers were supposed to keep their distance and stay away? Wasn't this fellow breaking the rules? Wasn't he taking a big risk? Like many others he gets right to the point. Kind of bold, maybe even aggressive, wouldn't you say? Matthew 8:2,3.
In a similar way the woman with the flow of blood was not supposed to be out in the public (according to the law.) She wasn't supposed to touch Jesus (according to the law). She, however, had a passion to be healthy. She had spent all her resources on this. She took a risk and gained her objective. Matthew 9:20 ff.
The Gentile woman of Matthew 15:21 was persistent to the point of annoying the disciples. She was annoyingly persistent in making her request. She persisted even in the face of two rebuffs from Jesus. She was focused on her purpose and pursued it with a passion - really with aggression to overcome every obstacle.
Blind Bartimaeus, Mark 10:46, cried out with a persistence and fervour that annoyed the bystanders. He was told to be quiet yet he called out all the more. Look how he throws aside his cloak. He is focused and bold in pursuit of his healing. Here is a passionate man.
These stories are included in scripture for a purpose. They encourage us to be passionate, focused, to overcome obstacles, to persist. "Don't be shy," says these stories. "Don't be passive." "Don't quit. Don't retreat. Don't get discouraged."
In listening Prayer Therapy we come boldly to God with our needs. We come into God's presence and make our requests. People ask for answers and healing and get them.
Observe how often those we publicly admire are described as energetic, aggressive or passionate. Most winning athletes show these characteristics. Serena, the younger Williams sister shows more passion and wins over her older sister, Venus.
In one description of combat leadership the following three desirable characteristics were mentioned:
2.Mastery of strategy, and
3.The ability to exact maximum fight from the forces.
In description of an Air Force general the following characteristics were commended: Self-confidence, Masterful general, Decisive, and Inexhaustible energy.
Admiral Daniel Barbey was described as tough and energetic. His capacity to mobilize aggression and energy gave him a high rating among combat leaders.
People who have been productive in ways that gain the title of creative genius have these characteristics:
1.AMBITIOUS - an intense desire to excel and an exceptional need to achieve.
2.BULL HEADED - a persistent devotion to work or research that is characterized by energy, drive, tenacity, endurance, determined, and delay of gratification.
3. CONFIDENT - self-confident, faith in themselves and appreciative of their own talent.
4. DOMINANT - taking initiative, bold and assertive.
5. EMOTIONALLY INDEPENDENT of others, unconventional, not people pleasers, intrinsically motivated.
6. FOCUS - Single-minded concentration.
Notice how different this is than conventional concepts of genius as some innate talent or intelligence that one is born with. Instead we observe hard work (#2), drive (#3), focus (#6) and boldness (#4). It seems as if it is more important for the creative genius to have strong passion, energy and aggressiveness than innate intelligence.
Among the 8 principles of military strategy (Burne - "The Art of War on Land") are: 1. Focus on the Main Objective, 2. Seize the Initiative, 3. Surprise and 4. Win the Decisive Point. Do you see how a leader with Life Passion is more likely to impliment these strategies?
By George Hartwell M.Sc. Agape Christian Counselling (416) 234-1850 www.HealMyLife.com
Psychology is all about the mind, will and emotions. The Greek for soul is psyche from which we get psychology. Greek thought under girds much of our ways of thinking.
The conscious part of us likes to be in control. We feel like we are in control when we use the conscious mind and our will. Lets call this Self #1. Self #1 lives under the belief that with enough education, sufficient insight and understanding, with good counsel then everything is under control.
Self #1 like this feeling of being in control. It is a feeling of being powerful. Self #1 doesn't like to admit that there are things that are out of its control, that there are things that it should relinquish control of, that some things go better if Self #1 would get out of the way.
Heal My Life Seminars are based on the proposition that real significant healing of our lives is out of the grasp of Self #!. Education, insight, and counsel are good but they cannot transform and heal lives.
To heal our lives we need heart change. However we don't know our hearts. The prophet Jeremiah said that the heart is deceitful above all things, it is incurably sick. We can't know it. Jeremiah 17:9.
We can't change our hearts. As the Bible says: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?" Jeremiah 13:23. Self #1 can't change the heart and so real healing must bypass our conscious minds.
How can we do that?
Revelation - an encounter with God's Word
An encounter with God can heal our lives and can change our hearts. Even Self #1's Biblical education, spiritual insight and godly counsel do not change the heart. Even a Biblically educated mind cannot change the heart. Only God can change the heart.
One way the heart is changed is through an encounter with God's Word. That is why Paul prays in different places for a Revelation to us of God's Word. A revelation touches the heart.
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened' that you may know &ldots;" - Ephesians 1: 17,18.
Prayers that Touch the Heart
While insight alone does not bring real healing; and praying without insight does not bring healing, praying after a revelation of the right insight does bring healing. Catch the pearls of wisdom into yourself from reading, seminars and counsellors and then pray them.
In listening prayer therapy we make use of listening to God - "Listening Prayer" - we also make use of seeing God - "Picture Story Prayer." Seeing refers to the use imagination.
In a counselling session insight guides prayer encounters that are effective in healing lives.
Crafted Prayer © G. Hartwell, 2003
A crafted prayer is repeated regularly if it represents the cry of one's heart and expresses God's heart too.
God this can't go on.
I always seem to bucking life.
I have my back up.
I have taken my stance against so much.
Why am I always saying "No!"?
Why do I always oppose things?
I seem to be going against the current of life.
I am paddling furiously against the stream of things.
I am stubborn.
It won't be that easy to just turn around.
I will pray to you. I will shout out for help.
Get me out of this rut.
Yah, get in the boat with me.
Let's turn this canoe around.
Thanks for your help.
It is so much easier to go with the flow.
With your help I choose to move forward with my life.
No more rebelling, opposing, bucking Life.
I am going to say "Yes!" to life.
Here I come. I am moving ahead in life
With energy and passion in Jesus name.