Merriam-Webster definition for discernment =
Discernment is not about judging really, especially not judging a person. It is about deciding if you choose to incorporate or assimilate what is being given to you and choosing the framework you will receive it in.
It is being willing to hear yourself and trusting in your ability to have clear and correct opinions as to what is healthy or acceptable to you.
Many of us have this ability squashed out of us as we are told that we do not know what we think or feel, often by those that we should be able to trust. And it is often done by when we are in a vulnerable position. If done early enough and long enough when we are young we will accept that as a fact even once we are older and on our own, not unlike the elephant who having been trained as a little fellow will not pull away from the chain he could easily break as an adult.
We need to take this capacity back. It is vital to our ability to be free.
When it comes to being free when do you decide to be real? And what about the fact that we are social people? In other words we are not just one person, or even two people, we are several people and we need to be nice and not get into other people’s business or allow our feelings to be shown so that we do not expose other people’s business right?!!! Well, I believe, that freedom includes risk. Actually a great deal of it, cautious risk but risk. Just like walking across the street we could be hit by a car, so with speaking or writing you never know when someone is going to choose to knock you down. This happens everywhere to every age, sex, race, and any other demographic you want to come up with. We cannot let that cause us to give up or go inside ourselves and be self serving in a way that does not serve others. I personally believe that serving others is the best way to serve ourselves which would mean that we would be allowed to grow. Serving others, in other words, is the best way to serve yourself and to serve Heavenly Father. (To me this is the real SECRET, if you know what I mean.)
We can get held as hostages to family or societal protocol that is typically upheld to support the wicked and if it can be done in the name of “nice” so much the better. If we yield to this we will be bought by society and reap their reward. Sad end to this story is that they have no authority to give you anything of lasting value. Personal integrity will see you through so many things. It used to be said, “Don’t do anything that would make you ashamed to look in the mirror the next day about”. Nothing is worth lying to yourself or lying to God. I know that to get along in this world you need to “fudge” things now and again. You cannot speak your full mind or share your full heart but if you will find ways to do so little by little you will find that you will have opportunities to grow and learn about yourself and find your own voice and here is where freedom begins.
It is important to honor yourself and others. I know someone who says they are uncomfortable in my presence. Okay, I will honor this one and not be in their presence because to do so exposes me to cruelty, quite frankly. I did not understand this for years. I did not understand that I did not have to be subject to this anger nor to the abuse of the lies that have been told of me. These false accusations were believed because I come from a place of abuse and was willing to acknowledge it for the sake of growth and learning for myself. Because of the way society is set up I was judged without a jury and the consequences have been huge but mostly on the one who chose to find offense and those who chose to support this person and the next generation.
I cannot be accountable for what others think of me, nor can you. What others think of me is none of my business. What I think of me is and what God thinks of me is. If I am doing all I can to search the scriptures and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Ghost within me to know if their accusations fit or not and if their suggestions lead me on a path of light or into a trap of betrayal I am doing the best I can.
This applies to “keeping up with the Jone’s” as well or trying to please everyone.
I work hard at remembering that I am a child of God and that I need to give myself the space to make mistakes. The world does not allow this, whether you are a child, teen, parent, male, female, there is someone (and usually many someones) that will point at you and laugh or ridicule but you just want to be sure you please God and yourself by being honest with who you are one step at a time.
Sometimes freedom can seem like you found your way into gramma’s yarn basket after the cat has been playing with the yarn. It is just so tangled and jumbled and you know there is a beginning and an end but you do not know where that really is. Society has painted freedom as a clear cut, cookie cutter, metaphor that has no flaws and that is so false and truly so less than rewarding. Freedom, in any form, is progressive and moving and free flowing like nature, time, life, learning, and love.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or licensed therapist of any sort. I am a mother, a woman, a Christian, with some experience working with the challenges that life can present us and turning to Heavenly Father for assistance. Anything I say is said with great respect for your ability to recognize and own your present moment and if anything I say appears to do less than that please let me know and I hope your will understand it was not meant to do that. Also, while I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints I do not speak on behalf of the church but as a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Blessings!
This is a copy of a comment that I wrote on another person’s blog who had written about her struggle with cutting and what she understood about it and challenges she had living with that addiction:
“I have an addictive personality. I have had many things that I have had to wean myself off of. I could pretty well relate them to figuratively “beating my head against the wall”, in a way a slow form of suicide. That is how I look at where I have been. There are a lot of ideas in the world that say that we should be this way or that and there are a lot of relationships whose purpose is to keep you off balance and not knowing where you stand and that creates an attitude of “craziness” in your head as you try to ground yourself in anything meaningful, so the addictions give a place of stability or as you say at least perceived “control” for the moment which can bring relief when you are in a place of such pain.
I am just now beginning to see these attitudes of self abuse and suicidal tendencies or thoughts (not saying yours are but myself and others I have known and know of) might just be signs of those who are on the verge of discovering real life.
Does that sound crazy? I suppose it does, but I know that there is a place of great pain that we need to cross over before “real life” or “enlightenment” can occur. I have crossed that river and it is great to be on the other side. I also know that it is possible for me to allow myself to sink into depths I do not care to imagine if I chose to turn from the path of faith and hope that I am on so that makes me no greater than you or anyone else.
Real life (the ability to accept where you are right now and continue to grow and learn) and enlightenment (the awareness that we are all in this together and that we are already one and embrace the desire to lift all up, even those who hurt us, thus creating a desire and acknowledging a responsibility, to help lift others while keeping oneself in a safe place) are incredible things. They are worth every sacrifice and difficult experience to come to the place where you can truly embrace these in your day to day walk.
Dear I am going to put this in my blog, http://www.freedomprinciplesincorporated.wordpress.com
because it is very applicable to my personal journey to freedom and what I want to share with the world. You may share it in the comments on your blog or not as you wish.
Here are a couple of links I would encourage you to check out. You might see if there is anything that you can find that gives you some understanding of where you are and where you want to be:
Your reference to going from hyper feeling of anger to non-feeling reminds me of his figure 8 trap that we get into and it really does become a vicious cycle. There is hope though. I wish you well in your journey and thank you for being willing to be so candid about where you are. Hugs and, if I may say so, you have a Heavenly Father who knows and understands your pain and he will help you through it if you are willing to take hold of the helps he sends your way and begin to believe in you as he does. No one can or should carry you but we can lead you into the light of hope and once there you can lead others there as well.”
As the title of this post suggests I am beginning to believe that getting to the end of your rope may be the very place that is at the door of true enlightenment and the joy spoken of by Christ as we partake of the living truth that we are all one and to harm any is to harm ourselves. He said peace I leave with you, not as the world gives it but as the Father gives it. It takes stepping into the unknown and being willing to walk there even as Peter and Christ walked on the water. It is real though and miracles happen here all the time. Won’t you consider being a part of that miracle and trust that the pain will not consume you as you let the Holy Ghost guide you and make you one with God.
PS I also told her that I may be way off base and not responding in a way that she feels good about. I do not wish to take away her “being” her perception of where she is. I only desire to offer a hand of fellowship and hope. Freedom is something that must be obtained by the individual and protected and defended for all. This is my witness at this time. May God continue to teach us all and unite us as his children.
Along with the ability to say “I Believe” is the ability to desire to see ourselves as we truly are, not only as we hope to be or even “think” that we are. We might desire to be all knowing and wise, we might repeat negative statements about ourselves like “I am worthless” or “I am lazy” or the classic female mantra “I am ugly”, but these are mere illusions and fantasies created by ourselves or those we once thought “important” in our lives. Blind spots and addiction to mirages are typical human conditions.
It is the Holy Ghost that allows us to have eyes that see truth. Sometimes we are so embedded in the lies and illusions of those we deem credible that we need to be gently coaxed into the reality of what truly is. This coaxing can take years or moments depending on many things like our personal courage or the shocks of the circumstances when these false truths were embedded in our psyche. The age and vulnerability that we felt in our survival is also a factor on how long it can take for us to be able to see truth and face what is real.
This is not a condition experienced only by women. Though I am a woman and can speak with greater personal experience from this perspective, I have observed many men, my father, uncles, acquaintances, intimate relationships, and husbands. Perhaps the most revealing to me has been the observance of my own son and watching that beautiful tender child be caught up in the whirlwind and destructive forces of society beyond his own intimate relationship with the creator. Men may in fact have a greater challenge in facing the realities after they have submitted to the illusions and fantasies because of the make up of their brains and their emotional chemistry. Women are tossed to and fro on the emotional roller coaster from puberty, but man has no similar physical reference of success or survival of such raging waves of inner confusion and distress.
Back to the issue of acknowledging truths, men I admire have said that to be able to progress if we are blind to our own faults is impossible. This is life to me, the ability to progress and grow and learn, but if I am not able to look at myself and accept that I have faults and shortcomings I will be stopped in my progression. This is what I believe hell is. Being trapped in a place of false realities and thus not being allowed to continue to grow and progress. Even our senses can betray us. Our mental capacities and our relationship ties all can fail to give us truth. Over a lifetime of experience and observance I feel very confident to say that it is the Holy Ghost that witnesses of truth and there is no other.
Not being all-knowing, or some call it confidence, the youth have called it “Being Cool” for decades, is a big threat to our sense of safety and security. If we are not willing to relinquish the need to be in control to this extent or to have answers for everything and turn those reigns over to God (i. e. Heavenly Father) and Jesus Christ, we shun the association of the Holy Ghost that we need so desperately. Even Christ, himself, was in need of the Holy Ghost.
In the Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 31:12 it reads “And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.” Did you see the three words that give us the understanding that Christ had the Holy Ghost with him to be able to discern truth? The three little words “like unto me”, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost. Christ did not have the capacity to discern all things without that companionship. How can we believe that we will.
If he (the Holy Ghost) truly is the only way that we can discern truth from error is it no wonder that to know the Holy Ghost and fight against his purposes is one of the unforgivable sins? By the power of the Holy Ghost mankind is able to know all things that Heavenly Father chooses to reveal to him. We are taught that all or complete truth of all God’s creations is more than the human psyche can endure, but we live far below our capacity to comprehend because we do not allow his presence and insist instead on leaning on our own understanding.
I do not speak lightly. I do not speak of light things. I do have confidence that you will be able to understand, though, if you give yourself a chance. It is not my place or desire to reveal all things to you or to strip you of all your illusions in one fail swoop. That would be unkind and lead to your overload and destruction for mankind needs a place of security and safety from which to stand and proceed or continue in life. This, to me, is a sign of God’s great mercy. I do not believe that we have the power to do this to one another, though many try and I believe that great battle that rages today is psychological and the enemy is in each and every hill, climb, home, and mind.
We can however testify of God’s love for us as shown in the atonement of Jesus Christ and in the help in the companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy Ghost that will testify to us of truths that come our way and that will allow us to comprehend and learn line upon line those things that will lead us to true growth and spiritual freedom.
This is why we do not need to be afraid to teach deep and somber realities to one another, especially the youth, because it is the Holy Ghost that takes it to their hearts and gives them the ability to accept it and deal with what otherwise would be painful truths, perhaps to heavy to bear. We need to overcome our fear of being as “real” as we can be in the moment that we are given so that we might invite the Holy Ghost to take us into his care and show us that which we need to change in our own thinking and behavior and so he can show us how to do our part to heal the world and support personal freedom for all of mankind.
I believe that we need to return to a place that says “I believe”. That ability to speak a faith or a belief has been taken away from our society. It is unpopular or prejudiced to say “I believe”. What we do not realize is that “I believe” is not a puffed up or prejudiced place as it is labeled. Instead, it is a place of humility and an honoring of the self that says this is where I am right now and this is what I understand and I am giving you the best that I have right now. From here we can alter our understanding, but if we do not know what we believe or give ourselves the chance to express it we stifle our own psychological growth.
We need to take back the right to “be”, to exist and it begins with ourselves allowing ourselves to express to ourselves and then to others what we believe. This is the beginning of “being”. It is a significant sign of truly being alive. We walk through life with so many “living dead” because they have convinced themselves that someone else can decide for them what they believe.
This is one thing that the Master never did. He honored himself one step at a time and testified of what he believed from his youth on and it was in doing this that he grew in understanding, not only of himself and God, but of his peers, his brothers and sisters, of you and me.