Recently I’ve been working on two things as I seek to be my best self.
1) Inviting God into every decision I make.
Whenever I need to decide anything (what to eat, what task to do next at work, how many loads of laundry to do), I do a quick gut check to find out if it’s the next right thing to do. Then I feel good about whatever decision I made and move on. It also helps me to be aware of God moving in the small things in my life and reminds me to give thanks.
I don’t believe that God gets stressed out if I wash one load of laundry or two, but He does care if I spend my energy procrastinating or resenting having to do laundry instead of living my best life.
2) Feeling God’s love in the form of friendship.
I have a pattern of developing friendships with people with strong personalities and eventually turning that person into my higher power (admiring them unconditionally, trying to emulate them, seeking their approval and attention, feeling shamed when criticized or ignored by them).
It’s a lot of expectations for me to put on another person and when the person fails to meet my expectations, I overeat or otherwise self-destruct. I’ve broken this habit for the most part, but as I start dating I am concerned of falling back into this line of thinking with new men I meet.
So I am challenging myself to think of God as a friend (instead of friends or men as gods). Why wouldn’t I want a friend who:
- wants the best for me
- is able to comfort me and love me unconditionally
- knows me better than I know myself
- holds me accountable but isn’t unnecessarily critical
- and will always, always be there for me?
Having God as a friend helps me to see these qualities in other people and to live up to them for myself. But I don’t NEED someone else to have all of these traits because God already fills that need for me.
Having God as a friend develops my personal relationship with Him. God is not “on high” or distant. He is sitting right next to me as I type, interested and concerned in my thoughts and my daily life. (Sort of like having an imaginary friend, but more real and less crazy.) This helps me to feel less isolated and keeps me aware of my end of the relationship with Him.
Also — I’ve found that feeling my connection with God comes and goes. When I don’t feel God as close, I try to remember the things I was doing when He did feel near and do them again.
I often remember the quote “If I don’t feel close to God, who moved?” I like this quote because it keeps me from questioning God. I can just focus on doing the next right thing and come back to Him.