Tag Archives: nostalgia

Emotional Healing at the Alpha Course

I want to share that after an Alpha Course evening on healing, in which I received prayer for my psychological dependencies…

…  I went home, tuned into one of my usual nostalgia-triggers, feeding the addiction for the illusory out of mechanical habit, and out of that draw of longing in my heart and my mind for emotional satisfaction in anything, anything but God…

… I put the music on, hoping for the wash of dopamine to come as the familiar memories and imaginations came into my mind…

But tonight, now, after receiving healing prayer at Alpha, something else happened instead. Every time my mind tried to go to those thoughts, the rhythm of that enduring bass line pounded in my head, frazzling it. Where my thoughts tried to gravitate back to the idolatrous images, that solid, pacing beat caused the front of my head to ache. I could not send my thoughts to where my psychological addiction wanted them to go, without it hurting. So I stopped trying. And I let the peace of God wash over me. And you know…? Through that song, which I had used again and again to take me away from my consciousness of God and into the illusory, imaginary world of self where I would give free reign to my psychological addictions and emotional dependencies  – I actually managed to worship with a clear head. Tentatively, I saw and touched the divine through my trigger-music. I even enjoyed it more. Now I feel empowered. I feel empowered and I feel real, and I feel immersed in the present. How long will this last before I relapse? I don’t know, and I don’t want to imagine. But I’ll be getting more prayer as and when, and if. Thank you God for all that you did at Alpha tonight, and for your beautiful music, and for all that you do and continue to do. You are totally amazing.

The piece of music is below. My apologies to the wonderful pianist whose playing and ad-lib style I greatly admire. Your playing is beautiful, and I’m sorry that I misused it.

 

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Time to let go…

Today I took a notebook that I had started using as a journal and left incomplete about three years ago.  It was the latest volume in a shelf full of journals spanning my life since age 11, and they nearly all told a reformulation of the same sin-ridden story, which got more and more lurid every time it was re-spun.  I started reading and I was appalled.  It was a chronicle of idolatry, lust and perversion.  It made me feel sick, and it was sitting on my shelf because I had given it a right to remain there. At former times in my life I would go over to those chronicles and read them because I was feeling ‘nostalgic’.  I used to do it a number of times a year; I used to analyze and annotate and meditate on them.  I would spend hours at a time poring over them.  I would look back at those times and chuckle, as you chuckle at a picture you drew when you were five and think, ‘Aw, shucks; what a genius in the making’ – but more morbidly.  At no time would I look back on those sins without cherishing either the sins themselves, or myself for committing them – in the very peculiar way that we love to cherish the ‘tragic’, ‘romantic’ stories that we spin out of human sin, especially if they’re about ourselves.

I cut the pages out of that book with my Dad’s stanley knife, put them through his shredder two or three pages at a time, and chucked the basketful of remains into the paper recycling wheelie bin.  I could still read isolated lines of tiny font from the typed entries as I carried the basket out; I thought of all the hours I’d spent conceiving these little brainchildren, and my heart ached a bit. Into the waste they went, a line here, a limb there… some people grieve more over the loss of a cherished self-narrative than that of an unwanted gift of new life.  May God help me discard the former in order to embrace the latter.

One day, God willing, those pages will end up as toilet paper, as the slightly yellow recycled letter-paper they use at the council, or as ‘eco-friendly’ greetings card material.  And I won’t be able to trace a single shred.  Jesus flushed those sins a long time ago and he’s going to help me out of this cesspipe even if I’m still caked in newer layers of sin while he does it.  I hope the Lord will see me hammer more and more nails into this particular coffin and help me to shred the rest of my sin-chronicles, book by book.

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