I’m currently participating in a 7-day manifestation challenge. I’ve done this once before and was pleased with the outcome. I won’t go into details because most of you would likely think I’ve joined a cult or something (which is not the case). However, I will tell you I’m learning that what I focus on is what grows. There’s a lot of talk about the laws of energy and attraction and how positive energy attracts positive results.
One important take-away from today’s session was this: in order to put positive energy into the world, we must consistently feed our souls just as we feed our bodies. That statement led me to a profound, personal realization.
For years (as in, most of my life), I tried to feed my soul with the Bible and Christian music and Bible studies and all the things good evangelicals do. But my soul rarely felt fed. Today, I understood why. I did all of those things, but they were spoiled by fear of punishment. I read the Bible, but all I could ever see was an angry god. I viewed everything through that lens.
It dawned on me today that if I read the Bible again, I have to read it through the filter of grace and love, not judgment and fear. That’s the only way reading it can possibly feed my soul. Too often in the past, I read verses that seemed to give other people hope, yet they left me empty, or worse, scared. When read through the lens of fear, even a verse like “God is my refuge” could seem negative. What about God being a refuge is negative, right? Well, when you believe your behavior determines God’s love for you, it’s easy to believe God might not want to be a refuge for people who misbehave or don’t measure up to some impossible standard of holiness. See how quickly fear can turn a positive into a negative? Now, imagine spending a lifetime reading the Bible just that way. No wonder I quit reading it.
These days, feeding my soul looks a lot like grace and love and good things and allowing myself to envision my dreams. It looks like music and writing and reflection and meditation. It looks like therapy appointments and squeezing in spare minutes to chat with my best friend. It looks like seeking the sacred in TV shows like “This Is Us” and “The Walking Dead.” Feeding my soul looks like creating harmony with the world.