After two chapters of unpacking and discovering the emotionally unhealthy spirituality in our lives, you are probably more than ready to dive into not just what this whole emotionally healthy spirituality thing is, but how to have it. In the following chapters, Scazzero describes the eight pathways to experience emotionally healthy spirituality, but first, he uses Chapter 3 to define what emotional health and contemplative spirituality are, as well as why they are so important.
Scazzero writes, "The point is simple: there are powerful spiritual breakthroughs that can take place deep below the surface of our iceberg when the riches of both contemplative spirituality and emotional health are joined together...Together they form a furnace where God's love burns away what is false and unreal and where the force of his fierce and purifying love sets us free to in the truth of Jesus."
This excerpt pretty much sums up the entirety of Chapter 3, and why living this way is so transformational. Within this chapter, Scazzero also provides three gifts that come with the integration of emotional health and contemplative spirituality into our lives. We encourage you to take note of how you feel when you read the description of each of these gifts in the book. Are you excited, hopeful, anxious as you read about these gifts? Do you feel a need/desire for these gifts in your life? Do you feel a lacking of one or more of these gifts in your everyday life? If so, which ones?
We have listed the three gifts below, along with a few thought-provoking questions for each. These questions are meant to help you discover how/where in your life you need to experience the transformative power of emotionally healthy spirituality. This assessment will be helpful for the chapters to come.
1. THE GIFT OF SLOWING DOWN
Are you paying attention to God? What is your inner person like? What are your priorities? Is Jesus your center of gravity?
2. THE GIFT OF ANCHORING IN GOD'S LOVE
Do you resonate with any of the negative/false beliefs listed on page 53? Review the list on page 55 of “relating to God.” Where do you find yourself? What is your image of God like? Does it need to be healed?
3. THE GIFT OF BREAKING FREE ILLUSIONS
What illusions do you believe? What can you not live without? What are you attached to? Status, success, attention?
We hope that you do experience some sense of hope as you read what could be when you integrate emotional health and contemplative spirituality into your life. We can't stress enough how much we believe in this integration.
Emotional health anchors us in the love of God, affirming that we are worthy of feeling and worthy of being alive and loved, even when we are brutally honest about what's going on in our lives. It grounds us in our true identity as a child of God, deeply loved and made in His image. It is what connects us to God's love for us, that we might love others. Contemplative spirituality is what deepens and matures our relationship with God. It is what keeps us aware of His love throughout our day, no matter what we are doing or where we are going. It is what grounds us and helps us to love God with our whole being.
You can't have one without the other and fully be who God has created you to be. Both are powerful things to engage with separately, but when integrated together they can transform “the hidden places deep beneath the surface.”
> > > by Stefanie Drawdy