Claim Your Own Mental Fitness


…with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know…what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe… Ephesians 1:18-19

Letting go for Christians involves the eyes of our hearts enlightened. I believe that mental fitness can allow us to find the enlightenment in this. The Adult observing eye, well-connected with the inner being (“heart”) inside, can search for ways to decide how to approach the belief in a powerful God. First we must process through to resolution our grief over being human. This basic work of mental fitness results in a state of acceptance that includes letting go of our anger toward God. How often I’ve heard people say that if there were a powerful God, they would hate Him (it, her) for allowing so much human misery, when He could stop it in a moment. So they decide not to believe at all, which is back-and-white, child-brain thinking. Their anger keeps them stuck in grief and saps their energy.

Mental fitness requires that we recognize and study the complexity of things like misery and grief. As we process our grief over each painful human situation, our Indulgent Parent urges a focus on how unfair it all is. Our Critical Parent then tries to make it somehow all our own fault. Our mentally fit Adult, independent of all this, can see the basic reality we face: human life can be ugly and we don’t know why. In the picture above you see me and my dachshund, Dixie, dwarfed by a huge Western Red Cedar. We can walk around, lean into and stare way up at the big cedar, but never see the whole thing. For me the question isn’t whether to believe in God or not. It’s how to move on with incomplete information. If this god is “immeasurable,” we can’t have the whole picture, and there’s no use whining about it.

My Wise Parent is now equipped to remind me that “it’s all a part of the journey,” when things get tough. I have to let go of knowing where this path through a human life span might take me, because it’s a fact that I can’t know. I don’t have to let go of finding ways to make the journey as positive as possible. I have to let go of being angry at some huge phantom that could fix everything for us, because I might as well be angry at this big tree looming over me. I don’t have to let go of trying to keep my mind and heart open to glimmers of why we’re here. My Wise Parent can get more creative about transforming my grief over human pain by studying others’ work, not creating in black-and-white, but through a rainbow of possibilities.

I don’t have to let go of trying to discover what beliefs make my life go more smoothly. I do have to let go of counting on any belief to protect me from disaster or terrible loss. The only way we can accept God for who (he) is and not get into blaming (him) is to admit our ignorance. With this letting go, we can open the eyes of our hearts to whatever enlightenment (he) might offer. From the base of the cedar tree we form our ideas about what we need in the forest and they’re just human-sized. It can’t hurt to ask often for whatever might help us on our journeys, as long as we don’t form very specific expectations. This kind of asking opens us up to guidance from any source that our Adult chooses to accept.

Informed by our Wise Parent, our Adult can select input that will help us express fully who we are in our lives. I like to meditate with Angel Cards that name traits like willingness, courage, creativity, integrity, faith, etc. I select six from the cards laid out face-down before me to reflect upon. Over time they seem to form patterns and the cards I choose always seem to relate to my current challenges. I do wonder how and why this happens, but what really matters is what I can learn from them. When I can embrace that, I thank the Great Immeasurable One with all my heart. I believe mental fitness can help us accept, tolerate, learn from and more often embrace what we encounter on our life’s journey.

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