Monday, July 23, 2012

when I was Spike

I'd like to introduce you to an old friend of mine. A friend from my past. Spike. Played by James Marsters back in my Buffy days.

I first found Buffy the Vampire Slayer during season 4. I was in an apartment that only got two channels. Channel 49 - WB at the time and Channel 13 - the sci-fi channel. I had two little kids at the time and not much of a life outside of work and child raising. I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer - when she was just starting to get involved with Riley. But Spike was there and even then you knew that there was a connection between the two - Spike and Buffy that is.

So when I got my first computer the first thing I did was go to Buffy the Vampire Slayer websites. It was a little naughty since I was still in the mind control cult of the Way International. There was nothing in the Christian circles I hung with that said it was ok to watch Buffy.

The first Buffy website that I came across had this thing where you could send a virtual postcard from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to whoever you wanted. I decided to send one to myself - from my old email address to my new one. By some bizarre twist of fate - the postcard I recieved was not from me - but was from a man named Andrew. Andrew and I began a Buffy based correspondence that would change my life.

It is strange how the Lord could use something as bizarre and far-away from Christianity as Buffy the Vampire Slayer to bring me closer to Him, - but that is not where I am going with this at this time.

I moved to Southern California - probably close to the real Hellmouth and had a relationship with Andrew. I can not even go into all the details that happened there, but at the time Andrew and I were like Spike and Buffy. I was Spike - because Spike loved Buffy even though she never really loved him back. But Spike was willing to take what he could get - little tiny crumbs of affection - even though he always knew that she would never love him back.

Fast forward to now. For years I never watched TV - being so legalistic. I got rid of all the seasons of Buffy I had on DVD to go out on the road for the Lord. The Lord is not without a sense of irony because now it is all coming back to me.

So here I am - rewatching all those old episodes of Buffy and especially the episode where everyone was singing. "Once more with feeling" is the name of the episode. But it brought to my memory how I was Spike. I remember how much I loved Andrew (buffy) and how much he didn't love me back.

I don't know what else to say. I'm not Spike anymore - but a part of me is tempted to be. To love someone that hard again and not have them love you back - to be willing to take crumbs from that person in the name of love. But as much as I can still see the Spike in me, I also know that to trust the Lord with my heart - means that somehow - someway - someone will love me back. It will not be like Spike - unrequited love.

I don't live on the Hellmouth anymore. I'm in Wyoming now. I will trust the Lord to accomplish the impossible,because He is the only one who can.

lots of love

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Spirit of Rejection – A Two-Handed Game

A dear friend of mine loves to quote from Eric Berne’s “Games People Play”in regards to the mind games that people play in life – the patterns of social interactions. Eric Berne uses the term two-handed game or three handed game in reference to how many people may be involved in each pattern of behavior. My friend is not a Christian, and although I believe that Eric Berne has some great insights into people’s behavior – he doesn’t understand the underlying spiritual basis for everything that happens in this life.

The spirit of rejection almost always begins its influence in childhood. Most of the time it could be that one or both parents rejects the child in either a real – or perceived way and the rejection manifests itself in the form of physical, emotional or verbal abuse and/or neglect. The child begins to believe that he/she is unloved and/or unlovable, and their sense of self-worth is deeply affected. The child then compensates by trying to “win” the affection and love of the parent(s).

The child will either turn to perfectionism – where they will endeavor to please the parent(s) by excelling in school, or sports, or other similar activities, or they will rebel concluding that their parents are somehow right about them – so why try to do anything but fail, or it will be a combination of the two. If unchecked, the child will carry these coping mechanisms into their adult life.

In adult relationships, where there is a spirit of rejection at work, this same child – will inadvertently seek out partners who have similar qualities to the parent(s) who rejected them. They will first seek out other adults who will reject them and then try to win their affections or “make the other person love them” through various means – including manipulation. The pain of rejection is made that much worse by the fact that the rejected party tends to believe their personal worth and value is wrapped up in the other person’s opinion of them. Thus rejection becomes a devastating experience.

Rejection is a two handed game because it involves two players: the rejecter and the rejected. We tend to sympathize with the rejected because everyone has experienced rejection to some degree in their life and we all know how much it hurts. But more often than not – the rejecter has also been influenced by a spirit of rejection. (This is not true of every case where someone breaks up with someone or otherwise “rejects” them. I am talking about toxic relationships that are part of a pattern of rejection – rejecting and being rejected) Just as the “rejected” tend to become involved in relationships where they will be rejected – the “rejecters” tend to be involved in relationships where they will reject the other.

So it is an ongoing game – because it continues in a circular manner.It is not that one outright rejects the other and it ends there. It is a process of rejection, getting closer, pushing away, getting closer, rejection, etc. That is why some people get in and stay in relationships with someone who has made it clear that they are unavailable either physically or emotionally. The rejected may feel they are in a relationship where the other person rejects them, but will not let them go either. The rejecter needs the rejected to stick around to be continuously rejected or the game would come to an end. The game continues because the pattern is so familiar and they are both unaware of the spiritual influence involved in these patterns. So the rejecter is just as much a victim as the rejected because they don’t know that there is a pattern of behavior – let alone be able to break it. Sometimes the one who is continuously rejected – becomes the rejecter – rejecting someone else before they get rejected once again. – It is a vicious cycle.

In the area of games, Eric Berne states that when one person begins to realize the game (especially as they become delivered from that spirit of rejection and God reveals the pattern to them and they begin to heal) the other person will play harder. Thus the player will go to greater lengths to get the other to get back into the game – or they will find someone else to play the game with, thus solidifying the rejection.

The real key to deliverance from a spirit of rejection is Love. Our God is a God of Love. First off – to recognize that a person’s self-worth is not tied to another’s opinion– another’s rejection or acceptance. God has accepted all through Christ Jesus. Second – to understand that in order to break these cycles of rejection – love has to be unconditional. Those that are trapped in these toxic relationships tend to think of love as a means to an end. Either they will try to make the person love them back – thus validating their self-worth – or they will love people selfishly, such as loving their own ability to love that person, or their idea of that person instead of truly loving the person.

Breaking life-long patterns of behavior is not easy, and the Lord is able to open people’s eyes to these toxic patterns. He is able to deliver people from spirits of rejection. Nothing is impossible for Him.

Lots of love