Is God Controlling?

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Do you believe that God is controlling -- that if you open to your spiritual guidance you will be told to do things you don't want to do? Discover where this false belief might be coming from and how to move beyond it.

Anne was raised by two very controlling parents. Her parents were harsh, judgmental and punishing. She could never be perfect enough to avoid their wrath.

When Anne first consulted me, she had a deep connection with God, but it was a one-way connection. She felt connected to God but she did not feel God connected with her. She would often send prayers regarding others' wellbeing, as well as prayers of gratitude, and these were very fulfilling for her. Yet she never asked God for information regarding her own highest good. She never asked for a two-way conversation with God.

Anne was very tuned in to others' feelings and needs and was very caring and giving with others. Yet she was rarely aware of her own feelings. Her inner child -- her feeling self -- felt abandoned by her and unimportant to her, and was often sad and angry. Yet Anne consistently forgot to attend to her own feelings when she was sad and angry. She claimed that she just did not know how to take care of herself.

In our phone sessions, we explored Anne's resistance to taking loving care of herself:

"Anne," I asked, "there must be some good reasons that you are so connected with God yet you do not ask God how to take care of yourself. What do you think this is about?"

"I just don't want God telling me what to do."

"So even though you love God and pray to God, you believe that God is controlling?"

"Well, I guess I do. I know that God is love, but I guess I don't actually believe that when it comes to me."

"And do you believe that God is judgmental and punishing?"

"Again, I know that God is unconditional love, but I do believe that God is judgmental and punishing when it comes to me."

"So in the mind of your ego wounded self, God is just like your parents? You have projected your parents onto God?"

"Yes! I think that is exactly what I do! I don't want to hear what God has to say to me because I think that God is going to judge and control me like my parents did."

"And the last thing you want is to be judged and controlled."

"Yes, I hate it. I'm very sensitive to anyone judging me and trying to control me. I think this is the biggest issue I have that with Mark (her husband). I get angry or just vanish if I think he is the least bit judgmental or controlling."

"So the moment there is any judgment or other controlling behavior, your ego wounded self takes over and you just react. There is no loving adult self on board."

"Yes, and I don't want to keep doing this. I want to respond as a loving adult."

"But in order to respond as a loving adult, you need to open to learning with God regarding what would be loving to you. But you are completely resistant to opening to God for fear of being controlled by God, which makes it impossible to know how to be a loving adult for your inner child. This is what is keeping you stuck in your healing process."

"Yes, I see this, but I don't know what to do."

"Anne, in order to learn to be a loving adult, you would need to decide that you are willing to risk being controlled by God. You cannot open to God until you are willing to experience the truth about God. I know that this is very challenging given your experience of your parents, yet unless you are willing to open and learn the truth about God, you have no way of developing your loving adult self."

It took much courage and practice for Anne to establish a two-way communication with God. Through diligent practice, her experience of God gradually changed and she was finally able to access the information regarding the loving actions in behalf of herself. Not only did her relationship with her husband improve, but her lifelong sadness and anger gradually diminished.

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