Vulnerability and Exploitation pt. 2
To love someone openly and actively involves making yourself vulnerable to them to a great degree. Conversely, when someone loves you they choose to increasingly make themselves vulnerable to you. This invokes the issue of trust which in Scripture involves not only the word faith but the word worthy.
To be worthy in Scripture usage means being trustworthy. This is key for grasping a fuller understanding of many passages in the Bible. The Lamb who is honored by anthems of soaring praise in Revelation is considered to be of ultimate worth. Yet this worth is not a worth based on economic considerations as we tend to measure things, but rather is a worth involving trust. The slaughtered Lamb of Revelation has won the confidence of the entire universe because He has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by His own example, teachings and experience that God is fully trustworthy.
The very foundation of God's government and the security of the happiness of the entire universe turns on this core issue – can God be trusted.
Can God be trusted never to abuse His advantage of having infinite, absolute power?
Can God be trusted to always maintain integrity when He is so infinitely beyond creation that it is impossible for anyone to really know for sure what are His motives and secrets?
Can God be trusted to actually be as selfless as He claims to be, to always put other's needs before His own?
Can God be trusted to be fair given His capacity to do anything He wants with no accountability from any higher authority?
Is God trustworthy when so much evidence seems to be stacked against Him in history and so many of His followers have presented conflicting opinions and reflections of Him?
Can God be trusted to be just when it appears He allows sin and sinners to go unchecked and unpunished so much of the time?
Is God worthy of our trust when so often it seems He doesn't answer our prayers, doesn't provide clear directions to tell us just what to do when important decisions have to be made?
Can God be trusted when clearly He fails to prevent tragedies, horrors, suffering and intense grief and allows these to come into our lives, making Him appear callous or negligent?
Can God be trusted enough to keep His promises when so often they seem to fail us even when others claim otherwise?
There is something deeper here that needs to come into focus. That is, what is the underlying standard or measure by which we evaluate God in each of these instances? When we question God's trustworthiness, or anyone else's for that matter, we do so based on some set of expectations about what is right and fair or good in our own minds. Yet without a willingness to challenge our presumptions, beliefs and paradigms it will be impossible to arrive at reliable conclusions related to this list, for God can never measure up to the mixed standards we erect in our fallen, selfish condition. Our demands of God are predicated on either open or subtly hidden selfish cravings, for supernatural enforcement of our preferences rather than on what is best for everyone. Thus our judgments on God based on our criteria will always indict Him at some level and lead us to distrust until we allow His Spirit to introduce greater light of truth about what is truly important and how reality is designed to function.
But this is a digression from what I want to explore here. I began by contemplating the relationship of people who choose to involve increasing levels of trust in each other a choice of love. And this trust always involves making ones self vulnerable which is implicit in the very idea of trust.
I am personally experiencing this in my own life right now, which is why these questions keep growing and I keep asking more trying to make sense out of many mixed emotions and confusing thoughts. I have individuals beginning to invest more trust in me which arouses strange reactions within me, partly because I still need of a great deal of repair and healing myself from previous emotional and spiritual damage. As I become aware of the level of vulnerability that others risk in their trust in me, I feel nervous as it exposes just how tenuous and shaky my own trustworthiness actually feels inside. I analyze some of my temptations to exploit these situations and I shudder with horror at what I am capable of doing. But God seems insistent on leading me to experience something far more mature and secure than what I have experienced in the past and I realize it is time to move forward.
One thing that is beginning to emerge in my awareness is the increasing level of trust God has in me. A few years ago I learned from Fred Bischoff that the faith of Jesus in Scripture many times is actually referring to Jesus' faith in us more than our faith in Him. After carefully considering this, and with further investigation it began to make a lot of sense. Just as love awakens love (and that is the only way to experience true love), in the same way faith awakens faith. So I find that the faith/trust that Jesus displays for me arouses a strange sensation and desire to become more worthy of His trust, and I find myself being inspired to become a different person, a more trustworthy person, a person of integrity instead of a person who exploits someone's vulnerabilities.
I am increasingly impressed more and more in recent months that this tension between vulnerability and exploitation describes the very core of the sin problem. Everything seems to pivot around this core issue when I use it as a lens through which to view everything I consider. We talk a great deal about faith in religious circles, yet what we often have in mind related to this word is so far removed from the real issues involved that I wonder how God ever gets through to our hearts as we are so obsessed with the imaginary world we have created through religion.
The true meaning of faith is simply trust – that's it. The words faith, trust and belief all come from the same word in Greek. Yet we have spent enormous effort differentiating between these words when in reality they are just different labels for the same thing. That is why I prefer the word trust, for trust, at least for me, has the least amount of confusing baggage connected to it. The other two words have become so encrusted with religious and emotional presumptions that I find them difficult to use or hear without injecting confusing ideas and false definitions.
Why do I keep coming back to this word trust when I want to unpack what I am learning about love and vulnerability and exploitation? Because trust lies at the very core of both love and vulnerability. To truly demonstrate love for someone requires an investment of trust in them. If someone claims to love me but refuses to trust me in any way, I find it very difficult to believe them. In other words, if you claim to love me yet refuse to trust me, because of the principle of reciprocity my level of belief in your claim to love me remains rather low. I may acknowledge that you claim to love me, but until you demonstrate some level of trust in me I will remain skeptical about your claims.
So apply this principle to our relationship with God and how He has shown His love through His spectacular demonstrations of trust in us, making Himself vulnerable to us in ways we cannot even grasp. Now I want to bring this back to my own current situation with a particular friend in mind, because that is where my current growth frontier is taking place right now.
I have had a relationship with this friend for many years, yet initially it was rather indirect. They were friends with someone else in my family, so by extension I was somewhat involved in with them hanging around. Our family was friends with their family, so some familiarity was developed. Yet we never had much of a direct relationship with each other until years later when tragedies and other intense emotional circumstances left this person feeling very isolated, hurt and defensive.
At this point we invited them to make themselves comfortable in our home and become a part of our family if they chose to do so. It took some time, as I expected it might, for them to believe we were serious. But over time they slowly warmed up to spend more time with us and began to accept our affections. Yet the deep emotional damage they had experienced left them suspicious of everyone, defensive and even paranoid about the motives of anyone claiming to care about them. Experiencing mutual love with this person was nearly impossible for many years and proved to be a real challenge for me as their issues triggered similar issues from my own past. I increasingly realized how resistant I have been to love myself and how much I too distrust others even though I express it differently. I have tended to try to induce love for me from others by making myself more vulnerable than my relationship with them warranted, with the result that repeatedly I aroused fear and suspicion in the minds of people who would then react by accusing me of seeking to exploit them.
Because this has been a pattern in my life for so many years, making myself vulnerable only to result in being accused and publicly humiliated often drove me into intense isolation with vows to never open up or trust anyone again. Given this background I was unsure how to relate to this person I felt drawn to love who clearly had propensities to do the same thing to me that had hurt me so many times before. Yet I felt compelled that God wanted to grow me in this relationship to learn lessons of maturity so as to move beyond the malfunction of my past to become someone I had never been before.
As my appreciation of the real truth about God and His disposition towards me dramatically improved over a number of years, so too did my relationships with others change along with my perceptions about what is real. One of the most important aspects of this change involved coming to see that God never condemns me. That was a startling discovery and was very hard to accept at first given the harsh view of God I had grown up believing. Condemnation was the definitive description of my concept of God for many years, so to challenge this core belief about how God viewed me began a domino challenge of many other ideas I had until the entire system of religion and my perception of life itself had to be rebuilt and a great deal of what I believed for so many years had to be discarded. Yet because of these changes I began to sense a new ability to experience love. This also required having to learn how to do things and relate to others that are supposed to be learned at an early age for healthy people.
Some years ago my life was blessed by many helpful insights from a truly Christian psychologist and teacher who had a good grasp of how God designed us to live in relationship with each other. When I examined a chart he had produced explaining the various aspects or stages of maturity and what needs to be learned at each one, I discovered areas of significant deficiency in my own life. Surprisingly I did not feel condemned or shamed as I might expect but rather a feeling of relief. It was explained that though many of us may have missed acquiring key skills in the past, often due to circumstances out of our control, it is never too late to recover. When we allow God's Spirit access to our lives and become willing to open up in a God-led community of people who are also letting God heal them, we can still acquire skills and learn the lessons we are lacking that handicap our ability to function as God designed for us to live.
One skill I discovered was missing for me was one that should have been learned at infant level maturity – the skill of receiving love from others. An infant has no capacity to love others, to be unselfish or to serve anyone. Their task is simply to learn to accept love, absorb it and allow love to grow internal circuits they need as they later move up through other maturity stages. Of course when those caring for them at this stage fail to provide an healthy atmosphere for this to take place, it will be difficult at best for an infant to learn this skill and the result will be evident for the rest of their life. Yet this is not impossible to reverse, and that is part of the really good news of the gospel.
God knows that everyone of us are missing all sorts of things we were supposed to learn growing up. This is not an insurmountable problem for God so long as we are willing to cooperate with His healing activity in our life. The remedy for sin is readily available to every person and the Spirit is eager to administer it in personalized ways so that each one may grow to become a vital part of the body of Christ. To be integrated into the body of Christ involves allowing the Spirit to do whatever is necessary to grow us up in every area which is lacking in our maturity. Sadly religion has subverted this into an array of confusing and misleading demands or formulas that distract us from what the Spirit wants to accomplish in us. Yet if we are willing, God will do whatever it takes to restore us to the full joy of living in His family community under His loving guidance.
I have become more aware of my own reactive resistance to receiving love by noticing how damaging this deficit is in the lives of others. This friend I have mentioned suffered similar damage in similar areas to what I have experienced, meaning that their issues often trigger similar issues in me and I found myself often reacting very defensively. I observed that my issues also triggered their fears and issues, yet they would react in ways often different than I do. But at our core we were in essence always trying to protect ourselves from exploitation. As I became aware that this was what was happening in our relationship, I was convicted that I had to give God access to my own heart to heal my issues being exposed and leave the other person's healing to Him while at the same time continuing to love them unconditionally just as God was showing me He does for me.
This intense and sometimes rocky and painful relationship has taught me a great deal in recent years. I know it is far from being fully developed, yet I have found it to be one of the most helpful and rewarding relationships I have experienced as it has become a catalyst making me more aware of the many ways in which I need to experience healing and wholeness in my own life. As I have taken responsibility myself for the triggers this person activates in my emotions, I have increasingly been able to experience more healing and freedom from those triggers as the underlying lies triggering them have been exposed, expelled and replaced with the real truth that brings freedom. This has become a means of growth for me over recent years as well as for my dear friend.
Now I am sensing something deeper, something new and fresh beginning to emerge as this person advances in their own healing journey to a place where they are choosing to demonstrate more trust in me than I am used to experiencing. Trust has been an issue that for whatever reasons has been one of the most sensitive issues for me all my life. If someone distrusted me openly it could cause me to react strongly. For whatever reason I highly coveted trust. I also was somehow trained to highly value honesty. Now for anyone who may have known me when I was young this may sound a bit questionable, yet it a major factor for my growing up. Yet as I increasingly resented abusive situations in my life and reacted by rebelling against authorities, I developed great skill in crafting words to obscure facts to protect myself from being exposed without outright telling a lie. In short, I became an expert at rationalizing and circumventing the truth without directly lying, for my intense fear of God's condemnation intimidated me from engaging in deliberate lying. As I see it now, my heart was so desperate to experience something better than what I was feeling that I became very creative in avoiding responsibility for actions I was doing that were in fact disobedience.
My life was also governed by an oppressive form of religion for so many years that my heart was constantly looking for alternative venues to experience something besides the constant sense of condemnation and guilt that was suffocating me. Yet throughout all that time I could never shake off the deeply embedded sense that I could never tell an outright lie and I craved to be trusted, never mind that my creative rationalizations only undermined my credibility.
Even as I contemplate all of this I am coming to see that maybe my desperate desire to be trusted was a substitute attempting to fill in for my need to be loved unconditionally. Because I did not even know what true love was and my capacity to receive it seemed irreparably damaged, I continued to be very sensitive in the arena of trust. Now I see that because trust is so closely linked with love, maybe my heart concluded subconsciously that if I could just feel trusted it would fill the gaping void. Or maybe it was because as a male one of the most important things for males is to feel respected and trusted, I don't know for sure.
But now back to the original subject again. After increasing contemplation about the relationship of vulnerability and exploitation as the core issues in the war between good and evil, I am starting to see that God is now challenging me to respond to a person who is increasingly choosing to trust me with their love by becoming more worthy of their trust. (I want to emphasize that I use the term worthy not in the sense of earning and deserving in a economic mindset as is represented by the Tree of Good and Evil, but rather worthy as in choosing to increase my capacity to receive love and trust without allowing exploiting vulnerability.) This is the key issue I want to examine and flush more into the open for my own benefit at this point.
I am coming to see that many temptations in our lives, if not all of them, are really temptations to exploit some vulnerability in one way or another. Temptation involves indulgence of selfish desires, and that usually involves doing or saying something that will benefit myself temporarily at the expense of another - exploitation. I am starting to think that if we examined most temptations in the light of exploitation that this would be clear. The very first sin on in this world happened when an abuser exploited the vulnerability God had created to be the very atmosphere of our existence. Without vulnerability love is impossible. Since God is love, to live in intimate love relationship with Him or His human children He had to create us vulnerable. Since we were created to reflect Him as little images to reveal what He is like, then it follows that God Himself must be just as vulnerable as those He created to reflect His heart. And that is exactly what the serpent was after, to attack the vulnerability of God Himself and exploit it to inflict the greatest suffering on Him.
It was not just humanity that Satan targeted when he exploited our first parents with his lies. He had far larger schemes he intended to accomplish. This was only a step toward something far more sinister than simply capturing dominion of a single planet. Ezekiel and Isaiah make it plain that Lucifer/Satan intended to overwhelm God's entire government by discrediting Him and undermining His authority through exploitation of what he presumed were weaknesses in the way God governed. Satan thus hoped to end up controlling the entire universe so he could direct all attention on himself and consolidate power under him. He wanted to finish the coup d'etat he had launched previously but that had been derailed for a time. Now he was taking a different tack and felt that given enough time he could still infect the universe with enough distrust in God that he could replace God's government entirely.
So, what does this have to do with me and issues of trust and my inability to receive love? Well, it is the context in which everything has to be viewed in order to make more sense. Because sin at its root is the issue of exploitation, sin can never be cured in my own heart or eliminated in God's universe until this penchant toward exploitation is dealt with effectively. And importantly it can never be cured by the use of force or compulsion or intimidation, for these are all subtle tactics of the enemy to keep us confused about God's method of overcoming evil.
The reason the Lamb of Revelation is honored as worthy of all trust is because this Lamb demonstrated more clearly than anyone that God is not only vulnerable but that the only way to live is in love. And true love requires laying aside defensiveness and choosing instead to live in selfless, loving service for others. To awaken trust in the heart requires seeing evidence that one can be trusted to not exploit us when we share our vulnerabilities with them. True love must be unconditional, but trust operates differently and only increases in a relationship that demonstrates a person is worthy of our trust because they do not exploit our trust in them. This is how the Lamb wins the trust of everyone in the end, and the same principle applies in each of our lives as well.
This is why my heart shivers at times in fear, for I am all too aware of how weak I am when it comes to exploiting the trust of others in me. In sometimes strange ways I have both exploited the trust of others and at the same time have felt exploited because I trusted them. As a result I have often attempted to withdraw from trust altogether, yet it is not long before I realized that my heart cannot live outside a relationship of trust, so I feel compelled to go looking for another relationship to satisfy my intense need to live in trusting love again. Yet because I am infected with the virus of selfishness as we all are, it is too easy to exploit trust which in turn causes others to react defensively and not only distrust me but to even do everything possible to humiliate me, discredit and even vilify my reputation. These experiences then react to make me afraid to trust anyone and the vicious cycle just keeps spinning.
I sense that my growth in maturity is now leading me to step off this cycle of emotional pain as I long to learn better ways of living in love and trust. Just because I have failed so many times in the past does not define me as a victim or an abuser. One of the most liberating things God has shown me recently is the breakthrough (for me at least) that my true identity has nothing to do with my triggers, my malfunctions or my sinful propensities, despite anyone else's opinion or even my own to the contrary. My true identity, according to the One who never lies, is that I am in Christ and that I am designed as a perfect reflector of the amazing God of love who chose me to live only in unconditional love for others, a person who is safe for others to trust with their love and vulnerability and who is to be filled with joy.
This gives me a perspective that may seem irrational to someone who does not understand what I am coming to see as God's perspective. Yet it is this hope that brings new life into my heart while at the same time making me keenly aware how I cannot live this way without constant and total dependence on God's Spirit living His life in and through me. This means that the only way I can be really safe for someone else to love and trust is to know for myself that God is completely safe to love and trust. As my own confidence in Jesus increases, then by allowing His life to be reflected through me passively makes me worthy of trust only because He is worthy of all trust.
I am starting to see now how different the plan of salvation is compared to what it has been purported to be by so many. Salvation and transformation and healing are not for getting us up to speed so we can live perfect lives ourselves to be like God. That may sound strange, but the subtle, unspoken presumption behind that kind of thinking I have been exposed to my whole life is that in some way I have to get to a place (with God's help of course) where I myself become worthy. That subtle logic insists I have to earn God's trust (and maybe even His love) so I can gain entrance into His kingdom.
It is this subtle element of independence that is so dangerous. It is not antagonism or hostility or rebellion against God that is often our downfall, but rather the presumption that somehow we will be required to stand on our own before God and be seen as fully repaired, to now act as little Christs ourselves so that we can earn our reward for achievements accomplished. The language we use often blocks us from seeing how this is embedded in our thinking, and this subtle notion blocks us from believing we are already completely in Christ. We feel driven to somehow get there from here through various methods to perfect our character so we can stand alone before a holy God, or hide behind some legal covering over our sinful nature. What I now see is that every version of this logic creates a trip wire that Satan will be able to use to pull the rug out from under us at most critical times in our life.
While most of what I have described here can equally apply to real transformation needing to happen to prepare us to live and thrive in the atmosphere of God's presence, the element of living in any way outside total immersion of our identity as being only in Christ is a fatal flaw that must be exposed and displaced by the actual truth about what Christ has already accomplished for our full restoration.
Humans are not designed to live independently. We are created to be reflectors – images reflecting the likeness of our Creator just like a mirror reflects whatever or whomever is in front of it. To imagine that a mirror should look in any way different than what it reflects defies principles of light and physics. So too we must come to see that any worthiness in us (remember, that means worthy of being trusted), any 'merit' (I hate that term as it is so misleading), any love or anything else that is like God, is simply a reflection and is in no way to be viewed as original.
So I am coming to realize that I can never become inherently trustworthy of the increasing love of this dear friend of mine whose life is being transformed along with mine. Yes, I have allowed God's love to use me as a channel which has awakened love in them in response. Yet if I allow temptation to lead me to indulge in exploiting their trust in me I will certainly destroy their confidence and damage their growing trust in God's love for them. Part of the reason I feel such strong motivation to avoid exploiting their trust is that I am so keenly aware of just how tenuous trust is at this point. But what I want to be more consistently is a person, not merely resisting exploiting someone's trust because I fear losing their respect for me, but rather one who refuses to exploit anyone because of my appreciation for how vulnerable God is to me that makes me trust Him so much. With that perspective I will recoil at even the of defaming His reputation by exploiting anyone.
The real issue at stake is not about my reputation or my level of 'perfection' as I so long assumed along with so many others. The real issue at the core of the war we are involved in is God's trustworthiness, God's reputation, God's track record and my willingness to believe that He can be fully trusted in all things at all times.
Making God's reputation my highest priority in life and my main motive for living is just what Jesus did while He lived here as a human among us on earth. Jesus came to vindicate God's slandered reputation, to demonstrate in every way possible within human context that every accusation and insinuation ever circulated about God is patently false and baseless. Yet this could not be accomplished by simply denying or protesting against accusations and false charges; God had to demonstrate in ways we could relate to, that He is completely worthy of all our trust. He did this by making Himself completely vulnerable among us, which resulted in our fallen propensity to exploit to be aroused to its highest expressions of violence, intolerance and abuse.
The death of Jesus in a most ugly, hateful way, was not at all a display of the anger of an offended God being vented on His Son to appease His fury. That is another heinous lie the enemy has wrapped the cross in since the light of real truth about God's heart threatened to completely dismantle his kingdom of darkness. God demonstrated His perfect character of love, forgiveness, undefensivenss and humility in the life and death of Jesus. God through Jesus earns our trust and the trust of the watching universe because He refused to resist or be resentful in the slightest while our innate cravings for revenge were all vented on the One we felt was behind all the suffering and injustice we have experienced.
Because God created Lucifer and then allowed him to morph into the greatest exploiter in the universe without preventing him from reeking havoc, we hold God responsible for all the evil that has ever happened.
Because God allows evil people and evil events to bring us personal anguish and loss, whether we are willing to admit it or not we hold God responsible because we believe He could have prevented it.
Because God seems to be negligent according to our standards and expectations, failing to prevent bad things from happening to us, our gut-level opinion about how trustworthy He is to govern the universe is undermined and we feel we have good reason to question His ways and methods that seem so ineffective and incompetent.
Because God refuses to embrace our preferred method of rewards and punishments to balance our scales of 'justice' like we want, we either reinvent Him to reflect our desires or we blaspheme Him as either non-existent or as an untrustworthy tyrant. Either way, at the deepest level of our subconsciousness, beyond our ability to even be aware, our craving remains to 'get even' with this irresponsible God if it was ever possible to do so. Yet of course he remains too distant for us to access, and then has the nerve to send down directives and executive orders He expects us to obey without question while He remains aloof and detached himself.
These and many other presumptions and ideas we have about God all tend to drive us to distrust Him and even hate Him if we are honest about it. Yet this is exactly what Jesus came to absorb from us – all the hatred, animosity and our cravings for revenge accumulated in all humanity was unleashed against this God who seems so heartless and unfair. So when God become man showed up on our planet looking and acting so foreign to the kind of god we wanted to put things back the way we want them, our primordial instinct to get revenge on the god we imagined Him to be was irrepressible. We collectively lunged at God with the fury of demons wanting to make Him experience as much of the kind of suffering we innately felt He has inflicted on us.
How does this translate into my own story? How does this relate to me being in Christ in contrast to the way I often act and feel toward other people selfishly? While it in no way detracts from what I said earlier about being in Christ, my fallen nature, my false identity inherited from the first Adam and infected by motives from the enemy of God compels me to feel and desire to treat God the same way He was treated hatefully two thousand years ago whether I am willing to admit and acknowledge it or not. My sinful, confused, deceived perceptions about reality and how my twisted heart perceives God as untrustworthy leads me to be untrustworthy myself as I look for ways to exploit others as a result. Just as people could not help but exploit the vulnerability of Jesus but became whipped into frenzy of demonic rage at the cross, so too will my selfish, fear-driven heart betray Him also unless I am willing to die to this false self and embrace my true identity freely provided to me by the second Adam. Only He can redefine what it means to be human and bring me back to my original design without sin.
It really comes down now to what I choose to believe about who I am and how I perceive what it means to act like myself. Maybe this is most evident when I am faced with temptations to act out the false pictures of God I have had for most of my life. When I allow old feelings and fears about God to go unchallenged and fail to replace them with a completely Jesus-looking God, then it becomes impossible for me to not at some point indulge in exploiting the trust of someone taking a risk to become vulnerable with me. I now see how it is not a matter of trying to build up enough righteous merit so I can finally be so resistant to sin I will never succumb to temptation again. That is a counterfeit sanctification I was taught to believe but is ineffective and deceptive. God has something far better for me, a completely restored identity already in place that I can embrace right now.
The only safety I have that can prevent me from succumbing to the temptation to exploit anyone is to become so settled in this emerging truth about God's trustworthiness, vulnerability and unconditional love that I allow that reflection to be the only one allowed to fuel my reactions in any given situation. This means that any other method I may attempt to shore up my desires to sin will sooner or later collapse in failure with only damage and anguish as a result.
If I focus all my efforts on embracing the increasing light of the truth about God as one who is completely vulnerable as demonstrated by Jesus, yet one who is completely loving, forgiving and even trusting that His truth can arouse appreciation and admiration and accomplish transformation in me, then based on the principle of reflection by which I am designed, my life will reflect this Jesus-looking God along with His trustworthiness. That in turn will lead others to be able to trust me and feel safe. Again, their safety has nothing to do with my personal trustworthiness but will be because I am choosing to reflect God's trustworthiness and not depend on my own efforts even for a moment.
I am experiencing this as an intensive moment of insight right now. I realize it is what Jesus had in mind when He spoke of my need to die to self and live to God. I choose to take that step again in the increased light of what He is showing me here even though I don't know what is coming or how I will be challenged in the future about this. I will trust that God is continually revealing more and more beauty and truth about His trustworthiness to my own heart, and that all I need to focus on is to keep embracing the light as it increases and to let go of all internal resistance and letting Him love me and love others through me. Only in this way can I be made safe for others to love.