Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Infinite Hole in Our Hearts

When I wrote, “Borderline and Beyond” seventeen years ago, I just wanted to survive, to want to live and to stay out of a psych hospital. Three years later, my goals expanded to include “learning to love myself” and “making lots of money.” I found the perfect fit for those goals in a type of new age philosophy. The techniques and practices I used worked. I had greatly improved self-esteem, career success, money and status. I was happier than I had been in my life.

However, I'm not still following that philosophy. Some people (who do not think I've completely lost my mind these days) ask me why. The reason is that none of these areas of “success” in my life were places where my heart was designed to find rest. St. Thomas Aquinas gives us a list of four goals that will create an empty life if pursued for their own sake: wealth, status, power and comfort. I can attest that this is true.

Our hearts are designed by God to find rest in Him. The philosophy I was following included other goals such as “becoming God,” and learning to love yourself as God. One teacher I had asked me to spend hours in front of the mirror trying to “love myself perfectly,” as this was the key to my enlightenment.

During that time, (around 2001-06) I revised Borderline and Beyond to include similar practices that I recommended for people to try, such as the “mirror work.” And yes, it does work, up to a point. It's also a band-aid to cover a deep hole in your heart. Take the band-aid off and the hole will be just as deep and wide. I've heard it said that in each person there is an infinitely deep hole, a God sized hole, and that's why only God can fill it.

The “hole” in our heart cannot be filled with ourselves. We don't live in isolation and we are created in the image of God, who is infinitely bigger than we are. The good news is that God can and does fill that hole when we ask Him to. When I realize how I need God for every breath I take and every move I make, and when I am aware of my absolute dependence on God, God has a chance to fill that hole with his strength, love and wisdom. This is the only way to peace and purpose in life.

Am I going to revise Borderline and Beyond again to include a religious or Christian theme? No, actually not. I'll be restoring my book to its original condition, just as I wrote it while in my mid-twenties. My book was written to reach people in a similar place and it will and has reached down and lifted up those who are struggling with day to day emotional survival. I'm simply taking out the added stuff.

The new book will be called, Borderline and Beyond: The Original. The accompanying workbook never came with the original book. It was added later. That book will be changed but again, no religious ideas added. The only difference will be that I'm taking out anything that in my opinion is unnecessary and possibly confusing the reader more than helping her.

Borderline and Beyond has always been a book about recovery, strength and hope. My hope is that the book will be a better resource in the future, once I complete the restoration of the book.

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