St. Thomas Aquinas developed proofs of the existence of God. One of them had to do with force. To simply explain it, through physics he showed that everything in motion must have something, a force to start the motion, or reaction. If we look at the existence of the world, the universe, it had to start somewhere, or with someone. Therefore, proving the existence of God. My point is not to get into these proofs, I just wanted to set a small platform. This idea of a starting force. Every reaction is based upon some action, some force. We tend to look at two forces - good and evil, God or Satan. When free will comes into play, that means we have an option of choosing between the two. A situation, event, circumstance, or encounter can come from a good force, or a bad force. (We live in a physical world that is also surrounded by a spiritual world.) According to Cognitive Behavioral Psychology, it is not a external situation that effects our emotions, but our way of looking at a situation. Our thinking drives our emotions and our emotions drive our behaviors. That is why our perspective is fundamental in a happy life. I've written much on that topic. For instance, if someone cuts you off while driving (the external encounter), can give you a choice of viewing the situation. You can choose, because of free will, to believe that person is an idiot and rude and "bad". Or you can think that, bad driving happens, we've all done it and we never know why that person is reacting in that way. We can look at it with eyes of compassion. These thoughts are key to then allowing your emotion. The first way of looking at it will trigger feelings of anger and make your blood boil which then will cause another negative, or bad reaction. That is, a bad behavior like flipping the person off. Which continues the cycle of evil and not being open enough to the grace needed to choose good. Or...by choosing thought process #2, we can choose good and pray for that soul and whatever is going on in their life or interior being that causes them to choose to react and drive rudely. The one we get to choose. We can choose another bad, or evil reaction like flipping the person off. Our free will is very powerful, either way. We may not be able to always choose what situation, event, or person we will encounter. OR where that original force comes from, God or Satan. However, we can with God's grace work on choosing our reaction because of the gift of free will.
I think of grief. How that grief was born, doesn't really matter. Grief, does not come from a good force. God never intended it for us on this earth. It came because of the fall of man, the entering of sin into the world. But I have the opportunity through free will to allow good, God, transform all my reactions to it. Does Paul not tell us in Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose". I hear this. I believe this. I strive to live it. The force of grief or any negative emotion, gives us the chance to open wide the gates of our hearts, our mind, and our bodies to waterfalls of God's grace. This is true, even for those who do this without giving God credit. He loves us all, whether we believe or not. We are all his little children. Would a good parent cease to feed, clothe, and give his child an abundant and fulfilling life even if that child never acknowledged him? Of course not. And if that child were actually a baby. A parent would not even expect it. Adult souls, can often be like babies or children in understanding depending on what they've been given to understand. (That is a whole other blog post)
On the other side, grief or a negative emotion if we choose it's ways of evil, can be paralyzing to the mind, body, and of course the soul. This is a profound crippling of a person and his\her life.
How do we avoid this? We don't always. When something, like grief has it's root in evil and we also, born of the flesh can succumb to this, we can fall into moments or times of this paralysis. These moments are not to be concerning. They can even bring us closer to God's infinite and vast and TRIUMPHANT MERCY. These moments help us recognize our continual weakness and need for our Creator at every breath, every beat of our heart. It is when we allow grief to become our god that is becomes worrisome. When we let it drive our decisions, all or reactions, our way of looking at life and the world, that is when we are in danger. For there shall be no other God. There is only one God who brings life. All others bring horrific and different types of death. This is a slippery slope as well. I don't believe most souls decide to die this slow death of the soul. It happens slowly and slyly. Satan is tricky. We must always be on guard. We must watch for too many distractions. Prayer is power, and it is IMPERATIVE to not falling prey. Once we let one negative emotion drive us to negative reactions, it not only keeps waterfalls of grace out, but allows waterfalls of other negative forces in - like bitterness, anger, self-pity, and confusion.
However, no matter where someone may be in this, God is always there waiting for us to use our free will to choose him. He then, as the good parent, stoops down from the glories of His heavenly throne and scoops up our battered and beaten self - mind, body and soul. This encounter is unique to each of us. Since we all are. But for each soul, it is sweet and sacred. All wall of my heart disappear when I imagine Him looking upon each one with the most tender and adoring of eyes; when I let go of things I've learned and read. And just see Him as a Father with a child. And although He is big and mighty, His demeanor as parent to a child is softened in complete love for the child-soul. He strokes us, and tells us that everything is going to be alright. Daddy is here.And the beginning restoration, as I see it, is not just a place of abandonment. It is the place of seeing that God will humble himself lower than humanity, to bring you home. For Home without you brings true grief to your Father. His heart, His Being can't bear it. It is the only thing that crushes Him. Restoration is slow, but ever so glorious!!!