The other day when a student and I were talking, she mentioned that living in Mexico without central heating, she dresses in layers of clothing, putting more on as it gets colder, taking more off as it warms up. That led us to talking about how it seems that just when we think we have peeled off all the layers of an issue and healed it, another deeper level is revealed for us to look at, deal with, and remove.
Sometimes that process can seem to be very difficult and even painful, as darker aspects of our personalities surface. Sometimes it seems important to put layers of defenses on and keep them on to protect ourselves against a cold, dark, and fearful world (exemplified often in “cold” and “fearful” people! It goes even further than that: we also put on layers of defenses and obstacles against the truth of ourselves and against God, to keep Him out, as if He were cold and fearful.
However, if we let in the warmth of God’s love and let it fill us, we’ll be able to let go of the layers more easily. We’ll let them go, knowing that we’re doing so in a safe environment, within the warmth of His love. If we see it as cold out there, we’ll want to keep the layers on, but if we accept that warmth of God’s love, we will want to let go of the layers of defenses blocking that warmth. This is heat that never goes out, making the need for layers of defenses useless and meaningless. We won’t want to defend ourselves against that all-encompassing warmth, and the layers will go revealing also to us the light and warmth of our own true nature and we won’t try anymore to defend ourselves against ourselves.
If only we only could see God as our central heating system, how different everything would be! Nothing would ever appear cold, dark, and fearful. Knowing that His heat is constant, we could just peel those layers off and be done with them.
When I was talking about this with my husband James, he had another thought: The heat, or warmth, of God’s love comes, not from outside us, but from within and remains within, so for sure we have no need for layers to protect ourselves. It is a radiant heat, heating from within. Layers of defenses and denial prevent that heat from radiating outwards. So, as we remove the layers we are then able to radiate the heat of God’s love outward to others!
This is exciting!