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Notes from community discussions

1. We get what we need in the moment.

From the commentary on Abandonment:

Book 2, Chapter 1, section 1:

Everything that others discover with great difficulty this soul finds in abandonment, and what they guard with care in order to be able to find it again, this soul receives at the moment there is occasion for it, and afterwards relinquishes so as to admit nothing but exactly what God desires it to have in order to live by Him alone.

We don’t need to hold on to it, to cling to desire, to hold on to expectations of any kind. What we get is what we need.

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2. Our disciplines are part of our lives.

From the Community’s circle of heightened awareness:

i started doing the wall discipline because i asked for an Advent discipline and this is what was given to me. i am thinking now that i should not ask for disciplines…i can offer to do them all, and i will do whatever i am told. But on November 15 i guess i wanted a discipline and i asked and got this one. And i think in my head it was like a task, a 45-day discipline, and i would do my best to be still. So i stood there following the discipline’s instructions and it was ok.

Then when Advent was over i was told to continue doing it, and i thought, “Why am i doing this now?” But of course i obeyed and…

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3. The compass creates the destination.

From the Community’s circle of constant arousal of the spirit:

i was led here by arousal!

Not through some noble desire to be of service or be watchful or improve myself, but by the burning aching need of deep arousal. By my arousal and my fantasies. By my pursuit of SEX. Base, venal, animalistic, primitive… a need so strong and so core to me, yet so scary and repulsive that i did everything to make it go away…

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4. The goal is the present moment.

From the commentary on Abandonment:

my “goal” is to learn obedience and submission on a deep level (on an ever-deepening, infinite level)…the reason i don’t see there being a “goal” in the usual sense is that that implies an ending–oh, you have reached your goal, here’s your diploma, congratulations…no, it is constant, infinite, and ongoing–the process is the goal. To me, anyway…

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5. The landscape changes as you travel through it.

From member updates and personal notes:

I have decided to leave the group. I don’t feel welcome or comfortable…some of the things I’ve come across and read seem silly. Please deactivate and remove my membership. Good travels to all, I hope you find what you are looking for.

– note from a departing novice, nine days after joining.

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6. To seek answers, we wait quietly for the right questions.

From the commentary on Abandonment:

I’ve long felt the Bible has been an obstacle between me and God, instead of a route towards experiencing Him.

I grew up with an attraction to religion but ran up against the same problem again and again, like a fly hitting against a window…

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7. “i don’t want to be violated; i long to be vulnerable”…

From the community’s new member introduction area:

i could never find the words to describe what it was that i was after. The only association that came to my mind was SM. But i tried, and i hated it. i couldn’t understand why i was having violent fantasies, but i didn’t enjoy pain or humiliation on any level. Then i found other, more disturbing associations. When browsing the internet, clicking on the links that sounded descriptively arousing to me, i would sometimes find myself on websites that i found terrifying. i would think: is this what people with similar fantasies are interested in? Do they get excited by images of dead bodies massacred in war? Does the fact that i feel the need to submit means i’m like that?

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8. Find discomfort in every moment and experience it fully.

From the community’s discipline and accountability discussion area:

The other day i got a mild headache. i typically take painkillers whenever i feel even slightly unwell, but this time i decided not to. i kept watching the headache. i watched as it become even milder, and then slightly stronger. i could feel it pulsating in different parts of my head.

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9. “i live in a state of constant petition.”

From a contributed post:

I live in a constant state of petition. I ask permission for everything.

I live in this state of petition because I have surrendered all of myself. Everything belongs to someone else. I gave it away.

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10. “i thought i could get what i needed by demanding it.”

From the commentary on Abandonment:

If you are barely holding on to your marriage by a thread, I have been there with you, thinking each day “wouldn’t it be better for me to be somewhere else…don’t i deserve more than this?” i was resentful, alienated, emotionally isolated, alone.

i am an attractive, intelligent, highly educated woman and a busy, dedicated mother with a demanding executive career. i told others what to do and expected compliance…

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11. “i am bringing myself out of hiding.”

From the commentary on Abandonment:

i feel like such a very different person than i did, say, last year at this time. i feel like a fundamentally different person than i was…Oh, i don’t know that i can really express it very well…let me try again…

It feels like who i really am has been hidden since i was a little girl… behind several layers of stuff that kept me from feeling vulnerable to others, that kept me hidden so that people wouldn’t see who i really was since i knew in my core that if people knew what i really thought and felt, they would be disgusted and stay as far away as possible, that put a more appropriate and even maybe lovable coating on who i was so that i wouldn’t be alone.

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12. vulnerability makes protection possible.

From the community’s ‘constant arousal of the spirit’ discussion area.

i have lived a life of excuses: Life is unfair. My life is too hard. i am too tired. i am not appreciated. i am so burdened. Yet, i recognise so much of this is the energy it takes to live a life behind a wall that is constantly in need of repair or strengthening.

i understand there are reasons why the barriers were important in my earlier life, but they are not serving me now. They are not serving those around me…

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