Over the next few years (2006-2008), I couldn’t help but apply what I was learning through personal revelation to my life. When I saw the truth, I realized I needed to correct myself as a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. The Lord was Justifying me by showing me himself. And he is Truth. He then let me choose to make the adjustments. He wasn’t motivating me to change through criticism. I was motivated by just looking at him and seeing the most beautiful person I had ever laid eyes on. Everything inside me desired to be like him. I mean, talk about beautiful! There is nothing like it. And then in hindsight, seeing what he was doing, how he was handling me, there is nothing I admire more. To be loved by such a person. To even realize that such a person actually exists, is the best thing that ever happened to me.
This is part 4 of “I Have a Tale to Tell”
It Shines Inside You
As my relationship with the Savior developed, I continuously crossed through thresholds of experiences. The intensity of his light changed in relation to my proximity to him. My proximity was measured by the sensitivity of what I call Effect Sensors.
Effects are the feelings we experience when we evaluate or interact with another person. It is their energy or light. It is like every person has a specific flavor or taste. This is their Spirit and their presence. Some people might call this an aura. I’m sure there are a thousand ways to describe it. We experience the Lord’s light when we think, talk, or behave like he does. When we align our way of doing things with his, we can sense who he is. When we conflict with his way of doing things, we experience varying degrees of conflicting Effects.
Our Effect Sensors are our ability to sense Effects. Traditionally, we refer to these sensors as our hearts and our spiritual eyes and ears. Jesus often made reference to them with phrases like this: “He who has ears to hear…”
Effect Sensors can be numbed by repeatedly overstimulating them. They can also be scattered by repeatedly going to conflicting sources for nourishment.
We experience physical and spiritual Effects. If we overstimulate with physical Effects, our Effect Sensors won’t be able to sense spiritual Effects as well. If we scatter our Effect Sensors, we might be able to sense spiritual Effects, but they will seem of little value to us.
Throughout this period of my life (2006-2009) I discontinued consuming physical and spiritual Effects that overstimulated or scattered my Effects Sensors (as he instructed). This left a large vacancy in my life and an intense desire to fill it. My sensitivity or ability to sense the Lord’s Effects increased correspondingly. I filled the emptiness with learning more about who he was.
After studying with him, I would return to interacting with my husband, my kids, and my community. And if I behaved in a dysfunctional way, I was acutely aware of the light decreasing in my Effect Sensors, whereas before, I wasn’t. This was also true of my thoughts. If I was evaluating things in a dysfunctional or imbalanced way, I could feel his light decreasing. In short, the intensity of the light fluctuated depending on what I was thinking, saying, or doing.
I knew how I felt when I was with the Lord. His Effects were intense. Having experienced them, I sensed the change in their intensity when I engaged in imbalanced processes, such as losing my temper or sharing experiences that were too personal.
My Vision of The Compass: North
So now we come to what happened to me when I was a child. I have to tell the story in an empathetic and objective way so that I will not deviate from His Effects. My goal is to Justify like he Justifies. I will use the Compass that he showed me to objectively recount the way I was raised.
On a compass, the spindle can point to the North, Northwest, or Northeast. It can also point to the South, Southeast, and Southwest. Its arms point to the East and West. I will add diagrams later. I’ve done them a million times, so I will look for the best ones to include here. But first, let me just get this story out.
So, these points (N, NW, NE, S, SW, SE, E, W) on the compass represent the pattern of the semantic concepts behind words. We’ll just talk about the Northern variables for now.
The way a parent treats and raises a child can be North, Northwest, or Northeast. Let’s say that the North is the ideal way to raise a child. It is the way God would raise us if he were our father (wink). And I’m speaking of God in the singular form, but semantically I’m referencing God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. It takes a village.
North = Nurturing and Disciplining in Love
North nurturing and disciplining is the ideal way to raise a child. It’s giving her the best love and the best chance to succeed.
Northwest – Too Much
Northwest (NW) is raising a child with abuse. Ab – Use. This word means that the way you are choosing to nurture and discipline a child is not going to lead to a sustainable compatible relationship with her. And it is not going to train her to be successful in her relationships with others now or when she gets older. So, if the North is ideal, there is still some wiggle room between the exact North and the extreme NW. There is a Northern Zone. This zone represents the normal yin and yang way that we all live. Sometimes parents need to discipline with more NW consequences and sometimes they need to discipline with more NE consequences. But they are still within the Northern Zone. They correct with love, with the goal of achieving sustainable compatible relationships.
And let me take a moment to define what I mean by compatible relationships: In a compatible relationship, everyone receives physical and spiritual nourishment and opportunities for growth according to their needs. Each is able to deal with the others’ yin and yang deviations within the Northern Zone. And not just deal with them, but voluntarily carry this weight out of love.
Northeast – Too Little
Northeast (NE) is raising a child with neglect. Neglect is when a parent does not discipline the child enough. There is not enough training and education for her to learn relationship skills. Again, there is a Zone between the North and NE. There are times when refraining from active discipline is the best solution. Putting a child in timeout is often an appropriate Northern solution. If a child gets out of control, timeouts are a good way to separate her from the situation and give her time to think about what just happened and calm down.
However, too much of anything can lead to undesired results. Developing sustainable compatible relationships is the number one priority. In the moment, there may be a degree of conflict, frustration, sorrow, etc. But if the overall paradoxical result is sustainable compatible relationships, we know we’re on the right track.
People have come up with different words to represent the semantic North, NW, and NE meanings that exist independently. For example, in this post, we have put the word Discipline on the Compass. We might need to add an adjective in front of it to confirm that the Discipline is Northern, such a Fair, Balanced, Moderate, Productive, Constructive, Life-changing, Loving, etc.
Extreme NW Discipline is usually referred to as Abuse. We can evaluate some synonyms to get a better view of this concept:
Extreme NE Discipline is usually referred to as Neglect. Some synonyms for this word are:
- Fail to look after
- Leave alone
- Leave undone
- Pay no attention to
- Not Remember
Additionally, we can identify some synonyms for discipline within the NW and NE Zones.
We can put any concept on the Compass and see that it can be separated into these three points of semantic meaning. It’s basic Goldilocks metrics:
- North = Just Right
- NW = Too much
- NE = Too little
But the thing that has been the most difficult for me to comprehend is that if parents discipline in the NW, they will also discipline in the NE. The one actually causes the other. So even while they are too harsh with their correction, they are also too lax in productive training. Productive discipline lies within the Northern Threshold. Because we are all learning how to be Northern parents, we may start out with a wider NW/NE swing. But the goal is to decrease the arc of that swing over time as much as we possibly can.