Most people can overcome this with a little practice, though there may still be times when there is so much going on in your mind that you find it almost impossible. Never get frustrated with yourself – just come back to the meditation when you are feeling calmer.
You don’t need to visualise Jesus in detail, so this doesn’t really matter, as long as you know/accept that the presence you are imagining is him.
If you feel that part of you is deliberately avoiding visualising Jesus, you might want to reflect on this and ask yourself why?
Although Jesus does speak to us sometimes in words, his response may be through feelings or an image. So you might simply feel at peace, you might feel as if you are being hugged or you might see yourself at some other point in your life with Jesus. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God” and many would say that simply being still in Jesus’ presence is the most beneficial and powerful part of meditation. So become aware of your feelings in his presence, and reflect that he may speak to you just as powerfully through your feelings.
Then reflect on the feelings that went with this and ask yourself why, was it fear, if so, fear of what?
Why wouldn’t Jesus be saying something that you want to hear? Experience shows that such thoughts do usually come from Jesus. Occasionally feelings of low self-worth may stop us from accepting what Jesus is saying, when we really need to hear it and accept the affirming and positive things that he is saying.
There is a part of our minds which can be obtuse and destructive. It is the part that if we are standing on the edge of a steep drop, whispers in our ear to jump or tells us that we are going to die. Jesus may say something challenging, but never something destructive, so just accept that anything destructive did not come from Jesus. Remember, God is love, you are made in the image of God and God loves you enough to die for you on a cross. Jesus said “I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest”. (John 10:10b)
Occasionally someone who does not know Jesus will encounter him in such a way as to enter straightaway into a lasting relationship with him. If this happens to you be glad and allow God to guide you to find the help you need. If you go to our Faith page it will give you some links to trustworthy Christian organisations that may be able to help.
If you suffer in either of these ways you should already have some professional mental health support. If you experience emotional discomfort during these meditations, stop what you’re doing and talk to your doctor or mental health provider.