From Whence Cometh My Resistance?

July 20, 2003

Are We Clear On What We Have To Do?

(Often there is a lot of desire to look at the map, but little motivation to begin the journey)

  1. I find any study of Spirituality interesting; different points of view fascinate me.

  2. Sometimes my life feels out of control and I need help.

  3. I really enjoy being with people who understand that there are alternatives to the religious teachings we received as children.

  4. If I can ever get my thoughts together, I might become happier and more satisfied with who I have become. I am hoping this class will point me in the correct direction.

  5. I want to change how I process life. My attitudes really need adjustment.  I want to grow spiritually, but I don't know how or where to begin.

  6. I want to conquer my fears. Sometimes I become immobilized and I experience responses resembling panic/anxiety attacks or depression.

  7. I have cultivated my own philosophies and thoughts concerning my personal beliefs.  I am here to see what you are teaching and whether or not I resonate with it.

  8. I want to overcome my neediness.

Our Need To Stay The Way We Are Surfaces In Many Forms

  1. I enjoy an inspirational, “meaty” sermon -- one filled with lots of stories with which I can identify -- but I cannot remember when one ever changed my life.  Sermons are mostly a mental thing, i.e., "I agree" or "I disagree," "I enjoyed it" or "Nothing spoke to me."

  2. I can really argue with people whose beliefs differ from my own, but few of my beliefs have ever helped me to become more generous, kind and caring. 

  3. I've heard that people cannot change.  I guess we are stuck with the person we have become.

  4. I don't give enough thought or time to defining who I am.  Days blend.  Routines dominate.  My reactions are more habitual responses than anything else.

  5. I bought a membership to a health club.  Next I bought a treadmill.  I do not have the willpower or the commitment to follow-through with what creates boredom.

  1. I've been praying that a day will come when we can take a pill that will help me overcome most problems. I think we're getting closer and closer to that day.

  2. I want life to be fun. I want to be happy and peaceful.  I don't want to feel obligated to work at my relationships, work hard on my job and then have to struggle to like people who I do not want to be around.

  3. I'm not good at abstract thinking. I don't know what God needs from me.

One Of The Realities Of Life -- We All Respond Very Differently To Information

  1. Some of us will never change.  We believe it is too late to begin the struggle to undo or re-route the responses we have taught ourselves.

  2. Some of us are "driven to our knees" out of desperation.  We make promises to God, we bargain and make commitments.  When our need passes, we quickly return to the way we were.  Why is that?

  3. Some of us will consider life very thoughtfully.  We will understand many concepts from the books we have read.  We appreciate the enormity of spiritual power and can discuss related issues as informed as a theologian or philosopher, but we cannot love our neighbor or do much to enable joy and happiness to surface in our lives.

  4. Some of us struggle to grasp every spiritual skill we can acquire.  We approach life as a competition, i.e., "me against the world."  We pay the emotional price because we want control over our inner lives.  We have learned the art of creative detachment and are free from this world's lure and grasp.

  5. Some of us know very little about why we love.  We just do it.  Our spirits are easily motivated by compassion when we sense human need.  We reach out without being asked.  Our understanding that God loves us unconditionally constantly radiates from us.  We have no questions.  There are no struggles with life because we simply trust God for the outcome of all things.  We do not analyze or evaluate anything.  We just show up as we are, roll up our sleeves and become involved.  We do not have any abstract understanding for why we care.  We just do.

What You Can Expect When You Start Your Inner Work

  1. You will resist. Developing a commitment to a new goal is seldom easy.

  2. You will fail initially as diets often do. (What is required is a life-style change, a complete reorientation. Most of us try to change only our symptomatic behavior.)

  3. You will treat the subject matter intellectually but the motivation to begin is emotional.

  4. You will become impatient. (Remember, you are a child in an adult body.)

  1. Your motivation for change/growth will not be strong or clear as you begin your journey.

  2. Most of your skills will APPEAR non-existent, e.g., "I feel empty inside," because you have yet to use them. Skills are located and developed only through constant use.  No one is "lucky or blessed."

  3. Unless you "have fun and experience joy" you will not continue. (Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden light.”)  We tend to associate doing our inner work with struggle.  This is not so.  It can become like a game that is lots of fun to play.

  4. You may have to rethink completely your current understanding of the meaning of life.