and I recognize that the need to understand always takes precedence over the egos demands.
Let’s talk about the ego and its demands; it’s demands are that you do not experience anything new or outside of your comfort zone. The ego is designed to keep you safe and it is all about survival. The moment you have a thought or an idea to something outside of your “normal”, it will go to work to fight against it. Resistance will begin immediately.
Have you ever decided to do something new or different and the moment you made a decision to “do the thing”, the voices of fear, doubt, rejection and resistance immediately kicked in.
In the book “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield, he explains how “resistance is self-generated and self-perpetuated. It is described as the enemy within (aka the crazy roommate) He says that resistance is insidious and that it will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, it that is what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”
Our job is not to figure out how to remove, numb our or hide the ego or resistance- it is truly an opportunity to go deep. In many instances to move beyond our fearful protective personality. It’s helpful to understand that that the ultimate goal of the ego is to protect us from any harm or perceived danger. When we can see our own resistance from a loving and compassionate place, we can actually end the struggle. It will however require us to wake up, to be conscious in our decision making, to look within the heart for guidance and to open to the mystery and the power of forgiveness.
Forgiveness by the way is essential, it’s impossible to move forward when we are holding onto the past. Sometimes people think they have forgiven someone or something, and the sure way to tell is to bring that person to mind, or to see or talk with or about the person or situation- if there is any negative energy, bad feelings or unpleasant emotion that comes up in the body, there is still healing work to do.
And what about understanding? We are so quick to judge and condemn others. To understand is to learn and to have knowledge, to see another side or perspective. To stand in another’s shoes. Somewhere it is said that life is ALWAYS conspiring for my greater good. This would mean that even in the face of uncertainty or things I cannot explain- there is purpose that may be beyond my own interpretation or understanding.
The opportunity that lies just under Forgiveness is the most important and essential work we will ever do. It’s so easy to write people off, place blame and point fingers. We make a judgement and a decision about someone or something and were done- never to look back. For some this means no mom or dad, a loss of siblings and friends, kids tied up in the middle of their parent’s issues, and on and on and on. It is drug addiction, sexual addictions, food addictions- it is falling out, numbing out and checking out.
What if in the revealing of another’s pain and perspective had within it the ability to heal our perception? What if right at the point of understanding and forgiveness we were able to create new ways of communicating? What if the possibility of alchemy was one tender moment or one loving decision away?
Our job is not to be the judge and jury – it is to be the witness.
What relationship in your life could possibly shift with a dose of understanding and forgiveness? What in your life do you need to forgive yourself and where can you be more forgiving of others? The practice is week is forgiveness- of myself and others. It is not a practice of cutting others out of my life, it is the willingness to give as before.