Originally posted on Facebook HERE
Another rainy day here in WIsconsin. I’m thinking a lot today about our resistance to do the things we know, or at least suspect, will be good for us. Maybe has something to do with the book I’m currently reading (“Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly), in which he goes into great detail about this. For me, though – even if I’m pretty sure something will be good for me I won’t actually make a change until I hit a breaking point. Even after drinking and using drugs for fifteen years, knowing the entire time it wasn’t good for me, I had to get to a breaking point to make a change. A month later, after feeling for my entire adult life that eating meat wasn’t something I felt morally aligned with, I made that change to vegetarianism as well. I needed to change the drinking before I could address the eating. Now, almost 31 years later I’m still sober, still vegetarian. And I still struggle with resistance. All year long in my personal journal I talk to myself about how good I feel when I’m running and doing yoga. I suspect that if I added running and yoga to my fitness routine, I’d feel way better. I even have it all mapped out – two runs, two yoga sessions and two strength training sessions/wk (this last one I’m pretty good at actually doing already). If I actually did this I would be in much better shape, I’d feel better, I’d sleep better, and it would have a positive effect on my mental state as well. So, October is just around the corner and I haven’t gone to yoga or run since my annual trip to Florida in April, where yoga and running are part of my routine. Why not? Resistance. Resistance to getting started. Demands on my time are many. Maybe we all have a natural inclination to do the least possible to get by. And we often won’t get out of it unless we hit a breaking point – when our lives are so badly affected by our poor choices of the past that making the change finally is the only option that makes sense any more. Like when the scale hits a new high, or our depression hits a new low. Our lives have somehow become unmanageable (to coin an AA phrase). Then we break on through resistance and begin heading in a new direction. If we don’t, often the alternative isn’t very good at all, could even be death. Why do we need a breaking point to make changes we know are good for us? I refuse to do it any more. I’m going to take a long, hard look at how I’m living, what my routines are, and make some changes I know will be good for me. Those are the first two that come to mind – I actually really like to run, so getting that in somewhere shouldn’t be too hard (I’m doing it today). Yoga, man – gotta find the right place at the right time and make it a part of my routine. That’ll be a bigger hassle. Going somewhere new, because I’ve never gone to any of the local classes, by myself, this can be very uncomfortable at first. That’s how resistance gets you. Even though yoga would be great for me, it involves doing something I’d rather not do to get started. So I don’t. Maybe it’s just a matter of getting running going first, which I totally CAN envision right now, then adding yoga in later. One thing at a time. Like quitting drinking before changing my eating habits. I think my goal is to be the best person I can be. We’re like sculptors. We get this blob of clay to work with, and we create ourselves in our own image. Are your routines creating the best sculpture you can make? Does it matter to you? It matters a great deal to me. When everything is said and done, and I’m on my death bed I want to leave this planet having lived the best life I could possibly live with the talents I’ve been given. I want to feel like I touched the hearts of others. Every day, I ask God to help me touch the heart of another person. That’s my main goal for the day. From there, I want to honor my body. I want to be the healthiest old guy you know. I could do better there. I’m lucky to work a job I love, that gives me time to write, to speak, to play music, and to travel the world. But I saw that for myself before I ever made it happen. I had to move on from many other things and take some huge chances to get here. Don’t let resistance stop you from doing what you know in your heart needs to be done. Do it now. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself wondering years later when you hit the breaking point – why didn’t I just make this change years ago? You can never get the time you spent resisting your best self back. Get in touch with what that is today. Spend some time in prayer and meditation thinking about what you could do to be a happier, healthier person. Then do it. Sculpt yourself with God’s view of what’s possible. His vision is often much greater than the limited vision we allow ourselves.