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How do you make a wise decision—even if you might get into trouble?
Whenever I say to myself (or say out loud) the phrase: “I am probably going to get into trouble for this” … I know I am onto something interesting and even important. I am pausing and bringing intention to this choice—knowing I might get reprimanded in some way. Once I said this phrase as I slipped a young girl I was tutoring a book entitled What is Happening to Me? During our time together, she kept asking me what I knew about “cramps.” When I answered her question, she wanted to know more. I encouraged her to ask her Mom or Grandmother but the next tutoring session she asked me once again. So I bought her the book What is Happening to Me? and we read it together. I could have approached her teacher or her mother but my heart said “just treat her like your own daughter.” I did not get into trouble, but I know by overriding my fear of reprimand in order to meet this little girl’s need I had made a wise decision.
In spiritual practice, there is a seemingly odd combination of energies working within us. We long to change and live the life God has in mind for us and yet we also resist what it might take to move in that different direction. We can get confused about when to “make effort” and when to “let go of all effort” in our lives. To add to our human dilemma, research in neuroscience concludes that the brain resists change in our lives. This biology explains our difficulties in establishing and maintaining a spiritual practice. Yet ironically, spiritual practice creates a sacred space, also biologically based, for lasting change in our lives. Complex energies reside within us.
In this week’s featured spiritual practice, called “Embracing Change,” when our three centers are engaged, we hold, at the same time, both the longing and potential for change and also the spirit of trusting in God’s grace. This blessing of Meister Eckhart, mystic and prophet, speaks to these inclinations within us: “Henceforth, may you be unbelievably happy, never overcome by fear and the fearful and always in trouble!”
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