Sunday, June 7, 2009

Faith - Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

"Why is it that whenever we seem to be achieving our goals something goes wrong?"

If success was as easy as merely choosing what you want then everyone except for the most narcotic and laziest of people would be successful already. And to an extent they are. Most people are living comfortable lives because that's the life they chose. They could be living a grander life but that comes with personal expansion, risk and a large willingness to travel into unknown territory. People may not be content with where they are in life but they are comfortable there, even if it on a street corner, so they are more content to stay where they are than change.

When we do decide to make a change and strive for something better we almost always encounter roadblocks along the way. There's two main reasons for this and the first one is we bring it down upon ourselves.

Our own past experiences and expectations work against us as we anticipate problems, become fixated with what may happen and turn it into a self-fulling prophesy.

For example a woman who has a history of choosing unfaithful partners decides she wants someone better and won't settle for less this time. She makes some changes to her habitual life patterns and succeeds in attracting a better quality of guy. So now she's content right? Unfortunately, often no. Her subconscious mind has a paradigm that all men are unfaithful, supported by a lot of previous evidence to this effect. So she remains concerned that her new boyfriend will be unfaithful too. To calm that anxiety she starts to check up on him, question him whenever he deviates from set routine and generally distrust him - so when he eventually does prove unfaithful she won't devastated.

Now the guy loves her but she's starting to drive him away. In frustration he starts discussing his situation with another woman. He has no intent for anything to happen there and nothing does but as his girlfriend remains suspicious he remains in contact with his support person. Eventually his suspicious, spying lover discovers he's been seeing some other woman and assumes the worst. Furious she tosses him out. Heartbroken he seeks to be consoled by his friend. That women in turns realizes that the other woman is a complete fool to have tossed out such a great guy and she scoops him up on the rebound.

And thusly the woman's fears and expectations have created the reality she sought to avoid. Before she can be in a faithful relationship she must first be able to believe, in her subconscious mind, that it can and will happen.

The second main reason for things appearing to go wrong is because often something needs to be broken in order to allow for things to grow into what will be.

If you have a potted plant that plant can only grow as large as the pot will allow. Once the roots have run out of room, the plant's growth is stunted. If you want it to continue to grow you need to remove the old pot and place it in a larger one and add more soil. We of course never worry about doing this, other than to be gentle during the transition but that's because we are the gardeners not the plant. We know beforehand a larger, better pot is coming, or perhaps a move to the garden.

However, when the role is reversed it's a cause for panic. If you are trying to grow your life in some area, you often outgrow the 'pot' you are in. To continue to grow that old pot must be removed. An example would be having friends that don't encourage you - this is a very common trap. People hate to see someone else succeeding more than they are, plus opinions are the cheapest from of currency on Earth. Everyone has them and are all too willing to share. So your friends, out of concern, or subconscious jealously try to talk you out of your 'crazy' ideas or assure you it's totally okay to just remain like they are. In order for you to grow life or yourself, God must first remove you from these obstacles.

When the pot of your old friends is removed it causes a great deal of anxiety. They were your support mechanism after all, broken as it was but now you have no one. Scared many people run back to what they know. The old familiar pot and stunt their growth. If they could just continue in faith then life would surround them with better, more like-minded friends, their new pot, and allow them to take their life to the next level.

The third reason is you need to be challenged to grow. If life never challenged you, unless you made it a habit to challenge yourself (which is always a good habit), you would never grow. You would simply remain the same as you have always been. Sure you might want more, but why change when being how you are is good enough? It's not until life challenges you in some way that forces you to step up that you are able to live life at a higher level.

So if your seeking to step up your game in life, expect to run smack dab into situations or challenges where it's a necessity. When it happens don't shirk from it because you don't know what to do, embrace it!! This is exactly what you need from life. You may not know what to do, but remain confident you will figure it out and find a way. When you do, a way will become apparent to you.

Lastly, at least last as far as this post goes, is that it's a test of faith. It's always a test of faith. In all the preceding examples faith is needed.

The women seeking a more faithful husband must have faith, first, that there are faithful lovers out there and that she will find one before she can succeed in doing so.

The person losing their friends must have faith that more will come or else they're bound to remain where the are.

The person facing challenges in life must remain faithful that they can overcome or they'll merely give up.

Without faith, there simply is no way.

Mind is the master power that molds and makes,
And we are the mind, and evermore we take,
The tool of thought, and shaping what we will,
Bring forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills,
We think in secret, and it comes to pass
Our world is but our looking-glass

James Allen - Author of As Your Think

We need to fixate our minds on positive results. Until that becomes our habitual thought pattern. When you can meekly accept that you can and will achieve you goals then you are able to accept the apparent loses and set-backs as mere necessities for your new life to flourish. Whatever must happen to allow your success, will. Until you can accept it as a welcome necessity you are prone to work against the very forces that are helping you along.   The more you  fuss about and push against what you perceive as wrong, the longer you will be trapped by it.  You are channeling your energy into fixing what is 'wrong' instead of focusing on going from where you are to where you want to be.  Where ever your persistent thought is, is where you're headed, even if that's the last place you want to be.  So always stay focused on the end result.