Who says you can’t do whatever you dream? Or go where you want to be? What “orange cones” along your path direct your drive in life? What keeps you from being self-directed?
What keeps you from moving ahead is probably not a lack of resources, but a lack of certainty. Don’t tolerate the scarcity mindset that prefers the certainty of outcomes. Beat the False Self that desires the “for sure,” an assurance from risk of loss or harm, as we play it safe before proceeding.
What is it that unnerves the steady hand? It is the uncertainty of outcomes that makes most of us uncomfortable and as a result, subject to resisting change or the disturbing event that enters our lives?
We have a hard time tolerating uncertainty that brings with it the fear of the unknown. With fear comes its favorite bosom buddy: resistance. Yes, it’s a tag team we must face! Time out! Go to your corner but don’t throw in the towel, instead awaken and come alive by learning more about this mind-wrestling duo.
Fear and resistance are allies. These mental cohorts are stuck in the rut, holed up in the bunker, as they battle against change and uncertainty by lobbing deceptive and false charges to keep you in your place and better yet, to take you further down. Working closely, they combine forces to become more powerful as they form: inner-fearance. The word sounds like interference and that’s exactly what it produces when we understand that: Fear and resistance interfere with our lives and it comes from within.
Inner-fearance is a control mechanism utilized by the False Self. Rather than holding our hand steady, it gets a grip on us. This means that: Every time we resist something, it is out of fear; and every time we fear something, we are resisting.
For example, when things go well, there can be a false sense of security in the belief of permanency in what one has. Hence, we resist change for fear of losing what we have. When things fall apart, we may embrace a false sense of hopelessness with the fear that nothing can be done. We may then resist assistance because we believe it won’t make any difference. We may come to embrace the notion that nothing can be done, but nothing can be farther from the truth! These are false views of certainty rooted in two opposing beliefs to our potential for self-development:
1. I have all the answers to what I face—A false certainty of security.
2. There are no answers to what I face—A false certainty of hopelessness.
The two certainties of security and hopelessness represent a very common thinking trap as examples of polarized thinking that can compromise our self- control. We get caught up in the either/or, the black and white, the right and wrong, the this or that, your side and my side, I have all the answers or there are no answers, life or death. Welcome to the inner world of opposites. It can become a tangled mindset, a strange loop, where we can falsely believe that we’re moving on, only to return to the same place. This same place, the result of the same way of thinking, is a repetition of the same thought pattern. The result: I am here, again! The only way out of this tangled mess is to rise above it with a new perspective.
A Can of Squirms!
The artist M.C. Escher illustrates this abstract idea of a tangled mind and offers a way out of the trap of inner-fearance. Escher’s painting called Drawing Hands depicts two hands that are identical, each holding a pencil, and each appears to be drawing the opposite hand. I often use this painting in seminars to help understand the abstract world of the opposites in our mind. I display a slide of the Drawing Hands and ask the participants: “Which hand is drawing which hand?” This always opens up what I call a “can of squirms” because it makes people uncomfortable. From the body language, I can see the thinking going on and the tension setting in. People grapple for an answer. Some readily state that it’s one of the hands but don’t agree on which one. Most have no answer, yet most want to give an answer. After a bit of “squirms” I offer them an answer which is the way out:
“Neither hand is drawing the other. The artist’s hand drew them!”
Then I often get some “ooh’s and ahh’s,” along with a few good natured “boos and hisses!”
This example provides a strategy for a way out of the tangled mess by rising above to a higher level for a different perspective. It points out a reality that didn’t appear until a new perspective was offered. Instantly there is relief from the frustration of what we grapple with and makes us squirm in the world of opposites that offers only two choices. By rising above, we find a way out of the tangled mess and see that both opposites exist. It’s not my way or your way, it is the High way when we understand that both can peacefully co-exist.
The conflict is resolved and the tension released when we acknowledge them as two parts of the whole, a whole that is greater than all the parts. We then can find our way out of the world of opposites with its challenges of dilemma and limiting choices.
A partial self-life lacks wholesomeness and we can become a tangled mess that leads to a “mangled mind.” We become a conflicted self. Fear and resistance should not dominate the greatness of the whole of your life. The True Self offers you a hand up and a hand out of the conflict of the world of opposites.
There is a greater whole of you, the artist at work, a True Nature that is above all else. It helps to get out of something in order to let it go!