When one of my siblings or I were faced with a hard life decision, our Dad’s favorite remark was, “Looks like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.” He was a quiet and kind man with a no nonsense WWII veteran demeanor. Looking back over half a century, I know that I should have enlisted more of his ‘nonsense-less-ness’. I was, after all, younger and smarter so…
When hard decisions are upon us, getting stuck can be so frustrating. I have learned that most of the time the stuck-ness is about the choice required to become unstuck. We are held back by the impression that it’s going to bring painful growth. We resist.
For example, after a long discussion with my friend who was told by her health professional that she must make some vital changes to her lifestyle, diet, and exercise patterns—that is if she wants to remain among the living. We listed the options. I asked her if she could give up just one of her vices he suggested. Her immediate response was, “That’s never going to happen!”
So often, one of the rocks or hard places is our own unwillingness to change. When our paradigm or our view of the world and our place in it is narrow and rigid, we are the hard place. Much of the dullness in our lives is due to this contracted and unyielding dark-tunnel vision.
Perhaps we could all use more Light in our lives. Perhaps Light would soften those hard places. My current project is focused on Light: what it is, why we need it, and the thought path to it. So far, the mere investigation of the elements of Light are starting to push against areas in my thinking where inflexible, dark, or twilight paradigms live. These pushes are triggering some of my own desires to cozy up to my comfort zones– those dogmatic hard places. This could get interesting—or painful. On the other hand, this could result in joy, vigor, and more wellness. Stay tuned.
How about you? Do you have an annoying, resistant hard place?
Resistance and angst are close cousins. One can resist without angst, but angst wants to dominate whenever possible. It will vibrate into all reactions and responses to our experiences if we are not aware. Angst is a negative pushback, an annoyance, an angry or jealous mindset: it sets our hearts against the Light of Christ.
Respect the Path, page 119