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Archive for April, 2011

Rebellion Dogs



There’s a line in the AA Big Book that I love, a line that speaks of the essential difficulty of staying on a spiritual path: Rebellion dogs our every step.

I recently spent time as a rebellion dog.

Don’t ask me why—I could give you reasons galore; but the fact of the matter is one day last week I stopped meditating, stopped praying, stopped eating my vegetables.  These are the outward signs, if you like, of inward resistance.

A few days later I stopped stopping.  I got back at it, started doing all the things that actually make me happy and cause me to feel like part of the human race.

Yesterday I ran into a woman who was dithering about going to a meditation workshop.  She told me, I am undisciplined and can’t maintain a practice.

My answer to that was, So what? That’s what it is to be a human.  We stop, we start; we rebel, we return.  That is the nature and the joy of life.  The problem is not stopping; it’s not starting back up.

I believe that my deepest work is to resist judging myself about this.  Yep, I want to stop that painful rebellion when it’s going on, because frankly, it makes me miserable.  But calling myself names or wallowing in how bad I am, well, that’s the best way I know to prevent my return to practice.  My self-flagellation is just one more way to close out the love of God.

There’s a reason why Jesus talked about forgiving sins when he was doing healing.  Not because he thought that everyone he touched was terminally fucked up, but because he recognized how self-hatred keeps us from letting the Holy in.  If I hang on to despising myself, there’s no room for wholeness, no chance for healing.  Because I’m still in charge!

Whoever let the dogs out, well, she’d better just let them be put back in.  No fuss, no bother, just a quiet surrender to Love.  It’s that simple; it’s that hard.