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.

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2 Responses to “Rebellion Dogs”

  1. Michele says:

    Who knew vegetables were so important? Mind you, a decent pile of vegies in the middle of the afternoon here in Sydney, where all the moisture that is not falling as snow in New Denver is bucketting out of the sky as rain in the wettest April we’ve had for 21 yrs, might have prevented me raiding the cookie jar. Rain like that can make you think you really need several cookies – big, generous, Australian cookies. So, I’ll have to herd the dogs of mid-afternoon back into their pen, I guess, and get back on the fruit waggon. Vegie soup perhaps?
    It will be Spring over your way, soon. I can smell it from here.

  2. I am a rebellion dog. Thank you for articulating something I’ve been feeling for a while and reminding me that I can start again anytime.

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