The Rebel

36(1)Getting to goal takes longer than we want. There’s lots of muttering Are we there yet? Nope. This week’s about self-sabotage. The part that of you needs something to rebel against, even if it’s yourself.

There’s times, individually and collectively, historically and personally, where rebellion is appropriate, honorable, and necessary. Times to resist injustice, to stand up for what’s good and right. When your integrity’s in collision with what’s going on around you, stand up, even if you put yourself or what’s dear to you at risk. This ain’t that.

I walk in the early morning when wild turkeys also stroll about. As I get close, the big toms puff up their plumage and brush their wing feathers against the road. It makes a deep, rustling sound. It might threaten another turkey. But for me, that tom challenging for turf is a distraction, not scary. He’s all show, no power. And shouldn’t stop me from staying on my path.
The week’s story’s about why we cling to false displays of strength instead of embracing our better inclinations. It’s about why we heed what holds us back. The habits that keep us treading quicksand until we’re submerged and swallowed. Our inner enemies, cloaked in all their self-righteous finery. The voices that lead us down the wrong road, or keep us from the right one.

Why don’t we change? Why don’t we listen to our higher selves?

The reasons are pretty consistent. A messy stew of denial, resistance, inertia, stubbornness, laziness, fear, guilt, shame, doubt, and probably others my denial won’t let me recall.

Pay attention when your inner rebel speaks. Listen carefully. Then look carefully at what it’s asking you to say Yes or No to.
Several years ago I made a deep commitment about how I wanted to use my time here, and what it would take to get ready. I knew my Yes would become an axis for my life. Would require leaving narrow places of my own making.

My inner rebel gets lots of air time. Yikes. Enough. I don’t have the discipline this journey requires. But time and again I’ve been guided back, sometimes kicking and yelling, and others through gifts of joy and leaps of faith. I believe each of us, no matter how habituated our resistance, deeply wants to live our best self, not our worst one.

It requires making and keeping to your deepest intentions. To persistently shining light into every dark corner. To believing that becoming the people we aspire to be is possible. But to emerge into wholeness, we first need to confront and channel our inner rebel. Need to let the old pains and hurts we’ve shoved down deep come fully to the surface. Need to experience all the sorrow, anger, shame, and tears that accompany that release. Not fast or easy. But necessary.

Only then can we find the courage to say: I am here. I am ready.

This week: Look at an aspect of your life where you’ve consistently fallen short of your goals. See what patterns keep you from moving forward. Set an intention to change at least one of them.

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