Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trusting Reluctance

Perhaps a true seeker of truth never graduates from truth-seeking-school. But then, when would you want to be done with that? When would you want to stop learning more of the sheer, breath-taking beauty of clear vision?

One of my favorite truth seeking topics is “Trusting Yourself.” For the first part of my life I did not know it was even an issue. I just blundered about bouncing off the walls that defined my physical and emotional reality.

Around age 30 I began to listen to that small, still voice within. I began to see that even though a lot of my choices led to painful conclusions, I did want to take care of myself as best I could. I simply had a lot to learn. And a lot to unlearn. I still do.

Even so, I know I do the best I can with what I know and what I believe. I’ll bet you are too. The great news is that we can learn more every day. As we gain clarity our beliefs change with the speed of light.

Of all the ways we can trust ourselves, trusting reluctance doesn’t get a lot of buzz. I’ve never seen a headline or a seminar on “Trust Your Reluctance!”

What is that “oh, no, I don’t want to” message about anyway? So often we assume that if we don’t want to do something we believe we should it points to a character flaw – a sure sign of something in ourselves we need to overcome.

But what if it isn’t that at all? What if that internal braking system that slows us to a halt has another message. Sometimes our reluctance to act tells us that the very thing we try to force ourselves to do will not work. Or will not work yet. Will never turn out well with the approach we are about to take.

I’m learning to honor my reluctance. Sometimes I need more information, more courage, more support, more insight before opening my mouth, my heart or my purse-strings.

Yeah, but what if it is just a character defect of cowardice, laziness, sloth and torpor that holds me back? I ought to know, right? Maybe there is hope or help for improvement.

Here’s a question that helps me to sort it out. Say I dread making a phone call. I ask, “Is the only reason you don’t want to do it that you are afraid to?

If the answer is “no” – I’ve got other reluctance-reasons I can address now that I am aware of them.

If the answer is “yes” I can ask what I’m afraid of. When I identify my fear I can explore it. I can discover my reasons for being afraid. Those reasons are beliefs I can challenge and often dismiss as the limiting misconceptions they are.

I’m pretty excited about this new avenue of inquiry – celebrating reluctance! Who would have thought?

Now there is a phone call I’m ready to make – with no reluctance at all!

I’d love to know what you think. You can post comments by clicking the blue word “comments” below. My blog host shows a reluctance to give much of a clue!