Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Post a Day #3. Resistance to Change

So, in yesterday's post I mentioned the things I would like to change and improve during Lent. I know full well that when I make up my mind to make a change for the better, in any area, I will encounter resistance. Whether it is from within or without, from the material world or the spiritual, making changes to my body, my mind, or my spirit involves warfare against the comfortable inertia I am currently enjoying.

Which got me to remembering how I agree with Jen Fulweiler's statements about how one experiences resistance in the context of trying to lose weight.

18. If you’re approaching it the right way, trying to lose weight will involve major spiritual warfare — not because holiness has anything to do with a number on a scale, but because you’re attempting to free yourself from attachments that drag you down. We Christians call the force behind this phenomenon evil, Steven Pressfield calls it Resistance. Whatever label you want to use, know that it is real and it is going to try to stop you.

From her entire excellent post,The lazy nerd's guide to weight loss.

 So, if we accept that as a given, what do we do when we're in the thick of it? 

Here is some decidedly unprofessional advice from my own mind and experience. You're welcome.

1. Trust that what I am doing is a good thing. It doesn't have to be Nobel Prize Winning Good, just something that adds to yours or others' lives. Then when you go to do it, you don't have to keep revisiting it's "rightness." I like what Mother Angelica says:

“Faith is one foot on the ground, one foot in the air, and a queasy feeling in the stomach.”

“Unless you are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous. When you have God, you don’t have to know everything about it; you just do it.”

“Never put a lid on God. You can give God a thimble and ask for a quart. It won't work. Your plans, your projects, your dreams have to always be bigger than you, so God has room to operate. I want you to get good ideas, crazy ideas, extravagant ideas. Nothing is too much for The Lord to do - accent on 'The Lord'.”

2. Expect the roadblocks, deal with them and keep going.  

I wear the brown scapular. When I was struggling with consistency in my prayer life, I thought perhaps I should stop wearing it until I get back on track. A wise priest told me to just make some small prayer offering to Mary rather than stop wearing the scapular. 
 After all the evil one would like nothing more than to see me give up my devotion to the Blessed Mother, who crushes his head beneath her heel.

Don't give points to the wrong team. Don't give up.

3. Don't be surprised at the weakness of your own flesh. (Boy, this one rings true when I am working out).  But really, we ALL sin and fall short of the glory of God. We ALL are sitting squarely in the
middle of our humanity and have to rely on grace for everything, most especially in our areas of struggle. We supply the willingness, effort and faith, and God grants us results. 
So, when I don't feel like doing my workout, I apply what I know about inertia, and just put my sneakers on, start the video and make the motions. Sometimes I get into it part way, as I get warmed up, and it gets easier. Not every time, but the results, ahh. The benefits help me in so many areas.

4. Don't be surprised at the way your old thought patterns try to drag you down. Especially if you have an inner critic, as I do. In these instances, you have to recognize the lies and tell yourself the truth. Example: I want to say a Rosary on a given day, but have a bunch of stuff I also need to do around the house. The Critic says, "Praying while doing tasks does not show proper reverence." If I listen to the Critic, guess what? I don't pray. So I tell myself the truth, that God would rather I pray. 
Be clear and honest with yourself.

 5.  Do expect grace. In my experience, any time we make a move toward God, whatever resistance we may encounter pales in comparison with the grace we receive. If we stay the course with our eyes on Him, He truly does pave the way and vanquish the foes, even if the foes come from our minds. 

So, I say this to myself and to you, go and be bold, be Catholic, let Him fill, energize and encourage you. 

 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14


  1. I know I fall short all the time. I wish I could do better (and compared to several years ago I definitely am doing better) but I can't. Some sins seem to come unconsciously. And some don't but I give in. Sigh.

    1. We all do Manny. It one step forward and two steps back much of the time! As long as we don't give up entirely!

  2. Great post, Kelly! I love that last one: 'go and be bold, be Catholic, let Him fill, energize and encourage you. AMEN! I think that the proportion of bold Catholics is growing these days, thanks be to God.

    1. Thank you Anna :) And from your lips to God's ears!

  3. There's a lot of wisdom in this post. It's easy to let "perfection be the enemy of the good." As in, well I'm not concentrating very well on this prayer office, guess I better shuffle off and do something else since clearly I suck at this whole prayer thing. You described it perfectly.

    1. I think all of us who try have to face the roadblocks. So much of it is simply admitting our weaknesses and going ahead anyway. For me, after bumbling along for a while, suddenly one day, I realize progress has happened. It never ceases to amaze me. :)