The great gulf between what a man knows is true and his ability to be true is wide indeed; but, take heart: no one ever managed to cross the river of Life who didn’t first stand before it — realizing that of his own strength he will never succeed — and then, by a faith born of knowing he must dare the waters — begin to swim. Those who choose to make this crossing find what those who don’t never will: the strength is given, a way is made, the distant shore awaits within.
In this short talk, Guy Finley talks about how conflict is born in those moments when our expectations about how life ought to unfold meet reality.
Despising oneself for missing the mark doesn’t prove one could have hit the mark and didn’t. It proves only that the dark nature involved in this kind of pain doesn’t know what the true mark is… else it wouldn’t be tearing into itself (and ripping into you at the same time). The deception is deep and dark; to hate oneself for one’s weakness is the way weakness passes itself off as strength. Real spiritual strength is realized, slowly, by daring to drop these self-blinding negative states that we have allowed to define us. And, believe it or not, this choice — to no longer agree to ache over what you are not — is the most difficult part of one’s work to be free. After all…when there is no one and nothing left within one to blame for one’s weakness, it’s also pretty clear that turning to one’s “self” for help is like asking a donkey for the directions to heaven.
This is a never-ending journey; it doesn’t begin with our wish to awaken, but with God working in us to awaken us to the otherworldly nature of His love. If we agree to go through what is asked of us in this way, then it is through our marriage to His life — and the interior labor this calls for — that we gradually realize a conscious relationship with that Love that is the same as Life unending. The time will come — if you persist — when you will learn to see your weakness as the only way in which God can bring you into His strength.