Question: I want to grow spiritually, but somehow I have to move beyond justifying my weaknesses if I’m ever going to learn the lessons meant for me. How do I stop justifying the messes I’ve made in my life?
Answer: If we’re fortunate, there comes a certain point when we know that we can no longer afford to refuse what we know we see. And if we’ll just endure these first difficult stages of true self-seeing, new insights follow whose light rescues us by revealing that we’ve been unconscious captives in an invisible circle of false strength. And false strength is any power we have to go looking for after it’s needed!
Think about it. What good is it to find a solution — some seeming strength — that doesn’t really resolve our problem, but is just another form of secret self-deception? Outside of its power to help us temporarily feel better about the weakness that just overtook us, what good is the “strength” of being able to endlessly explain ourselves to ourselves? Or to “intelligently” justify some deliberately hurtful act towards another; to tell ourselves that this time we’ve learned our lesson and how we won’t ever do that again? But then we do do that again. We all do this until one day a certain miracle takes place and we cry out: I will no longer call upon any kind of strength that I must add to myself. What I really want is a New Self.”
It is impossible to ask for a New Self, for a New Life, for God to be our life, until we have played ourselves out, until we realize that no matter what we do, we can’t get our life to be what we imagine and to make it stay that way.
Work with the following higher understanding until you can see the truth of it for yourself within yourself: From this moment forward start seeing that when, in a fit of unhappiness, the you that is suffering made that world. Your task is to reach a very simple, quiet state, and admit to God: “I don’t like the world I’ve made. Can You help me?” Then, your slate will be wiped clean.
When God begins wiping clean the slate of your life, it doesn’t mean He passes on to you a certain strength that now makes you a believer in yourself as someone who can create great things. That “strength” that you feel flowing into you as you enter into relationship with God is you leaving behind the level where you are identified with the weakness that made you a victim of everything you encountered, including your own thoughts. So, it’s not a growth the way we imagine seeing ourselves growing.
Real spiritual growth is a kind of passing; of the old giving way to the New because we no longer want what we once were. In that quiet passing comes that Self which was always there before, and which you are now at last communing with.
That’s the spiritual path. It’s within you; and you must make the journey. But to make the journey you have to understand what the request is that begins it. Give up in the right way. Learning to surrender yourself begins with learning to see the need to surrender yourself. The rest takes care of itself.