My own behavior baffles me. For I find myself not doing what I really want to do, but doing what I really loathe.I often find that I have the will to do good, but not the power. That is, I don't accomplish the good I set out to do, and the evil I don't really want to I find I am always doing.What a wretched man I am!
-St. Paul, Romans 7:15-24
From "It's a Meaningful Life, It Just Takes Practice," by Bo Lozoff:
Changing for the better is one of the most fundamental human urges, yet most of us are more sophisticated about how to use cell phones and VCRs than we are about how to change bad habits into good ones. We may go around and around in the same circles all our lives rather than consider that perhaps we're not seeing our behavior patterns clearly or that we're failing to respect the process of change itself.
Changing for the better is not only within our reach, it is also among our prime responsibilities as members of the human community. It is downright sinful to give up on ourselves. The world needs us to become joyful and enlightened human beings. Like Paul, even after countless instances of "the evil I don't really want to do I find I am always doing," we must hang in there and keep trying.
We have a saying around Kindness House, the community where I live: "You can do hard." The reason we say this is that, in our modern era, the words, "It's too hard" have become an anthem for giving up. Having an ache or pain, reach for a pill; get depressed after losing a job, take Prozac for a while.
"You can do hard" is one of my community's ways of reminding us that we need not run away in fear just because something is greatly challenging. It might be daunting, but we can do daunting. It might even be scary, but we can do scary. No matter how bad it is-and it could be very bad for a while-but we can do it. And then, years later, it's just one sentence.