The Devil You Know - The Devil You Don’t Know

The columnist shares a reflective moment.

“In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.”

~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

There are times I feel as though I’m locked away in a prison of my own making; alone with my thoughts; immersed in a world of make-believe, struggling past obstacles set forth at every juncture, striving to create myself. 

And there are times I ask myself – why? Why do I put myself through this? The answer is simple and I know it even before I ask the question. I do it because I have to. I have no choice. 

Most of us have been taught just the opposite. We’ve been told that we have choices and while that’s true in a sense; it’s lacking in depth; it’s an incomplete statement. 

Yes, we have choices, but to choose to deny our calling, our God-given gifts and our purpose should not be an acceptable option. It’s a choice, but a specious one. 

Have you ever felt as though there were something you wanted to do, something you were meant to do, but you pushed the thought out of your head? You ignored it, made excuses to justify why it couldn’t possibly happen, convinced yourself it was merely a pipedream; an inane fantasy. 

We have all fallen victim to those voices entrenched deep within our psyche; the grumblings of the naysayers; those who have told us, you can’t - you won’t - you’ll never. They may have thought they were protecting us from disappointment and failure, but words are powerful and negative words even more so, and their words filled us with doubt – fear. Negative talk can be crippling – deadly.  Many a well-intentioned parent, teacher, friend or relative has crushed a hopeful child’s dreams by speaking negative, discouraging words in haste. 

So you see; I must write. It’s what I do. It’s what I’m meant to do. It’s my dream. But knowing that doesn’t make the battle against my inner demons any easier. Because, as Steven Pressfield says, “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” 

Many entertainers get sick to their stomachs prior to every performance, regardless of how many years they’ve been at it. Like the warrior, they must fight a new battle every day. So must you. So must I. 

Resistance wants to keep you off the honor roll. It wants to stop you from applying to the college you’re hoping to attend this fall. It wants to keep you from getting married, starting a family, buying a house, pursuing your life’s work. Resistance plays for keeps. Resistance wants to kill your dream. 

You’ve probably noticed the word Resistance, which I’ve spoken of many times in my writings, is capitalized; the reason being that Resistance is an entity; a palpable presence. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) 

I’m struggling with Resistance in many areas of my life, but I’m winning or holding my own on most fronts. There are two areas in particular where I’m fighting the hardest and gaining the least ground; taking better care of myself [my health] and completing a book that I’ve been writing for longer than I’d like to admit. 

Getting this book written is the area where I’m struggling the most; the arena in which resistance is battling the hardest to keep me off point, which strangely enough is a good thing because that means I’m on track, doing what I’m supposed to do. Resistance will never show up until you start to do something. 

Resistance fights me at every turn, but I won’t quit. I’m going to get this book finished. It seems the closer I get to its completion, the more resistance I get. That shouldn’t surprise me though; that’s the way Resistance works. Resistance doesn’t take breaks. Resistance is relentless! 

Where are you meeting Resistance in your life today? What dreams do you have for your life, your relationships, your family, your career? Have you given up? Have you settled for less than what you’ve been gifted to do because you’re tired of the fight? 

As Ayn Rand said in the quote above, The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.” 

You don’t have to live like this!

Make it a great week!

 Bob Havey is an Easton-based freelance writer and a consummate trouble-maker. His column, "The View From Here", appears each Tuesday at http://easton-ma.patch.com  and on Wednesday at http://mansfield-ma.patch.com.  His column, “The Way I See It”, runs every other Wednesday at http://norton.patch.com.

Karen February 14, 2012 at 03:14 PM
I Gave Up,After My Brain Surg. I Know I Should Move on ,,...
Dwight Mac Kerron February 15, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Many of us talk (or write?) about what we will do, INSTEAD of doing it, but then, you know that. You know what Nike says. ;-)
Bob Havey February 15, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Amen, Dwight. And never give up.
Jasmine February 17, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Such a great message and a good kick in the butt! I am meeting Resistance on going back to school but I shall overcome.
Bob Havey February 17, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Jasmine - Thanks! Now get that kicked-butt of yours down to the school of your choice and register! :-)


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