Spiritual Exercises – Resistance
by Fiona Heath
Option 1) Give Thanks!
Who made resistance possible for you? Who stood beside you as you stood against the status quo? Who helped remind you that the arc really can be bent? Who invited you into a vision of an entirely new day? Who made you feel like a one of a kind rather than a misfit? Who helped you resist the pressures to follow the herd?
Someone stood beside you. Someone picked you up for the protests. Someone taught the class that opened your eyes. Someone wrote the poem that inspired you. Someone’s sacrifice moved your heart. Someone’s courage rubbed off on you. Someone told you that you were precious. Someone made you feel like you aren’t in the fight alone.
Thank them! That’s it. Your assignment: Find a way to thank them and tell them how they made your resistance possible. Let them know what a gift it was.
Option 2) Give it Some Thought
This exercise invites us into internal work. Authored by one of our Soul Matters ministers, the following poem challenges us to face those “impenetrable places” in a new way. Instead of pushing against or running away from those inner “steel doors” right away, it asks us to just “stay there” and “breathe.”
In that spirit of sitting still, use this poem as your guide and companion this month. Weave it into your daily meditation or reflective practice. Pay attention to the way a new line will stand out each day. Come to your group ready to share the journey, where it took you and what it taught you about the resistance we wrestle with inside.
Peter Friedrichs, Soul Matters Minister
Press the tender flesh of your knowing
Against the steel door of your fear.
Stay there, breathing,
as its icy skin draws out the heat
of your racing heart.
Feel its resistance
to the yes of your hopes,
the imminent expiration
of your dreams.
You could have avoided this pain.
You could have stayed safely cradled,
blind, in the womb of your ignorance.
But in the silence of a moonless night
something called you here,
to this impenetrable place.
At the edge of sleep, or death,
you heard a sound
from beyond this door:
A prisoner, past all hope of release,
tapping his bent spoon
against the cell wall
that divides you,
desperate to be heard and known.
This is your life calling.
And now, having heard its cry,
you have no choice but
to find a way through.
April 24, 2018
March 30, 2018
March 30, 2018