The Life of Discipline, Spirituality and Power by Mark A. Werling


The third tool of self-discipline is a dedication to reality. Any problem can be successfully solved given enough time. Problem solving takes time. We have to be disciplined enough to give the problem our time and attention. We must take the time and recognize that we must delay gratification long enough to solve the problem at hand.

And likewise, I must take responsibility for the problem. I must not deny the problem. I must not dream that the problem will go away. I must not blame the problem on others or unduly on myself.

Life is problem solving. To the extent that we are successful at problem solving we are also successful in business and personal relationships. The extent that we are skilled at problem solving also determines our mental, physical and spiritual health.

Revising Our Life Map

Our life map is constantly changing. We must constantly revise our maps. We need to redraw our maps from time to time. However, we often try to hang on to the the old maps. Or we try to destroy the maps. This process of not revising our maps leads to mental and spiritual disability and illness. As our lives change we must change. We must redraw our maps and continue the journey anew.

To grow spiritually and emotionally we must revise our maps. We tend to cling to ways of problem solving we learned as children. But those ways no longer work successfully. As we grow, our maps must change. We must find new routes of relating to our friends and families.

Self-Examination - Finding the Truth

We must be dedicated to truth. And we must welcome discomfort as we proceed toward truth. We must be willing to self-examine our thinking and contemplate who we are and how we interact with others.

Self-examination is painful. A life dedicated to truth is a life of challenge. And challenge can be painful. Our goal as humans is transformation and reformation. Examination of our life maps and the resulting redrawing of those maps transforms and renews our life. We find new ways to interact with others, new routes to joy. But the road is not an easy one. But the new road is easier than the many dead-end roads of our old life maps.

We must also be truthful with others. We can withhold the full truth when it has been decided that withholding the truth will benefit the spiritual and psychological development of another.

Balance

The fourth tool of discipline is balance. Balance is the tool that allows us flexibility in living. Of reacting appropriately to life situations. Anger, for example is bred into us, and allows us to be alert to dangerous situations. However, our mind allows us the capability of choosing ways to express our anger in an appropriate way, or of deciding that there is no danger. This is how we use the self-discipline tool for balance. We choose an appropriate way of reacting to our emotions.

Giving Up In Order To Grow

In order to grow to full potential there are certain things that we must give up and accept. These are the conditions, states, desires and fantasies, in order of life occurrence, that we must learn to give up in order to grow and transform:

We must give up: the state of infancy, in which no external demands need be responded to; the fantasy of omnipotence; the desire of total possession of our parents; the dependency of childhood; the distorted images we have of our parents; the omnipotentiality of adolescence; the freedom of uncommitment; the agility of youth; the sexual attraction and potentness of youth; the fantasy of immortality; authority over one's children; various forms of temporal power; the independence of physical health; and ultimately, life itself.

What is Romance?

Dr. Scott Peck once said that romance is the meeting place between heaven and earth. This may explain the attraction to romance we all have. Romance is a hint of heaven while we are still bound to the earth.

Romance has all the qualities of an addictive element. Addictions arise upon the appearance of adrenaline. Whatever give us a sense of a higher feeling, emotionally or physically, can lead to compulsion in the direction of the event or things that is associated with that emotion or physical event. Hence, addictions to sports, smoking, sex, etc.

Romance is also that place where we are paying attention at all times to the object of our romance. That object may be a person, an event or an object. We can feel romance towards our mates, our high school days, or a beautiful work of art. The feeling of romance may be described as becoming a part of or becoming as the object of our romance. We feel a oneness. And yet we do not feel as we must possess the object of our romance. This is true romance. A place where we are accepted and accepting of the truth. A place of non-questioning. A place of contentment.

Passion

We all have a passion. We have a passion for sex, survival, for art, for food. But there is a passion that is more powerful than any of the others. It inspires some to create great art, it inspires some to give up sex, it leads some to choose pain and death over health and life. This is religious passion. A passion for God and worship. It is often helpful to give some thought to what is our personal passion. Ask yourself is the passion life-giving or self-defeating. Why do I have this passion? Can I transform this passion into a life-giving direction?

The Secret of Love

Love is action. Love means attending to other and self. Love means paying attention to other and self. Love means unceasingly paying attention. Paying attention to our own thoughts. Paying attention to how we react. Paying attention to what other says and do. Only by unceasingly paying attention to self and others can we know how to react appropriately. The process of self-discipline, of delaying gratification, of accepting responsibility of problem solving, of dedication to truth and reality, and the balance of emotions using self-discipline, are the tools for achieving spiritual and psychological growth.

Stone...God...Glory....

And just how do Passion, Love, and Romance combine? Imagining the prayers of men thousands of years ago, Scott Peck in his book Search For Stones recites this:
Stone...
God...
Glory!
Oh God, you are the stones: complex, many faceted...
In the pebble and the boulder, ageless and everywhere.
You surround us, you raise us out of the ground, you feed us.
You are our children and our ancestors.
Without you there is but death. How can we give back to you?
Let us make you a gift. Praise you to yourself
Stones...we return them to you...circles and rows, alone and together.
We make you monuments, temples and altars.
We lift them up out of the earth, stand them as signals for the generations.
Signals of remembrance, signals of praise...we break our backs for you in adoration and gladness
AMEN

What is your passion? Where are you headed on your journey of life?

May there be passion, love and romance on your road toward discipline, truth, ... and power.

 
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