Rigidity or Flexibility?
While moving through our evolving spiritual philosophies, we sometimes face ourselves in an uncomfortable struggle between what feels right and what our cultural influences tell us is right. The more science comes forward with undeniable truths, the more our relationship with the unknown must adjust. For some of us each discovery brings more validation for philosophy or belief. For others it feels like everything we know is being threatened.
Neil deGrasse Tyson says it best, “The great thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
The great thing about us humans is that we can make conscious choices about how to feel and what to think. The more open we are to new ideas and the expansion in our understanding of the universe, the more gracefully we can adapt to such changes.
Sometimes when we choose to stand our ground we become inflexible. Even when our heart yearns for something different our principle holds us firm. The danger is that when we are rigid and inflexible we are much more venerable to breaking. It is the fear, guilt and resentment that cause our inflexibility. Many times we say “I am not giving in” and I know that I am justified to say so. Yet this is like shutting the cell door to our own prison, and locking the key inside with us.
Rigidity can cloud our judgement and cause a temporary “blindness.” We become blind to options, compromise, compassion and creative solutions. Rigidity based on principle becomes a pattern of behavior. It literally creates pathways in our brain that cement that behavior into place. Once the behavior is in place we cannot see any other side of an issue nor find any solutions to our situation.
Flexibility on the other hand allows an open flow of ideas and possibilities. This does not mean to be naïve, because that would leave us venerable to become a doormat. Flexibility is simply a condition that allows us to see options and possibilities outside our Ego or right and wrong. A decision or choice need not be made strictly on how others would do it, what others think or what society says. Sometimes it may be made on what feels right for your path.
At the same time, if we feel that we are at a point of restlessness and seem to want out of a situation then that rigidity helps us through a difficult time when the fear of the decision is overwhelming and we need strength to stay the course. But before deciding this is the turning point, analyze all the angles and visualize the options either future would bring. If you make one decision or its opposite what tools do you have to reach your desired outcome? What changes are you willing to make one way or the other? What is the desired outcome? Visualize the ideal situation, what you really want your future to be. It is not necessary to control or consider the “how” if you simply decide on the outcome.
John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence.”
We cannot change people but we can change how we interact with them. We cannot always change our circumstance but we can work toward a new one. We cannot always wipe away hurt but we can control our reaction to it. All of these things may be accomplished by visualizing what we really want. Once the goal is held in your mind the tools and circumstances will begin to appear to make it so.
The fork in the road gives two options. One is the path that leads away from the situation the other is the path that moves through the situation. Each path is equally just, but which one leads to your desired future? Choose your path based on how it leads to what you desire, no matter how unrealistic it may seem. But most importantly, decide on which tools will be most effective in this situation…rigidity or flexibility, principle or compromise, steadfastness or fluidity? You are alone in your decision and alone in your desired outcome. No one can make either for you. Reverend Ed Bacon, rector of the All Saints Church in Pasadena, California says, …”the first step is to recognize that we are all valuable, loved and capable of love. The concept is simple, though the execution can be challenging. When we are faced with violence, we react with hatred. We fear what is unknown to us. We react to scarcity by hoarding. We withdraw when we feel misunderstood.”
Picture your desired outcome NOW. Focus on it and be comfortable with it. Once you truly believe that is what you want, give it the appropriate emotion, feel it. Then release it, let go of the emotion and be okay with whatever comes your way because it is part of the path that will lead to your desired outcome.
In the end, it is the energy we put out which cycles back to us. That is less important than what we do with it once it returns. Energy that feels good should be recycled, while energy that feels bad should be taken out of the mix. Anger, resentment, guilt, fear, envy all produce negative energy that binds us and chokes the joy out of life. Forgiveness, compassion, understanding, peace and love creates abundance in our lives and opens up a wealth of possibilities because we are free to go with the flow. What kind of energy do you want flowing through you?