What do you do if your life circumstances are so overwhelming that you can’t even formulate a goal? Sometimes this can happen when you are mourning a loss of an important relationship, or your life circumstances are such that you don’t even know where to begin, Perhaps you have felt disconnected from your practice, or you’re depressed. Whatever it is, setting a goal doesn’t seem possible.
Hit By Major Change? Give Yourself Time
That can happen to any of us. If you have experienced a major change, you might just have to chant and let your life reform around you over time. When something major has shifted in our lives we need to take time to come to terms with the changes. When you allow yourself to process what has happened, you will find your direction in time.
Chant and Raise Your Life Condition
Just chanting without a specific goal can also allow you to raise your life condition so you can handle your life circumstances more easily. Being able to pull ourselves out of the lower internal worlds and into a higher one is one of the great values of the practice. We don’t have to continue to stay in these hellish places for a long time.
Chant and Feel the Pain
Sometimes, while chanting, we just have to open our hearts and let our pain flow out. On occasion we might just have to sit in front of the Gohonzon and cry. One member described this after losing a close family member. “All I could do was sit and cry.” That was my chanting time.” Allowing her pain to flow was the beginning of healing. Whatever you do during your chanting time, will be of value to your life when you are working through situations such as these.
No Overwhelming Circumstances but Resisting Moving Forward?
What if we just don’t feel like chanting for a goal, and nothing major has happened? We might be actively resistant due to the fear of failing. Perhaps we are resisting making the internal changes we know are going to have to happen in order to take the next step forward. One member said to me, “I haven’t been doing much chanting even though I know it works. Maybe this is self-sabotage.” Perhaps we have become complacent and don’t want to make any effort. If any of these are happening you are probably dealing with the fundamental darkness in your life, that part of you which actively resists moving forward. We all have it, but we don’t want to let it dominate.
Pay Attention to What is Happening
Identify what is happening. We tend to deny that this kind of resistance is, in fact, occurring. We don’t want to give it up, so we think up excuses for why we are remaining stuck. These excuses seem real, when we don’t want to look. If you find yourself blaming anything or anyone outside of yourself, you are using some of those excuses.
Resistance is Normal. Keep Pushing Through
It’s important to realize that this kind of resistance is the beginning of real change. You have started to take the steps to become a better and stronger you. Resistance is a normal part of the process.
Steps to Deal with Resistance
- Give yourself the support of other practitioners. Don’t keep your struggle all bottled up and retreat from the group. Instead share what is going on in your life. Sometimes just expressing what is going on, will serve to break the dam so you can move forward. You might hear just the thing you need to hear to push you off of dead center, such as an experience of another member, or a new way of understanding.
- Study to deepen your faith.
- Keep pushing through. Have a determination, renew it daily, and make yourself accountable to someone by sharing it. That will help to maintain your motivation. I was very resistant when I started to go to the gym. I made myself accountable by getting a trainer. It took me a year and a half before my resistance to opening that gym door fell away. My new identity, being a fit person, had locked in and started pushing me to go. This will happen to you too, as your new and stronger identity locks in.
Sometimes you can’t set goals because of dealing with a major life situation. Then just keep chanting until you find a way through. But, if you have active resistance to moving forward and there is no major life situation, you know you are experiencing the normal resistance to growth and change. Create a determination, make yourself accountable by sharing it, and keep pushing through.