March 01: Resistance
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So the alarm clock goes off in the morning, what do you do? Do you get straight out of bed, bound out of bed, with fabulous energy? Or do you slap the snooze button and roll over? You slap the snooze button, you roll over, you think, “I get a few more minutes of sleep.” What just happened? No big deal, right? You just slapped the snooze button. You just took a few extra minutes of sleep. Wrong. Resistance just kicked your butt. Okay, that’s your first decision of the day. It’s your first victory or loss of every single day. And resistance just kicked your butt. That’s what resistance does to us. Resistance is that sluggish feeling that stops us from doing the things that we know are good for us. It’s that sense that, “I don’t want to do that,” even though we know it’s the thing we should do. Sometimes it’s the sense that, “You know what, I’m going to do whatever I want even though I absolutely know it’s the wrong thing to do.” That’s resistance too, and resistance is a big part of the reason why we often feel like we’re our own worst enemy. Resistance is a big part of the reason why we often feel like happiness is just outside of our reach. Lent is, I guess in some ways, sort of a funny time to be talking about happiness. But not really, because it’s important to understand that God created us for happiness. Open up the Catechism of the Catholic Church to the first point in the first chapter, which I think turns out to be point 27 (because of the preamble): God created man for happiness. Man’s greatest desire is for happiness because God created us for happiness. You got to remember that what happened on Good Friday was designed to restore the possibility of happiness for you and me. Not only in this life, but in the next life. Not just for you and me, but for every man, woman, and child in every place and every time. Because God does have this enormous desire that we experience the happiness that he created us for. And resistance absolutely gets in the way of that happiness. It gets in the way of us accomplishing our dreams. It gets in the way of us doing what we know is good for us. It gets in the way of us being the-best-version-of-ourselves. It gets in the way of almost everything that’s worthwhile. And what I want to help you discover in the days and weeks ahead is that resistance is real. It’s not just a concept. It’s not just a theory. It’s not just a figment of imagination. But it is something very real. We do encounter it every single day—and many, many, many times throughout the day. And it is critically important that we learn to recognize resistance and that we learn to conquer resistance, in those moments of the day, one moment at a time, to learn to conquer resistance.
Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness
What is one way that you have encountered resistance?
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