Sometimes we don’t feel we can do something we need to, and at other times, we need to get ourselves to do something we really don’t want to do. I am learning to just do it anyway. There are a couple metaphors that I’ve been thinking about lately, which assist me in getting past these hesitancies. I thought I’d share them here.
The first one is a story I remember from decades back to my first church membership in a fancy church on Park Avenue in New York City. The membership there included some well known people, including several prime time television actresses. One of these actresses was surprisingly shy given her choice of vocation, and when she was asked to serve on the usher committee, she demurred. She couldn’t possibly. It just wasn’t her.
The wise chairman of the usher committee asked her how she would act the part if she was to do it in a show or a movie. She responded by demonstrating the motions perfectly. He told her to then simply “act” the part of an usher, and she found she could do that beautifully.
Mary Baker Eddy writes in her bestselling book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “We must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being.” This is often misquoted to say that we must act as if we have all power, but that is not what the quote actually says. We are not asked to pretend. We are asked to source deep within our being to our true Source, where all our abilities lie.
Our actress friend was able to find it within her to usher, to act as possessing something she thought was beyond her to do. Now, to me, ushering is as natural as breathing, but there are different things each of us must dig deep to go ahead and do, even if we don’t think we can. We’ll find if it is good, then we have it within us, and that we can do what is necessary. When we go ahead and do it, we expand our thought to include more good, and the result is an enlarged capacity that is otherwise known as spiritual healing.
In the same book, Mrs. Eddy claims that each one of us is a compound idea, including all right ideas–that we have “not a single quality underived from Deity.” This explains how we can “act as possessing all power,” even when we feel incapable. All those qualities and attributes that are required for what we need to do, we already include. All ability comes preinstalled– as our dominion and birthright– and we just need to use it, even when we may not yet identify with it much, or haven’t yet utilized it enough to feel comfortable with it.
But what if we know we can do something, but just don’t want to? How do we stop running away, procrastinating, or ignoring something, and face it squarely instead? Two analogies come to mind to help with this all too familiar state of affairs.
The first is nursing. Eddy says of nursing, “The nurse should be cheerful, orderly, punctual, patient, full of faith, — receptive to Truth and Love.” Those are all lovely qualities we can source from within as discussed above. But wait a minute. Nurses need to deal with blood, vomit, and excrement. Yuck! How do they do that with professional equanimity? They’ve got to focus instead on Truth and Love, looking beyond the ugliness of the task.
Not having been much of a nurse, the analogy of parenthood works better for me since I’ve done a lot more of it. I didn’t always think I wanted to be a parent, and had little to no experience with babies when I had my first one. So I’ll admit, my reaction to changing my first infant’s baby diaper was one of shock and dismay. So yucky! I really didn’t want to do it, but somehow I must. I faced it with trepidation and timidity, and barely got through it the first time.
What was interesting, is that pretty soon, it was no big deal at all. Bing, bam, boom, done and dusted, we’d get that necessary thing accomplished, and then get on to our love and snuggles, giggles and joy. The diapers weren’t any less gross. I was different, more focused on love, which tipped the balance.
So when there is something unpleasant we need to face and get done (taxes? exterminating vermin? dealing with decades of damp boxes in the garage? the nagging black cloud of a thing on your to-do list that you always put off?), keep your eye on the love that is bigger and beyond the thing that needs to get done. Use your deep sourced nursing qualities to tackle the project with a detached sense of professionalism. This is not a time to let your personal sense flare. Be kind to your self and nurse yourself through it, with your eye to the joy and release beyond getting it done.
What is even more helpful to me about the diapering analogy, is that it doesn’t last forever. You only do it intermittently, and then only for a span of a few years. After that, you are done. When yuck is filling your current moment, it is gratifying to remember that Jesus told us to, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” (KJV Matt3:15) These things we’ve got to be gritty and face are only here for a moment or a season, to be gotten beyond, to larger bliss and blessing.
Joy is guaranteed to be dominant, especially when you focus on love and patience, and acting as having all power from Him in whom you have your being. You can do whatever you need to do with assurance and aplomb. You can also face what you don’t want to do, but should get done, for your benefit and others.
What freedom and release! Let’s get out of our own way! Give it a try; it feels so good!