Thursday, May 2, 2013
This week's Shabbat Shalom, put out by the OU, will have my article, "4 Steps to Safeguarding Your Moral Purity."
Have a Shabbat Shalom,
Thursday, March 21, 2013
This week's Shabbat Shalom, put out by the OU, will feature an abridged version of my blog post, "Is Your Commitment to Judaism Strong Enough?"
Have a Shabbat Shalom,
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
With gratitude to God, I have compiled select updated versions of articles from this blog into the e-book, Living with God: 30 Days to a Fulfilling Life.
For the link, please click here.
I have also uploaded a Daily Checklist, which is discussed in Chapter Twenty Three. Please read that chapter before downloading the link. For the link, please click here.
To download or print either one: First click on the link to open them, then click on "File," which is on the top left hand corner, and then click on either "Download" or "Print."
To be notified of new articles, God willing, please subscribe to this blog via email. To do this, type your email address in the box on the upper right corner of this blog and click on the "Subscribe" tab.
To be notified of new articles, God willing, please subscribe to this blog via email. To do this, type your email address in the box on the upper right corner of this blog and click on the "Subscribe" tab.
Thank you for your interest and take care,
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Jewish people have been called many names; however, as others have pointed out, even our enemies never call us feebleminded. By all accounts we possess a keen intellect. The disproportionately high number of Jewish Noble Prize winners bears this out. Since the Jewish people have believed in God for thousands of years, there is likely no contradiction between having faith and a discerning intellect. In fact, the rational basis for belief in God is one of the reasons the Jewish people – a highly intelligent nation – have held on to their faith, even in the face of relentless persecution.
The mind includes two levels of thought. The first, only accepts that which can be readily observed or was witnessed by others; animals operate exclusively on this level. The second, with which humans are endowed, is the ability to look beyond what we can perceive. We are able to evaluate possibilities and decide what exists beyond a reasonable doubt – even if we are unable to fully perceive this reality. When utilized properly, both levels of thought can bring us to believe in a Creator.
One reason we believe in God is because we have a tradition, passed down in an unbroken chain, going all the way back to those who were there, that with blatant miracles God redeemed us from Egypt. In addition, these very ancestors – numbering in the millions – heard God’s voice on Mount Sinai and saw a glimpse of His glory. Accepting this testimony, a function of the first level of thought, is the foundation of our belief in God and His Torah.
This testimony would be impossible to fabricate. Moses pointed out that no other nation claims to have experienced a mass Divine revelation or to have been redeemed through explicit miracles (Deuteronomy 4:32-35). To date, thousands of years later, still, no other nation makes these claims.
Without the tradition of our ancestors’ eyewitness testimony, we still can arrive at the belief in a Creator through the use of the second, analytical level of thought. The first Jew, our forefather Abraham, grew up in a home of idol worship. Using his intellect, he came to the conclusion that there must be a Creator. The mind, when used in pursuit of truth, serves as a homing device, bringing us home to our Creator.
Our intellect can serve as a key to open the gate of faith in God, but to enter His palace we must leave our limited intelligence behind. While the general principles of faith are logical, as will be illustrated below, we are unable to use our minds to understand the Divine reason behind a specific occurrence. That would be analogous to a student – who upon learning that atoms exist – tried to view one under his store bought microscope; the atom is there – a Divine reason exists behind everything – but with a limited microscope – our limited intelligence – it cannot be perceived.
The unknowable nature of God makes sense; how can the created fully understand its Creator? Do we even fully understand ourselves? Do we know all the reasons – conscious and subconscious – why we act the way we do? Certainly not, only our Creator knows. How then can we possibly understand why God acts the way He does? “If I would know Him, I would be Him (Sefer HaIkkarim II, 30).”
What do you believe?
Judaism encapsulates many beliefs, all of which fall under the overarching belief in a Creator. The following list covers some of these core beliefs. For a listing of all key beliefs, see Maimonides’ thirteen principles of faith. Those are explored in depth at http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/48923722.html. The list below is organized to provide one answer to the question, is faith logical. The questions illustrate how many beliefs logically follow one another. If the line of reasoning discussed here does not resonate with you, there are other rationales to explore.
Read each question slowly and give yourself time to think it over. Note which ones you want further clarification on.
Ten Questions on Faith:
1. Objects do not create themselves; everything comes from something. In addition, the more elaborate and detailed something is, the clearer it is that there is an inventor behind it. Can I accept that this exquisite and intricate world has a Creator (God)?
(Job expressed this idea when he said, “...In my flesh I see God (Job 19:26).” When you look at your hand, don’t you also see God?)
2. Since every invention has an inventor who created it for a reason, can I accept that God created me for a reason?
3. There are two reasons to create something, either to benefit oneself or to benefit others. Can I accept that the Creator of all is not lacking anything and He created me to bestow goodness to me?
4. Can I accept that the Creator of all transcends any good found in the world He created and is in fact the ultimate good?
5. Since God created me to bestow goodness to me and He is the ultimate good, can I accept that coming close to Him is the goal of creation?
6. Can I accept that God must have let His creations know how to come close to Him and bask in His goodness?
(It does not make sense to create us for a reason, but not inform us how we are to fulfill our life’s purpose.)
7. As the Torah is the only document in history claimed to have been revealed by God, before millions of people, can I accept that the Torah is the medium God uses to let us know how to fulfill our life’s purpose?
8. Since God created everything, can I accept that He is more powerful than anything?
9. Since God created me to do good for me and is all powerful, can I accept that He only allows things to happen to me that are for my eternal benefit?
(It does not make sense to create us to benefit us and then allow others to derail that plan.)
10. Since God makes sure I only experience what is for my benefit, can I accept
that each moment of my life is exactly the way it is supposed to be?
(At the same time, we need to ask God for help and make reasonable efforts to improve our lives.)
These questions may s timulate your own questions. Let this be the beginning or continuation of a lifelong process of clarifying and strengthening your beliefs. When explored, our questions about faith can serve as portals to even deeper and more integrated beliefs. As our faith deepens, our relationship with God deepens; there is no limit to the depth of faith and no limit to the closeness to God we can achieve.
Sometimes, even after our minds are won over to the sound basis of faith in God, we still resist upgrading our beliefs. This is because the ego – rooted in our bodies and materialism – rejects the notion that there is anything greater than it to whom it must listen. When we sense the ego’s resistance to certain beliefs, we might mistakenly conclude that our hesitation is because the rationale behind the belief is not compelling. In truth, the ego does not want to be compelled; it rejects that there is a higher purpose to life and wants to be free to do as it pleases. True freedom is not the chance to roll in the gutter; it is the opportunity to reach our highest potential and unite with the Infinite.
God has sufficiently demonstrated His power and presence, giving us ample reasons to believe in Him. Consider the following: The awesome and stunningly beautiful world He created, the supernatural redemption from Egypt, the unprecedented Divine revelation at Sinai, as well as the miraculous survival and triumph of the Jewish people. Yet, stronger than our faith in God will ever be is His faith in us. Even if we have not yet given God any reason to have faith in us, even if we are not yet fulfilling His purpose in creating us, still, He has faith that eventually we will. He trusts that we will seek Him out and come home. For this He waits, each day of our lives.
We have two voices in our head: The voice of our ego and of our higher self (also referred to as the evil and good inclinations). The ego is rooted in the body and focused on physicality. Our higher self is rooted in our soul and focused on spirituality. Our higher self encourages us to live elevated lives, fulfilling our Creator’s will.
Frequently, there is a conflict between our ego and our higher self; we exercise free will by deciding to which voice we will listen. We surrender to our Creator when we listen to our higher self and choose God’s will over our ego’s. The more we surrender to our Creator, choosing His will for us, the happier and more peaceful we will be. After all, who knows better than our Creator, the optimal way for us to live?
Here’s how to surrender to God:
Step One: Identify your ego’s will. Pick an issue with which you struggle. Identify your ego’s will by listening to the voices in your head. The ego’s voice is generally phrased in the first person, e.g., “I want___. I need it.” It’s self-centered and materialistic, with tunnel vision, focused on instant gratification. There is an emotional and immature quality to it, like the voice of a toddler.
In contrast, the voice of your higher self is usually phrased in the second person, e.g., “You don’t need that, you already have____.” It’s considerate of others, spiritual, and broadminded. There is a rational and mature quality to it, the wise voice of an elder.
Step Two: Identify God’s will. Once you know what the ego is telling you, compare the ego’s short-sighted will to God’s Omniscient will. In the Torah, God reveals to us the Divine perspective. Ask your rabbi if you’re not sure what God’s will is for this issue.
Step Three: Tune into God’s presence which surrounds you. This is an acquired skill, which will become easier with practice. To do this, think about God’s exaltedness. He is the Creator and sustainer of the entire universe; you are completely dependent on Him. In addition, throughout the day, remind yourself that His glory fills the world; at all times, you are standing before God. Shift your awareness, from inward – centered on your thoughts – to outward, tuning in to His all-encompassing presence.
Step Four: Speak to God. While sensing His presence as best you can, speak to Him out loud. “God, my ego says____, but I know Your will is____. God, I surrender to You.” Take a deep breath in. As you exhale slowly, relax your body and let go of the ego’s will; allow yourself to completely surrender to God. Do this for at least two exhalations.
Below, are 30 ways to experience the release and oneness which come with surrendering to God.
You surrender to God when you…
1. let go of resistance and accept the way your life is now – God’s will – even as you work toward a better tomorrow.
2. acknowledge that He is infinitely wise and acts for reasons beyond your comprehension.
3. welcome every experience, trusting that whatever happens is for your eternal benefit.
4. rely on He to give you what you need, when you need it. (Just do your best and ask for His help.)
5. accept His will, even though you don’t understand His ways.
6. embrace the life and opportunities He gives you, even when they’re not the ones you asked for. (Your Creator fashions every aspect of your life to bring out your maximum potential.)
7. only want what He wants you to have.
8. give over to Him your problems and ask for His help.
9. unburden yourself to Him, sharing your deepest fears, hopes and longing.
10. believe He will answer your prayers at the optimal time and way.
11. ask for His forgiveness, even if you think you’ll never change.
12. ask yourself, “Am I living life as my Creator intended me to live it?”
13. follow His Torah, as best you can, even when it’s challenging.
14. follow His Torah because it is His will, even when you don’t understand the reason behind a commandment.
15. study the Torah daily, even when you’re very busy.
16. ask, when faced with uncertainty, “What’s the elevated, Godly way to act? How does my Father in Heaven want me to act?”
17. forgive others, because you realize that ultimately everything comes from Him for your eternal good.
18. let go of pettiness to pursue peace.
19. set aside your wants to take care of someone else’s needs.
20. act kind and charitable, even at personal sacrifice.
21. act honestly and ethically, even when it costs you money.
22. return money and possessions that do not belong to you, even when no one is forcing you to do so.
23. hold back from harming others and causing them distress, even when the urge to do so is great.
24. refrain from saying whatever comes to mind, saying only what is dignified, considerate and beneficial.
25. apologize and make amends for harm you caused, even when this is very challenging to do.
26. make sacrifices to live in a community and associate with people who help you come closer to Him.
27. let go of trying to be perfect – only God is perfect. (Instead, find satisfaction in achieving what He enables you to.)
28. accept and love yourself – with all your flaws – because that’s the way He created you, in His infinite wisdom.
29. accept and love others – with all their flaws – because that’s the way He created them.
30. realize that all your challenges and flaws are custom-made for you by your Creator, and by overcoming them, you will best fulfill your life’s purpose.
Many times, adversity becomes the catalyst for our most intense surrender. Suffering humbles us to our core, bringing us to our knees. When life humbles you, say to your Creator, “God, I am yours. I can’t do anything without you. Please help me. Please help me do Your will.”
Don’t hold back, utterly surrender to your Creator. The more you surrender to God, the deeper you enter His embrace; there’s nowhere better to be.
Many of us know individuals who grew up observant, but no longer keep the mitzvot (commandments). Then there are those who are otherwise observant, yet lapse in some areas, such as the laws of business ethics, Family Purity, or Shabbat. We might even include ourselves in either of these categories. Whether it is ourselves, family members or friends, these breaches in Jewish practice can leave us feeling unsettled. We wonder, after thousands of years of family observance, what happened? Where has the commitment gone?
Every case is different and it is not our place to judge. At the same time, there is a key principle: If a person’s bond with Judaism is not strong enough, it will break under pressure. Today, temptations have reached new heights; forbidden behaviors which were unthinkable in the past, have become accepted by society and easily accessible. To counter these threats, our level of commitment must rise as well. No family or individual is immune. We must all take active measures to fortify ourselves and help our children do the same.
Here are eight strategies to strengthen your commitment to uphold God’s Torah. Each one stands alone, so start with the strategy to which you are most drawn and build from there. Even if your observance has already lapsed, you can still strengthen your current level of commitment.
1. Include God in your Judaism. For your Judaism to be vibrant and enduring, it needs to include a personal relationship with God. Living Judaism with God has incredible vitality and will enable you to transcend the habitual, apathetic form of observance which plagues many. This issue is discussed in, “Is God Part of Your Judaism?”
2. Learn Torah every day. Daily, or at least weekly, study an area that interests you, preferably with a partner. Every Jew has a unique share in the Torah that resonates deeply. Part of our life’s mission is discovering and claiming our specific portion. It might be Chumash (Bible) with a particular commentary, Nach, Midrash, Mishnah, Talmud, Jewish law or thought, the deeper meaning of Psalms and the prayers, Chassidut or a combination of the above. You will know you have found your portion in Torah, when your learning becomes a highlight of your day or week.
God tells us, “For I have given you a good teaching; do not forsake My Torah (Proverbs 4:2).” When we discover the goodness and sweetness of God’s wisdom, we will not forsake His Torah.
3. Pray with understanding. Prayer is an essential source of spiritual vitality. To nourish ourselves with prayer, we need to understand what we are saying. Pick at least one section and say the words with understanding and feeling. In addition to formal prayer, speak to your Creator during the day. Share with Him your struggles, and ask for His help; ask that you merit the privilege of serving the King of kings and living His Torah.
4. Choose a rabbi. A rabbi can serve many functions: He teaches Torah, is a role model, answers religious questions, gives life advice, comforts during times of sorrow and fortifies during times of challenge.
Choose a rabbi you respect and one who is accessible and understands your personal situation. If there is a particular area of Judaism you find very challenging, speak to him about how to fulfill the law as best you can.
If you are unable to find a suitable rabbi, look for a spiritual mentor to guide you and ask them which rabbi to consult with on religious questions.
5. Learn the laws. The rabbis in their wisdom, instituted laws which keep us away from violating a Torah prohibition. Many times, a person only violates a Torah law after they have first ignored a rabbinic one. When we learn what the law is, we strengthen our resolve to observe it. When we study halachah (Jewish law), it takes on greater significance and meaning.
The Chofetz Chayim, in his Sfat Tamim, addresses the importance of maintaining integrity in business. In Nidchei Yisrael, he discusses the fundamental nature of the laws of Family Purity and Shabbat. These books are available in English, in print, or can be read for free at http://www.chafetzchayim.org. These works help us realize the profound sanctity and preciousness of the commandments; any temptation to violate them will pale in comparison.
Do not be discouraged if your past behavior was not in keeping with the laws you learn. Judaism is not all or nothing and God does not expect perfection. As our Creator, He knows our struggles and weaknesses. All He asks is that we do the best we can. Whatever mitzvah you are able to do, do. Whatever prohibition you are able to avoid, avoid. As King Solomon says (Ecclesiastes 9:10), “Whatever you are able to do with your might, do it…”
No matter how far you have fallen, through repentance, you can pick yourself up and start fresh; that is the power of Teshuva; that is our Creator’s gift.
6. Stay away from temptation. When we are vigilant and stay away from temptation, we are usually able to refrain from sin. Ask, “In which areas do I frequently stumble? What safeguards can I implement to keep me far away from sin?”
Our environment plays a key role in either weakening or strengthening our commitment to Judaism. Are your current friends or school/work environment affecting you negatively? If people are bringing you down spiritually – consider it as if they are hurting you; they are, and far worse than physically.
Surround yourself with positive influences and good role models. A great way of doing this is to go to a weekly or daily shiur (lecture), where you spend time with people who share your values.
7. Make observance non-negotiable. Western society puts the individual on a pedestal and encourages us to do what feels good; everything becomes negotiable – whether we feel like it. In Judaism, we realize the foolishness and destructiveness of living life based on passing whims. Instead, we put the Torah on a pedestal and unconditionally follow our Creator’s guidelines.
We need to make a conscious decision: Our commitment to avoid what our Creator has prohibited is non-negotiable; we are willing to do whatever is necessary to uphold His Torah and refuse to violate the law even at great personal sacrifice (when warranted). We can make our commitment to God so strong that it is as if we are physically incapable of violating His commandments.
If a voice in your head urges you to sin, automatically respond, “That’s not an option. I refuse to violate my Creator’s laws.” Then, think about something else.
If your resolve has weakened in an area of Judaism, pick a level of observance to make non-negotiable and refuse to cross that redline.
8. Make Judaism primary. What defines you? What is your life about? How will you be remembered? Whatever your primary drive is that will determine the course of your life.
If people’s primary focus is career advancement, physical pleasure, or accumulating money, that is what their lives will be about. Any Torah guideline which conflicts with those pursuits will be discarded. In the Second Commandment, God warns us, “You must not have any other gods…(Exodus 20:3)” To stay true to our life’s purpose, our Creator must be number one in our lives.
The first step to accomplish this is to decide that in your life, Judaism comes first. Then, make a list of behaviors which may not be in keeping with the Torah’s guidelines. Preferably with the guidance of your rabbi, design a plan to upgrade your observance at a pace achievable for you. By working toward this goal, you ensure that living your Creator’s Torah is the driving force of your life.
The Torah, “It is a tree of life for those who grasp it…(Proverbs 3:18)” If you want the Torah to give you life – in this world and the next – you need to hold on tight to the Torah’s teachings and refuse to let go.
In addition to strengthening your own commitment to Judaism, reach out to those whose commitment has faltered or who were never committed to begin with. Accept them as they are, without being judgmental; if you were in their situation you might act the same way or worse. Take an interest in them, hear out their issues, and recommend inspirational lectures, articles and books. Suggest rabbis and spiritual mentors they can talk to. Offer to learn with them, and/or invite them for a Shabbat meal. Bottom line: Show you care. Let them know that we, the Jewish people, are immeasurably richer because they are a part of us.
We all need God’s help in our lives. If we want God to show us He cares about us – His children – we need to show Him we also care about His children; that we will not stand idly by as some of them fall through the cracks. Each one is too precious to ignore.
The Sages teach that a mitzvah done with difficulty is many times more beloved by God than one done with ease. The challenges of today test us in ways our people have never been tested before. By doing our best to overcome these new difficulties, we refine and elevate ourselves to new heights. With each mitzvah we do, with each sin we avoid, we lift up ourselves and the entire Jewish nation, bringing us closer to God.
In, “Safeguarding Our Moral Purity,” I discuss the prediction of the Vilna Gaon, the renowned eighteenth century scholar. He wrote that before the Messiah comes, average observance will decrease and the Jewish community will become polarized: One group totally committed to upholding the Torah, the other breaking away. Today, as this unfolds before our eyes, we realize that we are in the midst of perhaps our people’s greatest test. You are in the epicenter of this struggle. The Jewish people will emerge victorious, that is guaranteed. Will you be among those who triumph?
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Our souls know they were placed in this world to forge a connection with their Creator. Nevertheless, coming close to God is still challenging. This is due to the self-centered ego perspective, rooted in the body. The ego rejects being dependent on or having to listen to anyone – even our Creator. The ego pressures us to let it have free reign to pursue physical pleasures and materialism. When we listen to our egos at the expense of our souls, we are led off course. This causes pain to our souls as their intended destination – coming close to God – recedes into the distance.
At times, even when we are following the voice of our souls, we still have not yet fully tapped into our potential for incredible closeness to God. Our Creator wants us to reach our highest potential and one of the purposes of our challenges is to strengthen our bond with our Creator. One way this is accomplished is by deflating the ego; we are humbled when we admit that we were not able to prevent or quickly remedy a troubling situation. With the distracting bravado of the ego suppressed, we can better follow the voice of our souls, which knows the path to God.
Nobody goes through life – or even a single day – without difficulties. The question is do we learn from our challenges how desperately we need God? Do we humble ourselves before Him and ask for His help?
Learning humility from suffering is only the first step to coming closer to God. The second is using humility to unconditionally accept His will. The illusion of separation from God gives us the free choice to either reject or accept His will. When we are humble, we realize no separation exists between us, because we are nothing without Him. We cannot even get up in the morning without God giving us the strength to do so. In addition, with humility – knowing our limitations – we acknowledge that only our Creator knows what we need in this world to fulfill our life’s purpose.
Accepting the will of our Creator means trusting that God, who is guiding our lives, is doing what is best for us even though we do not understand how. We do not resign ourselves to the situation; rather, with total confidence in Him, we make peace with the way things are, even as we work toward a better tomorrow.
The seeming senselessness of a difficulty or tragedy can hinder accepting a situation. In truth, there is a Divine reason behind everything. In your life, even though you do not understand the reason behind your challenges, make adversity meaningful for you; use the pain in your life and in the lives of others as a reminder to go beyond the ego and self-centered behaviors, to alleviate pain and become a force of healing. Make amends, if there is someone you caused pain – financial or emotional. Bring healing, by reaching out with material and emotional support to those who are struggling. Soothe the pain of your soul by letting go of pursuits which pull you away from God. Bring healing, by coming close to your Creator through fervent prayer, acts of kindness and living His Torah – to the best of your ability.
We all have goals toward which we work; achievements we think will enhance our lives. If a specific goal is no longer appropriate for your current situation, acceptance will enable you to let go and move on to suitable goals. If your goal is still appropriate, keep trying by making both spiritual and material efforts. Periodically, you may need to change tactics or scale back material efforts and focus on other priorities, but never give up.
While maintaining hope in God’s infinite ability to turn around even a dire situation, cultivate an attitude of unconditionally accepting His will. Rely on God and trust Him that the way your life is right now is exactly the way it is currently meant to be. Allow yourself to let go of resisting or rejecting your challenges and ease into a state of accepting your difficulties the way they are. With this mindset, you trust that: Your challenges come out of God’s love for you, you will benefit from them, you are able to handle them and right now God is with you, strengthening you.
One benchmark for how we are doing in accepting God’s will is whether we are able to accept ourselves. God created us with unique flaws and by overcoming them we best fulfill our life’s purpose. When people berate themselves over their deficiencies and especially if they hate themselves, this is a sign that they have not yet accepted the will of their Creator. They have not yet internalized the belief that God is infinitely wise and created every aspect of their lives for their highest good.
Many times we think, “I like this part of myself but not that part.” We only think this because of our limited understanding of what is beneficial to us. If you shared God’s perspective, you would love every aspect of yourself. You would realize how each part coalesces to enable you to best fulfill your life’s mission.
Faith can help us reduce feelings of anxiety and sadness. Yet, is experiencing these emotions a sign of weak faith? Not necessarily; there are many factors which contribute to our emotional state. When we are feeling distressing emotions, it is not fair to ourselves to add “weak faith” to the list of our woes. When you are not feeling the way you would like, focus on unconditional acceptance: Accepting others, your life circumstance and every part of yourself, even the way you feel. After all, what do you gain by resisting or rejecting aspects of your life? If that’s the way things are, that’s the way they are supposed to be. When possible, focus on improving the situation, but first accept it. Then, you act from a place of peace and power.
The irony is that reaching a state of acceptance – surrendering to and embracing God’s will – unlocks the gates of our personal redemption. Perhaps not in the way we imagined, but at that point, the specific outcome no longer matters; we will feel swept up into our Father’s arms and carried by Him. The weight of our previous concerns will have melted away. “Cast your burden on God, and He will carry you…(Psalms 55:23)” We never know where, but God will carry us; where, is no longer a concern, because, “God is with me, I have no fear…(Psalms 118:6).”
There is an exquisite dynamic with which God runs the world in order to bring us closer to Him, the purpose of creation. As we discussed, suffering can lead to humility, which can lead to accepting God’s will, which will lead to transcending adversity and finding refuge with our Father. It is only because we do not understand why difficulties occur in our lives, that they are imbued with the ability to bring us to acceptance, where we unconditionally embrace God’s will. Use the power of accepting your challenges to transport you home, right into God’s embrace.
Addendum: Two exercises to enhance acceptance.
1. Think of a challenging issue – start with a mild one – and say out loud, “Everything that happens to me is God’s will. This is from God for my eternal benefit.” Imagine a trusted confidante asking you, “How does it feel to know that this is from God for your benefit?” Pause, while you silently tune into what your body is feeling. Then say, “I can rely on God to guide my life.” Imagine being asked, “How does it feel to rely on God to guide your life?” Tune into the feelings of release and inner peace which come with knowing that you can rely on God to guide your life. Think about the issue and your resistance to it. Then say, “I let go of all resistance.” Imagine being asked, “How does it feel to let go of all resistance?” Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale slowly, allow yourself to completely let go. Do this for at least two exhalations. Then rest in a state of complete acceptance of God’s will.
After you have done this technique a number of times, you can try the digest version: Focus on your resistance to an issue. Then, take a deep breath in and as you exhale slowly, think, “I let go of all resistance.” Do this for at least two exhalations.
2. Think of a challenging issue you are resisting – start with a mild one. Begin by tuning into the feeling of resistance. Then say, “I surrender this resistance to God.” Imagine being asked by a trusted confidante, “How does it feel to surrender this resistance to God? (Pause while you allow your body to answer.) How would it feel to surrender it even more? (Pause again.) More still? (Pause again). How would it feel to completely surrender this resistance to God?” Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale slowly, allow yourself to completely surrender this resistance to God. Do this for at least two exhalations. Then say, “I accept this the way it is.” Imagine being asked, “How does it feel to accept this the way it is? (Pause while you allow your body to answer.) How would it feel to accept this even more? (Pause again.) More still? (Pause again.) How would it feel to completely accept this?” Rest in a state of complete acceptance of God’s will.
After you have done this technique a number of times, you can try the digest version: Take a deep breath in and as you exhale slowly, think, “I surrender this resistance to God.” Do this for at least two exhalations.