Ever feel like there are certain loops of thoughts and behaviors you get stuck in, work diligently to get unstuck from, only to voluntarily jump right back into that loop a few hours, days, or weeks later? Then feel frustrated that you are again, recommitting to the thought or behavior you deem desirable?

For me this happens all the time. Could be a habit I am trying to drop, or a new one I am trying to create, or a thought pattern that seems to undermine the goals I set for myself.

I (try to) control my behaviors and although I can create a string of consistent days (weeks, months) inevitably I fall short. Then I go through the familiar mind torturing process of regret, and frustration (how did I get here again?!). Eventually when the mental judgment and punishment subsides, I somehow find the gumption to recommit. And the loop starts again.

I recently received a gift of insight on this theme, one which may change everything. Michael Bernard Beckwith (Founder of Agape International Spiritual Center in CA) has been a consistent influence on my Spiritual path for over a decade. I was first introduced to his teachings, books and philosophies about 15 years ago when he was on the Oprah show. I started tuning into his on-line services and eventually got to meet him at an Omega retreat in 2010.

I recently stumbled on an interview he’d done where he was addressing this idea of getting “stuck” and repeating the same processes, over and over again. We spin our wheels, and no matter which part of the loop we are in (the hopeful part, the disappointing part, the self doubt and/or criticizing part) we recognize that we are only repeating the process again. Michael shared a “strategy” that can throw a wrench in the wheel spinning, maybe just for good this time.

Michael says (paraphrasing) that whatever situation we are in, that we wish not to be, we should ask ourselves this question: “If this situation, condition, challenge is permanent, and is never to subside, what quality, skill or strength would I need to develop in order to live with it?”

Since many ancient and current thought leaders believe that every single thing that comes to our consciousness is here to teach us something, the trick to stop spinning our wheels, is to call forth the skill that needs developing. For example we may need to strengthen our “patience” muscles, or learn to be “grateful” rather than “entitled.”

Whatever is waiting to emerge, will continue to create the environment for our learning this skill, until we actually do. The irony is, that by answering Michael’s question, we begin to focus on the growth of the condition, and the discomfort of it can fall away.

More on this concept in the next post. For now, see if you can recognize a pattern that you repeatedly find yourself in and one which you would like to make Peace with. #no-judgment-allowed.

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