Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Don't Understand, and I Don't Need To

The truest view of life has always seemed to me to be that which shows that we are here not to enjoy, but to learn.
— Frederick William Robertson

I can't say enough good things about Guy Finley's book, The Secret of Letting Go. I just finished reading it tonight, and it contains a ton of deep insights into why we hurt and how to let go of that pain. As far as Grief Recovery Tools go, this is one tool you'll want in your toolbox.

Not that this book is an easy read, mind you — far from it. This is a book you'll want to read, highlight, digest, and contemplate. And then read it again. He ends the book with a short exercise written by his mentor, Vernon Howard. I think it will likely be the most helpful for those of you who are feeling the pangs of grief most acutely. It may help to take some of the pressure off. And I think it will really help widowers. We tend to intellectualize our grief.

[From pages 271-273]:

When you begin to see that you have created your world in your own image, it will shock you. Here is a special exercise for you for when you are pained. I can't tell you what a marvelous change this exercise will make in your life.

From this point on, every time you feel some hurt or inner agony, instead of thinking about the pain, which you now do, you will do something else. Instead of directing your attention toward that sadness or disappointment, you are going to think about something else.

You are going to think, "I don't understand the pain."

Just think, "There is a darkness there. Something is lashing at me, and it hurts." But you are not going to get a false pleasure from the pain. You are going to go to the right department and say, "I don't understand the pain." THAT'S IT!

Then you never ever have to think another thought about the misery you are experiencing. You are through. You have done your part. THIS IS THE WAY OUT.

God Himself has just come to your rescue. This is what is authentically religious. Truth says, "Don't think about and swim around in the suffering." Simply sit back in your chair, relax, and say, "I don't understand the anguish that is terrorizing my system."

If you don't understand it, there is nothing YOU can do, is there? Then do nothing.

When we complain and cry and moan and groan and think, "How did I get into this mess?" etc., nothing will change. With this exercise, you are putting yourself in an entirely different department, and you will receive the products that that department has ready for you.

Do you want the product of not having to make worried decisions all day long? Just say, "I don't understand this crisis or that heartache that just came up." AND STOP. GO THROUGH YOUR WHOLE DAY NOT UNDERSTANDING IT.

It is our spurious understanding that gets us into the sorry inner mess in the first place. Don't be afraid to have no intelligence of your own. God is willing to make the grand, magnificent substitute for you. God gives you his life in exchange for your life.

The majority of men and women sell their souls all day long in exchange for false, fleeting feelings of self-control. When you have true self-command, you never have to look for it or ever explain its absence to yourself.

If you are willing to say, "I don't understand anything at all about my life," your false self along with its false understanding will fall away; in its place will be the insight from Heaven itself. That insight from a very High Place is all you need for this world and the next world. Go ahead and dare to let go.


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