It’s interesting how our mind can so easily talk us out of doing what is good for us. When it comes to some of the exercises in the book, for example, we sometimes tell ourselves that we don’t need to answer certain questions or do specific tasks. As we’re letting ourselves off the hook in this way it usually feels like we’re simply expediting the work by not doing something we’re sure we don’t need to do. You know, that will give us more time to focus on what we know we need.
Our criteria for this sort of determination is based on not having enough information rather than having too much. In essence, we’re ignorant of what we don’t know. I’ve always believed in one important adage about the self: “There is always more to learn about who I am.” It’s both humbling and true. I feel this way about myself and I have only benefitted from thinking this way.
Someone who is working through the book a second time recently told me that when he first went through the material he didn’t think he needed to do the phase end Taking Stock sections and passed over all of them. As he went through the material a second time, working on a different broken heart, he realized he’d missed one of the most important experiences of working with the book.
On his first pass through the material his mind told him he didn’t need to check in with the status of his heart in every phase. It made sense to him at the time, but like everything we are better off doing that we avoid, there was something that actually made him uncomfortable about writing about his progress at the end of each phase. Although to his conscious mind it didn’t feel like he was uncomfortable or resisting. In fact, it felt completely neutral to him. But it wasn’t a neutral; it was a response to fear.
Fear is not love and to heal our hearts we must love ourselves more. Following the regime of the book without omissions is one perfect way to love yourself. If there are exercises or suggestions in the book that you find yourself resisting or simply passing over, slow down and let yourself do them. You will learn something very important in the process.