This is your year, what do you want? What are you wishing for, hoping for? What’s holding you back? I’ve found that what holds me back isn’t usually money, resources, or satan—it’s myself.
I’m reading a great book by Steven Pressfield called “Do the Work” and it’s quite eye-opening. He gives my enemy a name—“Resistance.” He says:
“The ‘Real You’ Must Duel the ‘Resistance You.’ On the field of the Self stand a knight and a dragon. You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon. … It means that before the dragon of Resistance reared its ugly head and breathed fire into our faces, there existed within us a force so potent and life-affirming that it summoned this beast into being, perversely, to combat it.”
This instantly resonated with me because I’m familiar with this beast—when my alarm goes off early so I can get in an hour of writing before breakfast, this beast whispers, “This bed feels so warm and good, I can always write later today.” When I plan to go to the gym it spouts facts at me—“It’s 18° out there, it’s not wise to get out.” As I edit a book it’s there beside me pointing out that “this book is so boring no one will want to read it.” Have you met Resistance? I suspect you have.
It has made me wonder how I’m going to battle the dragon of Resistance this year, and not only fight it but WIN.
“Resistance is a repelling force.” Steven tells us, “It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work. … Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable. Resistance aims to kill.”
How has Resistance impacted you? What are your greatest battles?
I took this image he gives of the knight and the dragon and made it personal, one I can incorporate into the coming year as something I’m actively fighting. Instead of visualizing a knight and a dragon though, I made it a mermaid fighting a sea dragon. I did that because to me the ocean represents the spiritual realm (the ocean is the last unexplored frontier on earth, and, for Christians, the spiritual realm is also an unexplored frontier). I want to be a mermaid, one who is so immersed in the spiritual realm that I live and breath and know it as my natural habitat. A sea dragon can represent not only Resistance (in myself) but satan and the demonic.
The way I chose to have this image where I’m reminded of it is by having my two granddaughters—Kinsey (10) and Chloe (6) each draw me a picture. I told them that I would pay each one of them five dollars if they’d draw me a picture of a mermaid fighting a sea dragon. I also told them that, while it can look like an intense battle, in the end I’m winning so don’t make the dragon look too intense! My son said, “Yeah, like don’t have the dragon with his knife to the mermaid’s throat kind of picture.” Lol!
I’m proud of them, they did a beautiful job and these pictures now not only remind me of my fight with Resistance but of my beautiful girls, and I find myself smiling every time I think of my pictures.
What can you do to keep yourself aware of the fight? Knowledge that it is a fight plus knowing who your enemy is gives you an edge. Don’t sit passively and let the sea dragon disable you. You have a sword, use it! As Pressfield says, “We can never eliminate Resistance. It will never go away. But we can outsmart it, and we can enlist allies that are as powerful as it is.”
Our allies are more powerful than Resistance, because we have Holy Spirit fighting with us. Let’s don’t waste this year, let’s go out and take it!