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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Freedom in the Discipline

I was recently watching the news and saw a report on a young Scandinavian man who could really kick a football.  I mean, he could REALLY kick that ball.  His distance and accuracy were astounding.   Apparently he has never actually played the game, but his precision has captured NFL attention.

Never being very able with anything that has to do with a ball, I wondered how many hours he had spent practicing.  I imagined him practicing kicking that ball, over and over again, until his technique was flawless. 

I did some research about how to learn to kick a football, and I found that the mastering the art of the perfect kick requires learning technique and developing great mental strength.  It takes discipline.  Yuk!  How we resist that word and that practice.  However, there is freedom in discipline.  (you will just have to take my word for that)

The discipline of spiritual practice and mental strength is necessary to master living in the joy and delight of life even in difficult times and circumstances. I can't sugar coat this. Discipline takes work.  Why are people more or less successful at discipline?   

When I was in elementary school, the less-assertive kids were called "sissies." The word "sissy" is derived from the word "sister," and is normally applied to boys or men defined as "timid" and "cowardly."   The more aggressive kids were called "bullies." The word "bully" was first used in the 1530's meaning "sweetheart" and applied to men or women and came from the Dutch word for "lover brother."  The meaning deteriorated through the 17th century and became "harasser of the weak."

As kids, we developed beliefs about ourselves based upon identifying with either the "sissies" or the "bullies" and we rooted our early experiences into life patterns of wounding and beliefs about ourselves.  We developed negative "self talk" that chipped away our self esteem.  Lack of self esteem and self-discipline are corollaries. When one is low or high, so is the other.

If we are to benefit from the freedom that comes from discipline, we have to heal the "sissy" and "bully" within ourselves.  I think we will find both within.  After all they are sister and brother.

Kindly and gently begin a dialogue with them.  Kindness towards self goes a long way.

Let's kick a field goal on this one!

Play with Matrix #20.

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