When confronting problems in their lives, many on the spiritual path often think they just need to affirm, pray, or meditate more to move beyond them. Or clear a trauma from their past or, perhaps, a past life. They think “If I could just figure out the limiting belief that has me experiencing this bad situation and get over it, my life would go back to being good.” Or perhaps they try some other modality in the hopes of finding a quick fix to get rid of the problem and experience the peace, freedom, joy, and satisfaction that they expected to find when they embarked upon their spiritual exploration in the first place. It’s all supposed to be smooth sailing once I’m “spiritual,” right?!?
That was me in the past, so I completely understand the urge and the desire behind it. I was often beyond frustrated when I couldn’t make my problems disappear simply by “being more spiritual” about them.
And the hidden trap in all of that is the (perhaps unconscious) belief in duality, a belief that there is something going on outside of God/Spirit/Mind/Source. That Spirit is less than All or less than all Good, that perhaps It is MIA in the midst of your problem. Maybe there’s the thought you’re not praying, affirming, or meditating in just the right way. Or that there’s something – you’re not quite sure what – that you’re not understanding about how the Universe works, that if you just studied more you’d have it all figured out in a way that could help you get rid of your problem.
Yup, that was me, too!
The idea of being permissive (aka allowing, surrender, and non-resistance) of whatever was showing up as my world was completely foreign to me when I first heard it. I was a do-er, a fixer, an action taker! Being permissive sounded completely passive. Like I was resigning myself to a situation or experience that I didn’t want to navigate and didn’t know how to fix.
Little did I realize at the time that permissiveness is an incredibly active process! It requires an active, continual acknowledgement that God/Mind/Spirit/the Universe/Infinity truly is All, that there is no thing outside of that Allness, no thing that can possibly oppose my Good, including whatever situation or experience is troubling me in the moment.
I say that it’s an active process because as I’m acknowledging the Allness of God/Good, all of the conscious and unconscious beliefs about why that might not be true come to the fore for me to evaluate. My work, in that moment, is to see what, exactly, I’m leaving out of God’s Allness. Because there’s a strong probability that I’ve put Infinity in a Box with my beliefs, opinions, and perceptions (BOPs) about how It should look.
In fact, my problems show up in my experience expressly to help me identify all of the ways I’m limiting how infinite Infinity can be in my experience, all of the ways I’ve defined good vs bad, right vs wrong, well vs sick, and all of the other dualistic notions that I’ve consciously or unconsciously adopted. When we’re resisting our problems, we’re refusing to look at all of the ways we’ve consented to a belief in duality in some way, shape or form. And in that resistance our problems persist.
So instead of being a Mr. or Ms. Fix-It, instead of resisting your problems and hoping they’ll just go away, try being permissive instead. Allow the dualistic notions you’ve been carrying around to come to the fore so you can focus on the spiritual Facts instead.
There was never a time when you weren’t Whole, Perfect, Complete (even if your BOPs told you otherwise). There was never a time when God/Good was an absence in your experience (even when it felt that way). As you become permissive of whatever is showing up as your world, as you allow the infinite potentialities of Infinity to unfold as your experience, you’ll uncover the gifts within what you’re currently calling a problem and see that it came to pass.
I invite you to give permissiveness a try this week. Select a problem you’re currently navigating and see if you can identify the beliefs and opinions that cause you to see it as a problem. Somewhere along the way, you’ve likely decided upon your definition of good, which means that everything that doesn’t fit that definition has fallen into the “bad” bucket, including your problem (otherwise you wouldn’t consider it to be a problem!).
It’s our beliefs, opinions, and perceptions that give our problems all the meaning and power they have in our lives. We take that power away from the problem and regain it for ourselves by being permissive. Are you ready to take back your power?