I’m reading The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. As a creative person (I’m a graphic designer, a writer, and now a loser—a loser of weight, that is), this book came at a critical time. It’s about identifying and overcoming the obstacles that keep us from reaching our dreams. Those obstacles are an entity, and its name is Resistance.
The book is so inspiring and motivational, I carry it around in my purse and gym bag so I can read and reread it whenever I have a chance. It’s in the format of a devotional with short essays and titles like “Resistance and Procrastination,” “Resistance and Self-Doubt” and “Resistance Recruits Allies.”
Here are some snippets of the introduction that captured my attention and inspired me—not only in my weight loss journey, but in my other dreams as well.
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever quit a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? …Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace, or to preserve the environment? Late at night have you experienced a vision of what you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.”
“Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when he endowed each of us with our own unique genius… Does Resistance have to cripple and disfigure our lives before we wake up to its existence? How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, develop tumors and neuroses, . . . simply because we don’t do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is calling us to? Resistance defeats us. ”
“Look in your own heart. Unless I’m crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is your and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you are closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or you will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.”
The first section is titled “Resistance: Defining the Enemy.” The fight against Resistance is:
“…any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of the lower. Any of these will elicit Resistance.”
As a Christian, my enemy is an obvious one. That enemy wants me sick, fat and depressed. It wants me to be completely dissatisfied and unfulfilled. It wants to prevent me from doing the work I have been called to do.
But I have strength beyond myself, thank God.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say this battle against fat and lethargy is a spiritual one. I, for one, am reclaiming the gift of life that has been given to me.
You have a lofty goal? Like losing weight? You’ll be battling Resistance the entire way. We can’t let it win.