A new year is the archetype symbol for new beginnings. It is also the perfect moment to rely on the creative power of our faith. Why? Because the power of faith is the single best creative faculty we have for embracing the inevitable changes that new beginnings bring. In The Twelve Powers, Charles Fillmore describes faith as our perceiving power. It is the creative capacity we have to see new possibilities for our lives before there is evidence they have become manifest. It is no coincidence that Fillmore associates the power of faith with the month of January, the first month in the new year, the calendar mark that defines new beginnings.
What If You Could Change The World This Year?
New beginnings bring new opportunities for transformation, which is both exciting and scary. In the same moment, we feel the spiritual tickle of possibility that a new beginning promises, we may also feel a palpable resistance to the actual process of change. Many of us may feel a lack of spiritual confidence based on past experience of failures in will and resolve. Reliving those memories, we may hear a doubtful inner voice whispering tauntingly, “You will only fail again, so why even try?”
But, what if you made a firm decision to do it differently this year? What if you overcame your resistance this year and embraced the possibilities of transformation and change? What if you actually succeeded at transforming your life into a more powerful expression of your divine potential? What if you learned through direct experience that you can embrace transformation without cowering to the fear underlying your resistance? How would you feel come New Year’s Day 2018?
Change Is Inevitable, Resistance Is Optional
For many, the idea of change and transformation brings up fear. We experience this fear as resistance. Over time, humankind has demonstrated a recalcitrant tendency to resist and, at times, even violently oppose change. We tend towards creating comfort in our lives, based on safety and predictability. We like it when things are in their right place. The possibility of change threatens this balance. However, we should have observed by now that change is a constant presence in the processes of life. Some may even say, change is the only constant in life.
Even as I write this, or as you read this, we are each experiencing a constant activity of biochemical changes in our bodies. Science has now proven that through this perpetually active process, we cellularly recreate ourselves every seven years. We are literally not the same people we were seven years ago, or for that matter, five minutes ago. Yet, even though change is a constant feature in our lives, we oftentimes go to great lengths to resist in a futile attempt to halt the processes of change. We either move through the experience in cooperation with the transformative processes of change, or we resist it kicking and screaming all the way. As we spiritually mature, we learn that, while change is inevitable, resistance is optional.
Faith, Fear and Resistance
In The War of Art, Stephen Pressfield treats “Resistance” as a formidable foe. He personifies the word “resistance” by capitalizing the “r” and changing it into a proper name, Resistance. In this way, he attempts to personify and give physical form to Resistance, so that we can relate to it and see it as a viable opponent. However, as Pressfield points out repeatedly, it is an “opponent” that actually points the way to our transformation and the realization of our higher good.
The central premise in The War of Art is that “Resistance” arises in our consciousness any time we are moving in the direction of our higher good. The greater the resistance, the greater the rewards. Yet, to reap the divine bounty transformation promises requires a willingness to see and to know that the changes required to get us there are in our own best interests.
For Pressfield, Resistance is simple fear. Every form in which Resistance presents itself is grounded in and undergirded by fear. Our own resistance is merely an external projection of an internal fear, which, in this context, is a fear of change. Not being able to see change for what it is, we resist and deny ourselves the rewards that change and transformation bring. Admittedly, sometimes it may be hard to see how the often tumultuous tides of change are for our benefit. It can be, and often is, scary to embrace change. But, that is merely because we are not appropriately using the creative power of faith to get us to the other side of all those changes.
Faith Is Not Merely Believing, Faith Is Knowing
In learning to correctly use the power of faith, we must first understand its true nature. We have been largely conditioned to place our faith in something or someone, to believe in them to change our lives. However, there is a big difference between having faith in something and actually using the creative power of faith to facilitate our transformation. Faith is not mere belief. It is not a matter of believing in something or someone. Real faith is knowing. As a creative faculty, faith is the power to actually see outcomes and possibilities in consciousness before their appearance in physical or manifest forms. Faith knows that whatever the mind of man can conceive can be achieved. At its fullest expression, faith is knowing that you know that outcomes are assured, even if and when you may stumble along the way.
As 2017 begins to unfold, it is easy for us to see that big changes are afoot. On the national or even global front, we would almost unanimously agree that it is going to be a big year for political and economic changes. At UCOH, the pending mid-year retirement of our beloved Senior Minister, Rev. Steve Bolen, insures that our spiritual community will be undergoing changes. On a personal level, we will all experience changes of one kind or another. As noted above, change is constant. The question is: will we allow the changes to become transformations, or will they amount to a mere rearrangement of the furniture in our lives? If we employ the power of faith correctly and wisely in our lives this year, we will do more than see changes in our world. We will become active co-creators in those changes and will find that we have not only transformed our own lives, but also world in the process.