Last week Jane Pollack wrote another exceptional blog that is definitely worth pondering. I think we all fall into this mindset from time to time. It is a quick & easy read but very worthwhile. by Debbie Green
by Jane Pollack
Have you ever had a great idea, felt enthusiastic about making it a reality, gotten off to a rousing start and then fallen off the cliff? Did you say daily? Yeah, me, too.
Here’s what it can look like. You meet with a colleague for coffee where you brainstorm ways of working together. Your combined positive energy fills the place as you sketch out your business model on a napkin, estimate the dollar values you’ll bring to the party and even consider how you’ll spend the millions you’ll be earning as a result of these efforts. You shake hands, slap high fives, pack up your equipment and part company.
And nothing happens.
Oh, but it does.
An unseen force creeps in, unseen and unbidden, and begins the process of sabotaging your best efforts.
A little voice inside your head whispers, “I don’t really belong in this partnership.” “He’s going to discover what an impostor I am.” “What was I thinking? I can’t take on another project.”
You don’t pick up the phone to follow up. You carry around the weight of indecision and procrastination. Time passes. The enthusiasm and energy of that meeting diminishes and fades away. Sound familiar?
I call this spiritual vandalism.
Something entered your mind and heart that had nothing to do with the initial spark of enthusiasm and commitment. Left untended, that negative energy takes on a life of its own. It’s intangible, but present, and saps you of your drive.
There is a concept in criminology called the Broken Windows Theory which feels like a ‘real world’ parallel to spiritual vandalism. From Wikipedia:
Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani took this model to heart and made sure that graffiti was removed from subways; he cracked down on public alcohol consumption and fare evasion as a signal of zero tolerance.
What if, instead of succumbing to your negative thoughts, you immediately took action and combated your gremlins and saboteurs with positive steps in the direction of your vision?
I’ll tell you what will happen. They will disappear as quickly as the Wicked Witch of the West melted when water was poured on her. These vandals are emotional and spiritual bullies who love to keep you stuck. I know because I’ve had them all my life, but have built up my spiritual forces to combat them daily.
Here are my two winning strategies for eradicating these thugs from your life:
- As soon as you recognize you’re having a ‘vandalous’ thought, take an immediate action. Pick up the phone, do the next thing on your list, move a muscle—change a thought.
- Shine the light of day on the hooligan. Call a friend and report this monster. “I’m having a bad thought and just wanted to share it with someone who cares about me.”
I’d love to tell you that they’ll disappear in time, but they are relentless. They will continue to pop up and thrive in an atmosphere of neglect. Your spiritual awareness and heart are the antidote to this kind of vandalism. Keeping up your daily practices of meditation, prayer, random acts of kindness and interdependence with others is a healthy prescription for vandal-less living.