Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of October 16, 2006

Follow Through

When you make a promise to yourself or to someone else, or when you set an intention by inwardly agreeing to it, what happens next? Do you always follow through? And if not, how does that affect you?

Looking carefully at such situations, we may see the damage we sometimes cause ourselves. If I make a promise or form an intention and then fail to carry it out, I may rationalize about it, blame the situation, and refuse to acknowledge my responsibility. Or I may block the event from my awareness, relegating it to some unwanted backwater of memory, unsuccessfully attempting to keep it from discoloring my self-image. Or I may see my failure to follow through, blame myself, lower my inner standards, wallow in guilt and shame, and become resigned to my weak-willed ways. And if it involves a broken promise to another, that person may be hurt as well. All of these explode my integrity, sap my strength, undermine my self-credibility and self-esteem, debase the value of my word, insulate me from the sacred, and seriously erode the clarity and purity of my inner life.

If, on the contrary, I carry through on an intention or a promise, one that is not based in self-centeredness and is not harmful, then I strengthen the bond between my own will and the One Sacred Will. Otherwise, that spiritually-crucial bond weakens.

For this week, look at your own promises and intentions, be they large or small. See what you do or fail to do. Evaluate the consequences.


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