A friend forwarded an e-mail with a handout on it that describes some things related to resistance. It was quite helpful, one statement in particular: "The more afraid you are, the more likely it is this is what you're supposed to do."
I opened the e-mail just before I sat down for my morning meditation. Not surprising, the question, "What are you most afraid of?" came immediately to mind. I found it useful to reflect on it. It's been my experience that the initial gut response to such a question is often the most helpful, the response you have before your brain kicks in and starts questioning it. My gut responded with two things: falling in love and finishing the PhD.
I realize that falling in love is not something we can necessarily set out to do. There's an awful lot left to chance, but I do think there are things we do to open ourselves to love and though it scares the hell out of me to think of doing it, the very fact that I'm scared of it points to what I believe is a sincere desire for love in my life. Rather than allowing the resistance to push me back from that desire, it may be time to surrender to it and trust that the awareness I have of being open to it will help me be attentive to the problems relationships might pose, the things about falling in love that scare me.
The other issue, finishing the PhD, is one which has clearer, more concrete steps I can take. I took a small one today, in fact. I voiced my interest in a safe way to someone who could help scout out whether or not the door would be open with my PhD school for me to apply to be re-instated. The news is good, and I now have much to think about. It will be hard and I feel like I have to be fully committed to doing all of the hard work it will take to meet the requirements that will be placed on me, but for weeks now, something has been stirring inside me to give this serious thought. It will be a matter of prayer and discernment over the next few weeks.
It's an interesting question. Give it a try. What are you most afraid of?