No, no way. I’m not doing THAT. No how, no way am I going to look at THAT issue. Nope. You can’t make me. But our issues have a way of wearing us down, wearing us out, as long as we resist them. What could happen if we just stopped resisting?
I remember reading something years ago that struck a chord with me. It was a statement that we most resist that which we most need to look at. I have tried to keep that in mind as I move through my life, and take notice of those things that I avoid doing, or that I procrastinate on, or that I “hate” or that I try to palm off on other people. Those things are the things that I really need to look at.
How to do, it, though, when resistance is peaking? Usually resistance is just felt as “I don’t want to…” and often you can feel it in your body as well. Try it: think of some conversation you don’t want to have, or some issue in your life that you don’t want to deal with, and say “I don’t want to…” and notice what your body does. Perhaps you find tightness in your jaw. Maybe your upper body pulls back. Maybe you find your breath getting more shallow. Whatever your response is, notice how your body mirrors your thought of resistance.
Sometimes just noticing is enough and we can soften and move through the resistance and do what needs to be done. But sometimes it works better to actually go INTO the resistance and act it out. If your body wants to pull back, then really pull back. If you find yourself making fists, well, then, use them to hit a pillow or shake them…saying, with emphasis, “I don’t want to!” Or lie down on your mattress and kick your legs, using your whole leg and shouting, “I don’t want to do that! I won’t! I won’t!”
Can you imagine being able to do that? Maybe you can go and try it (or maybe just try it out in your mind, first) and then let us know what you find out.
5 thoughts on “Resistance is futile….”
Nice post again :-). Reading this made me think of all the times some members of my family wanted me to do something I didn’t like doing (example : begging me to make little guitar concerts for the family) …My inside was saying NOOO…but as you know, i could not really say it. So most of the time, i end up doing things I don’t want to. The thing that I really don’t like doing is speaking infront of a large group or taking charge of a group. If someone else can do it, I let them! Does resistance means like ‘avoiding, or saying no’ to a situation?
Resistance can be to other peoples’ expectations but mostly what I meant was resisting ourselves. We tend to resist looking at the parts of ourselves that we like the least, or those places where we feel shame. The hard thing is that we often resist SO MUCH that we don’t even know that we have an issue in a particular area.
For example, I used to believe that I never got angry. I believed that I was “above” it and that I just didn’t get angry. Through a series of events, I experienced my anger and I recall going to my therapist and telling her that I didn’t ever want to feel that again, I wanted to get rid of it. She laughed, actually, and said something I’ll never forget. “Oh, my dear, that’s part of you. You might not like it but it is part of who you are.” Well, I really RESISTED that. But I thought hard about it and wondered if I could accept an angry part of myself. And later, when I got into bio therapy and was asked to express my anger, I resisted. So my very wise therapist helped me to go into the resistance. “Why don’t you kick about that?” she suggested. So even though I said, no, I don’t want to kick, she said, okay, then kick about how you don’t want to kick and express your anger. Sounds funny but guess what? It worked!
So I resisted my anger instead of just accepting it. Now I try to stay aware of my feelings as they emerge, knowing that I can FEEL them without having to act them out. I don’t kick or hit in my everyday life! I don’t even say mean things….but I also don’t swallow my anger and try to make it go away.
So that’s a lot about my resistance to one of MY issues. But resisting other people’s demands is related, for sure.
Oh I see now what you mean. I don’t cry ( I don’t remember the last time i did), even in sad moments. I either stay silence or avoid being with people. For example, when I lost my cat, I didn’t want to talk to anybody and I had a lump in my throat for few days, but i did not let it out. I pushed it down. That’s a feeling I was not allowed to express home and I still don’t allow it to happen today (wish i could though, maybe I would feel better?). Would that be resistance??
Yup. You got it!
And thinking about it…when I was sick at the hospital, I did not yell or cry when I was in pain. I just bit my lips and carried on by putting a nice smile on my face…There are times I wish I could have let a ‘ouch’ out…