Sometimes life decides to take you on an unexpected journey, and when that happens you have a simple choice:
1. Accept what is happening, and make the best of it.
2. Resist what is happening, and turn it into the biggest catastrophe in the hemisphere.
But not always so. Often we think that by resisting what is happening, we can somehow magically redirect the journey back onto the path we had originally thought we were meant to be on. But that never works and so the whole thing just becomes one, big, giant mess.
I know, because that’s exactly what I have been facing for the past few weeks. When my van broke down 2 weeks ago, I thought that everything I had worked so hard against was fucked. I was seriously, deeply hurting and sad, and I saw no way beyond this situation. But after two days of mourning and resisting, I gave myself a stern talking to, and decided to let it all go. That’s when I entered the ‘fuck it’ phase. But as soon as I stopped resisting, miracles started happening all around me, and life gave me a whole other path along with a bucket-load of new opportunities.
Which is why I wanted to write about resistance today.
Are you stopping yourself from doing what’s really important by resisting the present moment? Then let’s try this:
WHAT IS RESISTANCE
Resistance stops you from having, doing and being all that you can in life. It’s the feeling you get when you feel like you “have to”, “must” or “should” do something – when you want things to be different – and is experienced as negativity, usually as a judgement.
Resistance comes from and creates separation because wanting things to different makes you feel like you aren’t already good enough, making you want to protect yourself by resisting.
We think that resisting protects us and keeps us in control but it actually makes us more controllable because we close ourselves off. It’s like a closed, defensive existence that limits our capacity to change and limits the flow of life.
It is a limiting belief that you create to protect your other limiting beliefs, a shield that stops you from truly living.
You think that your resistance stops you from suffering but it actually causes your suffering and limitation. The situation always is as it is – neutral – it’s your resistance that causes you to feel stuck. When there’s no resistance, there’s no stuckness and you are free to change and improve.
Your resistance is often far worse than the situation itself and makes you reactive, limiting your ability to handle what is going on and truly improve the situation.
In essence, resistance is non-acceptance and it keeps you stuck.
HOW DO I STOP RESISTING?
- Firstly, you can’t try to change resistance. That’s just more resisting.
- Don’t try to be in any state other than the one you are in right now because trying to change what already is creates more resistance.
- Begin by acknowledging the resistance. Notice it. Become aware of it. Feel it. Don’t think about the resistance, feel it. Feel how conflictingly stuck it feels. Become fully aware of what you are feeling at the moment of resistance. Fully feel it. Go into it. Welcome it. Allow it to be there, just for now. Fighting it hasn’t made it go away so welcome it just for now. When you become fully aware of the resistance, you’ll see how trivial and pointless and empty it is. Often that will be enough to make it dissolve and release. Another option that you always have, in any situation, is to accept.
- Accept. Accept the resistance. Allow it to be there. Welcome it. Don’t resist the pain and stuckness, allow it to be there. Accept it fully. Your non-acceptance creates it, your acceptance makes it evaporate and dissolve. As soon as you accept the resistance and accept how you feel right now, your acceptance alchemises your resistance into peace.
- Acceptance is entirely a perceptive process made within. You accept your feelings about the situation and what is right now, not the situation itself. You can still change the situation and take action but any action will come from a place of freedom, free of the limitation of resistance.
- Finally, either take action or don’t. Decide to do something about the situation or don’t. Indecisiveness will create more wanting to change what you’re experiencing, more resisting.
Non-resistance gives you freedom. It doesn’t mean that you do nothing, become a passive walkover or accept undesirable situations, it just means that you don’t create inner conflict about what you’re experiencing.
Non-resistance means that any action you take is non-reactive and comes from a place of power and flexibility instead of from a place of defensive, closed-off stuckness.
Resistance distorts our perceptions and distracts us from our majestically resplendent and limitless nature.
When you stop resisting, life becomes deliciously more real, you become more real, and more simple. You no longer need to protect yourself. You stop layering distorted protective clouds of resistance over reality. It would seem that you become defenceless without the “protection” of resistance but it is only through non-resistance and acceptance that you can live truly free, immersed in reality, completely unleashed.