Resistance is devious. Resistance gets in the way of work, of stepping up to someone we like, or of doing our homework. Resistance is dirty and unfair. It doesn’t play a fair game. It will do everything in its power to get you to not do it. It makes you feel bad or makes you doubt yourself. It can make the unimportant tasks seem more important than they are. Like doing the dishes, or cleaning your room even though it is already clean.
I have resisted sitting down and doing the work for many years. This resistance, in the form of procrastination, is an obvious one. We can easily spot it. Yet what if that resistance is more subtle? And makes you feel like you need to heal something within you before doing the work. Or it can make you feel stressed making you believe that you need to rest, when in fact you haven’t done anything that day, or week, that could have made you feel stressed. This is the resistance that I have faced in the past few weeks.
I never knew that resistance could be this subtle. This elusive and deceiving. It has more power than you think and therefore has more control over the way you experience life than you might think. Resistance isn’t just feeling like the world is against you, or procrastinating. Resistance is way more subtle. It can take place in the most subtle of ways. Like making you feel bad, but not just make you feel bad, but also make you believe that there is a trauma or reason attached to it.
Resistance does everything to keep us where we are, so it doesn’t have to face the inevitable and unknown.
It has made me believe that the stress and anxiety I felt had everything to do with my past, when in fact I have healed most of the large pain points from my past. There is no trauma left that is truly strong enough to hold me down. That is the deviously powerful work of resistance in our lives. It does everything to keep us where we are, so it doesn’t have to face the inevitable and unknown. That’s the only thing resistance fears. The unknown. The dark abyss and emptiness within us. Whether that be when doing our work, sitting down and expressing our creativity, or doing spiritual work like healing or meditating. Resistance is the one that tries to make you run away. So it doesn’t have to deal with all the shit it has created over all the years.
Resistance is the Cause and the Persistence
The resistance I have faced to get to work, to write, to create, to do the work that I long to do, and to do my spiritual practices to feel alive, have taken many forms. Just as it will have in your life. I wondered why that is? Why would it take so many forms? Why would it want to be persistent and keep procrastinating, and making us fail to get to work, or pursue that which we long for most?
It does so because it isn’t just the persister of the problem, it does so because it knows it is the cause of the problem as well. Resistance created the problem in the first place. It has made us believe that we aren’t enough, that we are tired, that we can not work without inspiration, that we can not be happy without first healing ourselves fully. It has made us believe all these because it has created the suffering it is so desperately trying to run from.
The traumas we need to heal in our lives have been maintained by resistance. If resistance towards these events wouldn’t have existed you wouldn’t have needed to heal it. What happened would have just happened and you let it go. Now that doesn’t mean you are to blame for creating your traumas. Not at all. They happened without you being the cause of them. Yet seeing that resistance made sure these traumas and sources of unhappiness remained put throughout our lives makes us able to move past them.
We can then get to work by both doing our spiritual healing work, facing these traumas, as well as starting to get to work on our dreams. These go hand in hand. If we say we first need to heal to start and do the work we are still not fully aware of our inner resistance. Work and healing are separate. They have nothing to do with one another. Now you could say that if you are unhealed your work wouldn’t be as good as it would be if you were healed. That is true. Nonetheless, get to work. Start living. Don’t postpone anything that you want in life any longer.
Everything you postpone or push away is a source of resistance and therefore feeds your unhappiness and discontentment with life. Get to work. Both spiritually, and professionally.
Acknowledge that your resistance is the cause of all your suffering in life, as well as the one who persists and doesn’t want to face it.
Move Past Resistance
But how do we get past resistance if it is this subtle? We need to rest at times right? We need to be attentive to our unhealed traumas right? The answer to these questions is yes. It is by moving past resistance that you start to heal traumas, and start to take time to truly rest. Rest is a funny thing. Resistance makes you believe that you are resting by scrolling through Instagram, but in fact, all it is doing is overloading your brain with more information so that even when you think you are rested, your mind is still overwhelmed and barely capable of getting to work. If you finally move past resistance and see this you will take time to rest. You will get true rest from either sleeping, or sitting quietly in a room either meditating, doing nothing, or journaling. There is no other source for relaxation. All else is giving you more information to process therefore not truly allowing you to rest.
Moving past resistance means being attentive to everything our brain tells us. Never believe it, but question it. My brain tells me to stop now because I need to meditate. I feel agitated and rushed. First I question it.
Why do I need rest? Because I feel agitated. Is the answer.
Why do I feel agitated? Because I need to finish writing so that I can rest. Is what resistance answers.
It is at that moment that it is unmasked. The illusion dissolves. At first, it makes me feel like I need to rest because I feel agitated, but the source of my agitation comes from that need to quickly finish so I can rest. This way it remains an everlasting cycle of never feeling content.
That is what moving past resistance means. Truly acknowledging it. Not believing every thought you think, but questioning it. This is highly important to truly feel alive. Why? Because resistance is the only thing in our way of truly opening up to our lives. It is the only reason right now why you might feel that you are not alive.
In fact, it is the only reason I right now don’t feel fully alive yet. Therefore I have questions to ask myself. But one thing is for certain. I did my work. I sat down and wrote, and looked straight into the soul to write this piece. Therefore for the past hour or so I have lived. Whether that was in a joyful and blissful state or an agitated and stressed state doesn’t matter. I faced both and was aware of both. That means I was present and alive. That means that I can say Today I Lived. I have made the most of it.
You can do so too. Face your thoughts. Face your resistance to whatever you are either postponing or believing. What is it you want to do, yet have not done yet? What is the reason why you haven’t done it yet? That is resistance. Acknowledge it, debunk it. Stop believing it. Take back power over your life. So that you too can say Today I Lived.