The Joy of Resistance
For the majority of us, our emotions and desires take some time to catch up to our knowledge and intelligence. What I mean by that is: you probably already know what you should be doing, but you aren’t choosing to do it. Why is it so hard to stop a bad behavior or begin a good one? It sounds simple on paper - just do it! Right?
“Well,” you might say, “it’s a little more complicated than that. I actually really like doing this one thing, and I am really not a morning person, and if I try to go running I may die.”
When our short term habits and addictions clash with our long term goals or desires, this is the phenomenon known as “Resistance!” Symptoms include feelings of being overwhelmed, uncomfortable; strong desire or despair. The desire to normalize these strong emotions is what causes us to choose the familiar and comfortable option.
Lately I have been studying how I handle resistance, and I have noticed that I always do better with a plan. Each week I have resistance to making my meal plans and grocery shopping. If I break through that resistance, I will follow the plan - eat all the healthy food I picked out and try the new recipes. When the weeks starts and I have not made a plan, I end up fighting with even more resistance throughout the week. When you enact a plan, you set yourself up to counter the resistance before it happens because you know it’s coming.
In this small meal planning example you can see the beauty in resistance. Picture it as a pair of really heavy swinging glass doors. When you bump into them (because they are totally clear, no fingerprints at all) you can see right through to the other side, where your true desires await. All you have to do is lean into it and push through.
During my recent cleanse, I experienced much less resistance than expected! I ate (for the most part) what I set out to eat, and did what I set out to do. I credit this to the extensive planning phase I underwent before the cleanse began, and for the blessed clarity that allowed me to see through the resistance when I bumped into it.
On your growth path, when you hit up against your own glass doors you can smile to yourself and think, “There is a breakthrough coming for me on the other side of this resistance. This is what I’ve been waiting for!”
It is truly cause for joy when you are centered, watch yourself encountering resistance, recognize it, and then be happy for having it at all.