Yes, what we resist persists…ultimately giving us what we don’t want. Resisting reality is like resisting the rain. It’s pointless, painful, and draining.
Long ago, psychologist Carl Jung said that “what you resist not only persists but will grow in size.” And today this viewpoint is often expressed as: “what you resist persists” or “you always get what you resist.”
So, instead of resisting reality, it’s much wiser for us to embrace reality. Yes, it’s wise to accept what is, in order to put ourselves in the best possible position to at least reclaim the freedom to move beyond it.
Here’s why it’s wise to say an inner “yes” to whatever life brings your way. Typically, when we’re resisting our reality, that is, our sense of reality—we deny it, complain about it, resent it, protest it, &/or go to war with it.
Notice that resisting anything uses our energy and can drain us. This is what causes stress in our lives. The more we resist, the more we’re stressed. This inner battle leads to an inner state of anxiety. When we tend to resist things in life, our life becomes filled with negativity.
At some point or another, we all have resisted life and its cost us dearly. We’ve resisted situations such as our job, family members, friends, rush hour traffic, the weather, and even our own behavior. Unconsciously, our impulse tends to be toward resistance and trying to avoid the more hurtful, or disturbing aspects of our experience.
Resisting anything requires our energy, and that loss of energy is the stress we experience. Therefore, the amount of stress in our life is determined by how much energy we spend resisting our life. The more we resist our circumstances, the more stress we bring into our life.
Be aware…when nearly nothing we see or encounter, meets our approval, it invites dis-ease, thus illness. If you’re experiencing stress or anxiety, know that it’s an indication that you’re resisting your experience in the present moment. This suffering is unnecessary. And…once you realize what’s going on, you can change it. Again, when you resist the present moment, you’re resisting life and creating stress.
In fact, our normal way of life today is living in a state of inner resistance, and we’re not even aware of it. As a result, it takes us over and holds us back from the inner peace and fulfillment we want most. This state of resistance has become the norm. It’s created by not accepting reality that naturally shows up in our life.
The ego makes life a burden when it continues to argue with reality by complaining, defending, reacting, expecting, and so on. The ego uses resistance as a tool to feed itself and thrive on our energy. This behavior isn’t okay, and our state of being is our responsibility alone. We’re the only one who can end it.
To overcome this pain and suffering that resistance brings, we must be willing to give up resisting and accept what is. This means we make a decision to always live in a peaceful inner state, no matter what. In this place of inner peace, our emotional state is no longer at the mercy of the ego or the world.
In order to take this authority, we must first recognize resistance in our lives. Once we learn to recognize it, we can allow life to be what it is without inner resistance and do only what’s needed, if anything. Remember, life situations aren’t the problem. The problem is always our thoughts about it …that make it good or bad, right or wrong rather than neutral.
Let’s be clear, psychologically, resistance and resolution are opposites. So how do we get to a resolution? We must be willing and able to deal with the negative experiences in our life. Our happiness depends on us handling the inner work that life brings us; and then, letting all the resistance go rather than protecting, denying, blaming, or fighting against reality (i.e., resistance to what is). Accepting what has been unacceptable is what frees us from the stress that resistance is causing.
Know this for sure, we can’t control life situations, but we can control our thoughts about life situations. Once we recognize what’s going on in our head, we can expose the thoughts for what they are and let them pass. We can redirect our attention and energy toward what will move us beyond our challenging thoughts.
We can use our inner boundaries to remove the cause of our suffering rather than continuing to deal with the symptoms, even in the face of more pain. It’s an investment because when we neutralize the ego, we break free.
So, stay open rather than closing off. Don’t run from reality. Emotionally surrender to the negativity. It’s not a threat. And it’s certainly not personal either. Remember, it’s our job to ignore it, not react to it, and simply let it go.
Consider the following suggestions to overcome resistance for good.
First, notice that your attention is your most powerful tool. Therefore, when you recognize resistance be sure to redirect your attention to the present moment. Focus your time and attention on things you do want. Have no demands or expectations for something different nor spend time waiting for what’s next. Be grateful for what shows up in your life, i.e., whatever life offers you; for it’s your guide to great abundance waiting for you now.
Once again, put your attention to what you do want. Otherwise, your misdirected attention will strengthen what you want to weaken. Yes, we attract what we resist.
So, the next time you’re challenged to create a problem out of a life situation, observe what you’re thinking, feeling, and needing. Recognize that the situation isn’t a threat. Instead of resisting, relax and open your heart to what is being offered to you in the present moment—now. If you really want to be free, receive it. Allow life to be, as it is, even if you may not like it or agree with it. It’s the resistance that creates pain. Let the feeling of resistance pass through you, so you can rise above it
We can all learn to disagree without inner angst because it comes from the ego. Instead of angst, feel the inner peace as the resistance passes…and keep practicing. The more you practice letting go, the greater fulfillment and inner peace you will have in your life.
Experience life itself here and now rather than living through life situations in the mind. This means rising above thoughts in the mind to a higher dimension of consciousness. The ultimate spiritual goal of all spiritual practice is to transcend the ego by awakening to our true self as a free spirit—that is, to break free from the ego mind and the resistance as well as the pain it represents.
For more insight, consider reading Chapter 7 (Resisting Reality) in my book: “Breaking Free from the Ego: A Course in Finding and Freeing Yourself”.
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About the Author – Trina Carroll-Houk is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and founder of Breaking Free Boundaries, LLC who specializes in self-awareness, mindfulness, and the spiritual dimension of being. Her goal is to help people improve their quality of life so they can experience inner peace, meaningful purpose, and fulfillment. Trina represents a movement focused on helping people release what limits them from transforming into awakened beings with a higher sense of spiritual consciousness.
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