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What is resistance? Resistance is the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.
When we are not able to accept something or someone in our lives, or how we are feeling, we are resisting it (or them). By resisting anything, we are feeding energy to it. We seem to think that is the easy way out when there is something that comes in our path that we do not want to deal with or that is uncomfortable. We just stuff it right? Brush it under the rug, pretend like it never happened. Many of us were raised in environments where that’s what was done - especially for males. Society has given us the stigma that men have to keep it all in, can’t show emotions and have to keep it together. Well, we now know better and can have the freedom to express ourselves, so that we can start letting go.
Let’s take the example of a balloon, we just keep resisting, stuffing, ignoring, which is similar to blowing air into that balloon. The balloon can only take so much and then it is going to explode. We all know that but what we don’t know is why it happens.
We are all made of energy and emotions are energy. E-motions or energy in motion as it has been called. What most people don’t understand is the energy behind resisting. When we resist something, we are telling our subconscious, “I don’t want to deal with it, go away, I can’t be feeling this” and other controlling commands to try to keep the emotions at bay. We are allowing that energy to become stagnant and not move freely through us as it was intended to. When you are resisting a feeling, you are actually feeding energy to it. You are blowing more air into that balloon.
Have you ever heard the saying, “What you resist, will persist”? Yes! That is because you are actually giving focus to it and it may not even be something that you realize that you are doing. You have already honed your attention in on it like a laser beam and will continue to have that never-ending flow of energy directly focused on it.
So how do you stop resisting? Acceptance!! Now I know that sounds like too simple of a word and there must be more to it. Actually, there isn’t! If you just allow yourself to accept what it is that you are feeling and not judge it right, wrong or indifferent, the energy will lift and the emotion or feeling will suddenly start to lose power over you.
There are two ways out of a problem: One, you can either accept what’s happening, see the positive, and choose a calm and peaceful state of mind; or two, you can fight against it (being resistant), being miserable, and struggling against the universe and its forces.
Here are four simple steps to take to let go of that resistance:
- Awareness – It is important to first be aware of what you are feeling. It is frustration, is it depression, is it anger, is it fear? Whatever it is, just be aware that is what you are feeling. If you can put a name to it, that is great, if not, just notice you are feeling something and it does not feel good. If you are like me, I have always had a hard time identifying my feelings. You can reference our list of feelings to help identify. You can scroll down the list and you will know when one or more feel right.
- Observe – Once you have that awareness, you can take the time to just observe what you are feeling. Scan your body and see where it is affecting you. Sometimes if you can’t identify the feeling, just noticing how your body is responding may be enough to be able to let it go. Are you experiencing tightness, in the chest, do you feel a knot in your stomach, numbness in your limbs, pain in your heart? Whatever it is, none of it is wrong. Just observe.
- Accept - Now for the magic potion - Acceptance! This is the key to being able to let things go. Just accept what you are going through. Whatever the feelings may be emotionally or physically, just talk yourself through it. This is a great time to have some deep compassion for yourself. Saying things like, “I am feeling really frustrated and scared right now because I didn’t get that promotion” is ok. You are allowed to feel that way. “I worked hard for it and was really counting on the pay increase.” It is ok that I am feeling like that. “I will be ok and things happen as they are supposed to and I am sure there is something better for me.” Or “ I am feeling really mad and regretful that I made that bad decision. It is ok that I am feeling that. I did the best I knew how and would have responded differently if I had known better at the moment. It is ok and I am human. I have learned what not to do next time.”
- Trust – It is important to start realizing that everything happens exactly the way it is supposed to. Life is going to come with disappointments and it is all about our reaction that is going to make or break us. We have lessons to learn in life and the lessons will keep repeating themselves until we learn what we need to.
Putting these four steps into practice can help release the resistance and bring yourself to a place of acceptance. Acceptance is a place of peacefulness and bliss. There is a great quote in the Big Book of AA as follows:
“Acceptance is the answer to ALL of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. “
So let go and open yourself to acceptance. You deserve it!
This is your life. Your one and only shot at creating the life you want to lead. If you’re not happy with how things are, it’s up to you to change it.
And here’s the secret that most people refuse to tell you: You have the power. You may have unwittingly gotten yourself into a complex, weighed down situation, but you have the power to change it. You can create a life that is as simple and light as you imagine. The only thing standing in your way … is you.
So get out of your own way. Pick one small step to take, and take it today. Then take one more step tomorrow. And the next day.
What about you? If you’re trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success. Build from there. What has been stopping you from moving forward with change? What rituals (or habits) do you want to change in your life? The bottom line is that it’s never too late to take a step in the right direction. It’s never too late to break free and become the person you are capable of being. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
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About the Author
Tracy Todaro is an award winning best-selling Author and Certified Life Coach and is Co-Founder of Invigorated Solutions. For more information and great articles, Click Here to visit Invigorated Solutions.
Published by: Invigorated Solutions. Bob and Tracy are Co-Founders of Invigorated Solutions. Tracy is a certified Life Coach specializing in life transition coaching, career changes, major life changes and family matters. Both can be reached at email@example.com