Befriending Resistance

I’m used to viewing the resistance to allowing more joy, love, abundance into in my life in a somewhat pejorative way. Why oh why can’t I just allow myself to open up to these things?! Is there something wrong with me?!

This sets up a situation of self criticism and ironically only strengthens the resistance to recovery – the recovery of of my core being increasingly capable of flowering into my potential.

I see that resistance to change serves a function and it can also been our ally, and it has protected us from danger. There’s a positive side to them.

What are some benefits of the various manifestations of resistance to me?

What is positive about them?

In what way do they represent positive values we hold, good things about us? (Despite the distorted thinking behind them).

So the resistance can take many forms. There’s guilt, shame, self criticism, fear, sadness, depression, inertia and lack of motivation, anger and others.

I’ll just go for a quick summary here of some of mine, and keeping in mind there’s some distorted thinking below based on mistaken rules for living and beliefs.

  • They keep me in familiar territory, and while painful feels safe due to its familiarity
  • Guilt shows me I have a sense of right and wrong. Guilt about more abundance of money for example, shows I care about equality, and not having to experience the fear of my ego getting blown up by it, of feeling superior or separate to others
  • Guilt about being happy shows I don’t want to be doing better than others, see myself as separate or stop caring about the sadness and suffering in the world. Shows I have a sense of fairness.
  • Self criticism gives me a sense that I’m working on improving aspects of myself. It keeps me humble and in touch with my flaws and stops me being too ‘full of myself’ or egotistical.
  • I’ve have hardwired damage to my self worth. This allows me to blame another for any perceived failures. Buying my own innocence at the price of another’s guilt.
  • Being sad and unhappy is a way of experiencing care for myself, for other people. A way of showing love for people who are suffering, including myself. That I’m together and not separate from the world. It shows I want the world to be happier. It’s familiar and I know it’s language and how to express it.
  • Inertia to do my work is a way of showing I care enough about myself to only do what I really feel like doing and what I enjoy.
  • Self consciousness and feeling inhibited results in a great admiration for others who aren’t afraid of the same things as me such as dancing in front of people or public speaking.

I want to show here that resistances can connect us with some of our core values and some beautiful aspects of ourselves. It’s why they can stubbornly persist too, they have some value to us!

So not to simply discount them as weaknesses (which I’ve done plenty of).

And also to show that we can work with those once we are aware of what they are, and the positive side of them, and that that moving forward doesn’t mean abandoning important core parts of ourselves.

It shows the inner conflict of goals. I don’t want to be working against and at the same time trying to maintain my resistances which sets myself up for self sabotage.

So now I can look at the distortions of belief and consequently thoughts behind some of these, without the inner conflict of goals which creates a fear of giving up these resistances.

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