I posted a poem yesterday written by Safire called “She Let Go” and it has really struck a chord in me. It has made a difference in my life already.

It raises in me a question about why I hang on to behaviours that do not serve me well. It makes me ask “what is my resistance doing for me?” It cannot be considered good. Resistance of my own best, whatever that is, truly makes no sense.

Almost everyone can agree that within themselves there is this resistance. We seem to have built our culture around it. Escape is a form of resistance and it is evident everywhere, from the self-help section of the bookstore to car dealerships to spa salesmen to restaurant menus to campers to RV’S to holiday resorts. Everything about escape.

I am left to consider if my resistance to “let go” is rooted in my evolutionary path or in the influences of my culture?

Many speak about our evolutionary path, and that we have evolved to resist as a mechanism to keep us safe. Science and academia have delivered much insight into our evolution, how our brains work and how the lack of a nurturing environment can impede healthy development. This can lead to a maladaptive response to life, to make poor decisions that lead us away from grace. Does this explain the genesis of my resistance?

Others speak about conspiracy theories, that those in power have created a culture to support the idea that we must struggle, and the benefits accrue to the few, the elite and powerful. Certainly there are those that take advantage of our failures so they may promote their own gain. These are the actions of opportunistic and selfish people. Can I lay the blame for my resistance here?

Of course, I have fallen prey. I have spent the best parts of six decades playing a game of hide and seek with myself. My life’s energies expended on first hiding from and then later trying to uncover memories of my childhood traumas. I dismembered the act of remembering and hid the thousands of pieces of evidence in plain sight, refusing to look even as I struggled mightily. My failure to remember, my failure to see, were these failures of spirit, or failures of culture or failures of biological programming?

I have come to feel that both evolution and culture play a role, but that they are detours to be navigated, challenges to be overcome. Yes, some of us have experienced deep traumas that conceal our essence. Yes, corporations and governments act to betray individuals in favour of economic gains. Collectively, these and other mechanisms are distractions and they fail to show the way to living honestly with our gifts, where we move on from the primitive responses and open to a higher level of existence.

These paths exist and our lives matter.

I am getting a real glimpse at the role of resistance in my life right now, and it is a bit overwhelming. There is evidence throughout every moment of my life, and it sickens me. Yes, I know that there are many “explanations” that we pull out to explain it, but really we are trying to explain it away, another act of resistance.

That is no longer an acceptable act in my life. I will not bear witness to it anymore.

To engage with grace, I am setting aside resistance at all costs.

I want to become fertile to the gifts all around and within.


2 responses to “Resistance

  • zastre

    I suppose an additional perspective is to ask ourselves what is being served by a particular form of resistance. The following is from “The Eden Project” by James Hollis:

    “As the Twelve Step programs have it, ‘What we resist, will persist.’ Certainly the culprit is our omnipresent fear, which limits us and provokes the compulsion to repeat our same old patterns. ‘The spirit of evil,’ writes Jung, ‘is fear, negation, the adversary who opposes life in its struggle for eternal duration.’ Only an existential course can allow us to define ourselves, enlarge ourselves, in our relationship to the immensity of the universe.”

    At some point we all have to starve (or at least stop re-energizing) the dysfunctional neural pathways that no long serve us yet which insist on being triggered by daily experience. I guess that only happens by establishing new pathways, new behaviours, new ways of discovering our own life-affirming meaning. Nothing for it but forcing the train to jump the tracks — resistance keeps the wheels on the rails to the place we no longer want to go. Those old pathways will always exist, and given strong enough stimulus will kick in (e.g., Christmas dinners with family!) but newer pathways will give us enough breathing room to respond rather than react. I think from what you’ve shared, this process is already in full flowering for you.


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