Viva La Resistance!


Almost every day, I fight with myself.

It might be resisting getting onto my meditation cushion.

It might be getting out to the gym (probably my most skillful application).

It might be picking up the phone to call a potential business contact or even a family member.

I am pretty sure that you go through the same battles — over food choices, body care, parenting issues, work difficulties. What is most helpful to realize is that we don’t need to beat ourselves up for having this resistance, and we don’t need to figure out how to avoid it either.

What we need to do is meet the clenched fist of resistance with love.

The power of resistance can only be softened when it is met with love.

Here’s a mind-shifting perspective. The central prayer of Judaism is the Shema. It is a powerful declaration of faith that is usually translated as “Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” But there is another way of translating it that speaks more deeply to our struggle as humans: “Listen, you who wrestle with God (aka truth or reality). There is nowhere God is not.”

That means anything that exists does so only because of an omnipresent source of existence. Therefore, it is in the resistance to action as well as in the force that creates movement.

Trying to kill the resistance is like killing a part of yourself. Opening to and flowing with the resistance is an essential step in the dance of life. It is part of holding yourself in wholeness.

So the next time you find yourself resisting something you know you “should” be doing, take heart. Loosen your fist and open to whatever learning this moment might offer. Allow yourself to caress rather than crush the resistance, and see what shows up on the other side. You just might be surprised by what happens next.