By Emmy Vadnais, OTR/L
One definition of resistance is: the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. (1)
“What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” Carl Jung MD
Carl Jung, the great Swiss Psychiatrist was basically saying, “What you resist, persists.” (2) Jung spent a great deal of his career helping people understand, accept, and work with their unconscious – the parts of ourselves that are below the surface that drive a majority of our thoughts and behaviors.
When our unconscious thoughts and feelings are brought more fully consciously to our awareness they may more greatly benefit us individually and as a society as a whole.
What are You Resisting?
What are you resisting in yourself? What are you resisting in society? Why? How is it serving you? Is it serving you? How may it hinder or help you or those around you?
You may be resisting the idea of releasing resistance…
Sometimes, it can be beneficial to resist something in the case of strengthening oneself against infiltration of disease or to stand up in opposition against something we don’t agree with or ethically feel it is important to comply. In this case it’s probably best to approach it from a state of love and compassion, as best you can.
Often, resisting new ideas or parts of ourselves we deem unacceptable may actually be hurting us and society. The more we resist the uncomfortable places within ourselves or the ways we deeply judge ourselves, the more we may resist or not accept new ideas or those around us. Read on to learn how this may help you and society.
If there is an area of your life, or a feeling, emotion or judgment you tend to resistance you may find it helpful to practice a few moments of mindfulness around it.
Notice what emotions, thoughts, judgments, and feelings come up around what you are resisting. Observe them from a place of non-judgment, love, compassion, and acceptance as best you can.
When you release your resistive stance to your experience of what is happening, and observe from a place of love, compassion and non-judment, you may feel more at peace and ease.
Releasing Stress and Tension
By releasing your resistance to your reaction to an event, thought or feeling you will likely release the stress, and tension around this area or topic you tend to fight against. New creative insights might come from your intuition that may guide you forward on how best to be with this topic, or how best to move forward in an area you have been resisting.
You can then approach new ideas and people from a kinder and gentler place where they are more likely to understand and accept you and your ideas, hear you and listen to you, and that will assist you to truly come together in new, beautiful, and productive ways that will benefit you and society.
Society as a Reflection of Ourselves
Releasing resistance and coming to more acceptance does not necessarily mean that we agree with everything that is happening in the world or our personal lives. It means that we may find more creative solutions to challenges within us. For what is challenging within us is likely what is also challenging society. We can take steps toward greater wisdom for ourselves so we can learn to listen to and move closer to loving and accepting our neighbors and ourselves.
- Resistance. Retrieved from Google Dictionary.
- You Only Get More of What You Resist—Why? Retrieved from Psychology Today.