* What we Resist will Persist

“What you resist persists.” Carl Jung

resisting ostrich head in sand

We think that by resisting, it will go away but it won’t. Resisting what is happening is at the root of our suffering. I’m not talking here about a real life threatening situation that demands we take action to defend ourselves, I’m talking about when we want a situation, a person or ourselves to be something other than what it is.

When we want what is, to be different, we are resisting. 

The more we resist, deny, criticize, complain and fight the truth … the more internal struggle we will have.

It really is in our hands whether we suffer more, or less.

Today, notice if you feel agitated… frustrated… sad… or critical. Come into the present moment and be a witness to yourself. Starting with your breath. Notice the flow of your breath in and out of your body. Then begin to take long and slow breaths. 

Ask :

What am I resisting?

Can I let it be?

As you breathe, notice any feelings and thoughts that come up.

Give them space.

Lean into the discomfort. Be kind to it.

Breath in more space, and breath out to release and let go.

Let it show you what it needs.

Recognizing when we are resisting is a powerful practice. At the beginning we may wonder what the big deal is …. after all resisting feels normal … until we are able to see that resisting is a conditioned response that has become as habit.  A habit that brings us suffering.

And now we have a choice.

17 responses to “* What we Resist will Persist

    • Thank you so much David for your understanding and support. I thought of a particular person today and wanted the message to be clear and useful for them as well as others. Namaste.

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  1. Thank you for this simple yet powerful practice. “What am I resisting? Can I let it be?” My unpleasant thoughts, words, and actions do come from resistance. I will practice just being with my resistance, asking these questions of curiosity and wonder. Thank you.

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  2. We overreact to minor annoyances, and share them with others, fueling negative mental states (anger, jealousy, rage, envy, greed, hatred).

    We walk around in a state of perpetual disappointment because others are not who and how we want them to be.

    Instead of challenging our thought patterns and changing them, we attempt to change others ~ expecting THEM to meet OUR expectations. When they don’t comply, we grow discouraged, disheartened, and disappointed . . . drowning in self-created despair and dismay.

    The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves. ~ Sophocles

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  3. Thanks Nancy for sharing your thoughts and bringing the feelings to mind. I recall the anger and the feeling of unfairness, then what it was like “walking around in a state of perpetual disappointment.” Such sadness and heaviness.
    Its one of life’s most powerful lesson – our work always begins with ourselves.

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  4. I could be the poster-child for resisting! Reformed now. There is definitely an art to learning how to “be with” instead of resist. Took me awhile to get the hang of it due to my “must be in control at all times” upbringing.

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  5. I met a healer who told me that if I ever feel stress, anxiety, doubt, panic or any of those feelings that we try to bury, I should invite them in and feel them to the fullest amount that they want to appear. I have started doing this and this brings great relief! For a moment I may be feeling stressed, may even cry or be in panic, but then this all washes off and a deep peace comes over me. We need to accept it to release it!

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    • Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom. You are right, we initially want to escape those challenging feelings, but being with them in the present moment can allow the healing energy to move through us. This poem from Rumi called the Guest House also inspires me

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  6. Hi Val , so nice to see you beaming in pics.. your site seems to be full of gems and pearls of wisdom . yes what we resist , persists . resistance , hatred and other egoistic drives build negative energy . we all need to be operating from loving acceptance of whatever comes our way , because with love and acceptance , we operate from a position of strength . and working from a position of strength leads us to solutions and mitigation of conflicts . val , I just started blogging a few months back ; my posts are accessible at “graleview.wordpress.com”. I would appreciate your taking a little time to visit and offer your feedback…

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