What We Resist Persists

One of my favorite quotes is “What you fight you strengthen and what you resist persists”.

I’m sure we’re all guilty of fighting things in our lives — things that are problematic or worse, such as  a health problem, an addiction, or even a political issue about which we feel strongly.  I’m not saying we should not tackle those issues – just that the energy we put towards them makes a huge difference.

I’m not well versed in physics, but I do know that our physical world exists in polarities. Every physical form, no matter how thin has a front and a back. There has to be a “down” before we can conceive of “up”. Before we can even imagine appreciating good health, we have to have had some experience with poor health or pain. You get the picture. So when we strengthen one pole, the other is also strengthened.

The “war on drugs” is a good example.  When that concept was declared; access to, sales and the use of drugs only increased. Or bring it closer to home. Remember the last argument you had with a loved one. The minute one of you became defensive about something the other said or did, that person probably became even stronger and louder. Your defensiveness just strengthened their response.

I’m not saying we just avoid what upsets us. That, too, strengthens the opposite. The more we hold something in, the more it builds up and the more upset we become – eventually multiplying into something very hard and dark, and hurting us (and others) even more.  It’s a matter of pay now, or pay later . . . with interest.

So what do we do instead? We need to make peace with it – whatever “it” is. That doesn’t mean we have to like it.  My process is to accept that it exists; then I sit quietly and remind myself to allow it to be what it is. (To me, just using the word “allow” gives me a sense of peace.  I no longer have to put the energy towards fighting it). Then when I choose the action I’m going to take, it will come from a place of love and consciousness, rather than from a negative energy that will only strengthen the thing I want to eradicate.  And sometimes, depending on what it is I’m focusing on, it won’t disappear.  But I can learn to live with it in peace. That, too, often makes is less painful.

In the 12 Step program we talk about “surrender.”  I truly believe that only when we accept what is, can we actually change it. Again, in some cases, we won’t rid ourselves of it, but we can still manage it. It’s a much simpler path to change.