Friday, May 14, 2010

Resistance Equals Persistence - The Wisdom Of Surrender

Cool post from the folks at the Daily Om. This is true for all of us - what we resist persists - as they say in recovery meetings.

There is nowhere in our lives where this is more true than in our emotions. Men are taught so young to bury their emotions - our emotions - that we actually lose the ability to feel very much of anything. Yet the more we resist our feelings, the more they find ways to get our attention - through depression, anxiety, stress, disease, over-eating, drug/alcohol use, and so on.

Therapy more often than not simply teaches us that we can feel our feelings and they will not kill us - because that is the fundamental fear after all these years of keeping them buried. In our heads it feels like we will be engulfed by the pain, the sadness, the loss, or whatever it is - that those feelings will overwhelm us and we will never escape.

But that doesn't happen - I know because I have been there. And I am still working on this element of my life. Maybe I always will be - but I am so much better than I was ten years ago, or ten years before that.

Another phrase you may have heard is "pushing the river uphill." That's what we are doing when we resist and repress our feelings. Sooner or later, we pay the price.
Resistance Equals Persistence
The Wisdom Of Surrender

We can’t get rid of something we don’t want by pushing it away. The more we push away, the more we get pushed back.

We all know the feeling of being repeatedly haunted by the same issue, no matter how we try to ignore it, avoid it, or run away from it. Sometimes it seems that we can get rid of something we don’t want by simply pushing it away. Most of the time, the more we push away, the more we get pushed back. There are laws of physics and metaphysics that explain this phenomenon, which is often summed up in this pithy phrase: That which you resist persists.

Resistance tends to strengthen the energies it attempts to oppose by giving them power and energy to work against. Additionally, resistance keeps us from learning more about what we resist. In order to fully understand something, we must open to it enough to receive its energy; otherwise, we remain ignorant of its lessons. There is a Tibetan story of a monk who retreats to meditate in a cave only to be plagued by demons. He tries everything—chasing, fighting, hiding—to get the demons out of his cave, but the thing that finally works is surrender. He simply lets them have their way with him and only then do they disappear.

Now, this wisdom must be applied practically. We are not meant to get ourselves physically injured. Instead, this story speaks of how, in essence, our demons are inside of us. What plagues and pursues us on an inner level has a way of manifesting itself in our environment in the form of people, events, and issues that appear to be beyond our control. But all these external expressions are reflections of our insides, and it is inside ourselves that we can safely experiment with surrendering to what we fear and dislike. It may feel scary, and we may find ourselves in the company of a lot of resistance as we begin the process of opening to what we fear. But the more we learn to surrender, and the more the demons that plague us disappear in the process, the more courageous we will become.

Click here for Summer's Path - the new book by DailyOM co-founder Scott Blum

1 comment:

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