A few years ago, while reading with my then, 13 year old son, Spencer, from the book Spiritual Economics by Eric Butterworth, we entered into a delicious dialogue on the meaning of resistance. We were reading the passage: “to realize prosperity, you must accept the responsibility of your own thoughts, which is how you can take charge of your life.”
I have shared the teachings of The Power of Awareness with probably a thousand folks by now, so I have gained a clear understanding of how the mind works, and it is the same for everyone. The only reason anyone, me included, feels any discomfort, ever, is because we are resisting what is. Simply put, if we have a belief – a thought – that judges what is, as bad or wrong, we automatically can’t “accept” it. The mind that can’t accept what is does what it has been trained to do: it resists. I’ll explain this further. But first, take this opportunity to observe if your mind accepts or resists my explanation.
Our mind has been conditioned from a very young age to believe that being “right” is good and being “wrong” is bad. When we are “right,” we are rewarded with good grades, or a promotion and pay raise, or we receive the approval of our parents, children, lover, or friends, and this makes us feel glad! Conversely, when we are “wrong,” we get punished with bad grades, pink slips, or the disapproval and rejection from our parents, children, boss or our lover, and this can make us feel mad!
What does resistance have to do with this?
When we are in the midst of any situation that our mind interprets as “wrong,” in order to not feel bad, it will go into resistance mode in a nano-second. This manifests as confusion, argument, judgment, defensiveness, or emotional shut-down. You see, defending what we believe is “right,” will avoid, although only temporarily, the punishment of our feeling bad, which comes from thinking we were “wrong.”
My son, Spencer, quickly recalled a perfect example. “So mom, when my math teacher was explaining the second part of a formula and I got confused and upset with her, was I resisting?” Yes, You were,” I replied. The reason is that instead of “accepting” that your mind was not ready for the second part, as you had not yet understood or gotten the first part “right,” you attempted, through argument, to make the teacher “wrong.” At a subconscious level, your mind did not want you to be “wrong,” because it would have made you feel bad, so instead, your ego projected onto the teacher that she was the “bad” person, in that situation.
I shared with Spencer that he could, always, feel good simply by changing his beliefs about what it means to be right or wrong. In other words, he can create a belief that learning new things can be fun. Or, others may have a new or different perspective to share, which may be interesting. Being in a state of “curiosity” to what life is bringing into your experience, opens your mind and heart, and the body will naturally feel relaxed – good/glad – even if you don’t agree with it, because you are perceiving from a neutral perspective, instead of from an old habitual, and reactive right or wrong perspective. Resisting what is taking place, on the other hand, closes your mind and heart, and that makes the body feel tense–bad–and regardless of how hard you may try, you can’t change what just took place.
Because our thoughts create how we feel, we are always, albeit unconsciously, causing how we feel. Feeling good, happy and glad is our God given natural state of being. When we feel glad, we go with the flow of life because we accept what is happening, as just that: life happening. Others will feel our ease, and may feel inspired to help us, including our math teachers. The boss will feel inclined to contribute to our success, and our parents, children and lovers will enjoy being around us. Also, when we feel glad and happy we don’t put up with situations that don’t support our choice, and we move on from jobs and relationships with acceptance and ease.
The saying: “what you resist persists” is so, because, without exception, what is resisted, which automatically tenses the body and makes you feel bad, must repeat itself—think karma—until you take responsibility for deliberately shifting the beliefs you hold, which block your ability to experience your natural state of feeling good and at ease. The resistance is offering your next life lesson. All life lessons are like stepping stones, where you need to know the first part of the math problem, before you can understand the second part, and so on. So next time you resist, it is simply a reminder that you are not yet ready for your next lesson. But don’t worry, life will repeat what you believe until you are ready to shift. Acceptance comes from trusting that all is well, and truly neutral. Resistance comes from the belief that all is not well, and therefore it is wrong.
Did you become aware of your mind resisting or accepting what I just shared?
When you truly understand the concept and purpose of resistance, as the very opportunity that can empower you, your life will become a fun adventure you’ll be thrilled to be on. But until then, don’t let your mind get mad, instead, choose to deliberately feel glad that you have the power to shift and lift your perspective!