Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Resistance is Futile

Resist: to withstand or fight against. I am starting to believe that resistance to our lives is a very large part of the dissatisfaction we can often feel. We don't want to go to work, we don't want to be at work, or working. We don't want to clean, cook, or wash the clothes. We don't want to deal with the kids nagging, do the shopping, or spend time with those people.

When you think about it, our thoughts and our speech is full of resistance to what is, what needs to be done, our lives.

While we are dissatisfied with what we are doing, resentful and annoyed, irritated and angry, it is not possible to be happy too. While consumed with our general resistance we close ourselves off to contentment, satisfaction, love.

My son was sick a little while ago – just a bug. He vomited a couple of times, and had a temperature. But it was his resistance to being sick that made it the most unpleasant for him. “Why am I sick, what is the matter with me? Look, I am shaking, my teeth are chattering!” I was soothing him by letting him know it was just a bug, and I was there to take care of him. I wasn't worried, he wouldn't be sick for long. Yet, he resisted, making himself sicker, more anxious, more uncomfortable. The next day, we spoke about how much worse his resistance to being sick had made it, and that he should try to imagine being a jelly when unpleasant things were happening. To just be a blob, going with the flow, with muscles and thoughts relaxed. We joked about being a jelly, and showed my daughter jellies on the floor. I am sure the next time he is sick he will resist again, but I hope the imagery will come back to him some time when he needs it, my words and pictures in his mind.

And so, I think we need to spend a little more time being jellies. We may find that what we have been resisting in life is not as bad as we thought – that our resistance was the worst part of it. Or use those times to practice Mindfulness, a Buddhist practice of being fully present in the moment, and being completely involved in NOW. Or, by loosing our resistance we may find the quiet of the space left behind holds the answers we need when change is necessary.

Excerpt from The Spititual Journey Guide for Single Mothers on Mindfulness:(Pdf file, to open when clicked)

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