How do you know when resistance creeps in?
What are the signs?
What are the symptoms?
And how can we learn to coexist with resistance?
Simply put, resistance is being in a position you don’t want to be in, disrupting those ”feel good” feelings. Resistance creeps up when we are trying to avoid or are battling something mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
You know that feeling of procrastination? That, “I know I should, “but I just don’t want to” experience? What happens when we push our tasks off for too long? What happens when we avoid what needs to get done? It feels like our life gets turned upside down and our internal dialog turns into this heated debate between angels and demons. And usually, we resist for as long as possible, until, we run out of time. It’s a terrible feeling, yet somehow, we invite this it into our lives over and over again. And this doesn’t only apply to procrastination. We do this when we try to control our external environment or when we try to get our view across and fail miserably. When we want to change things beyond our capacity or even try to change another persons behavior.
So how can we detect when resistant occurs?
1. Our emotions become off balance
Any time we experience internal resistance, our emotions become affected. And because we all view the world through our own subjective lens, our emotional reaction of resistance varies. Personally, my initial reaction towards any resistance is frustration followed by anger, and if I let these feelings sit for too long, sadness creeps in.
I recently experienced a strong wave of resistance when someone I once cared about did some heartless acts. I got advice from some friends and family and they all agreed how horrible his behavior was. Needless to say, I became frustrated. My boundaries were crossed and I had to put my foot down. The issue here was, I wanted him to see how unfair his actions were, but unfortunately, that only made matters worse because his ego stepped in. And I know from enough life experience, that when the ego is at the forefront of any decision, it turns into a stubborn match, adding fuel to the fire. But after experiencing enough anger and sadness, I decided to live with the fact that, I can only do so much. Our boundaries will be crossed by those that want to cross them regardless of how we feel, and it’s crucial for our health, to listen to our emotions.
This experience taught me so much. Rather than getting upset and reacting, I decided to coexist with my internal resistance, to acknowledge it, embrace it and love it like a mother bucker.
It’s also important to note that there is no one universal reaction of resistance, but it’s crucial to identity what’s happening inside you. Shining light and bringing awareness into your “resistant” emotions also helps pinpoint what triggers brings such emotions to the surface. Identifying these emotions also help pinpoint any patterns we carry and can release our energies in a different direction.
And eventually, with enough awareness and practice, you’ll get so badass at detecting what bothers you, you’ll develop techniques and strategies that work for you instead of against you.
2. We feel drained or fatigued
Emotional resistance effects the body in several ways, but some of the most common symptoms are, upset stomach, restless sleep, insomnia, fatigue, headaches, migraines, increased heart rate, hot flashes, vomiting, and/or diahera. High levels of stress weaken our immune systems, making us vulnerable to viruses. That’s why we become sick when overworked or stressed. It’s our bodies way of saying, “hey this is too much! You, stop it right now!”
During my experience mentioned above, I had this lingering headache I felt so wiped out. It felt like I just finished cramming for 3 finals, it was brutal! I couldn’t sleep and woke up feeling anxious. Dang! All because I was resisting what was out of my control! And Frankly, life is waaaaaay too short for that stuff. So listen to your body. It’s the quickest way to detect when somethings going array. The mind can push us beyond belief, but it’s usually our bodies that give us the warning sign.
3. Take note of your conversations
I remember walking through my college campus and “overheard” a phone conversation, (this girl was practically screaming), about how terrible her friend was. She was going on and on, the story was cyclycal and had no end point. I remember thinking “well this is only hurting you right now.” I could not only hear but feel how upset she was and it was intense! Believe it or not, after sitting in class for an hour and a half, I walked out to the same girl still complaining about her friend! YIKES!
AND YES! I’ve done the same before and it does more harm than good. It’s important to vent and talk things out, but only if someone is on the other end offering a solution. If your friend is just says, “yeah that’s rough. I’m sorry. Oh Betty, that’s just not fair.” It does a disservice to you and your friend and only makes those feelings more alive inside you.
Basically, resistance becomes obvious when the majority of our conversations are about how someone “wronged” or “hurt” us. If you’ve done everything in your power to alleviate the situation, and the problem still persists, then it does a disservice to you, your health, and your poor friend that’s on the receiving end, listening to what simply cannot be controlled. It’s time to stop wrestling with “I’m right, you’re wrong,” and let things be. It will pass, and those feelings won’t last forever.
Oh this is a sneaky one, but it’s a very real way of handling internal resistance and usually goes hand in hand with a submissive personality. Avoidant behavior really tries to avoid or ignore the situation altogether even though it’s bothersome. This style of resistance normally involves feelings being “bottled up,” which I was notoriously known for doing in my younger days. And let me tell you, this is probably the most damaging of all. Usually, this turns into sadness, or depression. Take special note of when this occurs because this one has the most impact on our health, happiness, social and intimate relationships.
Photo Credit: Found on xaxor.com