I watch a lot of Marie Forleo. If you don't know who she is, you can easily Google her to check out her website, videos, etc. She has built a name giving great and helpful advice to creative entrepreneurs. In the latest video I watched, one piece of advice she gave really caught me.
Basically, no matter what is happening to you, good or bad, when you resist it, you are making things infinitely harder on yourself. Resisting the situation doesn't make it go away, doesn't change it, doesn't fix anything. It just makes it harder for you to struggle your way through it.
This is a big eye opener for me. I'm pretty sure my life's motto has been "Resist Everything." In some ways, a creative person's downfall is to live a life with some (or a lot) of angst, because hey, angst-y people create amazing things! But it doesn't do a lot for our stress level or quality of life. Plus, happy people create amazing things too, right? It just seems like people want creatives to be dark, moody, depressed, or unhappy because that's the stereotype.
There have been a lot of stressful, sad, and frustrating situations in my life in the past several years. A lot of my time has been spent "resisting" the reality of what was happening. This often shows up in the questions that run through my head:
"Why is this happening?"
"How could this person do this?"
"I'm so upset, angry, frustrated. Why is life out to get me?"
Many of us have that negative loop that gets turning in our heads. Once we hop aboard the negativity train, we often find there is no next stop. I realized, after having that phrase "resist nothing" echoing in my head for the past day or so, that my life is spent on the negativity train and my first reaction to almost all situations is to resist that they are happening.
This makes it so much harder to move through things and to react and deal with them! I'm using all my energy to pretend the "thing" that is happening doesn't exist or will go away, so there is little energy left for the most important question I SHOULD be asking: "How do I deal with this?"
Instead of putting up a huge wall of resistance, or entering the "this isn't happening" stage, what if we could immediately accept, "This is reality. Now what?"
It's hard! No doubt, it's so hard to wrap your brain around this and accept that you've lived your life resisting everything that is going on. But, truthfully, all that does is help you struggle. And then you wonder, why is everything so hard? Why do people act the way they do? Why am I so stuck?
It's probably because you are taking the situations life is throwing at you, panicking, and trying to make them go away. At least, I know I am!
The phrase "resist nothing" is a great phrase, I found, because it can really make you take stock of yourself and what is going on for you. Often when we're in a bad job, a bad relationship, or bad situation, you want to pretend things are OK when they're not. When we stop resisting that things ARE bad, it frees us up to focus on what we can do to make things better.
I've only been aware of this phrase for a couple of days now, but what I've found (so far) is that when I am resisting something, "resist nothing" has whispered to me. It somehow pops into my brain and short circuits the resisting so I become aware of what I'm doing. That in and of itself is helpful. The two biggest areas where I see this helping, for me personally, are in ongoing stressful family situations (where I've been resisting what is really happening for a couple of years now!) and in my feeling stuck in a career I don't really want while longing to be able to do "what I really want to do."
Resisting these situations hasn't changed them. At all. So what if I didn't resist? What if I just accepted, "Yup this is reality!" And then continued on? I'm going to try it and see what happens.
What about you? What do you resist? Do you think it would change things if you stopped fighting against those realities? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!