WHAT YOU RESIST PERSISTS
Updated: Sep 6, 2021
Have you ever resisted something or had the same recurring challenge with the same people or different people at various times. Does the frustration, time and time again give rise to highly charged emotional outbursts or leave you energy drained?
There's a reason for these recurring events. They are there for us to learn and love. They’re there for us to reconcile with the parts of ourselves that we haven’t yet loved. Anything we have not yet been grateful for is emotional baggage we bring into our current reality.
The emotional/traumatic moments in our past when ignored have no choice to move from whispering to shouting, getting louder and louder until it finally screams. By this time, the emotional baggage is so overwhelming it’s difficult to be objective. Here is when you succumb to heated arguments and destructive ruminating thoughts that you’re too tired to deal with.
Likewise, our physical bodies follow a very parallel path of feedback. The first feedback mechanism is our psychology, the intuitive whispering voice in our mind telling us to get back to center. When we ignore our intuition, we experience symptoms in our physiology to direct us toward facing our issues. During episodes of anxiety, we experience shortness of breath, sweat accumulates in the palm of our hands, our bodies receive a rush of adrenaline. That adrenaline prepares your body to fight or flee, and one of the ways it does that is by dilating our pupils. Other changes include tightened muscles, an increased heart-rate and increased blood flow to your peripheries. Prolonged states of stress on bodies can lead to physiological ailments.
It was psychologist Carl Jung who contended the idea that “what you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” Today, this viewpoint is generally abbreviated to “what you resist persists”. In other words, the more we avoid our temptations the greater the temptation. In an emotional sense, the more we avoid what is negative, the greater the degree of negativity we attract. Therefore, liberation does not come from avoidance of what is bad or negative, but by transcending the labels we put on ourselves, others and the events around us.
When we avoid the negative or resist temptation, we subjugate ourselves with emotional behavior, and tend to be erratic with our environment. In some sense, we’re making revolutions in our mind, swinging around our moral dilemmas, leading to indecisiveness in our lives. True liberation is an evolutionary process, not a revolutionary one. To evolve, we must have a complete understanding of ourselves, a full awareness of any given event in space and time, seeing that event as it is.
In the instance of an emotional event, what liberates us is to take the action of understanding the event. Taking steps of reflection and deep questioning. Asking ourselves, “why did I allow this to happen to me?”, “how is this very moment serving me?”, “what learning am I being gifted in this moment?”. The quality of our lives to some degree is determined by the quality questions we ask ourselves. It also requires us to be accountable and responsible for our own reality so we can give ourselves quality answers, to see the gift of our circumstance.
There is a great tendency for events to happen in a manner out of our expectation. But if we had expected the event, the learnings would not take place. What is the point of adversity if we had known what the adversity was going to be? Or even, would it be a surprise party if you knew about the surprise party. We are ingeniously created. We give ourselves these lessons without consciously knowing it in order to grow in the areas that we need to.
Life lessons that you need to learn, will keep persisting until you don’t resist it any longer and can be grateful for them. Thank the person, thank the experience. You might not like the way the lesson arrives. But that’s the whole point. Challenging events are a gift of growth. Open your mind and heart, you are prepared.