Resisting life's lessons leads to bigger lessons
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu
We do not control anything but our thoughts, our words and our actions, yet we are insistent on controlling our external experiences. Like a river that doesn’t control the path it takes, nor does it stop when ever there it are obstacles in its way, it flows where it is meant to flow. Life is the same process of flow. When we live life by resisting our experiences, either by taking action that is based on our learned behaviours or simply refusing to take action when we are supposed to, we stagnate and make life a matter of hardship.
Resistance is essentially when we avoid the lesson we are supposed to learn from an experience. One can resist by taking “wrong” action, or by doing nothing at all, thus hoping that the experience disappears. When we take “wrong” action we tend to act on impulse, from our emotions and only using information from our external world as a basis of action. When we act from a perspective of our conscious mind, thus acting from any emotion that appears, we perceive what is in front of us through the lens of our past experiences. When we do that we repeat the resistance of our past experiences, thus perpetuating the resistance and suffering in our lives. We try to manipulate our experiences towards the perceived desired outcome. How brazen we are operating under the illusion that we have the mental capacity to assess the infinite numbers of inputs into every experience. The truth is, we simply do not have the conscious intelligence to do that.
In society we can observe protagonist and antagonists that act with judgement from an emotional perspective. When we omit compassion from our actions we perpetuate the situation we are trying to solve. Division is resistance. Bring your mind to such prominent figures as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and The Dalai Lama, they all stand or stood up for something, without resistance, they accepted their path and all the experiences that came out of it. Taking right action is rarely the easy choice as it often contravenes the path that would be logical based on the information you have in front of you (remember, you perceive it through the lens of your past experiences). However, our intuition accesses computing power that is infinite and can assess all aspects of our experiences from every point of view and feed us the path of flow. Just because a path is paved with suffering, does not mean it is the wrong path, and it is not for us to concern ourselves with how we are flowing through it but why we are in the experience and what we are to learn from it. Flow can also cause reactions from others, and it is up to each and everyone of us to take the right action in every one of those experiences within experiences to make sure we act from a perspective of compassion.
When we are able to take right action by using our discernment and listening to our intuition we enter a state of flow. When we are in a state of flow we know exactly what action and when to take it, and equally important, when to do absolutely nothing. Another important aspect of understanding our actions is to ascertain our motivation. Often our actions might be motivated by power, revenge, retribution, anxiety, or equally our inaction might be motivated by fear of conflict, lack of passion, depression, and so forth. The commonality among these examples and every other examples of “wrong” action is that they all have their sources in fear. However if you are motivated by compassion, acceptance and forgiveness, you are most probably motivated to right action. However, just make sure your right action isn’t just a mask of a fear based belief.
The big obstacle for most trying to overcome resistance is trust. In order to flow with life we need to trust that we don’t need to worry about the “how’s”, i.e. how something is going to be resolved or how we are to move through an experience. Trusting our intuition and trusting that when we come up against a challenge we know exactly how to act. Of course, if we haven’t trained ourselves and installed the right mindful programmes, we will revert back to old habits and programming. Once you choose to become aware of your thoughts, words and actions, then apply trust and accept that you may not always get it right, but the more you practice and the more you trust, the more you will find reasons to trust.
Also published on Medium.