Hopefully, as we get older, we soften. Our hard edges blur a bit. We aren’t so reactive. We see more clearly what is and what isn’t important. We realize even more that life is not black and white, there’s a lot of gray.
Resistance is a part of being human. We resist in so many ways, from the time we are toddlers, little kids, adolescents, teenagers – when resistance becomes a fine art. At least for me it did. Even as adults. We push back on so much, so many people, so many ideas, for so many reasons. We feel fragile, we’re tired of being told what to do, we think we know more than we do, we think we’re right. We’re trying to protect ourselves. We’re trying to take a stand. We’re trying to cope in a difficult and confusing world.
When we start trying to heal mentally, emotionally and spiritually, we start examining our resistance. Did it serve us at one time, but no longer does? My good friend and wonderful therapist Lisa Fields always mentions compassion when I say resistance. And the other day, I realized that what I have always been resisting was being compassionate to myself.
Buddhist teacher and author Pema Chodron says what we resist, persists: Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know. If I keep pushing back on something, it will keep showing up until I pay attention. Once I take a breath and allow myself to look kindly at what wants attention, it is usually a part of myself that is asking for compassion. Byron Katie says our work always shows up in the present. If I keep resisting something and it keeps showing up, there’s my work.
Compassion is the warmth that works through the resistance in the right time, in the right way, with willingness. There’s no way around, only through. Compassion, kindness, love, eases the way.
I teach that we are Love. Our life’s work is remembering and embracing, connecting with and experiencing that, so we feel our joy. Even while we experience life’s challenges and pain. When we surrender our resistance, and bestow the loving kindness and compassion that is being asked for, we cease holding back our Love for ourselves.
And then we flow, fill up, and spill over. And we are, and everyone around us, the entire world, is made a little better.