Most of us are used to–and mostly unaware of–creating unnecessary emotional pain when we fight against reality by thinking thoughts like:
“It shouldn’t be this way.”
“This shouldn’t be happening.”
“I shouldn’t have to do this.”
“It” can be replaced with any of these: she, he, I, they, my weight, my life, etc.
“This” can stand in for whatever is happening that feels uncomfortable, undesirable, or unfair.
When we think these types of thoughts about something we have no control over or really can’t change, we’re resisting reality.
We’re spending emotional energy on it and wishing it were different. But if it’s something we can’t change, it’s not only pointless, but painful. And it doesn’t do anything to change what happened.
The opposite of resistance is acceptance. On the way from resistance to acceptance, there is non-resistance. And beyond acceptance, there is “loving what is.” That’s the big one.
When we start to practice non-resistance, when we start to acknowledge that we may be fighting against something that we can’t change and just let it be what it is, there can be peace and ease.
How do we know it was supposed to happen? Because it did.
That might be hard to swallow, but then there’s nothing to fight against. Then everything is going the way it’s supposed to go.
I know this is a big leap for many people, some high-level sh*t. Many people feel resistant to even thinking of this as a possibility for themselves. To let go of how things “should” be or “should” have happened, and let things just be as they are.
Maybe it’s not exactly “loving what is” yet, but what about some acceptance, or even some non-resistance? Instead of all the resistance, along with the emotional pain it brings.
This is not to say that we don’t change what is possible to change, or that we don’t move towards the change we want to see in our lives, or that we condone injustices.
But again, when we think injustices “shouldn’t” happen when they do in fact happen unfortunately all too often, we’re fighting against reality, resisting how things actually are in the world.
And that only creates emotional pain and suffering for ourselves. When we’re in pain, we usually aren’t taking the actions that create change.
Of course, we need to process the emotions we feel when something happens that we didn’t want to happen. The emotions of disappointment, frustration, sadness, anger, hurt, loss, or grief. And let it take as long as it takes to process them.
But how long do we want to keep wishing it didn’t happen and add suffering on top of those emotions?
When we can create more space for how things are, we surrender a little, we release some tension, we find some freedom. And that’s when we’ll get clear about what we really want and move towards creating the changes we want to see.
Your turn: What have you been resisting recently? What would happen if you allowed it to be what it is, without needing it to be different? How can the question, “How is this happening FOR me?” create some space in your experience?
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