The Energy of Resistance I’m sure you can think of a few things in the world and in yourself that you’d like to change or eliminate—painful events, uncomfortable situations, and destructive behaviors. The irony is that the more we resist or attack the things we perceive as negative or harmful, the more they persist. When you resist or attack something—a person, a policy, or a rule—you are trying to push it away or destroy it. This requires an investment of energy.
Energy is energy. In its raw form energy is neither positive nor negative—it’s pure power and potential. When you hate or resist something, you are giving it power and potential. This is why it is actually very hard to get away from something you strongly resist. In fact, resistance creates the opposite affect—the resisted person, place, or thing actually becomes more dominant in your life and your mind. Can you recall a time when you experienced this?
An extreme example of this is family feuds. Two or more families decide they hate each other. They engage in an ongoing tit-for-tat war that lasts generations, never letting the other go and becoming completely entwined in their fates. Their hatred binds them together—perhaps even more deeply than families bound by love. We sometimes say “they love to hate each other” because we can sense the negative pleasure in their struggle and resistance.
We create similar types of energetic feuds in our lives and our society. A few examples are the war on drugs, the fight against cancer, and the race against hate. Each of these efforts comes from a seed of positive intention, but when the effort is turned into a fight against what is not wanted it can create the opposite effect.
We have grown accustomed to--and so good at—fighting things, so it will take a deepening of awareness and intention to see that a different approach can be more productive.
The Energy of Creation The energetic reality is what we resist, we attract and what we fight, we feed. Knowing this we can begin to see the consequence of fighting against things we don’t want, instead of letting go, standing our ground, and refocusing our attention on what we do want. For example, what if the month of October was changed from "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" to “Breast Health Awareness Month”? Can you feel how the energy changes as the focus changes?
This does not mean we lay down and let harmful people, places, and things have their way with us. Setting firm boundaries is a healthy thing and is very different from resistance. In fact, when we resist something we are breaking down healthy boundaries by pushing our energy out instead of containing our energy within ourselves, where it has all its power.
Resistance paralyzes our creative energy. With our attention focused on what we don’t want to experience, we have little energy and space to focus on what we do want create. And herein may lie the key to understanding why resistance is such a popular reaction.
For many of us, the decision to identify and move toward our desires takes much more courage and maturity than the choice to pick a fight, dig in our heels, and cycle in resistance and struggle. When you refocus attention on what you do want, you are taking responsibility for your decisions, setting your sights on a new vision, putting yourself out there, taking chances, and stretching out of your comfort zone.
Figuring out what we are willing to commit to and move toward in our lives is not usually easy. Realizing and categorizing what we don’t want is often the first step in this process, and we may spend some time exploring this step. The trick is to avoid building up a resistance that keeps you running away from something instead of running toward your desires.
Try This! Take a moment to think of one thing you are resisting, or energetically running away from. Maybe it’s a job that no longer engages you or a relationship that is draining. Take a deep breath, and in your mind’s eye visualize yourself calling back all the resistance energy you have invested in this person or situation. Feel the energy coming back in to your body, filling you up. You may notice your body relax as you release.
Now drop your attention down out of your mind and into your heart. Take a breath and ask yourself, “If I don’t want this, what is it that I do desire?” Continue to breath and listen/see/feel/know what comes up. You might take a few minutes to journal about your experience. How does your body feel as you let go of resistance and open to your true desires? Do you feel free, excited, angry, nervous, fearful, unsure? Notice whatever comes up and let it be. As you do this you’re introducing to your energy system a new, creative pathway of possibilities.
You can use this approach anytime you feel a resistance reaction coming on.