The Ponder Effect | What do I resist and why?
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What do I resist and why?

I was walking the other day with a close friend, and she was helping me dissect a sense of dissatisfaction I was feeling. She asked me what two things I would get rid of in my life. One of my answers was “resistance.”

I meant the resistance I feel in my household, whose source I identified as my three daughters and my husband. I am a Libra, and I like harmony. I CRAVE harmony, and yet my life seems characterized by resistance. It exhausts me and makes me want to move to Oregon (where everything would be magical and perfect).

Driving home from that walk in the park, I was behind a car with a bumper sticker that read: RESIST. That night, I went to an event and saw a friend who sports a necklace that says: RESIST. I asked her what that word means to her, and she said standing against oppression. Indeed, effecting necessary change requires resistance. Great leaders among us have dared to stand against injustice. Teenagers and toddlers achieve independence in part through resistance. We all have to resist what the world tells us we should be or do or look like. We have to resist temptations and stereotypes and things that would suck us under. Resistance is a good thing.

And yet, we also have to learn to flow. Recognizing that resistance requires two opposing forces, I ask myself: What if it’s not just my kids and my spouse who are pushing, but it is I who is giving them something to push against? My desires for peace and accord—what’s more, my desire to CONTROL their desires—is my own form of resistance and my own worst enemy.

Maybe I need to be the river, and let it all just flow on by and through me, because that rock on the creek bed has been worn down by centuries of a current that is never going to let up. We all have things we resist, for good and ill.

What about you? What do you resist and why?

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

27 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    August 26, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I resist going through the motions.

  • Anonymous

    August 26, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    This summer, I did a deep dive on the Enneagram via a series of podcasts (Suzanne Stabile’s my favorite), and one thing I learned is that each personality type is repressed in one of three ways: thinking, feeling or doing. When I feel resistance in my life it is absolutely of the doing variety. I could think all day, and then feel my feelings about all the thoughts I’ve had, but DOING something about them is particularly hard for me. Doing regular, boring things is hard (like cleaning my house and returning merchandise to online retailers). Doing work is hard, especially when someone else tells me that I have to do it. Making a plan is not hard, but deciding to start the plan is, and deciding to start ANYthing feels like a giant, terrible slog. Once I get going, it’s not so bad.

    When I have a big DOING streak, as sometimes happens, I take immense pride in it. The feeling of overcoming all that resistance is almost addictive.

    So I guess the lesson for me has been first to acknowledge that which I resist – to pinpoint it – and to keep an awareness of it in the day to day, and then to accept that it would be unhealthy and unwise for me to continue to do only the things that are easy for me.

    All this to say: Struggle can be so gratifying. Telling a friend or family member the truth in love, even if it means that some hard conversations will be had, brings the relationship closer. Hiking the harder, higher trail brings the better view. Saying no to all but a few choice requests for involvement brings life into balance. These are difficult choices, and it’s scary to say yes to the things we most resist, but in the end the rewards are usually, if not always, worth it.

  • Anonymous

    August 27, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Thinking about “getting rid of Resistance” reminds me of the idea of Surrender. I think of this in a positive. Surrender your own personal comfort/position/rights/plans//gains… for the benefit of others. an others focused life bionically described in Philippians “living/acting/loving with the interests of others in mind”

    So many things are enhanced by one willingly setting oneself aside and focusing on the needs/ideas/input of others: Marriage, Parenting, and even business, service industries, and especially design. Resisting this cooperative dialogue and interaction if self destructive. It is a method of finding joy and fulfillment.

  • Anonymous

    August 27, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Wonderful evolution of meanings of resistance here. The importance of flow… yes, so good…

    I am a scorpio and I crave something to resist against. I thrive on a challenge and it’s a big motivator for me and at the same time it makes me kinda difficult with people I love.

    Person’s comment on the enneagram above: i thought of this connection, too. I am an 8 in stress (which is pretty often) but a 5 when I am in a good place/ in my flow. In other words, I am a challenger (8) and invite resistance as something to overcome. But in reality, the 5 in me would much rather step back, observe and investigate “the river” as opposed to being dragged about by it.

    I wonder to what degree our sense of self is forged out of the crucible of our “resistances”– the resistances we meet and the resistances we participate in

  • Anonymous

    August 29, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I would like to resist the inclination to judge others, the inclination toward self-pity, and the inclination to make everything about me.

  • Anonymous

    August 30, 2018 at 7:31 am

    What we resist persists. For a long long time I resisted the feelings that troubled me about my marriage. I thought they would go away over time. Shoving those feelings down and carrying on seemed to be the right thing to do. Because I resisted working through those feelings, they persisted and eventually bubbled up the the surface where they had no place to go. I was really forced to confront those feelings, stop resisting them, and to get real with my self and my husband. Giving into the resistance was the only way forward for me.

  • Anonymous

    August 30, 2018 at 7:34 am

    This is going to sound, and be, very selfish. Certainly not on the level of resisting the injustices of our world. So I apologize now. But honestly I resist the people who carelessly take up, take away bits and pieces of my time. Time is a gift and I/we only have an unknown amount of it. I have an almost visceral resistance to those who ask for a bit here, a chunk there. How I spend my time is who I am. I want to spend it doing what is important and meaningful to me. The problem is I often have to admit I am being judgmental, imposing what I think are priorities on others and then I have to resist that. Oh dear! Being in community is complicated.

  • Anonymous

    August 30, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    I am typically pretty laid back and tend to be go with the flow, to the point that it can harm myself, my ideals and my relationships. Which makes me think: I need more resistance in my life. I want to resist busy-ness and mindless-ness.

  • Anonymous

    September 4, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I resist good health by not getting enough (any) exercise and not eating well. Food is how I reward myself, even though I know there are better ways to do this.

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