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What you resist persists

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In the book The Secret one line really burrowed itself into my brain:


What you resist persists


I’m sure this adage has been around long before the book, but that’s the first time it really sunk in. And whether or not you’re on board with what The Secret preaches, this particular little gem from it definitely holds true.

What you resist persists

When there is something we don’t like, either about ourselves or others or a situation or circumstance in life, we tend to resist it. The brain has judged the thing as wrong, and because of this the brain starts to resist it, or push against it. Here’s how Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it:

resist: to fight against (something) : to try to stop or prevent (something) : to remain strong against the force or effect of (something) : to not be affected or harmed by (something) : to prevent yourself from doing something that you want to do.

But here’s the kicker. In the resistance of the thing you acknowledge the expectation of it happening or still being there, again and again.

Resistance is a very handy tool that your brain uses to keep a laser focus on the thing it thinks is “wrong.” That makes sense, right? If your brain’s job is to protect your survival, ignoring something it has judged as a threat is counterintuitive.

So, through the act of resistance your brain creates a handy mechanism to keep an eye on something.

The problem is that the brain is overreactive when it comes to judging something as threatening. Few things in life truly threaten our survival. But your brain would much rather be safe than sorry. Allowing your brain to run wild with resistance creates a constant undercurrent of feeling unsafe.

Even if resistance in the form of judgment seems harmless, like judging an article of clothing someone else is wearing, the reason your brain judges it as wrong is because it thinks that if YOU were wearing the same article of clothing, your tribe would judge you, cast you out, and you’d be doomed to die a lonely death in the wild.

Dramatic, but that’s where the brain goes. Judgments against others reflects fears you harbor for yourself. And fear creates resistance.

So, then, how do you drop your resistance to something?

You let it go. Pick up something unbreakable right now. Look around for something light or soft. A pen. A pillow. Hold it out in your hand(s). Now let it go.

That’s how you let something go. I know it SEEMS more complicated than that to let something go in your mind, but it truly isn’t. It’s just scary for your brain to part with resistance because it’s telling a story that it’s not safe outside the resistance. 99% of the time that isn’t true.

Think about what you are resisting in your life. Remember, that means anything you are trying to fight, stop, and/or prevent.

Write these things down. Then one by one, imagine holding them out in your mind, and letting them go. Experience in your mind and body what it feels like to drop the resistance to those things.

Thank your brain for being so diligent at its job, but then let it know that it’s ok to leave those things it was resisting on the floor. Those judgments are still there, lying on the floor, ready to be picked up if they are really needed again. But the effort of holding on to them just isn’t worth the energy it takes.

Because the energy channeled into resisting something could be channeled into creating something spectacular.

Be the keeper of your brain, and teach it what is truly worth resisting.

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.