Your 3-year-old son is fascinated with water. He loves playing with water, and you can be sure that whenever your son is around water, things are going to get pretty wet everywhere in the vicinity. He loves water play. Your inner need for order and dryness causes you to dread water play.
You are hosting a moms-and-kids gathering at your house tomorrow, and you have to make a last-minute grocery store run to get some essentials. Now is the time, but your 7-year-old is totally immersed in what she is doing. You can’t leave her home alone, she does NOT want to stop what she’s doing to go, and you feel there is no other time but Right Now. The tension mounts as the two of you dig your respective heels in.
Your 17-year-old tells you he has made plans to go to a local coffee shop on Friday night to hang out with some kids he just met, and he wants to borrow your car. You haven’t heard such great things about that particular spot, and you’re not nuts about the idea of him borrowing your car. He’s feeling unsupported and untrusted by you, and neither of you is coming up with a solution the other likes. Neither of you is really willing to hear the other.
Resistance, resistance, resistance.
Each one of these scenarios has an amicable solution, but resistance may be blocking your ability to see it. Here’s why. Resistance takes a lot of energy ~ energy that you could be using to solve your problem, so it’s hard to solve a problem you are resisting.
In fact, resistance actually transfers energy TO the thing you are resisting! So, the more you resist something, the more energy you give it, the more that thing persists. Weird!! That’s why the saying “What you resist persists” is not only nifty and rhyme-y; it’s also true!
But, you may be thinking that if you drop your resistance to something, the “terrorists” win, right?! (Just kidding about the “terrorists.”) Well, that’s not true. When you drop your resistance, YOU win because you allow.
- You allow solutions.
- You allow yourself to see things from a different perspective than you had previously been locked into by your resistance.
- You allow the highest good for everyone concerned.
- You allow yourself to see that there may be more than one outcome that you had no idea about.
And, you detach from the need to be right.
So, what if dropping your resistance to your 3-year-old’s love of water play led you to the idea of covering the surrounding area with bath towels that need laundering anyway? He gets to play freely and joyfully with water, and you get an easier clean-up when he’s done.
What if dropping your resistance to your 7-year-old’s focus on what she’s involved with (which you see as inflexibility) led you to a solution of 1) waiting until your partner got home before you ran out to the store, or 2) giving your shopping list to one of your friends who’s coming tomorrow anyway, or 3) shifting your beliefs about the timing so you could allow your daughter to finish what she’s doing, or 4) including in the grocery store run some activity you know your daughter would really love and find interesting, or 5) giving careful consideration to some other idea that your daughter comes up with and making that work?
And, what if dropping your resistance to your son’s plans and allowing a shift in your thinking led you and he to work out a solution that feels great for both of you (like you travel with him into town and hang out at a book store…)?
For an example of how it feels to get go of resistance, try standing about an arm’s length distance away from a very sturdy wall in your house (hopefully, they’re all sturdy!). Now, push as hard as you can against the wall for say 20 or 30 or 40 seconds. That’s resistance. But, when you stop pushing and just relax, feel that sensation. Really try to qualify it; really feel the easing relaxation in your arms and your back and your legs when you stop resisting.
Now, imagine how you mentally resist things. It takes that same kind of exertion mentally as it does physically, and it’s really just as pointless as pushing against an immovable object. Imagine how much physical and mental energy you have available to you when you drop the unnecessary expense of resistance.
Consider asking yourself today what you might be resisting, and what might happen if you drop resistance. And, drop me an email if you’d like to explore or discuss this further!
Please let me know what you think, if that stirs anything up for you, or if you’d like an example of what I’m talking about. And, please feel free to share these nuggets with anyone you think would enjoy or benefit from a little whisper-du-jour!
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Thank you so much for reading!!
Be well, and be kind,