Resistance Is a Tool

A while back, I was mulling over an offer I’d received. When I first received it, my gut told me that, while it was a great opportunity, it was not something I really wanted to do. But I had no good reason for not wanting to do it, so I assumed that initial feeling was wrong. I talked to the person who’d extended the offer and got more information. Logically, it seemed to make sense to accept it, so I drafted up an e-mail saying yes but specifying some parameters. I thought those parameters would make me feel better about agreeing to move forward.

Every time I went to my computer to hit “send,” though, I hesitated. I’d actually sit there for several seconds with my hand on the mouse, but I could not make myself do it. “Maybe I still need to think about the wording. I’ll send it later,” I thought. At least four more times that day, I tried and failed to will my finger to press send. And that’s when I remembered what my friend Franklin Taggart once told me, “Resistance is a tool.”

He’s right, of course. Resistance tells us something is off. It does not lay out for us what that thing is – it would be a far more valuable tool if it did – but it gives us the space to dig deeper. I talked over my situation in detail with my husband and, as so often happens when I speak my thoughts out loud, I actually heard in my own words what was really bothering me. Then, just to make myself feel better, I listed out the pros and cons of saying yes, so I’d feel like I was making an informed decision rather than simply going with my gut. In the end, though, it was that ongoing feeling of unease that drove me to my computer to delete the draft of that e-mail and start a new one, in which I politely and appreciatively declined the offer.

I wrote a few weeks ago about how sometimes our resistance stems from knowing in our soul that a suggestion is correct, but we aren’t yet ready to face it. I’ve also talked about how sometimes resistance means we might need to put a creative project aside for a while until we uncover exactly what we’re resisting. And now I’m saying that sometimes we know something might actually be right, but our Higher Self is telling us no. In every case, resistance is our soul forcing a pause so we can get out of our heads, and out of our egos, and figure out what really aligns with our current purpose.

Because resistance forces a pause, it can feel like a waste of time. It’s far easier sometimes to just talk ourselves into making a decision one way or the other. It can also feel like it requires less energy to simply push ahead than to figure out what is bothering us. But think of it this way . . . how much energy would I have expended trying to get excited about a project for which I had doubts? And how much time would I have spent participating in an opportunity that didn’t feel like a good fit?

Like all tools, resistance can help you build a better experience for yourself, but only if you allow it to assist you.

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