Resistance is Futile

Some days, my life is one long series of resistance.

I want to eat couscous with my lunch, but the voice inside my head warns me it's a carb and I really shouldn't eat carbs.

I want a glass of wine before dinner, because all the males of the family are drinking beer and watching the Orange Bowl and its fun to hang out with them.  But the ego-driven voice tells me that I shouldn't because it's a week night.

Wine_242208_l

I really want to take time to work on my own writing project, but I warn myself I have manuscripts to read and paid writing to finish.

Every one of these desires is met with resistance, a chorus of  shoulds and shouldn'ts.  And my desires and my resistance go head-to-head, back and forth, until I'm having a Linda Blair in the Exorcist moment, my head whipping around on my neck in a frightening fashion.

And then I realize what is happening.  That I'm resisting what is.  And the old adage, what resists, persists, is true.  So as long as I resist the damn couscous, I'm going to want to eat it.  As long as I resist the wine, the call to drink it is going to get stronger.  And when I resist the urge to work on my own writing, the sadness inside me will grow bigger and bigger until it swallows me up. 

What I really need to do is just let it all go.  Relax into it and quit with the resistance already.

But, my ego whispers, what about that concept of personal responsibility you're so big on this year?  Huh?  Huh?  Isn't it the responsible thing to do to not eat the couscous or drink the wine? In a way, yes.  But there's a crucial difference.  And that is the act of letting go.

Have you ever had the experience of wrestling with a problem, focusing on it obsessively, without result or change?  And then suddenly you've had the glorious feeling of just letting it go?  When it happens it is magical, because you truly enter the space where whatever happens is alright.  No matter what, its alright.

Because letting go means that you are not attached to the outcome.  And here's where the personal responsibility part comes in: you do your best, you work your hardest, you glory in the process, but you aren't attached to what happens.  You trust that whatever happens will be for the best.  And if what you want to have happen doesn't happen, you know that something else that might be better will.

And so, when I let go and relax, I can serve myself up some couscous and realize that a very small portion will satisfy my craving for it.  I can pour myself a glass of wine and enjoy it without feeling the need for another.  And I can take time to write and know there's time enough to get everything done.

What is, is.  Resisting it is futile, because you're arguing with reality.  So relax and let go.  And all will be well.  And by the way, this is what letting go and relaxing looks like:

Pugsandcats

What do you resist?  What are your experiences with letting go?

Photo of wine by telefon897, from Everystockphoto.  Image of pugs and cats from my Iphone.

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13 Comments on "Resistance is Futile"

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Ledger D'Main
Guest
Ledger D'Main

Looks like the newest members of the family have adapted well…
I wonder how many pink sofas there are in the universe?…lol…

Charlotte Dixon
Guest

Oh God, it does look pink….it is actually very orange. But I have a purple couch in the living room if that’s any consolation. Yes, they seem to be settling in. Captain, king of the house, cat with white face, swats at the poor innocent pugs once in awhile but its with his claws in now at least. And Lieutenant actually seems to like the pugs, though he’s afraid to tell Captain this and risk being seen as a traitor to the cause of catdom.

Don
Guest

It looks to me that some in your household have already decided to take your advice to let go and not resist by sleepying anywhere, and anytime, they bloody damn well feel like… LOL!

Charlotte Dixon
Guest

Don, yes the pugs and the cats have the art of letting go down pat!

Maryse
Guest

Happy New Year to you, Charlotte! Hope it will be filled with ‘letting go’ moments and much happiness.
Whenever I feel the resistance these days -which means I don’t feel happy and at peace- I ask myself what it has come to teach me and how i can take positive action. In that moment of understanding what is really going on, peace is restored while I do what my soul really wants me to do. 🙂
All the best, my friend!
Maryse

Patrick Ross
Guest

Charlotte, I hope your resistance to wine on a week night isn’t a New Year’s resolution, because you’ve already put a strong one into the universe, taking ownership of your writing goals. You don’t want to ask too much of the universe all at once!

I actually just posted an item today about resistance — resisting the obligations of life to find time to create — and I profiled a writer I interviewed last year in Portland, Oregon, of all places! http://artistsroad.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/allowing-time-for-creativity/

J.D.
Guest
J.D.

Charlotte, I echo what Maryse said. Happy New Year! I looked at the weather in Glendale. The temps are barely warmer than here today and tomorrow: high of 60 and a low of 37. I expect it to heat up over the next few days. War Eagle.

Charlotte Dixon
Guest
Maryse, How are you? Thanks for dropping by again. And Happy New Year to you, too. You give great advice, to pause and ponder what we can learn from a situation. Patrick, Yeah, forget that resolution about no wine on week nights, it doesn’t work. Seriously, thank you for that reminder that I might be asking a bit much of myself, it really helps. Awesome interview with Erin, by the way. J.D. Happy New Year to you, too! I know you’ll be watching the BCS from your side of the country and I’ll be enjoying it from mine, and even… Read more »
Patty - Why Not Start Now?
Guest
Love how the dogs and cats artfully drape themselves over the furniture, Charlotte, creating just the right kind of animal chic decorating. I have that in my house too. And I’m so glad to hear you ate the couscous, drank the wine, and wrote your words. One of my favorite responsibility quotes comes from Nietzsche: “Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves.” I like the idea that responsibility is as much about personal freedom as anything else. And it seems to me that’s what you did today, grabbed your freedom in a loving and personally responsible way. Of… Read more »
Charlotte Dixon
Guest

Patty, aren’t the animals great? Nothing like a bunch of them to add life to the house. And mess, but who cares. I love that quote and its a great idea to reframe responsibility as freedom to be ourselves. Takes it a whole level deeper.

David Paine
Guest

Two things:

1. I get fairly deep into resistance from time to time, but never, never, never, at cocktail hour. So go girl! Have that glass of wine.

2. If you ever find yourself in need of another pug, I’ll fly out there to interview for the position.

Charlotte Dixon
Guest

I’m going to remember you advice, David, and quit worrying about the damn wine. And you are welcome to fly out and hang out with me any time, pug or no.

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