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Resistance has been my master for years, though I would not have admitted it.  Not because I didn’t want to, but because I was blind to recognize it.

I used to call Resistance by various names. It was rational thinking, choosing the right path, listening to the Wise Ones, sorting out life problems, or being in charge of down-to-earth urgent tasks. However, the urgent tasks were usually not the most important ones.

Resistance came in disguise, however.
As a chatter in my head.
As the voice of rational thought.
As procrastination in the times of overwhelm.
As a fear to do the impossible.
As responsibilities, tasks and duties.
As roles to keep up with.

Do you do your thing in the world?

In making a far-fetched generalization, I suppose that you, like me, may feel the urge inside to do your thing. Perhaps, like me, you are scared to death. Scared such that it feels nearly impossible to walk this path.

I can call it Calling.

In a moment of a conscious introspection, have you had a glimpse of a person you might be? The brave one, the bold one on a mission?

Are you a song writer who doesn’t write songs?
Are you a business owner without a business?
Are you a teacher without pupils?

Resistance is the gap between the life you have and the one that you sense is possible.

If I want to simplify it to one ingredient, it will become fear.

***

Resistance is real.

It’s a force.
A primitive one, permeating everyone alive.
Protean. Strong. Directed.

Resistance is like tension that keeps you crippled and small.
Resistance is like a closed gate that you don’t dare to open.
Resistance is like an authority who tells you you can’t.

It doesn’t sound too bad, but don’t be fooled.

Resistance’s exists not to weaken you, but to kill.

This killing is about the call you have inside.
Or we can say, that its goal is to prevent birth. Of the creative endeavor that dwells in you.

***

Resistance cannot be seen, but it can be felt. It is a force to move you away from doing the Work. The important Work, that is. (Not your usual tasks and households.)

Resistance seems to come from outside. There are many excuses not do to the Work.
Job. Obligations. Illnesses. Kids. Bosses. Friends. Lack of time. Lack of money. Lack of skills. Pains.

Don’t be fooled again.

Resistance is within. It comes from you.

It will take any form to convince you that you wouldn’t, shouldn’t or musn’t do the Work.

If you respond to criticism, it will show you how stupid you will look in the eyes of others.
If you respond to reason, it will sell you logical arguments for not doing the Work.
If you respond to pain, it will convince you how painful the decisions and actions may be.
If you need social attention, it will convince you about your loneliness or loss of friends.

***

Resistance has to be treated with respect.

Why?

Because …
Resistance is always there. It never takes breaks. It never sleeps.
It will use any way, method or strategy to keep you passive.
It cannot be reasoned with. It has always compelling arguments you can’t oppose.

Resistance finds supporters.

If you choose to abandon your carrier to follow your inner calling, you may experience that the whole world conspires against you.

Perhaps your old friends are not friends any longer. Perhaps your family is unsupportive, explaining you how stupid things you do. Perhaps you will get an amazing promotion offer at the job you decided to quit. Perhaps there are shining, luring possibilities to earn more money if you stay. Perhaps your son gets suddenly ill. Perhaps your mother dies. Perhaps there is a marriage crisis. Yes. Perhaps.

Such events may happen because the awaking soul, subconsciously, radiates the strength and power to beat the inner demons. To overcome inactivity and to move towards the act of creation.

Resistance will use any way to keep you unchanging.
It may also take a form of procrastination or any addiction or destructive habit, be it alcohol, over-eating, self-hurt, accident-likelihood, neurosis, illness, chronic fatigue etc.

***

Your real nature is transformation and growth.

Whatever form Resistance takes and however it acts, your way is to accept it exists, become conscious and do the Work. Remember, there is no way you can reason with it. If you begin, you have already lost.

Accept Resistance and walk your path. There is no other way. In the end, Resistance is your friend.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.

Begin it now.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

***

 

perseverance

Perseverance

Sometimes (or perhaps more often that I would like it to admit) I think

“I wish I was more gifted”,

“I wish I had more courage to act”

“I wish I had more luck”

“I wish I had more results”

“I wish I was pushing it through”.

Yes, “I wish I could be this or that”. Broadly understood, of course, as I wish I was quite a character ;).

But .. you know what?

Nothing changes.

There is no point in hopeful wishes for the sake of clouds of thoughts. The only way forward is to stop whining and just be talented, be pushy and make it through.

Nobody is going to give it to me a gift of awesomeness, courage or action. Nobody is going to give me more energy or more health. Nobody is going to offer me more time.

Nobody is going to make me great. Neither special.

Nobody is going to make me an authority to listen to. Nobody. 

Why?

Because it is not in their power to offer that.

So what?

The only way to make the next step is to take it.

First is the first step. Inertia is overcome. Movement is set in action. Then I’ll just take one step after another.

No matter the circumstances.

It is called perseverance.

***

Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.

***

Do you want to be a norm?

You want to be perfect.
Balanced. Harmonious. Spotless.

That is what you think you want. To follow the perfect dream.

You want to have a great family.
(Obviously, a great house and a car too.)
You want an easy and smooth life.
You want to make a great carrier.

That is what you think you want. To follow the standard dream.

Do you want to be a deviation?

Luckily, you are much different than the norm.
You are strange, perhaps odd, colorful and spotty.
You are a masterpiece in creation.

***

It is the differences, not the norm, that shape interest and curiosity.

They make us think.
They make us look for answers.
They make us change and grow.

What is known and explained becomes boring.
What is different and standing out becomes interesting.

Have you ever thought that the greatest inspiration comes from the parts that do not fit to a model?
These are the ugly parts, aberrations, defects, imperfections, or surprises.
Indeed, we push towards a new development because the deviation is there and demands attention.

***

Harmony and elegance are powerful. They create a comfort zone.
As much as we want it and love it, we become lazy and purposeless when we dwell there for too long.

The norm, the model, the comfort zone is a place of rejuvenation. For a short while only.

***

The parts of yourself that are elegant, polished and worked-out make a great cover.
They help you shine. Yet, they likely stand on the way to your progress.

The parts of yourself that you wish to dispose of, change or hide are the sources of great power.
The imperfections are a potential for growth and purpose.

It is where you don’t fit and how you differ from others that becomes your strength.
It is the difference that is an inspiration for change.

***

Dare to be a Deviation, not the Norm.

***

 

Many years back my friend was going through a painful divorce. She was my close friend some time before that event, but we lost the connection when we started to pursue different paths in life.

I learned about her divorce from others and I knew it was a tough experience for her. I wanted to call her, cuddle her and offer her my listening ear. I felt so much compassion that I could not bear it, in fact. Yet, I found myself completely blocked and immobilized to take any action. I felt lost.

I simply did not know what to tell and how to ask about her feelings. I did not know how to start a conversation and how to tell that I knew she was in trouble. I wanted to help badly yet I couldn’t make the step. Anything that I thought I could say seemed ridiculous. I felt it would be stupid to call her just because I had no clue how to start. I got stuck. I could not collect my courage, so I did not call.

Luckily, I connected to her later with a help of another friend, still in time to offer my understanding and support. To my surprise, the connection was perfectly easy and natural. All the projected fears of not knowing what to say and how to express my love were completely irrelevant. My care was enough for her to appreciate the connection.

I have learned something powerful from this experience.

You can conquer the whole world.
You can become the top achiever.
You can become rich and famous.

Yet, if you fail to ask a simple question:

“How are you, dear friend?”

you have not learned how to live.

And you know, there are times when it is extremely hard to ask this question.

These are the times when your friend or family member is going through a life-threatening illness, a painful loss or challenging life circumstances. These are the times when you just know your colleague at work is really lost and without hope, yet your supervisory or managerial position ‘does not allow’ to ask more, or you don’t even want to bother.  It is potentially too much trouble. These are the times when you see a stranger in tears,  yet it is not proper to ask her what’s wrong or how you can help.

We have the norms in the end, don’t we?

Have you noticed how easy it is to discuss jobs, progress, achievements or plans, but how difficult is it to ask about personal feelings? It is scary to ask about them sometimes. In the end we have enough our own troubles, don’t we?

When you ask the question, it is as if the shields drop down and you may see a naked truth. In such a moment you are willing to show how you are because your shields are down too. Floods of emotions may follow.

Are you prepared?

Like for Parzival who had to conquer the whole world and wander aimlessly for years before he could finally connect to others and himself, it is important for us to ask this powerful question. This is the question that heals and transforms. A question that Parzival had to ask his uncle Anfortas was  “What is it that troubles you, dear uncle?” And this single question, of pure love and interest stopped the illness and sufferings of Anfortas. It made him whole again.

If you ask “How are you?” with deep interest and care, you need to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to the other person. In doing so, you recognize a part of yourself in the other person, a certain vulnerability. You become receptive to learn something about the other and yourself. You recognize the part of consciousness you are both sharing. You give a gift of attention and love. You offer your willingness to change, facilitate a transformation and to heal.

It is not easy, perhaps. But it is essential.

My friend is dying now and I am sad. So, I hurry to ask “How are you, dear friend?”. Because it matters. We both need love and healing.

Is there any person in your life waiting for somebody to give him a seed of interest and care?
Don’t wait.  It is your turn to act now.

And, in meantime, let me ask  “How are things with you, dear friend?”

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The image above shows a beautiful quilt by Inge Duin. See more of her works on  www.ingeduin.nl.

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Addendum: My friend died two months after writing this post. I’m glad I was able to support him in the last days.

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