Resistance: The Enemy of Growth

What is it that I am resisting?

'Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.' ~ Steven PressfieldClick To Tweet

She said “be more colourful, we didn’t meet the real you.”

She said “use the intonation of your voice, let you passion shine through.”

She was a psychologist providing me feedback after a job interview assessment centre.

Today’s post is a little different… more like a journal entry than an article. If it’s not for you, no worries! Thanks for stopping by!

Yet I do prefer to be ‘in control’ – to seem in control. It makes me a good/conscientious driver. It helps me resist addictions of all sorts (coffee, food, exercise, alcohol). It drives me to understand how my brain works (so that I can better predict, anticipate and control it).

And it drives me to help those who find themselves in the midst of chaos not of their own making. People who live in violence, or drug dependency, or poverty, or war-torn countries.

I lived there for moments of my childhood and early adult-hood. The chaos of parent with inconsistent discipline and mood led to my strong value of fairness.

The chaos of near misses (especially involving men) when influenced by alcohol led to my strong desire for sobriety.

Why am I so ‘buttoned down’?

I think I’ve always been that way. Being upset – no, betrayed – when I learned someone I cared deeply about and admired was growing pot in their glasshouse… Disapproving of ‘lowly’ and ‘uncouth’ behaviour… Aloof? Conceited? Non-reactive?

Reflective, perhaps. Non-emotive.

Generalist, not specialist.

Expert at creating order out of chaos.

Anarchy. Shambles. Entropy. Discombobulation. Shemozzle.

It’s very hard to find fairness in a state of chaos.

So to hope in a world filled with disorder and complexity, my brain became highly skilled at creating and identifying predictable patters – at systematising chaos – and at diagnosing root causes.


An observer, before becoming a participant.

And I participate with the express purpose of reconciling the irreconcilable… solving the unsolvable… calming the chaos.

This means that evidence of chaos – the indelible marks it leaves behind on the lives (and deaths) of those touched by it – cause me distress and emotional turmoil. I imagine myself into those lives, and the chaos overwhelms me. The lack of fairness. The absence of sobriety.

I’m sure if I were a religious person, I could find solace in the unknowable plan of a supreme being, but my mind resists religion for its apparent acceptance of unfathomable pain and intolerance.

Instead, these events call to me, and play over and over, begging me to act… But to do what?

What are you asking me to do?

What am I resisting?

I try to ensure my mind is unshackled by pedestrian constraints, but I cannot see what it is that I’m supposed to do…

Why is that the lot of human beings to not be able to see those things at the next stage of development – evolution – that would most help us?

Those in chaos cannot see there can be ‘not-chaos’.

Those in addiction cannot imagine there can be ‘non-addiction’.

Those pain cannot understand the idea of ‘not-pain’.

Those in combat cannot fathom peace.

And those under siege cannot recognise refuge.

Why do our own minds present us from achieving that which we most need? It is cruel. It is unfair.

What must I do to resolve this?

What must I stop resisting?

They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

I am ready.

What is my teacher?

Footnote: literally the morning after I wrote this, I read the chapter called “Your Inner Purpose” in A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle… (Part of my team of Virtual Mentors.) It leapt out at me immediately… though I cannot tell you why. I’ll keep you posted!

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