What is resistance? Is it La Résistance, a courageous 1940’s French underground civil right’s movement, standing up against the oppressors of liberty? Or is it an electrical term for something that blocks current and flow? Could it also be a psychological term for the mechanisms we activate when we face something uncomfortable? Let’s explore the word RESISTANCE
My current understanding of the word.
Resistance is an interesting word, because in a way I have defined it as a positive word as it, before I knew about it in a mind-context, understood the word in a World War II context where the resistance were the ‘good guys’ who fought against the evil occupation. The resistance were the people who had the courage to free us from the oppressors. Another positive definition of resistance is that of something being ’resistent’, like being ’resistent’ towards infection.
On a conscious level I understand that I tend to resist things that requires effort or that requires me to go beyond my comfort zone, things I fear. But I definitely see that I, within the mind, have made quite an ’allegiance’ with the word resistance as something that I honor and adhere to, and therefore also often struggle to push through.
1. The act or an instance of resisting or the capacity to resist.
2. A force that tends to oppose or retard motion.
3. often Resistance An underground organization engaged in a struggle for national liberation in a country under military or totalitarian occupation.
4. Psychology A process in which the ego opposes the conscious recall of anxiety-producing experiences.
a. The capacity of an organism to defend itself against a disease.
b. The capacity of an organism or a tissue to withstand the effects of a harmful environmental agent.
6. Medicine The inability of a cell, tissue, or organ to respond to a certain hormone, drug, or other biologically active substance in a desired way: insulin resistance
7. Electricity The opposition of a body or substance to current passing through it, resulting in a change of electrical energy into heat or another form of energy.
8. Thermal resistance.
Etymology (origin of the word):
mid-14c., from Old French resistance, earlier resistence, from Late Latin resistentia, from present participle stem of Latin resistere “make a stand against, oppose” (see resist). Meaning “organized covert opposition to an occupying or ruling power” [OED] is from 1939. Electromagnetic sense is from 1860. Path of least resistance is from 1825, originally a term in science and engineering.
late 14c., from Old French resister “hold out against” (14c.), from Latin resistere “to make a stand against, oppose; to stand back; withstand,” from re- “against” (see re-) + sistere “take a stand, stand firm” (see assist). Related: Resisted; resisting.
Sounding of the Word
When looking at the definitions of the word outlined above, there are a couple of things that stand out. First of all, the definition within electrical terms of resistance being something that prevents a current/flow from passing through a body, reminds me of how resistance affects me on a mental level, how it literally blocks flow. And when I looked at the ‘antidote words’ to live as a means to push through resistance it was exactly words like ‘flow’, ‘fluidity’, ‘flexible’ and ‘push’ which again reminds me of water, but where the solution is then to let things flow through the body rather than trying to block them with resistance.
When I read the etymological definition related to ‘resisting forces’ what I thought of was how the word resistance in a way has been hijacked by the mind, that it is a word that is lived in reverse. Because in this context, we as beings within the body ought to resist the mind (as an occupant ruling force).
What is also interesting in this context is that when I experience resistance, it is the mind reacting to itself. Have a look: the experience of resistance is a mental (projected onto the physical) experience TOWARDS other mental experiences such as fear, meaning where we resist doing something because we fear it. The mind does not protect us with resistance against an ‘evil overlord’. It is doing it all to itself! The mistake we make is to believe the image we are shown, where we focus all our attention on the object of our resistance, and the resistance itself being a ‘logical’, ‘supportive’ and ‘positive’ response for example to fear.
Interestingly enough the words ‘resist’ comes from the two words ‘against’ and ‘take a stand/stand firm’ and so in a way, it is like the word in fact means EXACTLY that: to be AGAINST taking a stand, to be AGAINST standing firm. Because what do we do when fear comes up? We listen to the fear, we believe the fear, we want to soothe the fear and we do as fear commands, which most often are to retreat, to NOT speak, to NOT act, to NOT change.
Even the expression “the path of least resistance” has become something obscure and twisted, and it is an expression I can relate very well to, in the sense of avoiding anything that causes friction or requires pushing – and so to in fact, adhere so much to resistance, than you don’t even have to experience resistance because you have long been avoiding anything that could cause you to experience resistance and have so, made life very easy and safe and convenient and complacent for yourself. Here we could even redefine “the path of least resistance” as the complete opposite whereby through pushing through resistance, through not accepting resistance as a premise that one adhere to, one start creating flow and fluidity in one’s life.
Lastly, I looked at the definition of resistance being a ‘force that prevents motion’, because that is certainly accurate in the context of the mind process. When we resist, we halt our process and the more we resist, the more stagnated we become.
For me, I have created a very intimate relationship with the word resistance, in the sense of it being something that I feel is very close to me, where I ‘choose me’, where I am being ‘nice’ to me. If I were to give it an image, it reminds me of a mother saying to her child “Oh you don’t want to go to school today? Ok then stay home, let’s play hooky and stay home and eat pancakes all day.”
So when I resist something I know I should do/that is best for me, it feels very positive and caring, but obviously because I know it really isn’t, it also creates massive conflict, guilt and worry within me, not to mention self-judgment and blame.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a positive energetic relationship with the word resistance, based on association with the word resistance as something I do where I ‘stand up against oppressors’ and avert danger and so because of this have created a relationship with resistance where I feel protected by it and supported by it and therefore adhere to it without question
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to refuse to let go of my positive relationship towards resistance because I use resistance to avoid doing things I don’t feel like or want to do or that I fear and that I then feel protects ‘my interests’, not realizing that these are in fact the interests of the mind, to NOT allow movement or change, but to remain in a state of passivity and non-movement
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to develop such a relationship with resistance where I almost immediately bend, fold and retreat and so have made resistance a directive principle within me that I automatically allow to guide and direct my decisions and movements during my day
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not admit to myself and realize that resistance is not an effective way of dealing with things, because all it does is to postpone the inevitable in many instances and it creates an energetic wall that has to be upheld which requires mental and physical strain that could have been used to rather sort through that which I am resistant towards so that I may actually expand and change
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a relationship with resistance in my mind where I use backchat and self-talk to talk myself into justifying not doing something that I resist, because I know that it is not self-honest or common sense and so therefore I have to deliberately deceive myself to convince myself that not doing it is ok and acceptable
When and as I see something that I need to do/that I know would be supportive for me to do and that I have time for in this moment, I first of all push myself to practice doing it then and there, immediately in the moment, and then when I see the resistance coming up, most often as a feeling and backchat of “but I don’t feel like it” or “I don’t want to do it now”, I stop and I breathe – and I remind myself that I am NOT busy resisting an oppressing authority but am in fact playing mind games in my mind and I instead look in common sense and self-honesty at whether it would be best for me to do this things now. Also, when and as I see that I am starting to speak to myself in the mind, where I start saying things like “oh but I can do that tomorrow, I don’t feel like it right now” I stop and I push myself to not accept the premise of this thought.
I realize that I have associated the word resistance with something positive, as something that protects me from danger and that I owe my allegiance to and that this is the reason why I have refused to let go of my relationship with resistance and because it allowed me to stay in a comfort zone of convenience and complacency.
I realize that resistance in fact is a mind-game that the mind is playing with itself because it resists its own created experiences of fear or discomfort and so the entire validation of resistance of something protective goes completely out the window.
I commit myself to introduce flow and fluidity into my life through pushing through resistance and to remind myself that beyond resistance is flow and fluidity, and so I won’t be in the experience of resistance and pushing forever, like breaking a dam to let the water flow freely for the first time – what a relief.
I commit myself to challenge and change my relationship with resistance in the moment where I see resistance coming up within me, and I commit myself to bring my attention and focus back from focusing on the object of my resistance, which I realize is a smokescreen as it isn’t about this or that, but about resisting something because it makes me uncomfortable, challenges me, scares me or demands an effort from me. And I realize that the more I push through resistance, the less I will resist and the more I will flow.
Redefinition of the word Resistance
A force that prevents movement and flow.
(In the context of the mind, it is how the mind protects itself against itself and thereby creates a loop that prevents movement and change)