Resisting Reality. What does that mean?
The term came to me one day as I realised how many of our sufferings come from the resistance we have to just what is really happening. Really and Truly happening in our lives.
We feel, think and have hunches about things but we don’t want to believe them, honour them or listen to them. We ignore that little niggle, that background hum that we never used to have, that tiredness that never used to be there because we don’t want to know, we are busy, and need to be here and there. We Resist.
And we fixate on the symptom, the anxiety, concern, worry, pain, guilt or shame, rather than accepting the symptom for what it is, listening to it, honouring it, following its lead.
Resisting Reality means ignoring, resisting or dishonouring a part of ourselves.
That niggle is a niggle, that ache an ache, that feeling that something is not right means (yes, you guessed it) something is not right.
But instead of honouring, we stay with the symptom, we know there is something wrong, and there is but we just want ‘it’ to go away (which is perfectly reasonable) but often we can be resisting what is actually going on. We try to treat the symptom rather than the underlying life problem.
We don’t want to go right down there, to the bottom, to the Truth so we argue against it. “I don’t really feel like this, it will pass”, we try and use positive thinking mantras to get ourselves out of it, or we follow a myriad of material ‘advice’ from the world thinking this will help.
No. There is a problem and we need to deal with it.
Do not Resist the Reality.
I think much of mental health issues is being stuck in the place where something is wrong but there is no way of getting right to the bottom, often no space, or some person in your life telling you to ‘get over it’ or distracting/advising you. Now these people are well meaning but they are not You.
You are unique in your life and experiences and in reality, can only be the one who makes the deep true and right decisions in your life. No one else can.
Get out in nature, have some alone time. Let the feelings come. Let the depression, anxiety and doubt come and be fully seen and heard. Then you have the reality of the situation and you can then choose what to do about it. When you name your reality, it is empowering.
I read once this really helpful way that depression was being treated. It was that for one hour a day the person was to totally feel everything, go as low as they felt, feel everything (not to hold back). In this acceptance (this lack of resistance) was the benefit.
How often in our lives do we spend avoiding these feelings? Or trying to protect others so we resist or repress our own feelings?
Often in my case. In one job I had a boss who was young and inexperienced and was making life difficult for many of us. Instead of dealing directly with this reality I kept all the frustration inside. I tried to eat better and exercise more but the anxious and stressful feelings were still there, and didn’t actually go until she wasn’t my manager anymore. I still have some resentment there when if I had clearly expressed my displeasure it might have been much clearer then and now.
I know that I have repressed sadness or stress because I haven’t wanted to burden my parents or friends. And of course, it is not always appropriate to talk to someone just at that time but it is important to acknowledge it to yourself, and express yourself clearly later if need be.
I’m getting better though! A wee while ago, I took a planned week off my current job. I knew there would be some decisions to make. I had been really busy up until this time and you know what for the first two days I just lay on the couch and cried, let all of the backload of grief out. Now this did not feel good and I was a little worried about myself. I said to myself that if I didn’t have some clarity by a certain date then I would get some support for myself.
I used the room I have for my quiet time and over 3 or 4 days a clarity did come and was clear and concise about what to do next. I bowed in gracious acceptance. I knew that was the truth for me. I had reached the reality of the situation, but it wasn’t pretty!
The conciseness I received was really relevant to my life and the specific situations I was in. Talking to other people is sometimes helpful but they are seeing our lives through their experiences and the advice can be a little off base.
One spiritual teacher I read says that there are only two options if you are in a place which is not true for you in your life. One, change it, or two, leave. Just don’t stay stuck in it.
Sometimes the reality we need to accept is really hard to face, we have made a mistake or something that we thought was going to work, doesn’t or what we want is not the same as someone else wants. The answers we get can be challenging. We realise we need to move, or stand up for ourselves, or we need to wait and stay. The answers are so personal just for us. But when we get down to the reality there is a rightness, a clearness, a Truth that we know is ours.
It can only be for a second, that leads us on to the next second, the next. And it can be really difficult to have faith that these deeper intuitive answers are right for us. I never really had to test out what was right for me or go against any other authority until I was a young adult. At the beginning, it was so hard to follow the dictates of my own soul, to move against the grain, to do my own thing. And honestly I have only learnt through experience that to follow these messages works and is true and right for me.
There were many times, and still are, where I get things wrong, take the wrong path, do not get my interpretation quite right.
But I do know that when we stop resisting and just feel and honour our very own being, we find the Love that sits behind everything. We realise that the Truth is always what is good for us, what is right for us, giving us the lessons we need to learn in our lives.
We begin to see the Perfection that sits behind everything, and we understand a little bit more about our place in the larger scheme of things.
We feel, honour and bow to, the (Impersonal yet supremely personal) Truth that is our very own eternal light.
And we Work, and we learn, and we humbly grow because in the end, there is actually no way to resist reality as the Truth wins.
Every Single Time.
Let’s give ourselves some space to feel, honour and follow.
Our very own Truth