The Union Path Podcast
"Liberation Through Dropping Resistance"
It can sometimes be difficult to be aware of, with the very least, sometimes difficult to acknowledge. When we ourselves are holding ourselves in bad situations, when we ourselves are keeping ourselves in undesirable circumstances, doing things we'd really rather not do, continuing day after day to do things that we would just more than anything really want to change.
I feel that life has gotten somehow stagnant, somehow stuck. Because we keep doing something, perhaps we keep doing many things over and over and over again that we really don't want to do. And a lot of times we can work really hard to be okay with it, to really try to be okay with doing the undesirable, with doing things we just really don't want to do.
We can read a lot of books, we can ask for a lot of advice. We can go for walks, we can meditate about it, we can pray about it. We can do all sorts of different things. To try to ameliorate our suffering through the involvement, through our involvement with the undesirable, but yet it persists, yet it sticks.
We can try to get really good with our internal processes of coping with whatever we're doing, with dealing with the dissatisfaction, such as too much food, too much alcohol, too much shopping, too much social media, too much gossiping. Too much, whatever it is, whatever escape we've discovered and fabricated for ourselves can be really difficult to face the undesirable head on because a big part of adult life is things really aren't as simple, or at least don't seem as simple, is simply getting to do what you want.
In fact, most of adult life can feel like we actually have to spend most of our time doing things we don't want. Our life seems much more inhabited and occupied by the undesirable than it does by the desirable. This can lead to a feeling of resentment. This can lead to a feeling of bondage. This can lead to a feeling of hopelessness or just a lack of agency and control over our own life.
We can feel like we're held captive by circumstance. We can feel. Captive by this deterministic rut of things just playing out against our favor, against our will. But this is where awareness, this is where taking a bit more of a quote unquote spiritual approach to these things can be really useful, can be really handy, can be really clarifying, can be really helpful.
Cuz we can start to see. A bigger picture, we can start to see a little more what this circumstance really is to us. We can start to see what our role in these circumstances really are. We can start to see how these dynamics really play out. We can start to see what choices we're making, because it's our choices that we can most easily see, most easily ascertain and evaluate what's really important to us.
If we really wanna understand what our values and priorities are, often we need to look no further than our choices through what we choose to do, especially over the longer term, over and over again. That will really tell us a lot about ourselves. But one of the areas where choice has the greatest power is in choosing what we resist, choosing what we push against.
Because sometimes, perhaps oftentimes it can be this resistance that's actually holding these undesirable circumstances in our life that we are the ones who are remaining hitched to, and bonded to, and joined to whatever this undesirable situation or circumstance is. We're including ourselves in it, and we're including it in our life, in our life experience, through our own pushing, through our involvement of our resistance, through our involvement of our pushing against.
And this can be a difficult thing to spot at first because especially if we've been put upon or downtrodden or take advantage of before, it can be really easy to automatically shift into a place of blame. It's not my fault. I didn't do this. Look at them. Look at that. Look at this. This is clearly the problem, but oftentimes, what's a little more useful?
What's a little more helpful? Perhaps what's a little more true is taking a wider perspective in looking at what role we play, what our involvement is doing to affect whatever situation we're in. We ourselves are holding on how we are holding close. What we ourselves would label as undesirable as the unwanted and a lot of times is through our own resistance, through our own, pushing against, even in the conflict that we feel around whatever we're doing that we don't want to do around whatever circumstance.
We find ourselves involved in that we'd really rather not take a part of, of whatever relationship that we have in our life that we'd really rather be free from and not participate in anymore. We can be the ones who are causing this to persist. We are the ones who can be the ones that are causing this to continue.
We are the ones who are choosing our involvement. And again, this can seem a little backwards when we first hear it, but there really is something to the idea of the bonding effect of our own resistance about how pushing against what we'd really rather not have in our life actually keeps us tied to it actually keeps it tied to us.
It maintains that bond, it prevents that separation that our own resistance. It can be sabotaging or at least prolonging the freedom and liberation that we so want, that we so seek. But again, this brings us back to this idea of choice. This brings us back to this idea of what are we choosing to resist that if there are things in our life that are truly intolerable?
That are truly terrible, that are truly awful. Then of course we need to do something about this. We need to get away from these situations. We need to extricate ourselves or the people we care about, however we can. But for the more typical, the more normal, the more, more mundane, undesirable items in our life.
We can find ourselves subtly, but persistently pushing against them perpetually. We can have things that we've chosen to do for whatever reason, but at the same time, find ourselves pushing against them. A lot of times we can find this in our work, we can find this in our relationships, we can find this where we've made a choice on one level, where we're forced to live with that choice in a completely undesirable way.
We've decided to take a job that provided the income. Or security or benefits or some other need for our families. If we ourselves hate it, we ourselves loathe the idea of having to go there every day and do whatever it is we do. We can find this in relationship of where we're continuing relationships with people.
We really, actually want nothing to do with, but we continue to have relation with these people because we're quote unquote supposed to. Because there's some sort of fear, some sort of guilt, some sort of expectation that gets in the way of actually liberating ourselves to be able to shed this undesirable relationship.
Same thing with a work example. We may hate it, we may get Saturday night dread every weekend where starting about Saturday afternoon or so, we start dreading Monday morning and yet we persist. We find ourselves burned out and exhausted by doing this thing that we really, really would don't want to do anymore.
We would really, really find like to find some sort of way out of some sort of escape, but we keep doing it. We keep persisting in it, and it keeps having its effect on us. It keeps grinding us down. It keeps de-energize us. It keeps burning us out. So that by the end of the week there's very little left.
We're running on fumes, and then before we know it, it's time to start back at it again. But I think if we apply a little bit of self-awareness to these situations, we'll realize that it's not really as cut and dry as this, that it's not really these circumstances or relationships that are having this effect on us.
That a lot of the effect is what we're doing to ourselves. A lot of the effect is actually the resistance is the pushing against whatever this is, and this is where we can use our choices, we can use our agency to intentionally drop our resistance to intentionally go passive to things that we've already decided to do.
And again, this isn't about going passive against things that are truly intolerable or terrible. This is about being able to truly make peace with the choices that we've made. If we've chosen to take a job we don't want to do because more important things are being served by this job, well then that's a choice that we've made.
That's a choice that we chose to make, and the more we can make peace with that, the more we can line up with that. The easier that choice will be on us because it may not change anything about the job. But what we'll find is that a lot of the effect that we feel is actually internal isn't so much about what happens to us on the job as more to do with our reaction to what happens to us, to our pushing against, to our own frustration.
Our own unrequited effort to try to make things change, make things different. Our own lack of acceptance of what is trying to make this job situation into something that it itself isn't. Because we can choose to save our effort, we can choose to save our activity for what actually matters to us.
Because if things are there to fulfill a need, but we find them undesirable, then often those are the perfect things to try to go a little bit more passive. Just try to let go, set our quarrels down, set our frustration down, and just accept this is what this is right now. And I think for a lot of us, we can feel resistance to that very idea.
There's something, a part of the resistance for us is there's something in our soul yearning for more that we perceive ourselves as something more, or at the very least as something different than the expression we find in this job. It's the same thing with relationships, that we may find a relationship grinding against us because we're not being the person we really are.
We're not living our real life. We're not being our real selves. Usually we've modified ourselves or made ourselves smaller to fit in a box that we don't really fit in, or more importantly, a box we don't want to fit in. We have made ourselves a captive to this situation and we ourselves are the captor.
Because there's something that happens when we intentionally drop our resistance. When we intentionally shift, the more of a mode of passivity with things that are undesirable with things that we've chosen to do, is that it saves our energy, it saves our action, it saves our creativity for what actually does matter to us, what we actually want.
We're not investing our energy. In resistance and frustration and pushing against, and instead we're saving that energy to put it to what actually matters, what we actually care about, that if we're working a job, we hate to take care of our family. Wouldn't it be better to expend as little energy, as little excess energy anyway and fulfilling the needs of that job so we can save our energy for our family?
Doesn't that seem to make sense? Doesn't that seem to be what we actually want? Or if we want to do something different, wouldn't it make sense to save our energy to do something different, to not use up all of our action, all of our energy, all of our life force in the pushing against, in the frustration, in the resistance to what is, and instead save that energy for what could be.
Save that energy for more creative pursuits. Save that energy for the very change that we want to happen because in kind of a funny, perhaps paradoxical, sometimes ironic way, the problem with our problems is us, we are the ones resisting it. We are the ones in conflict. We are the ones maintaining the conflict and the resistance internally.
Sometimes no one even knows. How we feel. No one knows the conflict. We feel. No one knows how different we feel, how at odds we feel with what we're doing except us, and we are the ones feeding and maintaining these feelings. But along the way, we're spending our energy, we're spending our life force feeding and maintaining these feelings of being disgruntled, being frustrated, having umbrage.
And not using that energy to create something different. We are choosing to use our energy in a way that keeps us stuck, that keeps us locked into whatever track we're on that keeps whatever's happening continuing to happen because we're not putting our energy elsewhere. Nothing's changing, nothing's any different because we're not doing anything different.
We're not doing anything differently. We're not seizing the opportunity for that change to start with us. At the very least, adopting a different attitude, at the very least, choosing not to fight things We've chosen, coming to grips with the fact that we've chosen to do whatever we've chosen to do, and that fighting it and resisting it is only tearing ourselves apart.
That this conflict is only internally felt. It's not only of no value. It's of a negative value. It's causing hurt, it's causing harm. At the very least, it's squandering the opportunity to do anything differently, to do anything different, to focus on anything different, to create a change, because creation has to come from energy.
And there has to be energy left in order to create creation, to be directed in that way. And in kind of a funny way, that's been my experience when I've dropped resistance that the undesirable choices that I've made, that all of us sudden the creative faculty by itself seems to really turn back on. I start to see there are actually opportunities around me.
There are far more opportunities than I ever thought existed. But I can see them now because I'm not so focused on my own frustration, on my own resistance, I can start to be aware of appetites and desires that I didn't even know I had. I can start to pursue things that I'd either thought that I'd lost interest in, or didn't realize I had any interest in to begin with.
But I can be aware of this. I can spot this, I can do this cuz I actually have energy to do it. I'm not consuming all of my resources in the undesirable, I'm leaving room for the desirable to show up, to make itself known, to exist, to manifest, because we all get to choose. We get to choose how active or how passive we are with anything.
And a lot of times we can do ourselves a lot of favors by choosing to use our action towards what matters and choose to apply our passivity to what doesn't. To learn to grasp and hold on and pursue what we want, what matters to us, what we feel compelled to go after what we're attracted to. And choose to learn to let go.
Well, we're not. We can go through life getting better and better at both learning to grasp and learning to let go because they're both equally valuable. They're both equally useful, and a lot of times if we find ourselves really burned out, really frustrated, really upset. It's because we've been applying these incorrectly, or at the very least we've been applying these unskillfully unintentionally.
We've allowed our reaction to the undesirable to use up more of our energy, more of our creative energy than we'd actually like. We're not saving anything to create change. We're burning through all our fuel with our resistance. And we're not saving our fuel by learning to let go. Learning to accept, learning to allow.
And this is a big life skill of learning to allow the undesirable, because through our allowance, through our dropping of resistance, saves energy and creates room for the desirable to show up. And when it does, we have the energy to pursue it. We had the life force left to feel joy, to feel desire in the first place.
We're not so ground down. We're not so minimized. We're not so run over by life because us gripping so tightly to our own resistance of what we don't want is simply tearing ourselves apart that a lot of times. That is the majority of the negative effect that we feel from undesirable situations. It's our own gripping because it's trying to get us to let go.
It's trying to get us to move on, but we won't let it. We grab on with both hands in a death grip, pushing against as hard as we can when maybe just maybe. The situation is actually trying to get free from us. It doesn't want us either, but we won't let it go. There's kind of a funny inverse or reciprocal process that happens.
Is that something that has plagued us, that has been resident in our life for so long that we just want to transition on from? Just wanna grow out of, just want to get through. Just wanna let go, just wanna be free of. That when we do find ourselves able to finally fully let go, it seems to melt away on its own.
It isn't that funny. All of that struggle, all of that pushing, all of that trying, all of that effort that really amounted to nothing was totally unnecessary. Cuz thou of that effort was a symbol, was a manifestation of our own resistance. That all we had to do was let go, that all we had to do was let go fully.
That all we had to do was to learn the lesson of how to not resist, of how to allow, of how to abide the undesirable in our own life so that we saved room and we saved energy, but they desirable for the, wanted to show up. In that way, we created the opportunity. To ultimately pursue what we're actually attracted to, cuz we're not so focused and not so used up on what we don't want, what we don't like, what we're frustrated about.
We've stayed open and available to what we want by not getting too lost and too focused on what we don't. And this is a choice we can always make. We can always choose to use our activity. And use our passivity to our own advantage or use our energy, use our expression, use our effort towards what really matters, and utilize the energy and the effort that feels like gets taken from us through undesirable circumstances.
We can learn to let go and we can learn to pursue. What we want, this opportunity is available for all of us because at the very least, if we can learn to let go of the undesirable aspects of our life, the things that we've chosen to do, the very least, will make our lives more pleasant, will make our lives much less stressful, will probably make ourselves a lot more pleasant to be around cuz we're not just this ball of nerves or anger or frustration.
We can find a sense of ease. We can find a sense of flow. We can, we can find a sense of place in our own life and we can save our energy for what really matters to live our life towards what really matters. But we really want what we're fully attracted to. Cuz we're not so burned out. We're not so flattened.
We're not so diminished. And this is done by simply learning to let go. Learning to let go when our grasp, when our gripping is not only not serving us, but is actually harming us, that we're the ones feeling the negative effect of our holding on, and that we are the ones who feel the positive effect of our letting go.
Learning to let go and trust that what we want is out there learning to let go. Learning to trust that we already know what we want, even if we're not fully aware of it yet. And that even if we feel like we have no idea what we want, what we have no idea what we'd like to do instead, we have no idea what would be better by dropping our resistance, that can create the space for the awareness of what we do want to happen.
That the message, the awareness. Of what we really want. Couldn't get through because we were so focused, because there's so much noise, there's so much effort around what we don't want that. By letting this go a little bit by diminishing our focus and our resistance against what we don't want creates the space for what we do.
Want to show up either in idea or inform. That all creation starts from a negative space. All creation starts from a sense of vacuum, from a sense of need. All of creation is pulled through life, through energy, and we can create the space for this, pull the flow through us by dropping our own resistance, by just letting go stop fighting what is, and use that energy towards creating what could be. Take all of that energy that we're using in our own resistance and funnel it to creation towards living a creative life, towards living a life where we are creating and experiencing and sustaining what we actually want because we are filling our life.
With what is actually desirable to us, what we actually want, and we create the space for this to show up. By dropping the resistance to what occupies our life that we don't want, we let go and we create the space for the wanted to come in. And this is our ultimate agency, and this is our ultimate power.
This is our ultimate creative gift to choose. Where we apply our energy, and by making the choice to apply less energy to the undesirable, it's also making the choice to apply that same energy to creating what would be desirable in our own lives.