Turning the Page

You’re doing OK in the Face of Resistance

May 8, 2020

There is a resistance we all face into, but with the presence of others, we can know hope. So let’s listen.

It felt to her that she was the only one having struggles. Every day, as her eyes peeled open, there was an instantaneous thought ‘Can I do this’?

As someone who works outside in the wind and rain, I notice that the ambient surroundings have an effect on me. It might be the heat of the summer or the cold of winter. The mud that clings heavily to my boots in the winter or the brightness of the sun in the heat of summer. There is always a resistance I have to push into.

But it’s the wind that truly takes it out of me.

Working in a strong wind feels like life is being gouged out of me. You have to push into it to do anything. There is a resistance to movement. It’s tangible and real, but also unseen.

Having a mental illness can be like that. It’s always there and you have to push through it. It’s the thoughts and feelings that whistle and roar around your life, but you push on and you awake the next day to face it again.

I want to say well done.

Resistance

Writer Steven Pressfield talks about resistance in his book ‘War of Art’.

“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work.
It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole.
Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man.
Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get.
Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.” Steven Pressfield, The War Of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle

There is a resistance that every writer has to push into. Its the push back words you hear in your head ‘Who are you to write anything’. The wind of ‘I don’t have anything to share’ and the hail storm of ‘Who is going to read this anyway’.

Right at the place of movement, there is a resistance. Will I move forward or will the wind push me back into nothingness.

For mental health, there is a resistance

To every moving forward in life, there will be the sensation of a push back.

Those winds that strike us every day can eventually wear us down. Like an autumn leaf losing its grip on the tree, it floats away and is lost.

Many of the readers of this blog have at times faced hurricanes. The stress load wind storm was too much for them and it crashed them to the ground.

Then someone minimized the storm you faced. Given so-called ‘wise advice’ after the tree had been torn from the ground. And now, with the roots ripped out from under you, any little breeze can echo storm warnings.

So many times I want to reach out and say a few words.

You’re doing OK
Good enough is good enough
Millimeters matter
We rebuild together
We do it at your pace
We talk about the resistance

Religion annoys me

I get annoyed and saddened when people consider me as being religious.

What I hear them saying is that I am one of those ‘God followers’ who follows all the rules. That religion is all about rules and regulations, having a set of behaviors that you must do. Going to Church on Sunday, reading your Bible, etc.

Yet, in terms of following rules, I think every one of us has a religion we follow. A set of rules and beliefs we adhere to. Codes, ethics, and standards are found everywhere, not just in organized religious ‘church’ contexts. Your workplace has a religion to it, so does your sports club.

Relationship excites me

When Jesus sat down in ‘Church’ with his dirt under the toenails followers he said these words.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus was one who knew all about resistance. He had it in supernaturally large quantities. Every day he was facing into some sort of hurricane.

If you want to get all fancy with words, he did it vicariously. That word is a wonderful life-giving word. To be vicarious is to do something on behalf of another.

I want a relationship with someone who has been there done that. I don’t want a religion with them.

Jesus has broken the wind, like the bow of a ship breaking through the water. We can ride in behind knowing that he has and is going in front of us.

Can I sit with you?

Many many people simply need to know that they are not alone. That’s all that is required.

To have someone say to them that they are doing okay. To not have any heavy burdens or expectations laid on them. To be graced with grace.

Can you do this for someone you know?

 

Mental Health is ... understanding the resistance you face and going through it with someone else. You're not alone in what you face.CLICK TO TWEET

Quotes to consider

  • Deep happiness is conditional – it doesn’t simply happen. Success in mental/emotional health must be worked at. D. Riddell
  • Something wonderful and beautiful and resilient is within us that no abuse, rejection, or failure can ever destroy. I want us to focus on that. Larry Crabb
  • Comfort is the absence of tension; growth requires a swim in murky, dangerous waters. Dan Allender
  • We are wired to grow, and all growth stretches us beyond our comfort level. Dan Allender

Questions to answer

  1. What does the word ‘resistance’ mean to you?
  2. What are the winds pushing against your movement forward?
  3. Who is saying to you ‘You’re doing OK’ and who are you saying this to?

Further reading

 

Image cc: KARTIK GADA

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