Is This Resistance or Self-Knowledge?

September 25th, 2013 by Laura Longley

Last night I attended the first in a 10-week class series at a  local Center for Spiritual Living. I signed up mainly because a friend of mine was going, and I had been feeling a bit at loose ends with attending seminars and courses and thought I might learn something, I went with no expectations for the 10 weeks, and feeling open to whatever showed up.

For about the first 30 minutes.

Then I got triggered. I disagreed with some things the instructor was saying (which really is fine, I am allowed another opinion), and there were some expectations in the class that led to me feeling boxed in, without free will. My reaction to all of this was to start making up a lot of reasons in my head about why this course was not for me.

Luckily we soon did an exercise with a partner – and my partner was the friend I had come with whom I know quite well – where we shared what we hoped to get from the class by the end of the 10 weeks.

I realized that what I really wanted was to be able to know the difference between when I am resisting something (in other words, reacting automatically by pushing back) and when I truly know that something is not for me.

All my thoughts had been about running away, in other words not completing the course. This is a good indicator to me that I am in resistance and there is something there for me to look at. In the end I may decide that this isn’t for me, but I don’t want it to be from a knee-jerk reaction that is not really a conscious choice.

This experience caused me to reflect on all the times that I have come against my own resistance, but labeled it as a choice that something is not a good fit for me. I really do know how to tell the difference already. It’s about how I feel in my body. If I feel the desire to escape, run away and cut off from the experience, that is resistance.

If after a time I just feel uninterested or not in agreement with whatever it is, then that is truly self-knowledge of what fits for me and what doesn’t.

It was very interesting because driving to the class last night, my friend and I were talking about how we are raised with the idea that when we make a commitment to something (such as joining a church) we are supposed to stick with it. However, we each separately had come to realize that something may work for us, or fit us, for a time, but then we change and grow and it is no longer a fit.

Choosing not to follow through with that commitment when it truly does not work for us any longer is the right thing. And…that is different than pushing away because we are triggered by something or someone.

So, a great learning for me in this class already! And probably not all what the instructors expected me to learn!

What about you? Can you tell when you are reacting rather than responding? Do you know the difference between resistance and truly knowing that something isn’t for you?

Please comment!

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