In my mind, there are two types of ‘no’ in this world. First, there is the crystal-clear, gong-like ‘no’ that utters itself forth from you, seemingly with a power beyond you. It happens when you are mistreated or life misrepresented, when your core values are questioned and shadow abounds.
Secondly, there is a ‘no’ that comes from your lips, whilst your eyes may plead otherwise and, deep inside, you hear the rattling of cages. Spirit wants to get out. I have felt this one more often of late. Not because I am making bad decisions, but because I am more tuned into discerning what a bad decision is for me. I am learning what my resistance is and where it lies.
Nearly a year ago, I was in a job where I felt I was being slowly undermined, questioned. And so I looked around. Each job description seemed to validate my ‘lack of validity’ as a marketeer, I lacked this skill and that, this experience and that. Then I was sent a different option, one that made me feel empowered and useful. Did I apply straight away? You bet I didn’t, I dithered and dallied with the best of them. I talked myself out of it at least three times, ‘rationalising’ my initial happiness with ‘logic’. I got a friend to draw cards on it. I chatted with friends about it. I did everything but apply. I ended up applying on the bus via my phone on the day the applications closed. I was thrown obstacle after obstacle to get to the interview on time. It’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.
A few months ago, another opportunity arose. Again, I dithered and dallied over the application, this time for a course. I opened and closed the screen countless times and, yet again, ended up filling it out on the bus and walking to work. Then I had an interview, and still the resistance wrestled me. I chatted with friends, I got cards drawn. And yet I still felt like I didn’t know what to do. And so I was asked: if I tell you you’re not going, how do you feel? And there it was. The true answer. There were tears, the disappointment, the feeling that yet again I’d betrayed my gut feeling. And so next week, I head off to do it.
They have been my two largest points of resistance over the last year. Those two moments were the moments I felt like I was spinning on a penny, confined into a mini-whirlygig of emotions and thoughts without a compass. I felt like I didn’t know what I truly wanted, what would serve me best, and that threw me. I wanted a thunderbolt of beautiful realisation. I wanted a shining light beckoning at the end of a shiny, smooth path. And all I got was a bog of mixed emotions. And now I know. Where there is resistance like that, pain like that, spinning around like that, I owe it to myself to pay attention.
When something truly endangers you, the warning rings clear and loud. When it might endanger old practices and a static self, you may hear only a cacophony. When something is entirely wrong for you, you know it in your heart and you consult no-one. When something harbours change in its core, you may look away. You may be inclined to defer the decision, and therefore the blame if it fails, to someone else. You question it, rationalise it into an inch of its life and over-dramatise it. I’ve always been a huge believer in you always knowing in your heart what you want/need to do. So, why were these such hard decisions for me?
They were hard because they called me higher. They called me to trust and invest in myself on a whole new level. They asked me to put myself behind the words and philosophies I’ve been uttering and espousing for the last couple of years. They represented an opportunity to grow, to nestle closer to the best of me that lies waiting to be born. Is this hyperbole? No. And I know it’s not because of how much I resisted the open door. If they hadn’t meant so much, resistance may have won, or certainly wouldn’t have been so strong.
And why write about it now? Because it’s back. I’ve homework to do. Tangible, real, perceptible actions o must take to once again stand behind my words and my mission. I have to lay bare my heart just a little bit more. And I am finding every reason under the sun to defer it. Work is busier than it’s been in an age, I’m more tired, I’m sleeping less, I’m writing differently… They’re all me just resisting what I know I ultimately want to do and need to do. And so each day, you’ll find me chipping. I’ll be chipping away at the tasks I need to do, no dodging or deferring allowed. And if that sounds wrong, because your life path should be filled with sunshine and butterflies, I agree. And I’ll be chipping away at the hold my friend Resistance has on their cages. Because I believe our potential is limitless, happiness abundant. I believe we all have something to offer and most of us just stick to the path of least resistance. It may be hard. It may be uncomfortable, but I want to live the life I haven’t lived yet. And that means through resistance I must persist.