When we are pushing against an obstacle – physical or mental – we feel as if we are either pushing through or failing to push through. If instead we look to our obstacle as a resting point. We lean against the boulder instead of insisting on pushing we see there are other options. Take a break and see what you observe.
Relaxing into resistance frees you to see the full picture. In anger our attention is focused and limited When we feel threatened we are in fight, flight, or freeze mode. We operate on a very small data set, not seeing the full picture. We only see our escape routes, or the lack thereof. When we relax into our resistance – whatever it may be it allows us to see a fuller range of options.
It is Sisyphus in Greek mythology that was doomed by the Gods to push the same boulder uphill again and again. Each day pushing forward on the same rock on the same hill, only to see the boulder fall again to the bottom every time he got close to the top. He did not even have the pleasure of new hills where he could at least see progress. The meaning of our work is tied not only to its completion but to the feeling that we have contributed in some meaningful way. Even if the lesson is only through the example of our failure.
As human beings we are inspired by purpose and the meaning of our contributions. When we fight our obstacles instead of learning from them we fail to contribute. Could it be time to take a break? Could we walk around the obstacle instead? There is something meaningful to be found within the things we resist. Resistance and obstacles exist to teach us something. It is our responsibility to figure out what.
Maybe our task is to forge a new path or look in a new direction. We cannot know until we relax against the obstacle and stop fighting it. Releasing anger or frustration frees us to see new avenues and opportunities. The resistance is not the problem but rather our emotional reactions to resistance are the problem. When we focus on the frustration or anger we are missing the lesson. The key is not push harder it is instead to rest, look around. Observe what gift this situation trying to give you and how can you learn that lesson and move forward?
Accept the lesson, free yourself from the stress of the situation, and embrace what comes next. We make the meaning in our own lives. Let us not waste energy resisting the lessons along the way. How can you relax into your resistance? Take a break. I wish you peace, joy, and the pleasure of giving up on anger.