In His discourse during the Art of Devotion, if I may share, Swami said that to understand what God, or even life, wants from us, we ought to do exactly what we are resisting in life. And I think this is very much in line with His post on Resistance too. Now, although I keep resisting to read that post, I did contemplate on what He said and realised a few things about this good old resistance issue.
But today, I’d like to more specifically expound on my understanding of how to listen to life by detecting what we resist. You see, many of us may come up with lists when trying to figure out what we resist, and that’s absolutely fine. However, as it is with tendencies and our pretty ego, we love to ignore the issues which we really need to work on.
When we make our list of resistance, we are quick to say that we ought to exercise more, eat mindfully, meditate more, etc. but what about the more subtle tendencies we have? What about our (read ‘my’) laziness which seeps through every aspect of our life, what about our lack of hard work, lack of sincerity, of loyalty, of discipline and of ambition?
It is not as easy to detect those, however with some contemplation is anything impossible? The easy way to detect resistance is by understanding what life wants from us. Yes, I said easy! We just have to listen.
So, let’s look at two examples:
1. Resisting life
You have a family to take care of but would rather have a job. Let’s say food is being provided to you, yet day and night you find yourself miserable in trying to find ways to change your circumstances. You want a job, you’ll find someone to look after your child and to cook, etc. Why? Because you’d like a change, some tranquility, or society thinks you should be working. Perhaps even your concept of success is not equivalent to staying at home. Well, my friend, at this moment, life wants you to accept your circumstances and carry out your current duty wholeheartedly, no matter how unappealing it may seem. And I feel this also applies in various settings.
2. Resisting hard work
You are a student and always study at the last minute. Somehow it always worked for you, but suddenly you fail. And again. And maybe one more time. Well, guess what? Life wants you to learn to overcome your laziness and work harder to reach your potential and pass through merit. Why? Because Nature’s love for us is in making us reach our potential. Have you ever seen a tree that remains small and never blooms but stays alive? I haven’t. They always bloom beautifully, proudly and majestically. Or, if they don’t grow, they die. That’s the law of Nature.
And funnily, you will notice that whatever we are resisting i.e. hard work, stability, ego, transparency, stubbornness, truth, growth, it seeps through other aspects of our lives too.
All in all, it is only a matter of having the wisdom to know what we can change and what’s not in our control.
If you are a student with an expertise in procrastination, you may notice that you will also be too lazy to go to the gym or to do extra-curricular activities. If you hate the stability of being at home, you will get bored of a job very quickly. And if you are stubborn to buy some clothes, you will also be stubborn to take decisions regarding your family, travel, wedding, party, anything. You get the gist of my understanding.
Here are some more shortcomings I noticed recently, not necessarily in myself:
- The tendency to look for shortcuts
- The tendency to avoid hard work
- The tendency to procrastinate
- The tendency to resist taking advice from others
- The tendency to avoid opening up
- The tendency to be stubborn
- The tendency to hide things
- The tendency to seek attention
- The tendency to please others
- The tendency to write posts … just kidding:)
So, what tendency are you resisting? Could you overcome it? Don’t resist sharing, because that could be a tendency right there! Joking! Joking!
And oh, maybe the tendency to joke too, but that doesn’t need changing. I refuse. I resist:)