Resistance and Futility

    Several times this week, a concept has presented itself to me, a phenomenon I usually refer to as a polterghost. (Read more on that here)
    It began with an appearance of the Carl Jung quote, “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”  which was followed, a few hours later, by Eckhart Tolle's  version: “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
    The underlying message, and evidently something the Universe wants me to notice – is that resistance is futile, and insisting on resisting will result in the loss and misdirection of our energies and resources.

Lessons in History
    Many critics of current 'wars' against drugs and terrorism are quick to point out that the 'enemy' is increased by the attention it is receiving, a pattern which can be illustrated from history.
    The Temperance movement of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries blamed the use of alcohol for social conditions like poverty and urban overcrowding. The activists saw health issues, and even violence, as direct results of alcohol consumption, and eventually their campaigning led to Prohibition in the United States. This was a constitutional, country wide ban, on all aspects of the alcohol trade, including importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages, as well as any manufacture, distillation, or production.  Prohibition was the law, albeit full of flaws, from 1920 to 1933, and governments and their police spent massive resources on enforcement.
    During Prohibition, ambitious and greedy people made 'bath-tub gin' and assorted illegal drinks. Industrial alcohol, although poisoned, was diverted to consumers. The results of this black-market activity was that problems related to alcohol grew worse. Historian Michael Lerner writes that despite the good intentions of Prohibition, “... in many parts of the United States more people were drinking, and people were drinking more.”
Resistance is Futile
    We will do well to learn from these events which are now sufficiently distant to allow objectivity. Resisting drunkenness resulted in greater drunkenness.  Today, I think we understand that when life is so unsatisfactory that alcohol is a necessary anodyne, then drinking s merely a symptom. To achieve real change, then, it is the living conditions that must be addressed.
    The opposite of resistance is embrace, and the only route to embrace is through release. We are offered opportunities to resist and to move out of resistance every day if we are paying attention.
    If we resist the use of a cane while an ankle returns to health, healing is hindered, and our limp grows worse. Release the wrong-thinking that causes your reticence, and embrace the assistance that the cane will provide.
Relax and Allow
    The two year old who has learnt a vulgar word will be delighted if she perceives an enormous, horrified, resistant response when she says it. Releasing our instinct to react will remove the energy of the exchange, and with no pay-off, there is no reason to repeat the word.
    When navigating through a bereavement, there is sometimes social pressure to avoid shedding tears. Resisting the natural act of crying adds to the feelings seeking expression. Feeling silenced and unheard, as well as sad and grieving, adds to the pain. When we release the responsibility for helping others feel comfortable, we make space for a safe place  where we can allow the sobs to move through us. This not only permits release of emotions, it also relieves the physical stress of tears unshed.
    Resisting sleep makes us more tired.

Stop Striving
    When you next notice yourself in resistance, think about arm wrestling. Every match begins in a state of two forearms resisting each other, and it is the nature of life that this balance cannot be maintained. If one player releases the tension, that one “loses” in the moment, and is free to move on to other things. For the arm-wrestler who struggles to overcome, who resists the current opponent, there may be accolades. Celebration will be followed, however, by a new challenger. Successful resistance will require more and greater resistance. Only retirement – release – will end the demands.
    Towards the end of the week, just in case I was not yet paying attention, the words of ― R. Buckminster Fuller hove into view: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
    The message is all around us, when in a state of struggle with any part of life, release the fight.
    Embrace the alternatives and feel the peace.
I have been practising Numerology and supporting clients through life changes since the 1980s.
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