Steven Pressfield is one of my favorite writing idols. He writes about resistance all the time and is incredibly insightful. Resistance is something I struggle with all the time.
I will paraphrase his discussion with Rabbi Finley and resistance. Rabbi Finley said: “There is a second self inside you-an inner shadow Self. This self doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t love you. It has its own agenda, and it will kill you. It will kill you like cancer. It will kill you to achieve its agenda, which is to prevent you from actualizing your Self, from becoming who you really are. This shadow self is called, in the Kabbalistic lexicon, the yetzer hara. The yetzer hara, is what you call Resistance.”
Well said Rabbi. 100 % true.
This leads me to the Buddha. As he sat under the Bodhi tree and was confronted by Mara and his army. Mara represents denial, fear and distraction. His demons are violent and wicked. The Buddha used his noodle to figure out that Mara and his demons are nothing but a distraction to us. Mara goes out of his way to distract us from our true path, just like he did to the Buddha. Mara’s the king of thoughts and situations that create fear and resistance. The Buddha found a way to transcend his own denial of what is important and what is not. Being in denial of all there is in your life is the ultimate in resistance. The Buddha recognized this in his enlightenment.
What are your Mara’s? Is it addictions, distraction, negative patterns, denial? Is it violence in thoughts, words and deeds?
What is your yetzer hara? Is it illness, sadness, inability to focus?
The list of negatives is endless. So what is the answer? How do we recognize resistance especially if you don’t have a ton of time to meditate or devote your life to a religion?
Keep looking for those pesky negative incognito signs in your thoughts, words and actions that are holding you back. Chances are whatever you are afraid of or avoiding is resistance.
Wake up into your own awareness. Make Self Care important, a priority.
Yes you are that important.