Updated: Jun 25, 2019
I heard someone say this the other day: "What you resist persists." You have probably heard that said too. It's one of those platitudes. But I have been thinking a lot about resistance recently, now that I am studying psychology and working with clients.
Resistance is the biggest hindrance to growth and is considered a normal part of therapy. It's the ego at work. Clients bring resistance with them. It's what they do. But it is their biggest impediment to healing. If you don't do the work, you will not benefit from it...obviously! So, why resist? The simple answer is: People do not realize they are resisting. The therapist, coach or healer sees it but the client does not. Resistance is a trick of the ego.
Let me give you an example. I went to a healer for a few sessions back in 2015. The modality the healer used required me to work hard in session, talk about unpleasant things (AKA my stuff) and, worst of all, do homework. Yes, homework. "This is just too hard," I thought, and I stopped going. Why work hard when I could lie down, relax and enjoy some Reiki?
What I found out was that Reiki was not going to take me to the next level. In my next level of work, I had to be an active participant in the process. I had to open up and consciously process stuff. And, let me be clear, I don't mean just be conscious of a problem. I mean be conscious AND process it: allow myself to enter that space of discomfort, feel my feelings and actively work - against my ego.
Like myself, new clients can have trouble getting into their discomfort because being vulnerable that way can feel very uncomfortable. Feeling your own stuff can be challenging to someone who has been repressing it very efficiently and who, because of that repression process, has become highly reactive. Resistance and the accompanying reactivity drive people back into hiding - the refuge of the ego - to the frustration of the coach, healer, therapist who just wants to help them feel better - and, ultimately, to the frustration of the client.
So, if you have patterns that do not serve you, reactivity, anxiety...stuff like that, and you want to get past them and feel better, feel into your resistance and recognize it for what it is...your ego trying to protect itself because it doesn't feel safe to change...even for the better, and remember this: You are much smarter than your ego.