“Why is it so hard?”
How many times have I said this? Have you said this? It seems to be a common experience, feeling, frustration. These words can creep into all kinds of situations and moments. Like when you want to help someone who resists the help. Even when you want to help yourself, change your life, yet life seems to keep getting in the way. In relationships you want to be together, love each other profoundly even, yet these words find their way in.
Resistance. Steven Pressfield introduced the reality of resistance to me in his book “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” (2002, Black Irish Entertainment LLC, New York, NY). Resistance is a formidable opponent, block, challenge to moving forward in any process. We create resistance when we get in the way, try to exert our design, our will, our outcome on the creative. And all life is creative if we think about it.
We create in every second of our life. Walking down the street we create the experience we have of walking down the street, filled with emotions, drama, choices in every step. Regardless if we walk being fully present in the trip, or walk with our mind on other spaces and times, we make choices as we journey. We still dodge road hazards and even return the wave from a neighbor. Our perception of our journey—whether we found it enjoyable or a mundane exercise or don’t remember the walk at all—is influenced by our purpose and goals of the journey.
We create resistance when we try to pre-determine outcomes or control the relationship, though we might not admit we are doing anything like this. Most of the time if we are honest with ourselves we can see fear is at the back of our need to plan or control.