Writing Prompt: Write About Resistance
According to some online dictionaries, resistance is, “The act of opposing or withstanding;” “A force that tends to oppose or retard motion;” “The refusal to accept or comply with something.” What do you resist? What would your life be like if you embraced it instead? Write about resistance and see what comes up for you.
The other morning I wrote one of my many to-do lists and saw that a few of the items are repeats from previous lists. I’m resisting certain activities, and most of them have to do with marketing my services. For example, I haven’t hung posters or sent the press release about an upcoming workshop. I haven’t contacted the activity directors at the 55+ communities in my area about teaching memoir-writing. Although I did manage to compile an impressive list of contacts at cruise Lines, I have resisted making the calls. I’m not sure what this resistance is all about, but I suspect it’s fear of something–success, failure, or most likely, rejection. As an adoptee whose core issue is abandonment, it would make sense that fear of rejection is the culprit. Logically, this is ridiculous. Marketing is nothing more than letting people know about my services and seeing if there’s a match.
Resistance is a form of self-sabotage, a destructive and negative pattern that prevents us from doing what we want and having what we need. I think the trick to eliminating resistance to certain tasks is to pick one or two and simply focus on them until they are accomplished, without giving too much thought to the outcome, without over-thinking it. For instance, today, I will pick up the phone and call one activity director and one cruise ship and see what I can discover about their needs. There. It’s done.
But in some cases resistance is more insidious.
When I think about resistance, I realize it’s been a thread throughout my life. Why else would I hold on to the last 10 pounds, people who no longer serve me, or thoughts and beliefs that no longer work? What would my life be like if I embraced the things I tend to resist? If I avoided the foods that give me the extra padding? If I spent less time with people who hold me back and more time with individuals who are getting things done? If I shooed away negative thoughts?
If I answer these questions honestly, I arrive at an interesting picture. If I didn’t resist losing the last 10 pounds, my clothes would fit better and I would feel better too. If I didn’t resist calling activity directors, I’d probably have seminars and workshops scheduled for spring and summer. If I didn’t resist calling cruise ships, I’d have my audition behind me, and travel to various port cities in my immediate future. In other words, I’d have what I want.
I’ll save why I get into self-sabotage for another prompt. For me, this one has been insightful enough. Writing is an excellent way to notice and make sense of situations that I tend to ignore. What does writing do for you?