If Resist Doesn’t Fit, Wear Your Insist
Recently I wore a pair of designer shoes, plum and orchid colored mules, from a high shelf in my closet. I remember when I purchased them. It was back in the spring of 1998. I bought them to go with my dress for a wedding. They were and still are gorgeous. Eventually, they were no longer in style. Rather than throw them, I insisted on keeping them. Looking at them and wearing them makes me happy. And of course since things of the 90’s are all the rage, the shoes are very of the moment again.
They were not easy for me to purchase. The price was more than I normally spent on shoes. My mother was with me that day we were shopping. As I resisted the temptation to purchase them, she was insisting on buying them. I think she could see how much I admired them and how perfect they were with my dress. Eventually, my energy spent to prevent myself from buying the shoes gave way to her insistence that they were really perfect. I think she actually helped me pay for them and that was the end of that. She was happy for me and I was thrilled to have them.
Today in my spiritual closet, these shoes have me thinking about resistance and insistence. In particular how we choose to make choices for ourselves and for our loved ones. Until recently, I was feeling incredibly uncomfortable about the movement to “resist.” I couldn’t articulate what was driving the feelings around not be willing to jump into the fight. As I meditated on my feelings, it became clear to me that the nature of resistance is not part of my belief system. I am a lover not a fighter. I don’t like to make waves; I like to fix things and smooth things out. At the same time, I am not comfortable sitting on the sidelines. I’m an advocate for kindness and solutions that are inclusive and mutually beneficial for all.
So the question for me was how do I show up in the world where there is a lot of “resistance” energy swarming around me. This was the same issue when it came to my diagnosis for cancer. I don’t believe in the “fight against cancer”. This doesn’t mean that I want cancer to destroy our lives and that we need to just sit quietly and ignore the situation, pretending that it will just go away. Being positive is important but there will be times when we are called to do more. To quote Peter Marshall a Scottish clergyman and author: “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” That’s when it hit me. If I stand for something: I am going to insist on what is right and true. In doing so, I don’t have to resist anything.
One may wonder what the difference may be. Although subtle, I’m going to point out that this is a very important nuance to consider. Resistance is to stand AGAINST. When we resist, we are about fighting, opposing, refusing to accept. Insistence is to stand FOR. The two words and resulting actions have two very different kinds of energy. “Resistance” is inclined to get one energetically stuck; “insistence” is energetically generative.
The energy of resistance has no room for acceptance. Pushing against, holding off, struggling, we expend our energy for one thing: the fight. Trying to impose one’s beliefs on someone else’s perspective is futile because ultimately, we can only control our own feelings. When we resist the way others see the world and think that we must fight them or convince them otherwise, we miss out on connection and the ability to understand their perspectives. Resistance is a tactic of fear. Fear as a motivator will often cause us to choose actions that limit us. Fear can make us sick because it causes stress. Stress leads to inflammation. Inflammation leads to our bodies’ inability to maintain a healthy state of thriving and healing.
The energy of insistence is positive and nurturing. It comes from a sense of worthiness about what is right for one self. Insistence in pursuing the things that make me feel good: exercise, music, walking with my dogs, family time, or cute shoes feed my soul and help me to maintain wellness. If I feel like I need to fight cancer, I believe that the fear and stress that we invest into fighting cancer actually makes it worse. In my case, cancer was a messenger, that there was deeper underlying conflict raging that needed to be resolved: I was subconsciously carrying angry energy in my body. I hated myself. I feared the imperfection of being me. This illness made me realize that I needed to start loving myself. Rather than fear, we must begin to love ourselves, stand for ourselves, in order to set a strong foundation for healing.
When fear is the key driver in resistance, it’s often about perceived disparity. This disparity often times is a result of one’s own lack of self-acceptance. The lack of self-acceptance is in my mind one of the biggest epidemics in our world. The self-acceptance epidemic, the lack of worthiness, is about the fear and hatred that we have for ourselves being less than perfect. When we embrace who we are, this self-acceptance empowers us to be better for those who need our support. Resistance is futile when we don’t even stand for the these very things, for which we fight, for our own selves.
Advocating for others is most potent when we are advocating for ourselves. Insistence is an inside job. Wearing “insistence” takes a little work. It requires that we are clear about what we stand for in our hearts. It requires that we have the courage to speak up for ourselves and establish clear boundaries around what works for our lives. It starts with insisting on keeping what works for you and letting go of what isn’t serving you.
Standing FOR something means that means that we need to be willing to make choices to let go of beliefs or ideas that were handed down to us by our families or society when they no longer serve us. We know they no longer serve us when the ideas cause internal conflict because they don’t align with the true nature of our hearts. When we choose to ignore these conflicts or fight against them, we make ourselves sick. Sadly, it is sometimes easier to avoid facing these truths than it is to resolve them. We would rather die to ourselves. To thrive, we must face and speak up about our truth.
When we allow ourselves to live in integrity with our inner light, our connection with God, it allows us the opportunity to accept others without feeling threatened. When we accept that others have a different perspective, we are now more in the flow of life. Insistence relies on love. When we embrace what we love and take action from love, rather than fear, the momentum to move towards thriving is natural.
If “resisting” feels too much like you are expending your energy fighting against others, you don’t have to sit on the sidelines helplessly. Consider “insisting” on living your life in integrity and supporting those around you to do the same. Living your life according to what you stand for is the best remedy for yourself and those around you. When you are able to align what you desire in your heart with what you believe, you will be able to open the gates on a life that is abundantly joyful. Are you going through life resisting or insisting? If you want to have a thriving life of wellness, try backing away from the “resist” and try on your “insist. Advocating for what is right for you and others is the best gift you can give yourself and the world around you.