Resistance

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Resistance

The enemy is a very good teacher. – Dali Lama 

Periodically, I do this thing where I decide that I’m not going to write my weekly essay, that I’m going to stop posting to my website, and that maybe, I’m just going to close this whole operation down. Sometimes, it’s because I feel like I don’t have anything relevant to say. Sometimes, it’s because I’m tired or busy with other stuff. Sometimes, it’s because I feel too out there, too raw, too exposed.

And so I spend a few hours, maybe a day coming up with a really lovely, super logical arguement that totally justifies why I should just stop writing. I convince myself that it’s really a good thing for me to move in another direction. I tell myself I need to dedicate time and energy to other things. It doesn’t matter that I made a commitment to myself in December of 2011 to hit publish at least one time a week, every week for this entire year. It’s not important that I keep this silly little promise to myself.

So, last night I sat down with my husband and I laid it all out. By the end of the conversation not only was I going to stop hitting the publish button, I was going to stop writing all together except maybe when I had free time (like that ever happens). I explained to him how exposed I was feeling. I talked about the other things on which I need to focus. I was passionate, committed, and convincing. My husband, my rock and voice of reason, agreed that my plan was good. It was set.

I woke up this morning and as I motored through my routine it hit me, the “Evil Queen” got me again.

Who, you might ask, is the “Evil Queen”? Resistance. I could talk to you about her for days but I won’t. Steven Pressfield has already done this to perfection in his book, The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle. If you haven’t read it, go buy a copy. You don’t have to be a writer or an artist to appreciate what Pressfield so eloquently presents. His message applies to us all: the athlete, the business person, the gardner, the advocate, the crusader, the stay-at-home parent.

So, back to me (this is my website, after all). As I motored through my morning routine it hit me, the Evil Queen got me again. I’ve read The War of Art multiple times. I know what Resistance looks like in my life, I see how she plays, how she moves and flows through my day. I work hard to anticipate her next move and still, she got me.

Pressfield has the following to say about Resistance:

“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you.”
 
“Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned.”
 
“Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”
 
“It cannot be reasoned with. It understands nothing but power. It is an engine of destruction, programmed from the factory with one object only: to prevent us from doing our work.” 
 
“Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable. Resistance aims to kill. It’s target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us. Resistance means business. When we fight it we are in a  war to the death.”
 

I know this. I believe what Pressfield says to the core of my being, and still I sat there and allowed Resistance to convince me to happily and willing walk away from this thing I’ve started.

This is not easy for me. This saying what I think and putting it out there for anyone to read thing is scary stuff. Those of you who lovingly take the time to read what I write have been amazing. And while I appreciate every ounce of support, it doesn’t change the raw terror I still feel every single time I step out from behind the wall I spent years carefully constructing for the sole and express purpose of hiding me and put myself out there in an honest, real way.

Pressfield says, “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” 

What I know is this: Every single time I write, I win. Every single time I hit publish, I traverse the divide between the life I live and that unlived life inside me bringing the two closer together.

This week, I hit the publish button twice. In addition, I’ll be cracking the binding on The War of Art yet again. Resistance may be getting sneakier and more conniving, but I’m playing to win.

7 Comments

  1. Every single time you hit, “publish”, you touch my heart. Stay with it, my friend.

  2. Somehow I can compare this to running. To run or not to run. I’ve begun almost to define myself as a runner but can I really compete with the “real runner’s” or am I putting myself out there in jest. And there are these pesky obstacles– time, bodily wear and tear, work, home and now school responsibilities. Every time I run, I’m setting myself up to expect more of myself next time. Yet, without it not sure I would be as happy with myself anyway. I suppose you not writing would be like tossing part of yourself aside leaving you incomplete. You are a writer. You write.

    • When I read Pressfield’s book, I thought a lot about running. Resistance loves athletes. I don’t know who said it first, but expectations are just resentments waiting to happen. We can choose to release our expectations, and just run. We can relish in our running accomplishments, we can tout our PRs, and still approach each run fresh and without expectations. The course, the weather, hydration, our bodies, and our minds all factor into that day’s performance. That’s a lot of variables to plan for and too many things that are completely out of our control. As long as we know we gave it our best, we walk away proud. You are a runner. You run.

  3. Yea! Chalk one up for the good guys! Good on you Denise.

  4. I always get excited when I see you have posted something new Denise. Please don’t stop! I love your writing and I would miss it.

  5. I need to re-read this book too, Denise. Resistance has been kicking my butt for far too long. It seems it helps to have allies. As always, thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Resistance not only keeps you from living closer to your inner life, one of its motives is to steal blessings from the lives you’ll inevitably touch. Thanks for putting resistance in its place, Denise. You blessed me more than you know with this post!

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