Dissolving the resistance to doing what you want

Written by Suraj Shah. Inspired by greatness.

Have you wanted to do something that was so important to you, yet felt that the world around you was conspiring to stop you from doing it? Lets look at how to patiently dissolve this resistance so you can do what matters most to you.

When you have faced a significant loss in your life and have reached a point where you are ready to move on, not everyone around you will be ready to accept that, and you will inevitably face some resistance.

  • Perhaps you lost your wife and are now ready to start dating and may even consider marrying again, but your children are insecure about a new ‘mother’ figure in their life.

  • Perhaps you want to move to a smaller house or another town but your elderly parents want you to stay close by.

  • Perhaps you want to change careers to do something more fulfilling with your life, but your wife fears having enough money to maintain the lavish lifestyle you’ve had so far.

These are of course all valid concerns and if your duty means supporting these people who depend on you, then you certainly need to fulfil that.

But what about when it goes beyond duty and when others’ greed, insecurity and concerns hold you back from moving on?

Noticing the fractures in your relationship

The trouble is that when we are fixed on doing something and then others stop us from doing it, we get upset and maybe throw a tantrum.

When others expect us to behave in a certain way and we don’t adhere to it, then they may get upset too.

Ultimately what happens is that it creates fractures in the relationship.

When this happens during a difficult emotional time following a loss, these fractures can quickly turn into deep wounds and broken relationships.

How to dissolve the resistance

So how do you dissolve that resistance from others so that you can do what you need to do while minimising harm to those around you?

This past weekend, my wife and I stayed at a wonderful vegan guest house in the English woodlands – it was an opportunity to celebrate my birthday in a place we love, enjoying great vegan feasts, taking long walks in the forest and doing the things that are most important to us such as meditating, contemplating on spiritual texts, getting plenty of rest and spending quality time together.

For me, that list also included writing a post here at Live with loss – something that I find hugely fulfilling. However, with it being fairly late one evening, Heena was tired and insisted that we both rest so we would be refreshed for the next day’s activities.

Knowing that Heena and I both get a little cranky when we’re tired, I knew that if I became stubborn that I HAVE to write, then she would also stand her ground and we’d both end up broken and miserable. I needed to find another way.

Here’s what I did and what I recommend you do to dissolve the resistance to do what you want while keeping the peace in your relationships.

1. List out your priorities: Think through what’s really important to you and in what order. For me, it was important that during the weekend I (i) meditate and read the spiritual texts with full focus; (ii) have a relaxing weekend with Heena; (iii) write and publish a post at Live with loss.

2. Explain the situation: If you can, sit with the person who is stopping you and explain how you feel about what is important to you and why. For me, I explained to Heena the order and that I wouldn’t insist on doing any writing if it only caused friction between us, troubled my mind and affected my meditation and our weekend.

3. Let go: Realise that at this point, you have laid your cards on the table and it could go either way. Let go of the need to have your own way. I had to be prepared for the fact that Heena may still not see how important the writing part was to me, or that her tiredness may be clouding her judgement. I had to ask myself “Am I prepared to let go of the writing if it means I can still have an enjoyable relaxing weekend with Heena, continuing with our progress together?”

It turned out that Heena listened with an open heart and went to sleep while I went ahead and drafted this post. However, you’ll notice that the post didn’t get completed and published till today. This is because I was typing away noisily which I could see was disturbing her sleep, so I decided to put the laptop away and rest up for the night.

This is of course a tiny example in comparison to wanting to move homes or change jobs or some other major lifestyle shift, but I hope it serves as a useful example of the steps you can take to combat resistance in your life.

Sometimes you’ll want to go ahead and do what you think is important to you, regardless of anything else. Other times, you may see how it sits alongside other priorities in your life.

I hope, in the days ahead, you get to calmly proceed with what is important to you, while being true to the relationships in your life that you hold so dear.

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