Dealing with my homegirl, Resistance.

African American woman using a laptop in her living room

I’ve made a commitment to blog more. Not necessarily every day but…well…more. Lol. However that shakes out. But even as I sit at the computer today, that old feeling has risen in me. It’s a weird mix of “I don’t feel like it” and “where do I begin?” I know what my topic is going to be—I’ve been working from a really cool content calendar. But figuring out what direction I should go is my biggest challenge. Do I open with a story or do I jump right in to the “message” I’m trying to get across? Do I need any quotes or do I rock out with my own contemplations? OR…do I just move on to my next project or catch up on “Million Little Things” or get on my spin bike or go back to bed and try again in an hour. And real talk? Sometimes it’s not even about doing something else. I can literally have nothing else to do but will still not feel any impetus to start writing. 

Resistance is a mutha, y’all.

One of the things that has gotten me through the last six months or so as I battled a health crisis and was forced to halt pretty much every activity outside of eating, breathing, and taking care of my family is a kind of mindfulness that focuses on embodiment. Too many of us are walking around numb. We can’t feel anything. We are unaware of how any emotion actually feels and therefore are unable to do much with these emotions when they come up. And eventually, they always come up. Through therapy—deep trauma work, specifically—I’ve learned how to not run away from a particular feeling. In fact, I lean into it. I don’t judge myself for feeling “some kind of way” as they say here in Philly. I simply pay attention to how that emotion is moving through me.

Now this is cool when the feelings are joy and happiness; love and excitement. It’s not so cool when it’s pain and fear and…yep, you got it…resistance. Resistance, for me, feels like a wall in my brain. It feels like an impasse. I physically feel the tension and pressure in my brows and neck. I also feel my thighs tighten and a weird sensation in my stomach. 

Now, sure, intentionally feeling all that might seem counter-productive. But, I promise it isn’t. It’s more about no longer hiding. No longer fearing what is going on in my mind and body. What it allows me to do is to be aware of what’s happening so that I can call it out. Then that’s when my tools kick in. I take deep breaths. I do grounding exercises. I pray and meditate.  I commit to at least one sentence (Hence, “I’ve committed to blog more” here). I make some tea to quell the tenderness in my tummy. And then…and this is the big one… I talk to the resistance. I tell it, “I see you, Sis. I hear you. You can relax now.”  

Yeah, I know it might seem like I should be harsher than that. That I should “cast it out” like it’s some demon. Nah. That ain’t the way, people. In fact, whenever I’ve pushed hard against my resistance or allowed myself to get angry or frustrated with it, that joker ALWAYS shifts into survival mode and doubles down. Then I REALLY don’t get anything done. Plus, a pastor once told me, “You aren’t very kind to yourself” and I’ve come to realize that, for a large part of my life, that has been true. And since I now know that my resistance is still a part of ME, the part that’s hurt or anxious or fearful or controlling,  I’ve figured out that it’s probably better to talk her tenderly off the ledge. 

For me, it works. Resistance doesn’t necessarily go anywhere though. Even now, seven paragraphs later, I can hear her whispers. But the voice of my authentic self has become increasingly louder these days. And as I gather more tools for my own healing journey, for my own emotional and spiritual wellness, I get better at keeping my commitments to myself and others. 

How do you deal with the voice of resistance? 

-tmlg

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