Navigating Your Life (and Work): Do you know what you desire and why resistance is futile?
Today’s Sanity: Choose Wisely
“All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established.” — Aristotle
“What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size,” concluded psychologist Carl Jung a long long time ago.
And my ride sharing driver, Gary, just reminded me of this when he said. “I hope the GPS doesn’t take me to a specific street.” He mentioned it twice and then, we were headed to the road he was trying to avoid. And he laughed and said, “What you resist persists.” He told me that he has taken many courses that focused on why “You always get what you resist.”
We hold a lot inside of ourselves believing that life and work should be a certain way. Other people spend parts of their lives convincing us how we should be.
When we look at our own internal compass, we at least know how we feel, even if it is confusion that we feel. But feelings are not enough and someone else’s manual does not always apply to us.
A young woman joined us on the ride this morning, she was holding a plate with cookies. She looked exhausted. We talked to her and she shared that she had not slept all night and she does not know why. She suffers from insomnia is what she shared with us.
She said she wished she could get a massage but could not afford it. She is interning with a B-corp trying to do good in the world. I suggested she find a massage school and see if they needed people to teach their students. We also talked about contacting their industry association and seeing whether they can do an exchange of services. She is from Thailand and is used to getting 120-minute massages for $15.
Here she was wanting to take care of the world and is not taking good care of herself. I am sure we can all relate to some degree.
When we reached her destination, she jumped out of the car with a smile and a lot more energy. Gary even got out to open the door for her. We both also felt good about connecting with her and not just sitting in silence. To truly experience life, isn’t it more than sharing a ride to a destination?
We all have issues. Every single person this planet — regardless of your title or the size of your home. No one is spared. But how we deal with them is what is key. Not everyone is willing to do the hard work of exploring ourselves and knowing thyself.
But, like ignoring a bill payment and then getting a penalty or a reduction in your credit score, what you choose not to confront (and too often we don’t have the skills or the knowledge of how to do it) brings a much higher cost. There is no free lunch. We pay now or we pay later. But we always pay — whether it is with money, time, energy, love, suffering.
Too often, we hang on to our emotions. We let them paralyze us as we resist. We were taught in school what learning is so it is confusing when we realize that life is one big lesson that we are steering. And no one holds our answers for us in a world that tries to make us be like everyone else. We are always comparing and competing and not always asking, why.
Imagine what could happen if we accepted how we are truly feeling and why. What would happen if you choose to look it in the eye or you can also choose to suppress it? It’s your choice.
Those are the options at hand. You can go on pretending and suffering. It’s a choice that some indulge in more than others. But no one helps us see the path. It is ours to uncover.
It is time, to learn to choose yourself.
There is a growing need to shift from our conditioning of blaming others and increase our capacity to unlearn what no longer serves us. And accept the beauty of forgiveness. We can choose not to carry our baggage where we are headed.
I truly hope the young woman I met briefly this morning learns why she is not sleeping and can take impeccable care of herself so she can serve others when she is ready.
So, instead of resisting what you don’t want, what do you truly desire?
Why is it easier for us to know what we don’t want? How do you get clarity?