Welcome to the resistance (…the other one)

I am taking a personal development course right now called Radical Reinvention. What? That is like me taking a class on eating sushi. I have been doing it all my life, fearlessly, unapologetically, greedily, gleefully. I already love (really, really love) eating sushi, but if someone were to tell me there was a way to do it better and get even more enjoyment out of it, I’d be all over it. Seriously… if you know of this class, please sign me up.

This week we are examining resistance and excuses. My lesson could have been refined a bit and called “How we make other people wrong and blame them for the state of our lives and our relationships,” but I suppose they are painting with broader strokes to be more inclusive. Since I learn concepts by writing and teaching, here is my summary of this week’s lesson. Stay tuned for next week’s edition of “Things that should be obvious to grown-ups, but mostly aren’t.”

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Resistance is our natural, human defense against a perceived threat. That threat can be to our routine, our beliefs, our values, our boundaries, our ego, our identity… a threat to essentially anything that comprises our truth, regardless of whether or not that truth is in our our best or highest interest. We resist when we feel or believe that something is wrong, scary, bad, or threatening as a way of maintaining a feeling of control, groundedness, or certainty.

Excuses are the reasons, justifications, rationalizations, and explanations we employ to defend choosing the certainty of what is familiar to us instead of the uncertainty that comes with change. It is human that we love what we know and we fear what we do not know, even when what we know is not in our highest and best interest. We fear changing ourselves, our beliefs, our patterns of behavior, our circumstances, and — most of all — the precious stories and habits that define us. Changing ourselves requires work, discomfort, uncertainty… it is inherently an insecure place, and we are masters of reciting all the reasons change cannot or should not happen as we attempt to cover up the real reason: our fear.

When we come from a place of love and responsibility for ourselves, we stop making excuses and embrace that we are the powerful co-creators of our own reality. We can choose to be gentle with ourselves and others. We can choose to learn from our mistakes. We can choose to commit to only that which serves our highest vision for ourselves and the kind of world we want to live in. We can choose to be prepared to meet our commitments with the attention they (and we) deserve. We can choose to be honest about what we can and cannot take on in any given span of time. We can choose to communicate clearly and ask for what we need. In short, we can choose to take full responsibility for the quality of our lives and the state of our relationships in every moment, knowing that how we show up anywhere is how we show up everywhere.

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