Friday, September 30, 2016

Resistance is a GOOD thing

Image credit: Dungeons & Dragons "Spell Compendium"
“You can't (and shouldn't) always act on your feelings. Sometimes I truly believe that the very thing(s) we are drawn to in life are the very things we should avoid altogether. That is where the lesson and growth sometimes lie, in the resistance of the situation. Learning to deal with your own personal temptations and learning the lessons they contain. Temptation equals desire and sometimes, the very thing(s) we desire are the issues we are here to work on. So look at all the situations in your life and ask yourself... is this a situation that I should act on or a situation that I am here to learn to avoid and release myself from?!” - Shawna in “The Guardian Angel Community”
Resistance is the act of standing against some force or some change. Often resistance is considered a negative thing or annoying to deal with, and therefore something to overcome, because people want to make something else happen. Spiritual leaders or social activists sometimes lament that their ideas aren’t appreciated, or are outright opposed by others. However, resistance can be seen as not only a positive thing, but also necessary.
Philosophically, anything truly new will by definition require time to be understood and assimilated, but that often reflects outwardly as skepticism or rejection at first. If something were accepted right away without resistance, then that would imply the concepts were already mostly integrated with whatever audience, and all one did was act as a catalyst for what was already there and ready to emerge (although that's still a useful service to provide too). Therefore, it should be expected that some level of frustration and resistance accompanies every agent working for change.
Resistance is a fundamental aspect of physical exercise, in which pushing or pulling against weight strengthens muscles and builds endurance. Similarly, inner struggle and effort is needed for emotional growth and spiritual evolution. The classical Garden of Eden was a place where there was only goodness, and as a result the first humans were relatively unaware and unconscious of their situation. It was only after they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that they could experience negativity and suffering, and therefore could appreciate, prefer, and consciously work toward the good.
Competition is an activity that can lead to evolution and excellence. When one is by themselves without any opposition, then they tend to plateau at a particular level and remain content there. However, when exposed and compared to others one is stimulated to do more. Consider how world records are continually broken and technology is continually advanced. In the animal kingdom, competition for food, mates, and general survival stimulates evolution.
Resistance can also be a good thing if the change in question is negative or not what you want. It’s common for different people to have different directives. Some people promote a particular philosophy, political viewpoint, or so on, and are condescending to anybody who doesn’t support them, believing that they’re just resisting what’s obviously right or the only way.
As with many things, balance is important to have with respect to resistance. A little resistance training during exercise leads to stronger muscles. However, too much resistance can sprain a muscle. Similarly, having some challenge present in life builds appreciation. However, too much challenge or difficulty can kill or permanently injure, make one give up, and so on. In child rearing, too little resistance or discipline can lead to spoiled brats who have no respect for others or themselves, while too much discipline can be child abuse or cause various psychological problems. This balanced philosophy can be applied to many areas in life.

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