It is hard to admit when we get stuck.
It hurts our ego and makes us feel like we’ve made a personal mistake.
We take this personally because we have identified with the part of ourselves that wants to stay the same. When we identify with something, we make ourselves into it.
Admitting that we need to change requires acknowledging there is something wrong with us, and we tend to have a hard time with this.
We must establish certain habits as a matter of necessity. Certain things must stay the same—at least for a little while. Yet, at the same time, we live in a universe that exists in an endless state of flux. Nothing can stay the same for long—including ourselves.
There is a comfort in keeping things the same, predictable, even if things are dogsh*t.
I have been resistant to change for quite some time.
Through my experience with a serious chronic illness over the past five years, I have come to identify with my suffering and found solace in it. I feel protected when I think about how much I have suffered compared to those around me, and it is my attachment to this idea that makes me resistant to positive change.
It’s a scary thing as a young person to have a malfunctioning body. I see other young people with healthy bodies, able to enjoy the fruits of their youth, and find myself completely isolated from them. It makes me feel lonely, as though I am by myself in my suffering and alienated from everyone who isn’t experiencing what I am.
This feeling has created a deep resistance to change in me. I have come to be so strongly identified with my suffering that I am offended by anything that challenges it. It has been really difficult for me to admit that I have been living wrong.
I realized this after having a mental breakdown. I ran into someone I cared for who is no longer in my life—largely as a consequence of my own issues. It hurt me in a way that I can’t begin to explain. I cried all night.
Since then, I have been forced to look inward at myself. I want to understand what I have been doing wrong and what I need to change; from this there has been clarity rising in me. It’s like there is nothing left to defend, justify, or uphold any longer. The resistance was crushed by the weight of the truth, and the truth is that I have not felt okay for a long time.
We must be open to change. The more we resist, the more we suffer. If we are attached to the things in life, we become closed off from the natural flow of the universe.
This implies being curious, taking nothing personally, and being kind to ourselves. We notice when tension arises within us. Breathe it in, and breathe it out. Tread lightly. Be soft and warm. Calm things down. When we are present with ourselves, change comes naturally.
We can only stop resisting change when we understand that resistance creates suffering.
This understanding is essential in transforming suffering into love.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Petras Gagilas/Flickr
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Callie Rushton