This week’s journaling prompts help us explore the variety and nature of resistance in our lives. At its simplest, resistance is opposition, a force that opposes another force. The term resistance is used to describe aspects of motion, politics, war, and bacteria. But for this week’s journal writing, we’re going to examine emotional resistance.
By emotional resistance, I mean that feeling of conflict that seems to center itself somewhere in your body — your gut or your throat, perhaps — when you feel obligated to do something you don’t want to do. It may also arise when unwanted change or something unfamiliar occurs. You may feel resistance from others when you present a new idea or ask them to change behaviors.
According to awareness gurus, the road to happiness, awareness, and even enlightenment could be as simple as dropping your resistance to whatever it is that is happening in the moment. You might even resist the idea of giving up resistance!
I’ve found that it’s a good idea to pay attention to feelings of resistance in myself, because resistance nearly always signals an area in which I need to grow. When I acknowledge my resistance (rather than deny it), examine why I’m resisting something, and then struggle through it when necessary, I always learn something.
- Think of the last time you felt resistance to something (it could be something in your life right now). What was/is it (a change, a person, an idea)? How do you know when you’re resisting something, and where does resistance lodge in your body?
- The last time you felt resistance, what did you do? Write about the circumstances, your response, and what happened.
- Write about a time you worked through your resistance. What did you learn? For example, I had an assignment to write about something that felt difficult and overwhelming to me. I resisted it. Once I realized the reasons for my resistance, I understood that I had something to learn by digging deeply into the assignment. I did, and it turned out to be one of the most joyful discoveries I’d made in some time.
- Write about a time you received resistance from someone else. What was happening at the time? What did you do about it, and what happened?
- Do a word association exercise with the word “resistance.” What patterns and/or feelings do you perceive in your list of words?
- Write a short, non-fiction memoir (memory) or write a poem about resistance using words from your list.
- Freewrite for ten minutes about the strategies you use when you want to overcome a feeling of resistance within yourself.
Join the discussion. If you find these journal writing prompts helpful, or if you have other prompts you’d like to share on this topic, I invite you to leave a comment.