Writing Through Emotion: Resistance is Futile 10


A few years ago, I was a devoted reader of Eckhart Tolle’s spiritual writings, such as The Power of Now and Stillness Speaks. I never thought Tolle was a particularly good writer, as far as writing goes, but his spiritual approach appealed to me. It still does, though I admit I haven’t been as focused on my spiritual life of late. The basic idea is that emotional and mental suffering is caused by resistance; if you focus on being fully present to Now and understand that Past and Future are merely constructs of the mind, you will be able to embrace whatever is happening in the Present, thus eliminating such suffering.

To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. (Eckhart Tolle, Practicing the Power of Now, page 105.)

The idea of eliminating—or at least reducing—suffering by embracing the Present is not new. Buddhist teachings embody this concept. (Disclaimer: I have not studied Buddhism, and I am making the comparison from a place of limited experience and understanding.) The Law of Attraction, the new-age teachings of Abraham via Esther and Jerry Hicks, and Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, agree that by releasing attachment to what was or what you hope will be and embracing whatever is in your life now, you will not only no longer suffer, you will be more open to and attract positive events and people to you.

It is our absolute promise to you that when you understand the power of feeling good now, no matter what, you will hold the key to the achievement of any state of being, any state of health, any state of wealth, or any state of anything that you desire. (Esther and Jerry Hicks, Ask and It is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires, page 4.)

Even Deepak Chopra’s fourth law, the Law of Least Effort, outlined in his classic book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, mentions the idea:

This law is based on the fact that nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease and abandoned carefreeness. This is the principle of least action, of no resistance. (p 53.)

Then there’s the Gratitude Movement, which helps us focus on and be grateful for the good in our lives in any given moment. The premise is that when you focus on all the things, people, and events that you have to be grateful for, right now, your emotional state takes a turn for the better and you begin to attract even more to feel grateful about. I’ve tried it; it works.

So when I’m unhappy, discouraged, depressed, or just plain grumpy, if I want to feel better, I have to ask myself what it is that I’m resisting. What am I trying to pull away from or change? What feels uncomfortable? To identify whatever it is I’m resisting and acknowledging all the good in my life (gratitude) are the first steps toward acceptance and peace. At least that’s how it works for me.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t work to change our circumstances or to right social wrongs; it only means to accept without emotional resistance what’s happening in the moment and taking whatever steps we can to effect that change. Easier said than done.

One thing I know: writing about both my points of resistance and what I have to be grateful for usually brings about an amazing change in my feelings and attitude, and has even helped me recognize opportunities for change that wallowing in my pain kept me from seeing.

What about you?

Here are a few journal writing prompts to help you get started writing about emotional resistance, its resulting pain, and other possibilities:

  • What are the pain points in your life right now?
  • What are you resisting, and why?
  • What are you holding onto? How does holding onto that idea or thing serve you?
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen if you release your resistance?
  • What’s the best thing that could happen if you release your resistance?
  • What do you have to be grateful for in this moment, and how do you feel after you write about your gratitude?

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on this topic by leaving a comment.


Photo by allison

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 thoughts on “Writing Through Emotion: Resistance is Futile

  • patsy ann taylor

    Though I usually manage to say thank you for something, in my nightly journaling, I have not considered that emotional resistance might prevent gratitude. Thank you for the prompts and this thought provoking topic.

  • Heather Marsten

    Sometimes I try to assess why I am depressed, worried, sad, or grumpy. But often I gain greater freedom and joy by looking outside myself and trying to find ways to reach out and help others. When I can get outside of myself, then I find a greater joy and peace.

    • Amber Lea Starfire

      Heather, that’s a good point. When we’re always focused inwards, we tend to focus on what’s missing. When we get outside ourselves and focus on life, others, nature, etc., then we can access our sense of purpose, which accentuates life’s passion and joy.

  • Barbara Toboni

    Thanks, Amber. Good thing to journal about, resistance. For me, I’d like to explore my resistance to change. I know in my brain change can be a good thing, but I feel uncomfortable in new situations. This is a good starting point. Great picture by the way.

    • Amber Lea Starfire

      Thanks, Barbara. Change is uncomfortable because there’s so much “unknown.” We wonder: How will this change affect me? Will I be safe? Will my family be safe?

      In my experience, when we embrace change rather than resist it, we’re open to the positive opportunities that change brings with it. However responding to change with open arms is easier said than done, right? Let us know what you discover as your explore your resistance.

  • Noemi K.

    Thank you Amber for writing about this inspiring topic. I was searching for ways how to journal consciously and glad this is the first thing I started reading. I haven’t journaled in a very long time but always wanted to try it out because it can be such a healthy and inspiring habit, there are so many aspects of our lives that can be (re)discovered through journaling, so I thought I’d give it a try but wasn’t sure where and how to start. So this was very helpful, I like the journal writing prompts you suggested and looking forward to start writing!

    • Amber Lea Starfire Post author

      I’m happy to encourage another journal writer! I have lots of journaling prompts and resources here, so feel free to poke around. You can use the search function as well. For example, a search for “journaling prompts” should provide you with plenty of ideas.

    • Esther

      Coming from a cultish environment where you are programmed to view life a certain way, and their is no other option, I felt emotionally dead, lived like that for fifty plus years. Living in continual shame and self hate, shadow suppression, repression, finding out my ailment is codependency. It is so good to know their answers outside of cultish bullshit!

  • Esther

    Thank you, you helped me. Lightbulb moment, what Am I resisting? Thank you for your questions, just what I need to journal my anger. Thank for your work. So, so appreciate it!