That which we resist, persists. ~Carl Jung
I heard this quote in a podcast Saturday and it has stuck with me. What am I resisting? What things am I still hoping for in life that have come to fruition because of my reticence? What am I allowing to persist in my life as a result?
Although the situation of my life has radically changed because I have driven the wild horses pulling the chariot of my life like a slave woman escaping her tormentor, racing to freedom because her life depends upon it, I haven't achieved the happiness in my soul that I desire. The ease of life and laughter evade me. The desire for connected, meaningful companionship persists. Jung would say it is because I resist both just as I claim to long for them.
How then, does this resisting manifest? I'm speaking to myself in an effort to make sense of the mind through yet one more pathway in life that I have yet to see come to fruition, the writing of a book so many have suggested that I compile finally. If I write as I think, perhaps I will find the answer, like pulling a thread and unraveling a cloth, the answer is in me, it always has been and I will find it as I write or ponder and hopefully not unravel completely.
As I drove to work this morning, I asked myself these questions, already buoyed by the comments on my revival post to the blog, the things I once desired began to flood my heart and the fog in my head started to lift. I wanted to write a book once upon a time. I wanted to get my doctorate. I wanted to have a happy home and marriage, a companionship with a partner that rivaled the best of friendships and children that were accomplishing their goals as they marched toward adulthood. I wanted to get out of our city and see places, meet people, see the world. What stopped me?
Grad school. Ya'll, it kicked my butt! I still feel like I'm recovering three months later.
Parenting Sissy. Most days with her are better but then there are these bits of time, sometimes days on end, when she is still hard as Hades and I cry my way to work.
Work. Being a single parent and working full time is HARD.
Dating. It has stolen my faith and trust that there are decent humans out there seeking the same end goal as I am.
I drove, I thought, I asked myself what I am resisting and the answer seems to be that I am resisting success. Yet by all accounts, I am successful already. I have accomplished some impossible feats in the last three years, dragging my family kicking and screaming to a higher station in life. I say I resist success because in my mind, I don't see myself that way. I see myself as still struggling because that's how I feel on a daily basis, like I'm still in the fight for my life, for survival, for peace, for hope. It's a lie of course, but old habits die hard and as my physician said it, when we are in stressful situations for extended periods of time (in my case, for years,) the body adapts and accepts that as the new norm for functioning. It takes time to retrain the body and mind to function at the new baseline of normal which is to live successfully in a stress-free environment.
So I resist stress-less life too. Thus the mental stress persists.
As I drove, (it's 25 minutes to work every day and 40 minutes home with evening traffic), I let my mind imagine what it would feel like to achieve the other successes I once longed for. Who would I be? What persona would I have? What kind of mate would be a good match for that woman? Where is the love in my soul? Can I still bond with others? What else do I resist?
I resist love. Thus lovelessness persists.
Love has been unsafe for me in every way. From a parent, to a spouse, to raising my challenged kids, to dating life. Love has proven to be a red herring yet I long for it. I see it in others' lives and I want it, desperately. What is it like to be loved unconditionally? I have no idea. I can say that I try to love unconditionally but do I really? It starts with self-love and am I loving myself unconditionally, with abandon and forgiveness, grace and mercy, patience and kindness? No. I'm so hard on myself. Just read these words I'm writing! It smacks of self-loathing even though I am trying to find the answers to why I can't achieve love and why happiness seems so distant.
I resist happiness. Thus sorrow persists.
Happiness is scary because in my story, it disappears eventually. Oh, it likes to show up from time to time but it doesn't stick around. Sissy hates happiness. We can be enjoying a great time as a family but Sissy will nip that shit in the butt as quickly as it starts. Happiness for me, is always chased with a swift kick in the ass, a reminder that happiness is not allowed. That's dark and perhaps melodramatic. It's not intended to be, remember, I'm writing this post as a stream of consciousness and I am literally letting my unconscious dig through the mind to uncover the truths I'm avoiding. So yes, happiness in my life has not been allowed though I long for it. I try to create it. It doesn't stay, it is a facade. No, that's not quite right. It is transparent - present and not present at the same time.
I resist truth. Thus falsehoods persist.
The truth is, I'm an incredible woman but it is next to impossible for me to wear that truth, own it, digest it, be it. So the lies creep in. A few weeks ago I did an experiment. I went about my day reminding myself that I am a confident, capable woman that is lovable, desirable, and beautiful. It was amazing! I felt like I could do anything and people were drawn to me like moths to a flame. It was a paradigm shift that lasted four days then slowly, slowly, the lies crept back in and I believed I wasn't worth anything again. Dang it those old haunts in my head!
I resist new paradigms. Thus old pathways persist.
This one I can do something about. I can keep doing those daily affirmations. It wasn't hard and it worked. *a smile just slowly crept across my face as I stopped and repeated those words in my head* I can keep doing those daily affirmations and you know what will happen? I'll tell you exactly what will happen, I just saw into the looking glass because I unraveled every last bit...
When I accept the new paradigm, I will be able to accept truth. When I accept the truth about who I am, I will accept the happiness of that truth. When I accept the happiness, I will be able to accept love. When I accept love then the stress will fade into nothing.
It starts right now.