the presence of resistance

Resistance is a powerful tool. It can stop any process or force. It can create its own force and defeat the efforts of nature, interrogation, desire, and microbes (note: with microbes your body mounts a defense and sends raiders to kill the invading microbe, so technically not resistance because a carefully designed counterattack is taking place; however, this is my blog and because that action takes place totally outside of our decision-making process, I am calling it resistance).

Resistance can be our friend – just ask any recovering alcoholic or ex-smoker.

I am strongly resistant. I conquered addiction to nicotine. I have resisted temptation hundreds of thousands of times in my life. For example, if someone cuts me off when I am driving, I resist the temptation to run them off the road and verbally* teach them a lesson in polite driving. The only lesson they might learn from that is to sell their car and buy a Behemothmobile. At those times, my resistance is connected to my inner wisdom. If someone is willing to risk hurting me and themselves just to get a space in traffic, what’s to stop them from hurting me as I prevent them from reaching their destination?

*screaming incoherently

Other times, my resistance gets in my way.

I am even resistant to writing about resistance. Resistance appears as a physical stiffness in my breastbone and a total lack of coherent sentences in my brain. I find myself immersed in distraction rather than production. I make a decision to surrender to my reluctance. I could make the decision to meet my resistance and negotiate. Like this morning. I would rather go read other people’s blogs but I am working a deal with my resistance to write about it.

I am resistant to writing about anything. I start a little interrogation with myself about what to write about, what I think about the subject, how do I feel, and then I check with my creativity to get some advice as to how I want to say it, and up pops my resistance. Behind that resistance are some whopper stories. I type in some words and immediately think to myself “But that’s not brilliant!” I want to see the mastery in each sentence before I proceed to the next. It does not matter that I know writing is rewriting, that I have the option of coming back to revise and craft the sentences until they reflect exactly what I want to say.

Sometimes the writing flows even through resistance, like water finding invisible cracks in a concrete dam. Here’s a revelation: even when my writing is flowing, not every sentence I write is brilliant. In fact, some of them . . . okay, MOST of them are downright remedial.

I consider all of my writing as works in progress. At some point, I will revisit this post and play with it some more. I am in hot pursuit of being a qualified writer who says things that other people find useful at some level.

I resist giving up.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass


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7 Responses to “the presence of resistance”

  1. holessence Says:

    “It does not matter that I know writing is rewriting, that I have the option of coming back to revise and craft the sentences until they reflect exactly what I want to say.”

    Barbara, that’s exactly how it is for me. First I write the skeleton, then I come back and put on the flesh.

    “I resist giving up.” Way to go!

  2. sandiwhite Says:

    Barbara, you are one tough cookie. Me, I cave. Not really, I do fight the urge to throw down my tools and give up. When my mind is searching for a solution, it’s just another way of saying that I’m looking for the easiest possible way to alleviate the problem. I’m very resistant to hard work but the results I want are gained through the application of both mind and body. There really isn’t a middle ground. To have a stunning yard and garden I must resist the temptation of walking into the air-conditioned house, picking up my book, laying back in the Fat Chair and having a nap. The pay-off is the joy and satisfaction of creating these beautiful places.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Sandi — you are one of the most hard working people I know! I think what makes the difference between us sitting down in our Fat Chair with a carton of Haagen Daz ice cream is that we want something else more than we want the Fat Chair. We found our motivation. We know what makes us happy. We came here to do something else beyond passive living.

  3. Barbara Kass Says:

    Hi, Laurie — I need to get more comfortable with the idea that writing is an art just like any other art. It needs as many drafts and time as any other creative work.

  4. ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:

    I would say that I am resistant as well. my problem is that I am too resistant and do not say whats on my mind when I really need to and clam up, usually comeone else takes the credit if its at work, or just the silent treatment if I am at ome. It is something that I am aware of, struggle with, and really bang my head against the wall about. I am too kind in the fact that I am more conserned about the outcome of what I say, than just saying it……Thanks for the great insight….


    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hmmm . . . you may need to strike a deal with your resistance, Kim. Another option would be to act in spite of your resistance. You might try it just once or twice and see what happens. Resistance is a willing ally to help us get what we want. Most of all, I want you to stop banging your head against the wall. The only time that feels good is when you stop . . .

  5. ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:


    Yes Mam!
    It does goive you a sore head!!

    Thanks for your insight..


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