“What you resist will persist”
This was scrawled and partially obscured at the top of a dry-erase board, in a kitchen briefly visited. One of the most popular clichés of our time, it’s a fine example of backyard philosophy. Not subtle, but pithy. Useful, in a pinch. If you write it down in your kitchen, it means you’re trying, at least, to be mindful.
On the other hand, if you need to write it down because you can’t internalize it as practise, then you’re possibly practising the opposite – using your resistance to perpetuate something unhealthy for you and your folk, with no actual intention of following through into change.
Backyard clichés are handy like that. They’re also useful as conversation killer tools: ‘Yes, right. Yes of course you’re right’. One can feel temporarily wise, having played the platitude card.
But these are mere surface observations of mine, since all situations, human and otherwise are complex and so fundamentally unknowable. Kitchens can be gathering places of great abundance and nourishment, but they can also reek of resentment and despair. They can be manifestations of terrible sinking inertia or unfocused chaos.
Platitudes and clichés can function as important touchstones that evoke deeper wisdom. They can also be poorly applied, like band-aids, over a gaping wound which will never be properly tended to.
Resistance is far more subtle than the cliché implies, perhaps.
I consciously resist change, and so learn more in the moments before I surrender to it. I resist the lake, before I dive in, and the swim is sweeter. I resist endings, and so learn how and what to plant for the beginning that follows. I resist blind authority, and so can better claim a more conscious authorship of my own life.
Possible that in the act of resistance there lies a seed of understanding – one that just needs your gaze to grow and blossom into something incredible. Something you’d never ever consider, otherwise.
A cyclist resists inertia to achieve forward motion, and her body becomes steadily stronger. She can travel through the ever changing world, with resistance to inertia.
To persist in this way could be a very good thing, indeed.