We all feel frustrated, sad and unhappy at times due to the expectations that others have of us. We are pressured to live a certain way or adhere to demands that they have of us. As a result we tend to lose our control and react in the heat of the moment. These situations can range from a compulsion to do something we don’t want to, told to do something instead of being asked, forcing their opinions on us or being asked to live or behave a certain way. All these situations, demands, expectations drain us of our vitality and make us lose control of our lives. Though we prefer not react to them in the moment, there are times we feel powerless, frustrated and defeated.
While we somewhere deeply know that there is no point in being reactive and losing control as it ultimately leads to conflicts and arguments which we want to avoid at any cost as it takes away our peace of mind, there can be a lingering sense of sadness and disconnectedness that we feel as a result. Although we know that we should set healthy boundaries and communicate our needs upfront but we still wonder if there is a different way to go about this.
Our reactions mostly aggravate a situation. They are a sign of emotional immaturity and can make us feel like the ‘world is against us’. As per Nicole LePera, the author of the book ‘How to do the work’, ‘emotional immaturity revolves around the inability to tolerate’. Tolerance is thus dictated by how we feel not just about our own emotions but those of others as well.
However, if we are observant and thoughtful we will find that instead of reacting and resisting, if we give-in to the situation and allow it to unfold as it is, there is a very different feeling or outcome. It’s a sign of emotional maturity defined as being at peace with the misunderstanding of others or with being misunderstood ourselves. On a closer look though there emerges another observation that can shift our perspective about how we view such circumstances or situations.
After being in these different situations myself, feeling the way I do and dealing with them I have felt that there is a law/Principle that relates to our response to the situations that we face. This law is :
⚖️ “The more i resist something, the more it persists”
Another variation of this is :
⚖️ What we resist, persists.
This applies to all situations, circumstances and scenarios.
When we allow things to flow in their natural course they usually get resolved on its own. It’s almost like magic. It feels like the universe was asking us to be patient and resilient and weather the storm and once that storm has passed and we have been through it we will be a completely different person. This reminds me a quote from ‘Kafka on the shore’ -
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about - Haruki Murakami
This makes me think that everything unfolds according to a certain order and that everything has its own purpose. When we are in alignment with that, nature collaborates with us and our actions are infused with harmony and balance. The more mindful we are to nature’s processes the more we are able to experience flow. That is what is meant by going with the flow. In other words, this means responding to events, people or situations with a flexible attitude and an open mind, allowing the situation to evolve in the way it is meant to, instead of forcing ourselves onto it. We practice what Jay Shetty in his book ‘Think like a monk’ calls ‘detachment’
This is detachment, when you observe your own reactions from a distance—with your monk mind—making decisions with a clear perspective. - Think like a monk, Jay Shetty
This way, we are able to adapt to the changes around us, and find a solution that works best for all. By embracing this way of thinking, we become co-creator’s with the universe and are driven by a purpose that is higher than our own self. The drama that ensues due to unnecessary resistance to ‘what is’ prevents us from fully inhabiting the present moment. By this simple act of letting go what is not in our control and focussing on the present moment and believing that it’s all happening for the better we honour the power of ‘now’. As a consequence of this, we feel more peace and contentment. Our actions are infused with meaning and purpose.
So what can you do the allow life to unfold the way it is meant to :
Be present. When you are facing a difficult situation where others are trying to be intrusive, check-in with yourself to observe your body and what’s happening inside you.
Patiently listen and let them express their thoughts and expectations.
Notice your thoughts and see if resistance starts to build up inside you.
Acknowledge you thoughts and emotions by leaning into them
Empathise and try to look at situation from their perspective.
Smile and if you are comfortable share your point of view, opinion or whatever your course of actions is.
This way instead of unconsciously reacting to a situation you are mindfully accepting the present moment and looking at it without any judgement or condemnation. And then the miracle happens which is very succinctly put by one of the greatest philosophers of our times.
When we see the fact as it is, then that very fact is the truth which resolves the problem - Jiddu Krishnamurti
I’ll leave you with that thought.