Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Resistance ~ How Does It Show Up In Your Life?

I was forwarded an email today from a friend about resistance being an either/or attitude vs. a both/and attitude. I found this to be especially serendipitous since I was working with my coach around some resistance I've been feeling internally to a change that I feel needs to be made.

This article was from Dr. T's Timely Tips and I found it really thought provoking.

What really hit me was that when you find your attitude to be either/or - Either is has to be this way OR it has to be this way, you are creating resistance. This resistance creates a block that prevents you from truly being open to possibilities.... that truly great minds embrace a both/and attitude. Dr. T mentions an example of a person wanting a dessert that is both hot and cold, hence the hot fudge sundae was born.

This was a lightbulb moment for me. I have a delicate and challenging relationship with my mother, which most of us can relate to in some form or another, and I want to be more emotionally connected to her, but feel resistance due to previous hurts.

I'm working through this with my coach - I recognize that this block that I hold onto only holds me back from being the best me I can be. I get off of the phone and this article is in my inbox.

What I've realized is that my relationship with my mother has always been an EITHER/OR situation for me. Either I connect emotionally and open myself up to hurt OR I put the shield up and protect myself, at the same time losing out on a deeper relationship with my mother.

What I have just been opened up to is: What prevents me from both connecting emotionally, lowering the "shield" and being able to protect myself from being hurt a the same time?

Who says the only way to protect yourself from hurt is to emotionally block yourself off from a person? What I've realized is that although I have the wall up, I am not necessarily protected from being hurt - I still get hurt. I still feel the emotions and I lose the potential for a better relationship with my mother at the same time.

So, now the question is: How do I shift my mindset from either/or to both/and? Definitely food for thought!

How about you?

Where are you creating resistance with an either/or attitude that prevents you from living life to it's fullest?

How would your life be different if you were to shift your mindset to both/and?

I am really interested to hear your thoughts and comments around this new awareness - please share them with me!

Until next time...

P.S. - Email me if you would like a copy of this article.


Taz said...

=) Very interesting post. I am guilty of this kind of thinking. It used to be worse - I used to be a 'black and white' thinker. But it still needs improvement, and this is a helpful way to look at things.

I am having a lot of 'resistance' with a workmate of mine at the moment, I think I can take something from this.

ladynada said...

I woke up tues morn determined to work through this very problem, and I failed tues evening. but I am still learning.

a major thing I have learned is that the 'problem' is always with me, and not the other person. it is very hard to come to terms with looking at it this way. making the other person the problem is called 'projecting'. no matter what I think about what the other person says or does, it is my reaction to it that causes me a problem, so the problem is me.

that, to me, is the best place to start, because every time something happens then I can look at me and learn why. otherwise, I can keep looking at the other person and BLAME them.. .and nothing ever changes.

hope this helps,

Jenn said...

Wow Suzy... this statement made me stop in my tracks:

"What really hit me was that when you find your attitude to be either/or - Either is has to be this way OR it has to be this way, you are creating resistance. This resistance creates a block that prevents you from truly being open to possibilities...."

That really resonates with me. I can think of one really big situation in my life right now where I'm doing EXACTLY this... I'm thinking "Oh, it must either be THIS way or THAT way, but it can't be anything else..."

Now, of course, I was doing that very subtlety - until your post oh so fabulously shed light on it :)

Once I read that, I had this major WHOA! moment, and then a wonderful feeling of release.

I've returned to a state of allowing! YAY!

Suzy Strempke said...

I'm so glad that what hit me as a "WHOA" is impacting you in some way also. I love when you read something or hear something and it creates that instant shift in mindset - it's like opening up a whole new world :-)

Thanks a bunch for leaving your thoughts and comments... it's so great to hear how this concept impacts you.

Enjoy your day!

Betka said...

What a great insight! I've just been working on the concept of pampering myself - it can EITHER be chocolate cake et al, OR it can be doing what will make me the best I can be... Hmmm.

But what your post reminded me of:

Years ago I determined that I couldn't Be Myself as long as my mother was in my life. I was abroad and wanted to return to the US without telling anyone. Then I had the pic in my mind of her going the rest of her life not knowing if her first-born was alive or dead, and I knew I couldn't do that to her. It was the first time I knew the depth of my love for her. At the same time I knew I couldn't trust her, mostly around my money, and had to accept that I could love without 100% trust and that it was okay.

Since then I told her about some of the hurts, and she cried for me, and I cried because I hadn't known she would hurt for me...

We've re-built our trust. I'm 52 and she's been my best friend for several years now.

Thanks for a great reminder.

Suzy Strempke said...

Thank you for sharing your personal experience... I too am learning what to let go of and recognizing that placing expectations on others is a great disservice to not only them, but you as well. I've learned that expectations place conditions on love and I want to love unconditionally. I'm still a work in progress :-), but wouldn't have it any other way!

Betsy said...

Suzy, this was a great and very helpful post!

I think I have been struggling with this issue with my husband. After reading your post I realized that I am a very "either/or" person and I don't give easily to change. And because of this, I don't adjust well to new situations and my resistance really shows up in an ugly way.

I will have to be mindful of this for the future and work on it!

I also really liked what ladynada said about it's always "me." And it's true. It's just hard to take the responsibility rather than project your hurt, frustration or anger on someone else!

Suzy Strempke said...

Hey Betsy,
I would have to say that I tend to be an either/or person myself and have made an amazingly conscious effort to shift that - aahh the power of coaching! Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts!

Kim said...

Suzy, thanks for posting this. I've been thinking about this on and off for a couple of months. For me (with my mom and mother-in-law) I find that if I focus on trying to enjoy them (where they are at) while I'm with them, a lot of the "either/or" goes away. I'm less defensive and more accepting of their "obvious" issues (since they have to work that out in their process). I did this the other day while in the car with my mom and I could feel the tension leaving the car. I was able to smile and just enjoy being present in the moment and not worry about all the underlying, unresolved issues that I see but she doesn't. I don't know if those things will ever be resolved, but I do know that I want to be both/and emotionally and relationally with my mom. I'm taking it one visit at a time and trying to enjoy who she is - not what she should be.

:) Kim

Annette said...

I enjoyed this post Susy. Thanks so much!

Suzy Strempke said...

Hey there Kim,
Thanks for sharing that - I would have to say that I have learned the "art" of that just within the last couple of years.

Rebekah said...

Why are moms always part of the resistance in our lives? Do we ever move away from the approval/correction relationship?

Suzy Strempke said...

Hey Rebekah,
I think that goes to show how important the mother/child bond is. Something to chew on, especially as a mother :-)