Accepting Resistance

The starting point for any transformation, whether it is inner or outer, is acceptance. Let’s start with what acceptance is not to scuttle a few misconceptions that have sullied its good name. It is not an affirmation. It is not pretending that you’re okay with something when you’re not by painting on a pollyanna smile and saying, “Yes of course this is fine, when every bone in your body is screaming, “Hell no—no way!”

Acceptance is acknowledging the truth of whatever is arising in the moment, whether it is an obese body or fear or the end of a relationship. This movement into acceptance is a strict gatekeeper that only allows through the truth of what is so right now and keeps out any fantasies about what we wish were so.

Imagine being a reporter charged with discovering the truth about a situation in a dispassionate, unbiased way. All you care about is the “who, what, where, and when” of the present moment. Or imagine yourself as a police investigator uttering Dragnet’s catchphrase, “Just the facts, ma’am.” You won’t put up with any airy, fairy ideas about what woulda, coulda, or shoulda been.

Often people confuse acceptance with liking something. Luckily you don’t have to like your body to accept it. You can actually move into acceptance by acknowledging that you don’t like it. Here is how it works: You accept the present moment: your body looks how it looks right now and you don’t like its size or shape. Although you may very well prefer a thinner body, the starting place for exchanging your current body for a thinner one is accepting the truth: your body is heavy right now and you don’t like it. Six months from now, it may look different, but for right now, this is it.

Like it or not, there is no way to change the present moment. It arises and passes away so quickly that before you can say, “this needs to be different now,” that “now moment” has moved into the past. It’s over.

Unless you’re psychic, you can’t know how your body will look in six months, a year, or ten years. However, if you want a thinner body, it’s important to accept that you have the one you have now. You don’t have to like it, just accept that this is the way your body looks now. To not accept its current appearance is denial.

This kind of no nonsense acceptance, even if it feels like resignation, is still acceptance. It is the acceptance of being in resistance to the way your body is appearing. When you can let it be okay that you don’t like the way your body looks, something inside relaxes and you feel at peace. As confusing as it sounds, accepting resistance is still acceptance.

Once you accept the truth of this moment, this acceptance immediately drops you into your true nature or essence. From essence, you’re aligned with your own internal wisdom and connected with where life is moving you.

The flip side of acceptance is resistance. When you’re resisting the present moment and holding the resistance in place by denying it, you’re caught in a cycle of judgment and self-hatred in your mind, and you’re stuck in ego. From here it’s next to impossible to take positive action.

You’ve heard the expression, “what you resist persists.” Here’s why: If you’re busy railing at God and wishing that something else was happening, other than what is happening, essence can’t get your attention. There is no room for the wise, creative part of you to inspire and move you into fruitful action. 

Even though it seems counterintuitive, the first step in transformation is accepting the situation that you want to change, the very thing you don’t want to have in your life. This acceptance drops you into essence and from essence you feel your way, sensing what is moving inside of you and guiding your journey. From this wise, true place, rather from the ego’s story of judgment and self-hatred, you discover what you’re motivated to do about a particular situation.