Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Conversation with Resistance Part Deux

Une partie est ici. <---Find Part One there.

The first part of this conversation was very enlightening and as I promised, I would be back to continue it.

Me: Hey Resistance, I'm baaaack. First before I forget, that thing where I said, "I can do that," uhm yeah no I can't. And we'll just have to find some other way okay?!.
Resistance: Yeah I already knew it wasn't going to work, but I resisted telling you. See what I did there, hahaha.

Me: Yes I see and seriously you really do a good job. I actually didn't feel any shame AND I didn't mess up. Well I messed up a little bit by saying, 'yes I can do that'. You do rock sometimes. Maybe that's how we need to approach this.
Resistance: Huh?

Me: When do you you need to be here? When are you really, really helpful?
Resistance: I'm always helpful.

Me: You're helpful sometimes.
Resistance: So I'm not futile?

Me: No, not all the time.
Resistance: Tell me more.

Me: Like when I don't recognize the signs of a bad situation, you show up. I find you stopping me, helping me resist an action, an idea, a person, a place or what have you. Because I don't actually need it. It's unsafe, but I'm looking in the wrong direction and don't see that it's unsafe. I feel you then and you're really helpful.
Resistance: Yeah, but you don't always listen, so I have to stay and do what I can to get you to listen.

Me: Hmm, you're right. I don't always listen. I also realize it's those times when I feel you and don't listen that shame and messing up happen most frequently. So I need to listen during those times?
Resistance: Yeah, but you don't.

Me: Okay, so I'm listening to you now and let's see, is there a sign, a physical sign my body already has to let me know when it's necessary for me to listen to you?
Resistance: Sure, what you're feeling right now by listening to me.

Me: Mmhmm, so it feels like it's harder to breath, like my breastbones have grown closer together in the center of my chest and it's warm there. There is also an almost imperceptible pain behind my left eye.
Resistance: That chest thing is me. I am not a pain behind your eye. I know who IS though. Shame. Oh boy I'm gonna get worse, just thought I'd let you know because I called Shame out. Don't worry though, it's just a panic attack.

Me: [mumbling to self] All I have to do is remember to breath, deep in, long out, deeper in, long out...

...10 minutes later

Resistance: Hey, you're back, just doing my job, keep you away from shame.
Me: Yes, yes you are. Well Shame went back into hiding. So the focus is back on you.

Resistance: It is now but you weren't listening 10 mintues ago.
Me: I was listening, you were trying to protect me from shame right? Yet I had to know what you felt like when you were protecting me from shame. It's kind of tricky, but I was definitely listening.

Resistance: Writing out our conversation is going to bring shame. What if your friends find this?
Me: ...[sputtering] well...uh...[clearing throat] They might but they won't know it's me. Wow yeah there's shame again. It's a pen name. There I said it. I'm writing under a pen name so I can freely explore all this stuff and reveal as much as I need to reveal without revealing who they are or my real name. [Heaviness on chest eases even more.]

Resistance: [loud belly laughing eases off] Geez, I have kept you from writing haven't I and it's your own fault. All you had to do was say it was a pen name already, instead of being all aghast and dismayed surrounding the suggestion of using a pen name months and months ago with that bum marketing thing. [laughter starts up again]
Me: Yeah there were some issues with that - acceptance issues obviously, shame too, plus you, you were there.

Resistance: Mmhmmm, so now you know what physical sign I show up as, will you listen better starting right now?
Me: Will I listen better starting right now? Will you stop showing up when I want to write?

Resistance: Can I trust you to listen?
Me: Can I trust me to listen to my resistance when it shows up? I promise to practice, to actively practice.

Resistance: Then yes, I'll get out of the way when you want to write, but just so you know Shame is probably gonna show up, instead of me.
Me: Yeah, she probably is. Shame is a she isn't she? She and I are going to have a conversation at some point. Until then I'm glad you and I talked.

Resistance: I am too.

Resistance trots ten feet away and becomes a wonderful 1940' Club Chair with ottoman. I guess it figures we may need to sit together in the future.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Conversation with Resistance | Resistance is Futile

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, probably too much along the lines of why I can't or don't do what I want to do.

I've given myself permission.

I've double checked to make sure it is what I want and yet resistance still shows up, still stops me and I decided to ask it directly why.

I'm not as good at being compassionate with myself as Havi is on her Fluent Self blog, when talking to her walls, monsters and such. Still I'm talking and personally, that's what counts.

Me: Resistance, yo what up, what you doin' here?
Resistance: Hey, yeah just hanging out so you don't mess something up.

Me: Oh, well that's cool. I don't want to mess something up.
Resistance: Yeah it sucks when you mess up. Remember that time....

Me: Uh, resistance could we not talk about that except, hey...wait a were there then too and I thought you hung around so I didn't mess things up. What happened with that one?
Resistance: Weeelll, seeee...I don't have to tell you anything. I'm Resistance.

Me: Very true, very true. I guess you win that round. I'll concede on the grounds that resistance is futile.
Resistance: Well I'm keeping you from doing what you wanted to do, so you don't mess it up. So how futile is that?

Me: Hmm, very obviously since I'm not getting anything done. Just writing this conversation out and that isn't going to get us anywhere is it? Because you win, remember, resistance is futile.
Resistance: Well if you think you're gonna make me feel shame about being futile, don't forget you feel what I feel so...

Me: Resistance, yes of course you're right and I understand. It's not the messing up something you want to keep us away from, it's the shame that messing up creates. You want to keep us away from the shame. Thank you for that. I really do appreciate it because shame has been debilitating. So what do you suggest...wait, don't answer that... I know what you suggest - resistance, hardyharhar.
Resistance: Well I am resistance. What else do you expect from me? I do what I do best - resist. You want me to go so you can mess something up and feel shame?

Me:, not exactly.
Resistance: Then we're agreed.

Me: Actually resistance, no we're not agreed. I said you won. I conceded on the grounds that resistance is futile. It's a waste of energy. It's making the easy, complicated. It's keeping me away from doing what I think it's best for me to do to get what and where I want and be responsible for my actions and have my autonomy. We can't hang out anymore and I was hoping, I guess, to get some ideas on what you needed so we didn't hang out in this place of struggle. Let me understand this, right now you keep me from feeling shame, by keeping me from messing up?
Resistance: Yes.

Me: Let's drop the messing up part for a minute and find some ways to deal with the shame, cause come on, we're gonna mess up, we need to know how to handle the shame. We need to cope with it, recognize it for what it is. Resistance, what do you need so that can happen?
Resistance: It's what you need, "to know the outcome and the probability of the outcome before you take the action."

Me: Seriously, that's what I need to move beyond you? [Thinking we're screwed. Then realizing it's resistances futility making it look like we're screwed.] Okay, we need to spend some time daily determining possible outcomes to actions we'd like to take? I can do that [I can't do that. That will take forever and we'll never get anything done] and list them in order of the greatest to the least probable. I'll spend an hour doing that for the next week. What else resistance? What happens to our relationship after that's done?
Resistance: ... [Thinking it'll never happen. Resisting resistance is futile. hehehehehehehehe. Evil laugh cuts out abruptly.]

Me: [Clearing throat] Hey Resistance, remember I know what you're thinking and honestly I'm thinking you think you just helped me spend another hour not doing what I wanted to do so I'm posting this conversation on the blog instead.
Resistance: And I heard you, too... [Good my evil plan is working. That will take another 30 or 40 minutes and then it's time to get ready for The Meeting.]

Me: resistance, I heard that. You and me, we're not done. There's something you aren't sharing with me. Something about shame and I want to know what it is, but you're right. We're out of time. There will be a part deux. Mark my words resistance. Mark my words.
Resistance: ...

No one was harmed in this conversation, except maybe a few thoughts who were shocked out of their comfortable rut.