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Resistance is Futile

resistance is futile darth vader

Howdy vet people - welcome to one of the last fully human written blogs on the planet!


Since it is still May and I am, at heart, a Star Wars nerd* we are continuing the Star Wars theme. If you missed the other May Star Wars blog about the dark side of self improvement, you can get it here.


*you hear that from me often...I'm a this nerd or a that nerd...I think I'm just a nerd nerd


Ever hear the Jungian phrase 'what you resist, not only persists, but will grow in size?'


Yeah...that.


Darth Vader is here to remind us that resistance is futile...not in sense that you will be assimilated into the Borg like Captain Picard, but in the fact that as much as we would like it to work, resistance to a problem doesn't solve the problem or make it go away. It just ensures that the problem will show up again tomorrow.


This was a really difficult concept for me to grasp. In fact, it took years for me to get it.


In the typical veterinary day, many things show up that we don't want:


  • clients who don't follow recommendations

  • angry clients

  • disagreements with coworkers, friends, or family

  • high prices

  • mistakes

  • staffing shortages

  • adverse medical events

  • traffic

  • stupid people

  • natural disasters

  • climate change

  • war

  • supply chain issues

  • unexpected bills

  • unexpected health problems

  • inflammatory news headlines

  • endless political opinions

  • and on and on and on


I don't know about you but my knee jerk reaction to that list is to stiffen, bristle, and in a word, resist.


When we resist something it is because we don't like it and we want whatever it is to exit our perceived reality. We resist because somewhere along the way we have become convinced that resistance is the right thing to do and will solve the problem.


Unfortunately quantum physics doesn't work that way. In fact, the study of observed particles in the famous double slit experiment will tell you that energy flows where attention goes, no matter if the attention is negative or positive.


I can sense you are skeptical. Let's try it another way.


Imagine you are thinking about buying a new car - maybe a new Tesla. You do some research on the car, talk about the car, test drive the car, and think about the car, and then suddenly you start seeing the car every where, every day.


It's also like when you talk about (or these days just think about) something and then it shows up in your Tiktok #fyp or as a paid ad - the algorithm is always listening.


THE SECRET IS when you dwell on or talk about something you don't want, you are focusing your conscious energy on it, which paradoxically makes it more likely that that thing or person, however odious it is it you, will show up in your reality again. The more you think about something, whether good or bad, the more likely you will experience it again.


Read that again.


A great source of human unhappiness is the result of our reactions to what other people around us are doing (or not doing). We are also unhappy because we give our attention to the news and fixate DAILY upon the things that scare us or make us irate. Many people do this first thing in the morning when they wake up and look at their phone (an absolute abysmal way to start your day - you deserve better).


resistance is futile

We see, read, or read about something that we don't like, which then elicits negative emotions. As a measure of self protection, we think about those things, talk with others about how upset we are about those things, have negative feelings associated with those things, all in an effort to insulate ourselves from that thing we don't like. Then we go to sleep, wake up and repeat the whole cycle again the next day - a toxic, unending merry-go-round of thoughts and actions of resistance to the things we don't like.


Unfortunately, if your habitual attention revolves around what you want to avoid, you’ll inadvertently 'energize' it, permit it to have more power over your thoughts and emotions, and paradoxically attract more of it to you.


Said another way, if you misdirect your attention and fixate on the thing you don't want, you accidentally strengthen and spread what you hope to weaken in your reality.


Read THAT again....especially if your knee jerk reaction to this whole post is 'bullshit". :-)


Then think about the things you don't like/don't want/are scared of...think about how much thought and verbal energy (aka lip service) you give these things, every mfing day.


In essence, in your well intentioned, focused hatred, you are energetic fueling them. And guess what? They will show up in some form (something you will hear/read/see/say/think) again in your reality tomorrow because in essence, you called them.


So all the effort you are putting into fighting this, that, or the other thing is just reinforcing and ensuring that you will have that thing to fight again tomorrow. Plus, if you focus on resisting these things you will also feel victimized by them, which is a terrible feeling that saps your energy and puts frown lines on your face.


This can be really hard for some people, especially if their entire identity to wrapped around resisting something. And it's a pretty acceptable way to be human - no judgment - but if you actually want to be rid of these things showing up in your reality day after day, then you are going to have to do something different.


Resistance is Futile. Fortunately There is Another Way


The good news is that you can reverse the resistance insanity spiral by simply choosing to think and feel differently, over and over again, in the present moment, every time you are confronted with something or someone you don't like.


And yes...you can choose differently, as clinical neuropsychologist and holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl teaches us:


viktor frankl, resistance is futile

SO


when things shows up that you want to resist (and they will) such as:


  • that client

  • or that coworker

  • or that relative

  • or that negative, intrusive thought

  • that celebrity

  • that politician

  • that news headline

  • that Tiktok video

  • or whatever negative event of the day that everyone seems to want to fixate on...


...instead of contracting, resisting, and engaging in the same old same old thoughts, emotions, and behaviors do something different.


PAUSE...


Take three breaths...


let go of negative, self-protective, judgmental, and defensive thoughts...


knowing they no longer serve your highest good...


and practice acceptance. It is what it is. Let it go.


You are neutral, zen, in control of your emotions and thoughts no matter what is front of you...


the victim of no one and no thing.


In a word, you are unfuckwithable.


And every time you are confronted by something that tempts you to go back into the negative shit spiral, do it again.


Do this over and over and over and over until it becomes a new way of being. You might have to do it every 5 minutes to start, especially if you the bulk of your thoughts every day are negative. This will take self discipline, because all your neural circuitry is geared to go negative.


But the good news is that beliefs are just thoughts you think over and over again. And thoughts can be changed.


Desire peace more than wanting to feel habitual angry resistant thoughts, and you will find the whole world changes. I know it sounds corny...but it's true.


Practicing acceptance isn't approval - btw. It is caring for yourself in the moment and removing your attention - and therefore your energy - from the unwanted thing. #blocked


At first, this will likely be hard because you have habitually conditioned yourself to practice resistance. Some of you will find that you are actually low key addicted to talking about and hating on fillintheblank thing that you detest, and it will take everything you have to interrupt the pattern.


But stick with it, and one of a couple of things will happen:


  • As with all things, once you stop 'feeding' the unwanted thing your energy in the form of resistance, it will wither and die, a.k.a. you will not notice it as much.

  • Even if it doesn't disappear, you can reduce the stress you have been causing yourself by practicing acceptance.

  • You will start to feel more peaceful, even when that thing shows up.

  • You will allow space for more happiness.

  • Your relationships will likely improve.

  • You may free up energy to improve yourself or work on goals.


reistance is futile

At a base level, most adults know that it is a waste of precious energy to 'go to war' with what is. When you are resisting something, you are at war with it, which ties up energy that you could be using to focus on your goals or things that bring you joy and fulfillment.


Stop wasting your energy on resistance. It is futile. Instead, obsess about things that bring you peace, joy, fulfillment, and connection with others. Be the smart bad ass I know you are, and use your energy strategically to create a life you love.


Action Step


Choose one (or all) of the following and practice daily:


  1. When something that you don't like shows up in your awareness, observe yourself. How do you react? How do you feel? What do you say? Don't judge yourself - just observe.

  2. Practice pausing, breathing, acceptance, and letting go.

  3. Apply these principles consistently and see how your life changes.


It's time to take back what is ours.

Break the cycle.

Embody peace.

Choose different.

I know you can.


From our slightly scandalous hearts to yours,


Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ and the Vets Against Insanity CON Crew 😆

sarah wooten







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