02 Sep Do This One Thing And Free Yourself From Frustration for Good!
Resistance equals suffering. Or so the Buddha told us. I had often read and heard about the concept of resistance and suffering but I had never quite fully grasped it. I generally think of myself as an entirely positive person that is non really prone to resisting things or for that matter, suffering. There is the odd time when i’m fearful of something, a phone call I have to make or trying to meet people in some awkward situation. In those situations I feel a slight resistance but I have slowly built up a confidence that generally allows me to push past those things when I start to feel them. So, for that reason I never fully embraced the concept of resitance and suffering fully. That was until one beautiful summers morning in Tokyo.
I awoke around 9am and as soon as I opened my eyes I felt it. That all too familiar feeling of drowsiness, a slight headache and kind of soreness in my eyes that made them feel swollen and puffy. I had gone to sleep around 11.30pm so I had had at least 9 hours of solid sleep. So, you would think, as I did, that I would be bright eyed and bushy tailed as it were. Nothing could be further than the truth. If anything, I was dull eyed and thin tailed. It was familiar to me because they are the classic symptoms of Mononucleosis; Street name: Glandular fever. I contracted mono in December of 2010 and it took me fully off the radar for over a month. If you’re not familiar with the virus, it’s symptoms include prolonged chronic fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat and aching muscles. It wipes you out for a few weeks and with a lot of rest eventually you start to recover. However, in around 10% of cases it develops into long term chronic fatigue and that is is the situation I found myself in.
Now five years on from when I first contracted mono, I still battle with large bouts of physical and mental fatigue. It’s hard to explain because obviously everybody knows the feeling of being really tired, but this is a fatigue that is not recovered by sleep. That is to say, if I sleep for 9 or 10 hours per night, every night for a week, on day seven i’ll wake up feeling just as fatigued as I did on day one. It’s incredibly frustrating and something i’ve absolutely obsessed about for years. I’ve tried fighting it over and over again with supplements, exercise, monitoring my alcohol intake and extra sleep to no avail. So, when I woke up this week and felt those tell tale symptoms, I was furious. I’m just so over feeling like this and it is so detrimental to so many things in my life. Why can’t I get rid of this thing and why does it keep coming back to haunt me? Then it hit me. Resistance! I have grown to completely resist and hate this part of myself and naturally, I have felt the consequences – suffering. It is not the thing that we are resisting that causes most of the frustration, it is our resistance to it that causes the suffering. As the old adage goes, we can’t change what happens to us but we can choose how we react to it Suffering occurs when something happens to us and we actively try and resist it.
Since that morning realisation, I have decided to embrace this part of me fully. I don’t resist it, I don’t hate it, I embrace it as if it is a long lost child that I have just discovered. And it feels great. Whenever I catch myself saying, oh i’m so tired exhausted, now i’m committed to stopping myself and going, oh well, that’s just part of who I am, no point worrying about it and then i’ve immediately freed myself to go on and do other things. This is an incredibly powerful and liberating concept if you take time to think about it. I want to make it clear that I am still actively trying to find solutions to this fatigue but i’m simply choosing to accept that it is a part of me right now and there is no point resisitng it.
I invite you to dig deep into your life and see where you are regularly resisting things and suffering. Try your best just letting go and accepting it and I think you’ll find it to be a very powerful shift for you. Let me know in the comments anything that comes up for you.
1. Think about where you are regularly resisting things in your life. Think about your partner, your platonic relationships, your health and general body image or your work life. What is that one thing that keeps happening to you and you keep complaining about?
2. Take the thing you are resisting and embrace it fully. Expect it to be there and when it comes up for you, greet it as a long lost child.
3. Embrace the freedom of a resistance free life!