What is resisted is strengthened

One of the natural tendencies of the human ‘mind’ is to label and interpret whatever arises in this moment. This mental narrative is not problematic by itself, and it is not necessary (or even possible) to get rid of it. Wanting the ‘mind’ to stop labelling or thinking is completely futile. It won’t happen, at least not for long.


There are millions of labels that can be attached to anything that appears in this moment, but in general, these tags are either about approaching or avoiding what has just arisen. It is either put into the category of desired (positive) or undesired (negative). Things are rarely interpreted as neutral, and even when it happens the ‘unimportant’ tag comes with it, so it is ignored and forgotten quickly.

Let’s say, I have an important appointment at 9am, but I have been stuck on the motorway for an hour now because the car has broken down, so it is certain that I cannot be there on time. This situation is definitely labelled as bad and undesirable. As time goes on, the body gets more and more tense and ‘I feel terrible’ due to a mental story that has emerged around the situation. The contraction in the body is uncomfortable, so I want to get rid of it. I try to relax and push my thoughts away, but in vain.

When something ‘unpleasant’ happens, there is a habitual tendency to avoid it. However, the avoidance itself strengthens what was intended to be eliminated. The more ‘I’ want to get rid of something, the better ‘I’ get attached to it.

The ‘reason’ behind this phenomenon is that when I want to get rid of something it means that its ‘reality’ is already approved. I would not want to eliminate something if I had not believed that thing is real and true. And when something is believed to be true, how could it be obliterated?

Thus, the body cannot relax while the labels about the situation is believed and taken seriously. It does not mean that ‘you’ have to love the situation and happily cover it up with a positive affirmation: “How good it is, I have just lost a thousand dollars because I could not get to the meeting. I am so happy”. Overriding resistance with ‘positive thinking’ won’t help either.

The liberation is hidden in the core belief (label) — ‘this is bad’. The current circumstances are completely neutral, only the conditioned thought-tags suggest otherwise. ‘I’ project meaning onto the situation.

The car has broken down. I am stuck on the motorway. I won’t be able to get to the meeting. So, I’ve just lost a thousand dollars. – These are ‘facts’. No matter what I do, no matter how hard I want to redo it or undo it, IT IS AS IT IS.

And even the labelling nature of the ‘mind’ is part of the flow. When the story is seen and not believed, the movie of ‘my’ life is watched without identifying with the main character, ‘I’.

Arguing with what IS, is totally futile.
Arguing with what IS, is a conditioned habit.

What is resisted is strengthened.
Resistance is a guaranty for suffering.


12 thoughts on “What is resisted is strengthened

  1. “When something ‘unpleasant’ happens, there is a habitual tendency to avoid it. However, the avoidance itself strengthens what was intended to be eliminated. The more ‘I’ want to get rid of something, the better ‘I’ get attached to it.”

    A light comes on when I ponder your thoughts about this Vivien, I get it, really I do!! For instance, when “facing your fears head on, working through and out of them, they seem to miraculously disappear. Learned this from experience, mind you because the instinctive conditioning has been previously to flee from them, so instead of grabbing the bull by the horns, you get entangled my them, —->hence, “the avoidance itself strengthens what was intended to be eliminated”.

    Your a gem and storehouse of information, dear. Glad I found you, or maybe we found each other, wink? Anyways, I am keeping you, cause you know too darn much. lol, affectionately, Rach.


  2. Pingback: Getting rid of the ego… is it possible? | Fading Veiling

  3. Think I am FINALLY GETTING THIS, Vivien…cracks in this thick skull are finally letting the light in, lol. All this delicious food for thought, is making me hunger for more. Thank you for passing down all your wisdom. Rach.


  4. Pingback: What is love? | Fading Veiling

  5. Pingback: Resisting resistance | Fading Veiling

  6. Pingback: Resistance in the service of ‘me’ | Fading Veiling

  7. Pingback: Running away from ‘negative’ emotions | Fading Veiling

  8. Pingback: Attachment | Fading Veiling

  9. Pingback: Attachment as part of the dream | Fading Veiling

  10. So what should you do? negative beliefs constantly trick you into believing them and then resist them. It seems like a closed loop for me. You cant escape or stand still because the belief is poking you with a sharp stick all the time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s