RESIST PERSIST

Source: The Shadow

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung is noted for saying “What you resist persists.”. But what did he mean?

Jung was talking about his research into what he called, The Shadow. He found that patients who resisted aspects of themselves would have those aspects persist, or actually enlarge. This would draw much energy into the cycle of resistance – problem – more resistance – more problem. The constant resistance to aspects of self could fracture the psyche. His focus was to have the person be whole, rather than fragmented pieces or perfect.

This resistance typically begins with shame. For example, a child gets called “dumb”, feeling lots of shame. As an adult he then resists “dumb”, striving to be smart, perfect. It becomes exhausting to run from any chance of being dumb. For example, maybe he’s always wanted to write a book, but so afraid he could say something anyone would think is “dumb”, so he never writes, ever. The more he resists, the more the pain persists. Oddly, he’ll be plagued by random occasions of really “dumb” things, more shames, more striving for perfection. Ever had this happen to you?

Resisting means hiding, denying, or covering up. The healing is to truly embrace being “dumb” and the gift in it. We see this in a great comedian who embraces being “dumb” and turns it into art. Think of Ben Stiller. Here’s a guy that really embraces being “dumb” and we also see he is incredibly smart too. The nature of our dualistic existence means that if you are one, you are the other. So embrace your shadow, there’s tremendous Light to be revealed on this journey!

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