Are you Resisting Reality?
Have you read Byron Katie’s book, “Loving What Is”? In her book, she discusses how people often suffer because they constantly argue with reality and struggle to accept what is.
Arguing with reality keeps us stuck!
Resisting or arguing with reality is the act of denying the truth of a situation, rejecting what’s happening, wanting things to be different.
When we resist reality, we battle against the present moment, which can manifest into unproductive thoughts and behaviors.
It can blind us to solutions and growth opportunities, hindering our ability to find inner peace.
The More we Resist, the More we Suffer!
Resisting reality may show up as:
- Avoiding difficult conversations
- Holding onto expectations
- Blaming external circumstances for our challenges, instead of taking responsibility for our responses.
The more we resist, the more we suffer, and become disconnected from the truth of our experiences.
Should and Shouldn’t!
When faced with challenges, it’s natural to resist reality.
We may cling to what we wish were true, hoping we can change outcomes.
This often stems from fear of the unknown or the desire for things to stay the same.
People often express their resistance by using the words “should” or “shouldn’t.”
These words indicate expectations or judgments about how things ought to be, rather than accepting things as they are.
When someone uses “should” statements, they are imposing their beliefs onto a situation.
👉🏼 I should have gotten that promotion.
👉🏽 They should treat me better.
👉🏼 She should dress better.
These statements imply how things should’ve turned out, and can lead to disappointment.
On the other hand, “shouldn’t” statements express a denial of what’s happening:
👉🏼 This shouldn’t be happening to me.
👉🏽 They shouldn’t have said that.
👉🏼 I shouldn’t feel this way.
Shouldn’t” statements reject the reality of the present moment, and can lead to resistance.
Using “should” or “shouldn’t” makes it challenging to accept what is, and people may become fixated on how they believe things ought to be.
This leads to increased suffering and stress.
Examples of Resistance:
😞 John planned a picnic, but it started raining and he felt that the weather shouldn’t have turned out that way. His resistance to current weather conditions led to disappointment and kept him stuck.
😞 Sarah was in an abusive relationship and kept telling herself that it was’t that bad, and that the person would change. Her denial prevented her from seeking help and protection.
😞 Joan lost her job and kept thinking it shouldn’t have happened. Her resistance to the job loss made it harder to seek new job opportunities.
😞 Susan thought that being stuck in traffic was so unfair and felt angry. Her resistance to the traffic situation only added to her frustration and made it worse.
😞 Lisa resisted election results thinking they should have been different. Her refusal to accept the election results led to ongoing disappointment.
😞 James internet was running very slow and he thought it should be faster. His resistance to the slow internet left him feeling agitated and kept him from finding solutions.
😞 Barbie was worried about her spouse’s health due to his unhealthy food choices. She thought he should take better care of himself. Her resistance of her spouse’s dietary decisions left her feeling helpless.
Byron Katie uses more “should” examples like, “People should be kinder.” “Children should be well-behaved.” “My neighbors should take better care of their lawn.” “The line at the grocery store should move faster.” “My husband (or wife) should agree with me.” “I should be thinner (or prettier or more successful).”
In addition to should and shouldn’t statements, people may also use coping or defense mechanisms to avoid facing reality, such as:
– Downplaying the seriousness of an issue.
– Creating excuses for the behavior.
– Blaming others or external factors.
– Avoiding discussions.
– Focusing only on positive aspects of a situation while disregarding negative aspects.
– Distract from the problem or numb emotional pain.
– Manipulating facts to make someone doubt their own perceptions.
– Holding onto false hope or wishful thinking that the situation would improve.
Resistance to reality can lead to negative emotions and missed opportunities.
I started thinking about a hike I took near Mt. Rainier with friends over 25 years ago.
I noticed as we traversed up the trails surrounded by beautiful scenery, I had to frequently stop to catch my breath, which was unusual for me.
After that experience, the breathing episodes continued daily, so I set up an appointment with my allergist.
After visiting the allergist, I was diagnosed with asthma and prescribed a daily inhaler.
Initially, I denied the condition and refused to use it.
However, after experiencing even more shortness of breath episodes, I accepted the reality of my asthma and began using the inhaler regularly.
Within weeks, I started feeling much better, and my health noticeably improved.
Accepting the reality of my asthma diagnosis, made life much easier!
You can click to read more about that story, and what I did to allergy proof my life!
Arguing with Reality!
If you feel like you might be arguing with reality, here are some great questions to ask yourself:
- Do you frequently say “should” or “shouldn’t”?
- Do you avoid discussions that you’re unwilling to face head-on?
- Are you holding onto unrealistic expectations or wishing things were different?
- Do you make excuses or rationalize to justify why you’re not accepting certain aspects of reality?
- Are trying to control or change people or situations, instead of accepting them as they are?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, you may be resisting reality.
Acceptance is a powerful tool that can bring peace from unnecessary struggles.
It’s important to embrace the idea of letting go of what you can’t control, allowing things to unfold naturally.
Accepting reality doesn’t mean giving up, it empowers you to navigate life’s challenges with an open mindset.
To move towards acceptance, it’s essential to become aware of language patterns and challenge their validity.
To shift your mindset toward acceptance, replace “should” or “shouldn’t” with “It would be nice if...” and let go of coping or defense mechanisms that stop you from confronting reality.
By being aware of your resistance, you’ll be able to accept what is.
Acceptance means acknowledging reality, without trying to change it.
Certain situations are beyond your control, and by practicing acceptance, you’ll stop suffering.
Acceptance is often based on personal experiences and observations.
Our perceptions of reality are influenced by what we see, hear, and experience and It’s natural for us to form beliefs and make judgments.
Practicing acceptance means coming to terms with the reality of a situation.
This doesn’t mean that you agree with everything you encounter.
Again, it’s about acknowledging the reality of a situation as you perceive it, even if it’s different from others’ perspectives.
By practicing acceptance, you honor your feelings and experiences.
You’ll make more informed decisions, while navigating through life’s challenges in a way that aligns with your values.
Acceptance is not giving up; instead, it’s accepting a situation, and it’s reality without denying or avoiding it.
It lets us confront challenges head-on and make informed decisions, it doesn’t mean we stop striving for improvement.
It allows us to see the situation clearly, understand its limitations, and work towards positive outcomes.
By embracing acceptance, we gain the strength to adapt to circumstances, and find new possibilities for growth.
How to Move Forward!
🔹Develop a plan to find creative solutions to address the issue so you can approach the problem with a clearer mindset.
🔸 Identify steps you can take to make necessary changes in your life.
🔹 Recognize that certain aspects of life are beyond your control, and there may be no solution, which could provide a sense of closure, allowing you to move on.
🔸Reflect on what you’ve experienced, and identify lessons learned, for use in future situations.
🔹 Find emotional support from encouraging people who understand your feelings.
🔸 Stop beating yourself up and feeling guilty and instead treat yourself with kindness just as you would with a friend facing a similar situation.
Remember the way you respond to acceptance depends on the situation and values, and it’s okay to take your time to find the best path forward.
Acceptance allows you to take control of your responses and empowers you to make decisions that align with personal growth.
The New Happy says that “The antidote for resistance is acceptance. When we accept reality for what it is — especially when that reality is something that we desperately do not want to be true — we give ourselves the gift of peace and freedom. From this place of acceptance, we can also change what is within our control: learning how to live with it, healing from it, making it better, and using its lessons to help us help others”.
“Happiness can exist only in acceptance”. — George Orwell
Practicing acceptance allows the ability to navigate life’s challenges with resilience.
TOPIC: Are you Resisting Reality?
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