Resistance is Premeditated Suffering

By Tracy Machen
March 1, 2021 in Articles

“Resistance is premeditated suffering…” is not original with me, but it has stuck with me and I’ve said it often to myself and to others. This principle, coupled with the idea of just being with what is, rather than immediately trying to fix or alleviate the source of my suffering has been profound!

Recently, I slipped on my back deck that was slick with rain. In my effort to right myself and avoid falling, I pulled something in my lower back. Later that day I realized I was walking gingerly and slowly in an effort to not feel the pain in my back. I thought of this idea of resistance and suffering and I recognized that I was trying to protect my back, and in that effort there was a rigidity and an awkwardness in my gait. I stopped walking, took a deep breath and relaxed my shoulders and back. As I did the thought occurred to me that I should try to sit in the suffering; obviously not forever but long enough to see what was there. As I relaxed, yes, there was pain, but it was not unbearable. And it seemed that I was able to move it more and stretch in a way that felt like healing. The emotional implications of this principle flooded my mind!

These past couple of weeks I have been pondering all of this. I’ve noticed where I’m tense emotionally and it has created a kind of rigidity in me that serves to protect in a sense.  But it also keeps me stuck with little room for stretching or healing. For me to have this lesson in my physical body has created the opportunity for learning in a deeply impressionable way.

I don’t recommend jacking up your back, but I invite you to consider your own pain or suffering. Is there a circumstance that comes to mind; a place of suffering in your own life? Will you sit with me in the suffering?  Feel the rigidity that this sort of self protection produces and then, take a deep breath. Relax your hold and just be with what is. Once you actually feel what’s there rather than the tenseness of trying to NOT feel the pain, allow yourself to stretch – a little at a time, each stretch going a little further and offering healing in the process. 

Blessings of peace love and joy to you all!