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by Jacquaeline M Hellman ©

Resistance / Non-resistance – “and it came to pass”

(…just like emotions – they come to pass, not stay)


From birth, we were taught to suppress or project our feelings otherwise known as resisting them. As babies, we were shushed. The adult ego has perceived crying and tantrums as unacceptable and disturbing, because most have been unable to be with their own discomfort around emotion. Therefore, our world has taught and supported the behavior of resistance. “Resistance” having been our inability to simply “BE” with our feelings and ourselves. Those feelings in turn have become “emotions” which have been the expression of our feelings. Emotions may have seemed to show up apparently unasked; however, each individual assigns meaning followed by how to handle those emotions. Usually we have resisted our emotions in two basis ways:

  1. Projection: This is an attempt to push rising emotions away by projecting those emotions outward onto the apparent outside world, where there is plenty of stimuli, and opportunity for blame. This is often done by projecting those emotions onto another person, i.e. getting angry at someone, laying blame on another, or worse, performing physical violence etc. This behavior would require the belief that someone, outside of ourselves, could actually “cause” our emotions, emotions that can only live inside of each individual. Our emotions are ours and ours alone. This often expresses as anger and resentment.
  2. Suppression: This is an attempt to pretend that emotions do not exist and thus they become suppressed. This may appear as a state of apparent calm, but is actually a type of numbness or perhaps melancholy, fear or worry and looks a lot like depression. This is a form of denial, which is very illusory and well supported by the world.


“Non-resistance” is merely the state of allowing ourselves to feel and be with our feelings/emotions, what ever they might be. Since our egos believe that, our feelings/emotions are unacceptable, then resisting then is a logical ego operation.


Dr David R Hawkins MD, PHD states that our emotions are self limiting and actually only last around seven minutes, when un-resisted. So, as it says in the Bible “and it came to pass” not stay. “Awe, ye of little faith”


Personal experiences:

Attention and high awareness has been most significant in the area of releasing resistance and moving outside the dualistic experience of resistance i.e. suppression/projection.



Since childhood, melancholy was an often-visited state, bordered on depression and was a well-used coping skill. (In contrast, anger was not a frequently used coping skill.) The most significant step was to become aware that there was a choice. Then there was the ability to select it and actually “Become” the choice.  

The typical experience with melancholy would be likened unto a wave that would approach, sneaking up quietly and insidiously, from some hidden recesses. It would go unnoticed consciously and run like an old recording, denied and suppressed. Unacknowledged, it would then go unchecked and repeat itself over and over, eventually resulting in downward spiral plummeting into a consciousness from which recovering required a great deal of effort and sometimes assistance. Anything could trigger this experience, from stresses of any variety, such as finances, relationships, health or loss.


Using the concept of non-resistance, the sense of melancholy quietly and subtly arose like a wave, as before; however, acknowledged, accepted, observed, and un-resisted it arose only once, gained no energy, waned and did not rise again. The cycle of this pattern had been broken. All that was needed was astute awareness, catching it “on-the-rise,” and making the choice to make a new choice. This is how melancholy has been successfully processed and released.



“Driving home the other day, after having been called upon to do something that could have easily been done without disrupting an already overload day, the feelings of having been disregarded, disrespected and overwhelmed began to build.

There were three choices: 

1. Become melancholy, feel overwhelmed, emotionally spiral downward and believe this state to be real. (suppression)

2. Become angry at the other person for being demanding and self-involved thus feel justified, “right” and then ‘let them have it’. (projection)

3. Simply BE with the feelings/emotions, watch them, allow them and not judge them as good or bad. This is “non-resistance” otherwise known as surrender.


Having had less experience with anger as a coping skill there was a big surprise lying-in-wait, when attempting this process of “non-resistance.” This was somewhat unfamiliar territory from the perspective of releasing resistance. Indulging the anger seemed counter-productive. Yet, the way to “be-with-it” without making anger my Truth was a challenge. The following is an experience, which took place between the ego and the higher Self:


The ego wanted to be angry! The ego was justified and did not want to let go of this issue. Now – having had some experience with this process, the ego (very clever indeed) would be required to “let go” of this “justified resentment” if this process were undertaken, so the ego chose anger rather than the process - consciously! There was a debate between Self and the ego, and, the ego was determined to win. Self, being compliant, said ok ‘be angry.’ The ego responded with “you can’t fool me into letting go of this. I know this trick -- being with my emotions will cause them to be self-limiting and then they will dissipate on their own. I want to be angry about this. I was mistreated. I am indeed justified in this.” (big payoff) Then sitting at a traffic light, on the right was a church, with a sign containing their words-of-wisdom for the week, and it read; “The flexible don’t get bent out of shape.” This ego had been so “bent out of shape” that it was unrecognizable even to itself, but humor saved this day and laughter abounded from the car. As Love would have it, around four blocks later, pulling into the driveway the anger had indeed run its course and the ego had let go.

How is it that we can “BE with our feelings”? We must re-learn a way to be on this planet, in these bodies, with others and ourselves. This is what we are here to master. This is how we can Love ourselves.

Consciousness reference organizations

A powerful process to transform one's life Michael Brown

Click here to find a life changing experience with Dr. David R Hawkins, MD, Ph.D author of numerous writings on consciousness.

Pema Chodron
Ani Pema Chodron Buddhist nun and author of several books on Buddha consciousness.

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Last modified October 20, 2016