By Brian Nadon
Here’s a good question!
Why do we resist the things that are good for us?
This happens to everyone, but it’s especially challenging for abuse and trauma survivors.
For example, you know how much I love Yoga (Kundalini) and now my new belief in the healing benefits of TRE – Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises. Yet in the beginning, there was a part of me that resisted it. Yoga was for yuppies and exercise only existed by pounding out weights at the gym.
Why would I resist something so healthy, something that makes my body and heart sing? It makes no sense!
Actually, resistance is just the body’s normal response to change. Any kind of change activates the part of you responsible for keeping you safe. It knows how to create safety for you, and it sees no reason to rock the boat.
Most of the time that’s a good thing. It certainly kept us alive as abused children. But sometimes resistance can be toxic.
Last summer, I was the keynote speaker at a conference in Ontario. I chose self-compassion as my topic. It’s a major key to healthy change. As I was talking, I suddenly realized everyone in the room had stopped breathing. My body noticed this energy shift first. Then my brain acknowledged it.
“How many of you are holding your breath?” I asked. Most smiled and nodded in agreement. Some even laughed.
This is toxic resistance. Most of us have no problem treating others with compassion. Yet we resist being kind to ourselves.
How do you overcome toxic resistance to healthy change? You’ll notice it first in your body. Something won’t feel “right.” When you acknowledge it, toxic resistance loses its power over your life.
As you can imagine, what happened that day fascinated me. Think about it. My body knew the energy in that room had shifted, and I felt it in my body before my brain processed it. That’s how committed our bodies are to keeping us safe. Crazy, right?
Tap into this the next time you feel uncomfortable about making a healthy change in your life. Train that protective part of you to work with you rather than against you on your healing journey.
Learning how to overcome toxic resistance is a great place to start!