Resist or Persist?
I didn't really feel like writing today.
This isn't ideal, as I am trying to make this thing a habit. In order to sustain a habit, you must do it, they say, for about 30 days. So when I woke up this morning, realizing it is Saturday (which by the way I haven't known what day of the week it is for about a month...), I had this familiar creeping feeling that today was not a productive day. Mind you, from the moment I got off the plane from Michigan, I have been MEGA productive. It was as if someone gave me the elixir of accomplishment and I'm slowly on the verge of an overdose. I woke up wanting to be out of the house, but more importantly, away from my own productivity. So I dolled myself up and headed to my dear friend's house and invited myself on the Target trip she and her mom were about to embark on. The whole time we were together, I kept thinking about all the things I had planned to do today. The list isn't long nor was any task extremely pressing, but once you go into productivity mode, a day off can feel like a withdrawal. I trusted that my body was encouraging me to let it go for a day. But in reality, it wasn't.
My body was telling me that there was something I needed to do before the end of the day. Something that I told myself I would commit to. Something that others are now asking me for.
A new blog post.
I am not complaining about this at all. It is exactly what I wanted; to have momentum, inspiration, and interest in this thing. But here's the rub: what if I am not feeling inspired or motivated or interested? What if for one second, I can convince myself that it is ok to skip a day of writing?
That is a dangerous question. And here's why: it is layered in regret. Regret. Oh man, regret. We've all felt it. Some of us more than others. The regret scale holds many different shades for every person. I'm not huge on regret. Some people might look at some of my life choices and subconsciously process them with a veil of regret, but that's not my style. This isn't to say I never regret anything: there are a few key moments in my life I will regret forever. But this post isn't about that. It's about what is under the 'what if' question. The way I see it, there are two choices when it comes to dealing with a 'what if' question:
RESIST or PERSIST.
It's a common saying among actors, even though we have Carl Jung to thank for the quote, that what you resist persists. Long story short: if you resist something, it will be persistent in nagging you until you embrace the thing you are running away from. We all do it. We resist our cravings, we resist our temptations, we resist ourselves. And what happens? The craving, the temptations, the versions of ourselves that we are shying away from creep up and pound on your door even harder! The whole notion is rooted in shame. Shame that if we eat that donut, drink that cocktail, or continue to lie to ourselves about our happiness that we are somehow succumbing to an idea of ourselves that isn't flattering to anyone. And what pairs well with shame? Regret! You only get more of what you resist, because with resistance comes regret. Now, I'm not saying this is the extreme case for all types of experiences.
[This again may not make sense, but I'm going for it] However, think about that person who always says they need to be healthier but never quite makes it to the gym. They are resisting doing the work that will guarantee desired results. So, they grow ashamed of themselves that for whatever reason, they never make it to the gym. Then they see their fit ass friend chowing down on buffalo wings without a care in the world, because they already worked out twice that day. (Extreme but for the sake of the story...) The original lazy bum now regrets their decision to not bust their asses in the gym. And with this comes pain. It's a cycle: you deny it and it lingers. The pain in the middle is the adhesive but also the reminder. Which brings me back to the question:
What if I chose not to write anything today? What if I had decided that today just wasn't worthy enough to dedicate a post to? Sure, I have a million things to talk about, but without the inspiration, there are no colors to the canvas. Well, I can already tell you this: all I could think about while I scanning the candle aisle of Target, was that I was avoiding something. I was letting myself down because I was resisting the flow of creative content that I committed myself to producing everyday. I was resisting sitting down and focusing on myself. That son of a bitch nagging feeling that I wasn't doing something I need to be doing. If you resist the fact that you're lazy, you will continue to be lazy. If you resist the fact that you may be a cheater, you will continue to cheat. If you resist the fact that you have a job to do everyday no matter the cost or outcome, you will continue to let yourself down. So I did it. I took what I was observing and as meta as I could make it, wrote it down.
Sure, it may not be my best work, heck I'm not entirely sure if this all made sense. You may even detect my disdain as you read this. But that's ok.
I broke the regret/shame/pain cycle and I showed up for myself. I showed up for you. Yes, I am writing this in the comfort of my bed and it took everything in me to find my voice for the day, but I persisted. I fought back. I accomplished. I mean, let's be real: it's ok to take a day off once in awhile. But those days off add up quick.
But the next time you get the nagging feeling that you aren't paying attention to something, do yourself a favor and simply embrace it. You want that donut, then eat that donut. Just make sure you get your ass to the gym bright and early. Carl Jung said that resistance is like a shadow.