The fifth energetic law is the law of resistance. This law is commonly stated as “What you resist, persists”.
The corollary to this law is “If you can let it be, it will let you be.”
The fifth law is an expansion of the fourth law. The law of resistance provides insight into why the very thing you are trying to avoid seems to keep showing up in your life.
Recurring complaints like “I always seem to end up dating narcissists,” “I always end up being the smartest person in the room,” and “People are always out to get you,” are all a reflection of this law at play.
This law works on many different levels, since our energy is pervasive and is not restricted to the realm of the physical. Additionally, resistance can take many forms: procrastination, suppression of our feelings or experience, physical avoidance, refusing to accept something and so on.
At its most obvious, you can see this law operating with tendencies like procrastination. By resisting the work that is there to be done, it persists. We may avoid doing the work we know there is to do, go and clean our room, play video games, get busy with anything else, but when we come back, the thing that we were avoiding is still there.
The same holds true for our current, lived-in experience of life. When we’ve learned that particular emotional states are “bad” (eg, “anger is dangerous,” “sadness is weak,” “joy is childish,” etc.), we will naturally resist those particular emotions or experiences as they show up.
Instead of letting ourselves feel the grief that is there to be felt, we instead try to focus on the bright side. We find the silver lining, we look to the bigger picture, and we insist that everything happens for a reason — all of which allows us to resist the grief that is present in our heart. But all of this simply avoids or resists the grief — there’s nowhere for it to be expressed, and consequently, that energy cannot move through us. It becomes stuck, winds its way down below our consciousness, and then simmers, stews and festers.
This law is the reason that coming home after an overwhelming day of work and sitting in front of the TV for four hours before going to bed doesn’t leave you feeling any better. While watching TV, you are simply putting yourself on pause. There’s no opportunity for you to experience or express the feelings and energy that are running through you. They are simply held in check for the duration of you watching TV, at which point they all come back when you try to go to sleep.
You may take on meditation, listen to podcasts, and do breathing exercises, all in an attempt to make your feelings of stress and overwhelm go away, unwittingly remaining in resistance to the experience of those feelings. Over time, your resistance continues to pile up, and like more and more pressure being built in a pressure cooker with no release valve, the consequences over time become more and more pronounced (and require greater degrees of your own resistance to keep them in check.)
Your resistance may show up at a physical level, arranging your life so as to avoid what you are in resistance to. You may conclude that you have no time or energy for people that struggle with indecision. And so, you set about finding jobs (or creating companies) that don’t have these kinds of people present. You may cut friends out of your life, and you may end relationships with partners that are not willing to commit to you soon enough.
As you remove more and more indecisive people from your life, your ability to stay energetically open and /be/ with people like this narrows, exactly the way a muscle atrophies from a lack of use.
You’ve removed the really indecisive people from your life, but now you have even less capacity to be with indecision, and so it requires even less indecision to trigger you. While you consistently resist and close to indecisiveness, your experience stays the same. You’ve managed to remove more of what you resist from your life, but it requires smaller and smaller doses to create the same trigger internally. The circumstances of your life change, but your experience stays the same.
From our judgment, the only option is to stamp out whatever we judge, and given the abundant nature of the universe, we will continue to be confronted by that same thing.
When we release our judgment and resistance, we allow the space and opportunity to experience something with compassion and love. Instead of insisting people shouldn’t be indecisive and should get on with their lives, we can see past the surface and understand their fundamental fear of making a mistake that may cost them our friendship, expressed in this manner.
From this new vantage point, we have a new way to relate to what is showing up, and our resistance can dissolve into the warmth of love and compassion. By letting it be — it lets you be.
Learn more about each of the The Energetic Laws of Leadership here.