Self-Acceptance and the Wolf of Resistance

A is for Acceptance

I chose to write on the theme of self-care this month because it has become more important to me as I look at the way I treat myself, treat others, and how I live my life. I should have known that once I made it a priority and an interest, I would not only notice where it’s a challenge for me, but I’d have more and more of those challenges hitting me in the face. Even writing this blog this week has been difficult (I’m a day late posting it because – oh look, the laundry needs me… and so does the litter box… and I really should read this article on…). I can feel how much the negative voices in my head have lead the way, have encouraged me not to step out of my comfort zone and are working double time to keep me “safe.”

There is a well-known parable about two wolves. The version I found reads:

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one that you feed.”

As I thought more about self-acceptance (the A in C.A.R.E.), I discovered that I had a lot more to learn – and practice – about accepting myself than I thought. Part of the reason it’s so challenging is the internal dance that occurs between desire and resistance. In terms of the parable, desire is one wolf and resistance is the other.

Guess who’s going to win.

You know the way resistance shows up in your life – it’s the noise/distraction/shiny object that takes you away from what you’re doing and before you know it you’ve to taken two steps back after being so excited to have taken three steps forward. And once I notice that I’ve “screwed up again” my ability to be self accepting goes right out the window. The next thing that happens is I start questioning myself and my ability to attain my goals and before I know it, the Wolf of Resistance is getting stronger as the Wolf of Desire withers. It’s not pretty.

In her marvelous book Sacred Success, Barbara Stanny (now Barbara Huson) writes: The amount of resistance you experience is directly linked to the amount of power and pleasure available on the other side.” It is so unfortunate that this is the case, for me and apparently many others. Some days I can feel the resistance holding me back and I’m able to let it go and stay focused. Other times (more often) it slips into my life and it’s not until the end of the day – or the week (or the month??!!!) that I notice something is off. There is clearly some fear around accepting the power and pleasure waiting for me on that other side. Instead, I stay in that safe comfort zone.

At least that’s what I’ve done in the past, but now that I’m aware and awake and know that the power and pleasure waiting for me is what I deeply desire…. I’m done playing safe.  I want to play great. No matter the challenge.

Wolf of Resistance… prepare to starve.

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