When things don’t go the way we want them to, our tendency is to turn negative on the spot. It’s as if something in us throws a switch and, the next moment — like being caught in the surge of a tidal wave — resistance carries us away. But this unconscious resistance to reality never shows itself for what it is; it can’t, or the show would be over! After all, who sides with something that is perpetually against life?
Resistance is the unseen father of all lingering negative states. It derives its power to trick us into embracing its painful presence by a kind of misdirection. It hides behind a host of associated images that always appear with it — certain thoughts and feelings that promise either to protect us or to provide us with plans to escape our situation. But we must learn to see that the true nature of anything — whether a newly opened leaf or a fearful thought or feeling — is inseparable from what it serves. So, regardless of how it may appear, any disquieting state in us that “says” it wants to lead us away from a fear is leading us toward one instead.
Here’s the main idea: Resistance is negative attraction! We bind ourselves to what we don’t want! You can demonstrate this unwanted result for yourself by trying to push one hand away with the other. This action only forces them closer together, increasing the pressure between them. This means that the ﬁrst step in releasing ourselves from the strain of this self-wrecking relationship is to see that we have unknowingly attached ourselves to it! The key is to have the courage not to resist, and to remember that what you want is release.
When expectations get dashed, we don’t see new possibilities unfolding; all we see is the way things should have gone. We don’t see what is with all of its positive possibilities; instead we see only the negative . . . what is not. We feel powerless because we’ve become the captive of a mind resisting itself, an involuntary prisoner of a mind struggling to escape its own negative images. There is nothing but powerlessness in this resistance because by law whatever we resist . . . persists!
The only way to liberate ourselves from the confines of this unconscious relationship is to develop a new awareness of what it costs us to remain in its captivity. We must ask, what kind of “power” is it to resent any moment for unfolding as it does, to wish it didn’t happen? Does it change the moment in any positive way? No, it does not. Does our pain prove that our position is right? To the contrary: the more we don’t want the moment, the more we lend credibility to that moment as being overpowering. This false perception then strengthens our negative sense of self, as someone being overpowered by it.
Although we often find ourselves feeling so — there is no such thing as being powerless. Those who resist life — who hate or fear unwanted changes — become the instrument of a power that effectively renders them powerless to do anything but struggle. But those who realize that the only power negative states have is to create the illusion of self-command, enter into relationship with pure power. And this new awareness, like the power it grants, is failsafe.
Real power lifts us above challenging circumstances; it shelters us from fears that want to drag us down into troubled thoughts. Real power is the quiet but certain understanding that everything that comes to us works for the good of us, no matter what it is.
We can practice this true, new power anytime we want its strength and safety. We start by remembering that in any moment of heartache, worry, or fear, we need not suffer what comes with resisting our sense of being powerless because ours is the power to choose what we will and will not give our power to.
Just one example of this new and higher possibility: Rather than live with the pain of a thousand regrets, we can realize that no number of visits to a painful past can change it. The light of this new awareness empowers us to start over now.
We are created with the power to surrender our sense of powerlessness and, in exchange for this sacrifice, realize a life without stress and strife. Whenever we have a pain or a problem that seems greater than we can deal with, it doesn’t mean we really are without power. These moments are actually “wake-up calls” — invitations to remember our relationship with an indwelling Divine order of ourselves that is the same as our True Nature. This new action on our part, this conscious realignment born of higher self-awareness, is the same as our rescue. Our sense of being powerless is replaced by releasing the misunderstanding over who we really are. Now the words, “Let go and let God” take on new meaning. We now understand what must be done to let the Divine Light do for us what we can’t: to know true power, we must release all claims upon it.