Have you experienced that whenever you set out to accomplish a personal goal it take much longer than you anticipated to get to the finish line? In my experience, everything takes at least three times longer, but sometimes the process turns into years. This is because your resistance creates what I call a slow-motion pinball path.
To play pinball, you first launch a steel ball into an encased play field by pulling a handle attached to a spring-loaded rod; then you attempt to drive this initial momentum as long as possible with the help of flipping levers (aka “flippers”) you control with buttons on the sides of the machine.
The aim is to collect points to win extra games (and maximize the time playing) by striking specific target knobs, which lighten up and ring bells when touched; these bumpers also propel the ball outward, sending it in different directions depending on how they’re hit. There are many types of pinball machines out there with intricate electronics adding all sorts of spinners, switchers, gates, sounds, and stoppers most players find exciting and entertaining (I find it stressful, but that’s just me).
You always run the risk of losing momentum and seeing your ball slide into a hole or down the play field drain, which marks the end of the game. Being so fast-paced, pinball requires good reflexes, certain techniques and skill, and great focus, but except for the speed, it resembles life in many ways, particularly the path you follow when you aim to fulfill a goal that affects your emotional or spiritual growth.
If it’s something you do for others or within a structured setting that holds you accountable (a group, family, school, or job), it’s likely that you’ll experience less resistance and bring things to completion—to feel valuable and appreciated by others. But when it comes to doing something by yourself, for yourself, or on your own, it’s a completely different story. Your ego-mind—through your ‘sense of otherness‘—will attempt to stall and stop your progress every step of the way.
Your Resistance Can Take Many Shapes and Forms
You unconsciously perceive strengthening your sense of self as a threat. That is, both a threat to your sense of otherness that represents the authority voices and figures you internalized as a child (yes, they’re still there, no matter how much psychotherapy you’ve done), as well as a threat to the ego as a whole, because fulfilling your desires eventually helps you recognize that those desires are but dangling carrots leading you to find yourself and the meaning of your life.
In fact, all your resistance—manifesting as fears, doubts, dramas, anxieties, illusions, addictions, and illnesses—is the ego’s refusal to let go of your self-images and embrace all of who YOU are, to realize your divine nature and infinite power. Keeping you fixated on others or stuck with all the excuses you make to avoid reaching your goals and dreams is how the ego-mind remains in control, holding you emotionally stuck in the past.
You grew up believing and identifying with the perception and judgment of those you were attached to; you also internalized a ‘pack mentality’ from your family environment that makes you believe that if you go your own way, to follow your individual path, you’ll be punished with isolation and loneliness. These types of beliefs shape the patterns that stop you when you set out to accomplish something for yourself, like an internal gauge that measures how far you can go before triggering any resistance.
And of course, the more empowering your endeavor, the stronger the resistance (or the self-punishment). The objectives and circumstances may change, but a blueprint of the slow-motion pinball effect you may experience when you set out personal goals, to reach greater emotional or spiritual freedom, would look something like the graphic below (assuming, of course, that you eventually reach your goals):
You start with great impetus and enthusiasm, and slowly but surely you find small obstacles and triggers (see Do You Know Your Emotional Triggers?) that deviate you a little, and then a little more, and then much more, gradually deflating your enthusiasm while you struggle with procrastination and self-judgments, or negative thoughts about your lack of energy, time, money, support, or … [you fill in the blank]. You may attempt to get back on track, but new situations, dramas, relationships, and the like keep pulling your attention (and your energy) in a different direction.
This can go on and on, with you investing more on others and less on yourself and your aspirations, until you realize you’ve gotten too distracted from your original objective and begin making the effort it takes to find your way back into alignment with yourself through the completion of your projects. You nurture self-love and self-respect by honoring your desires and trusting you can and will fulfill them with conscious, continuous action.
Now, your resistance is not going to suddenly disappear; you must recognize it and understand where it comes from, and ride the wave of discomfort as you keep going. The longer you do this, the easier it becomes, but you must still remain attentive to your deceiving ego-mind. So contact me today to learn how to manage your energy and time, to develop emotional freedom and reach your goals with clarity of purpose and continuity on your path to self-knowledge!
© Yol Swan. All rights reserved.