It’s very curious how we develop conflicting inner dynamics that get in the way of our own happiness.
For example, we desire career success but sabotage our work by being sloppy or making mistakes because we don’t believe in ourselves. Or we make career choices based on expectations rather than through discovering what we’re good at.
Similar dynamics can show up around money and relationships and spirituality. Many single adults desire a partner but are afraid of being hurt again. Or we sabotage the relationships we have by holding on to perceived hurts. You see couples who start off well but then build up a list of resentments that impede being close. You love ’em but you hate ’em.
It’s difficult to see the actual inner conflicts in ourselves but others can illustrate or serve as a mirror for us. Because of the play of resistance, we’re unwilling to see how we’re contributing. It’s not comfortable. Add in the ego’s grand stories about life and our competing positions are shrouded in shadow.
The key to conflicting stories is unresolved baggage. As long as we have strong unconscious resistance, we’ll continue to get in the way of our own guidance and desires.
Ironically, so much of our fear of facing the shadow is like ghosts in the closet. The fear and effects of resistance are greater than the pain of facing our issues.
Once we get familiar with what resistance feels like and how to resolve it, we begin to work through our backlog and gradually clear our blinds spots. Life events bring us examples to recognize our reactivity. We begin to see our conflicts directly. But happily, we don’t have to explore the conflicts – just resolve the resistance.
We can see where we’re even (Sama) by the ease and happiness in that part of life. And where we’re not even by the conflict there.
Often, the mind will have a story that blames the parents, the partner, the boss, or whoever is a convenient scapegoat. Gradually we recognize these “pat” but sometimes silly explanations are a red flag for resistance hidden behind them. Like a “la, la la, I’m not hearing this” response. Mind explains it away so we can try and ignore it.
Yet if we look, we find that their behaviour that contributed to our story may have been driven by ours. “George was always angry” turns out to be that I was always pissing him off because I expected to be treated that way. I’m not excusing others behaviour here. Only pointing out how we’ve often contributed. If we can make this conscious, it will fall away in the light of common sense.
Without those inner conflicts, our attention is more evenly focused on our goals. We’re more likely to get positive results and sense the right direction. Fulfillment and happiness unfold naturally.
This process is surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it. But it takes learning and relearning.