Is it possible to be too resilient? I find myself wresting with this question. Being a woman and living in America, I feel that many people are anti-resilient — the slightest challenge, set-back or difficulty sends people over the edge. People give up and think that this “resistance” is insurmountable. The act of giving up plays out in different forms such as running away from problems, shutting down, denial/numbing the pain, bitterness, and feeling like a victim. I’ve seen these various scenarios played out with people I care about. I also have a peculiar way of attracting these types of people into my life. It turns out I have a problem with resistance too. I run towards it, 100 miles per hour with a rusty, clunky suit of armor. From a very young age, I learned how to get really good at fighting my way through life. I fought for my independence from my parents. I fought for my ability to belong in college by working throughout my four years. I fought boredom in my early 20’s by leaving behind a job and a social life that wasn’t working for me. I fought for my own survival when my entire world collapsed around me after my mom passed away. Mostly recently I fought to keep a relationship and despite all my effort it fell apart anyway. The weight of the armor finally broke me. Over the years I’ve scrapped together armor that’s helped me fight and win these battles but wearing it never felt like a burden until now. When I experienced the trauma of losing my mom suddenly, it was critical for my survival to have that armor. As I worked through the grieving process, it became my security blanket. I know I no longer need it but it’s scary as hell to take off something that’s protected and served me so well. In my most recent relationship, I felt safe enough to take my armor off, and looked to the person whom I loved for support and protection, only to be disappointed. Even though he failed to provide this, I realized I could provide it to myself without the armor. This idea was frightening but I knew it was the only way for me to find strength in my vulnerability. Yoga helps us to maintain a balance between two equal and opposing forces. (That’s why we do balancing poses, duh!) Slowly, I’ve been changing my internal dialogue from “I need to stop this, I need to change this” to “What can I do to keep myself from falling into opposite extremes” and “What ways does this thing I perceive as “bad” serve me and what ways is it hindering me” and “What opposite actions do I need to incorporate to keep a balance” For me, taking off the amour was necessary, but it’s important that I don’t throw it all away. Walking around without the armor means I am vulnerable, it allows me to approach life in a different and more open way. Too often we operate from a place of default — either what was taught to us by our family, picked up along the way in adulthood or what served us in the past. The beautiful thing about approaching life from a yogic (balanced) perspective is that it doesn’t matter what those things are and we don’t have to fight ourselves to change it. We gradually incorporate an opposing force to help maintain a balance.  Balancing the Yin/Yang in our lives means acknowledging all of the parts inside of us, the ones we find pleasant and unpleasant and create space for all of them to co-exist peacefully.

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