Breakup with Resistance

Resistance to the experiences life has thrown at me, the bricks of change I refused to accept are becoming the foundation of a way forward. 

Breakup with Resistance original painting, MJ Sword

I have this relationship with Resistance. 

The things I resist most frequently relate to my fear of being judged. Who doesn't have that fear, right? No one wants to be fodder for the critics who'll rip us to shreds or undermine our power. 

I can claim expert status on judging.  I am a Judger--capital J intended. Even Myers-Briggs agrees with this self-assessment. When I berate myself for my failings, I'm harder on myself than anyone. Isn’t that enough of a beating? Why give others the opportunity by putting my work "out there"?

On the flip side, what’s the worst that can happen? Won’t there always be judgmental critics outside my door? What can I do to ensure my headstone won't read . . .

Here lies a homebody who preferred staring
at the four walls to walking in the rain.

I have a love affair with lists. Here is a list of recent resistances created from a writing group prompt assignment.

  • I resist remembering
  • I resist letting go
  • I resist sharing
  • I resist happiness
  • I resist success
  • I resist speaking up
  • I resist stress
  • I resist the hard stuff
  • I resist judgment
  • I resist rebuilding a life without my daughter

This assignment was so disturbing I couldn't write at all at first. Or at least not "into" the resistance. The best I could do was make a list. 

It wasn't until some time later, I picked up a pencil and sketchpad. With resistance in mind,  I visualized that feeling, scratched out some ideas and eventually painted it. This painting, Breakup with Resistance, appears as more of a process than an event. Perhaps I should name it with the verb breaking rather than breakup?

Surrender is a difficult choice and decision for me.

When I first imagined this painting, my focus was on the theme of surrender. Surrender is a difficult choice and decision for me. In addition to being a Judger, I am also a Controller. Hence, the symbolic white flag became surrounded by the weight of my fight to hold onto everything that might have been. Through much self-study, leaning in and learning, my heart began to see a way through the resistance. I see a foundation building as my life is refashioned. 

Initially, the flag was very tiny and placed at a distance, as I envisioned my surrender to be a long way off.  As I continued to work, the recognition of real progress for having accepted life challenges began to solidify. So I moved the horizon line closer. Maybe I don't have as far to go after all?  

. . .the bricks of change keep reminding me control is but a fool's perception . . .

During the creation process, thoughts of conditional surrender vs. total surrender continually popped up. If I had the opportunity to negotiate with Resistance what might be the terms? With whom would I be negotiating? I just want to feel that power of having control of my life. But the bricks of change keep reminding me control is but a fool’s perception and one I chased for too many years. 

Looking to the future, I want to look back and say, "I had this relationship with Resistance." I think I'll keep the title as past tense, Breakup with Resistance.

Do you recognize new or shifting foundations in your life? Can you sketch or speak what that looks or feels like? What's on your resistance list? 



Monica Sword

Monica Sword is an aspiring author and artist living a deeply heartfelt life. Following the early death of three family members, including her daughter, she struggled to balance home and work life. Once she discovered how to apply her conscientious and high-achieving personality to honor her passions, be mindful of her emotional reactions and focus on self-care, she developed a creative mindset that produces her most meaningful life work. On her website,, Monica inspires and encourages others to honor their heart and soul in mindful ways.