First of all, let me say that at first I didn’t want to write this post. In fact, a part of me still doesn’t. But the rest of me thinks it might not turn out so bad (We shall see, right?).
I’m writing about a good friend of mine. Do you know him? He’s small, he’s squirrel-ly, he’s generally resistant to anything and everything, especially to change, since he generally doesn’t want to try anything new. Even if he knows it’s good for him. And even if the status quo sucks big-time. He also can be a foul-mouthed SOB and generally unpleasant company.
I live with him.
In fact, he lives inside my brain. Let’s call him Mr. Trashman… because he always seems to bring the trash! When he’s not ornery and unpleasant, he might be scared, risk-avoidant, skeptical, or suspicious. Not to mention playing the victim, feeling sorry for himself, and wallowing in self-pity. Or alternately hostile or combative. All variations on the theme of Resistance.*
Here is a lovely example of the kind of brilliant thinking that he does… typed straight onto a word document just a few minutes ago:
this is stupid, no one cares, fuck this, fuck it all, fuck this stupid shit, fuck it all, this sucks, this is so stupid, fuck this, this is so stupid
(Note: I actually edited this out to shorten it and take out some of the worst, most hostile offenders… but you get the point, right?)
Please don’t take offense at the negativity! I feel pretty stupid typing this stuff, because it makes me feel pretty lame. Yet this is my chance to call it out, maybe it’ll do some good. The point is, that sort of thinking is just junk. I KNOW that, however, it does make an appearance in my thinking… and too frequently for comfort, I’m sorry to say.
Sometimes Mr. Trashman is just plain scared. Here is what I typed right before I started this blog earlier this month (I saved it for the purpose of sharing it here just so show you how awesome my brain can be):
Okay this seems completely crazy, this really doesn’t fit for me, shit i’m scared as fuck about this, i don’t want to fucking do this. man, this scares me. shit man, i can’t do this, i’m so scared, fuck this
As you can tell, Mr. Trashman has a high propensity to cuss. Especially charming phrases such as “fuck this” etc. Here’s his brilliant reaction to me working on an email I sent out last week to share this blog:
i shouldn’t promot myself, it will look bad, they won’t like it, people will think it’s really stupid, clearly it’s really stupid this is so dumb, what a fucking idiotic thing to do, this is so dumb, fuck this, fuck it, it’s really stupid.
Wow! Such brilliance! Such VISION! Such greatness of spirit, such purpose!
The only purpose it has is to try to derail me, to tell me not to act, to tell me it’s probably better to do nothing, to stay in my shell, to stay small, and lonely and bored. To keep shit the same! And by the way, generally to think negatively about the world, and to assume the worst. Not to trust, not to stay open. To pre-judge and to decide ahead of time to take the safe route, the lonely route, the miserly lone wolf route.
The good news is, this layer of resistance can be peeled away, like an old cobweb. It usually only takes a moment or two for me to discharge this gross thinking and wash it away. After which, I am able to think productively again.
Hence, this blog is getting done.
I have gone through this process hundreds of times now, probably thousands. With just about every project I work on. At first, I have to start by allowing Mr. Trashman to say a few fine words of inspiration and upliftment, then I DELETE that shit faster than you can say “No thanks, buddy, I’d rather choose to LIVE” and move on.
Sure, there are times when I just get going and the resistance isn’t there. But usually it’s there, at least a bit. And, sadly, sometimes it has gotten the best of me. Yet I firmly believe that by doing things like writing about in this blog, there is movement, there is hope. Another score for me in the perennial game of darts against Mr. Trashman. Because even if he’s always loaded and ready to strike, I’m a better shot.
How do you like them apples?
*If you want to read a REALLY good book on the topic of Resistance, and how to overcome it and be creatively productive, check out The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield