October 23, 2012 § 33 Comments

I feel the horrific rush of self-judgment.   You dropped the ball again and now look where you are?  Buried and lost.

And then I think- No, this is all wrong.  Don’t look back.  That’s done and gone.   I take a breath.  I feel the calm.  It’s okay now, all okay.

But soon the dark feelings return.  So again, I breathe.  I repeat the mantra- nothing but here and now, no looking back, no judgment.  Calm returns.

This pattern repeats- distress, then calm- over and over.  An endless, soul-crushing loop.

The truth is that we never beat back our demons.  So long as we consciously resist the negative feelings, we will never find real and enduring peace.

I cannot think my way out of my unsteadiness and self-loathing.  Nor is it simply a matter of belief in some external set of principles.  I could read the Tao each moment for the rest of my life and still not escape this terrible loop.

I must return to the place where I belong.  I will not get there armed with a club and a conscious striving.  I will not get there at all.  It is not a destination or an achievement.  I will just be there.  I will just become who I am.

Resistance is never the way.  Simply to live acceptance, love, and forgiveness is the path- the only way home.

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§ 33 Responses to Resistance

  • So happy to have discovered you in the blogosphere! You commented on someone’s post, and I went from there. Good connection.

  • Hi Tom, thank you for another honest and thought-provoking post! To be just happy with who you are and let it be are something to strive for and I can’t say they are easy to do. Maybe we want too much, maybe what we want do not make us the “real us” or maybe we beat ourselves up too much. Have a blessed rest of week!

  • Mark says:

    “I cannot think my way out of my unsteadiness…” These words have opened up new understanding for me. Thank you.

  • Anne says:

    Tom so good to see you back: doing what you do best; WRITING. It’s true in life that we resist persists until we invite it in, and deal with it. Open the doors and windows and when you have dealt with the demons let them go and thank them for the lessons learned. I hope that your
    current struggles dissipate soon. Sending some love, light and laughter: Take some time to heal, and just BE.



  • Cassie says:

    Accept and integrate. Well that’s my philosophy anyway.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I like that phrase- “accept and integrate.” To be open and ready- for whatever comes. I see this message as a thread that runs through your own work.

      Opening my blog and seeing your reply here brings my joy and energy.

      Thank you.


  • smithdavid says:

    great post tom, i so often have the same battle, demons vs. logic, an feedback endless loop. the only way, as you have to put so well, is to stop resisting and be present. glad to see another post from you – it’s been too long! dave

  • So glad to have you back!

    • Thomas Ross says:


      You are so kind to come by and express that thought. It feels so right to be back writing again.

      I really, really appreciate your simple, gracious message.


  • Tom… It is so good to read your words again. I have missed your presence and your words.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      It’s good to be back writing. And it’s good to be back reading. I felt joy at opening the pages of your blog again yesterday and hearing your lovely voice.

      Thanks, Jen, for this great connection.


  • Tom – isn’t it funny how we can know so much and have come so far… And yet still sometimes feel like we’ve gone nowhere at all? That’s just illusion though – and all this an opportunity to deepen our learnIng. You know this already, though. Sending Love to you on your journey. – j.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Those inevitable moments of doubt aside, I am certain that we have come a far way in these months. Self-awareness so much greater. Understanding the power of acceptance. And most importantly, knowing the feeling of just being.

      Kind of amazing, don’t you think?

      Love and support, back and forth, around and around. What a gift.


  • chrisbkm says:

    Ah. That’s where you are.
    I spend little time on Twitter (not much on WordPress these days either) but thought I would look for you and ask if all was well. You’ve been quiet. I accidentally hit the link to your blog and lo and behold you’ve written a post today. Clearly you’re back in the ring with the demons. I think I always have the same advice for you Tom. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle. That’s all. You know what you need to know. Reading reinforces it. Writing helps get you out of your head. Backing off allows you to take a breath. Glad to see you writing.
    Take care. And… yeah… be gentle with yourself. No fight. No race. No destination or timeline. Just life. Transitions of light and shadow.

    All the best,

    • Thomas Ross says:


      That’s a big insight into my life. I am so often ruthless in my self-appraisal. “Gentle” with ourselves is such a key thing, especially for me.

      Thanks also for your concern about my absence. I’m good. Just the crush of life and some unsteadiness. But I’m writing- and reading- again.

      I continue to be struck by how much these replies and this part of the blog experience has become so important to me. My writing is important of course- but the reading too and mostly the sense of connection to others.

      So much thanks.


  • SprinklinThoughts says:

    Yeah… I tend to overthink too. But lately something is different – as I ‘am’ (or just ‘be’) even the thinking doesn’t matter so much (it just is)… I just, like you say ‘simply accept’ – and the balance returns.

  • I could read the Tao each moment for the rest of my life and still not escape this terrible loop. Very powerful line. Sometimes I question all the spiritual work, and wonder about its effect, vs. the natural course of things. Thank you.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I believe that reading the Tao, embracing its lessons, feeling its spirit- a good thing. But then I have to let that go- stop thinking about the lessons and just be. Words are just words. To exist in the “natural course” is the way.

      Thanks for your constant support.


  • DIRNDL SKIRT says:

    So hard not to have destinations and achievements and goals. I am still working with them, hoping they can co-exist with this desire to just be. I try not to overthink. Wishing you well, Tom.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Sounds like we each have that “over-thinking” thing going on. When I breathe and pause, I want to stop thinking and return to being. Just being.

      The things we treasure in life are not our “achievements” but instead the moments that just naturally come to us.

      Thanks for coming to read and leaving your kind reply, again. It means so much to me.


  • Your posts always touch my soul, Tom. As always, beautifully and honestly written. Why is acceptance so hard for many of us? “I will just become who I am.” Thank you for the reminder. We can’t strive to be what we are not…nor what we think others want us to be. Accept that you have many positive traits, along with your demons, keep breathing and remember there is a community of people – of which I am part of -that are breathing along with you.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      So glad to be back and re-connected, although I know that you would never give up on me.

      This “touching of souls” runs both ways. I have so often drawn strength from coming to my blog and finding your thoughtful reply, as I do today.

      Thank you, Laura.


  • It’s funny, I have been feeling just this way. The harder I resist the worse it is when it boomerangs back on me. Once I let go, It all seemed to eventually dissipate. It also helps that I walk and let my mind drift where it chooses for a while too.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      It’s true, isn’t it? The resistance feeds the negative feelings. Walking, just being, not thinking in the linear, analytic sense, but just letting your thoughts take the form and flight they will- all of this seems right to me, all of this seems the way.

      Thanks for staying with me- even when I am gone for a bit.


  • brendamarroy says:

    This reminds me of a saying, “What we resist, persists.” I so agree with you that we cannot hold back the tide. When our heart longs to reconnect with all those pieces we lost along the way, we have to be willing to open Pandora’s box.

    The beauty of the journey is in seeing how much joy, comfort, contentment, and love has been sitting right under the surface beneath the shadows.

    What a glorious path and magical journey. Lately, I have been spending more time every day just sitting outside on my rocker, totally quiet, staring into the woods as I watch the squirrels, deer, birds, and whatever else shows up in the trees and brush. I am so aware as I sit and watch nature how much gratitude I have in my heart for my life. I am thankful I answered the call and I am grateful for souls like you who have answered the call also. Namaste and hugs to you, Tom.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      It’s so interesting to me that you are spending that time outdoors with that experience. I have always felt drawn to the outdoors of course but recently have spent some time simply looking at a range of trees out back. One massive oak in particular. I can’t really describe what it feels like but I’m drawing energy perhaps, peace, not sure. It is a very powerful thing.

      Your writing- both in these replies and your own posts- have seemed to me to be increasingly strong and filled with that precious gratitude and acceptance. I hope this is what you are feeling.

      Much thanks for this great support and connection.


      • brendamarroy says:

        You got it right, Tom. Gratitude and acceptance are what I am experiencing in my life. It seems most of us are transitioning into feeling these emotions. Hugs to you, Tom.

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