TPOD #7: Your Resistance Genome
I read the prompt this morning, and decided I wasn’t ready to conquer my resistance genome. I set my phone down, rolled over, put the blanket over my head and went back to sleep. Of course, the prompt was still there three hours later, and being a task oriented person – ready or not, I realize I can not avoid it forever.
Like my initial response this morning, resistance shows up for me as avoiding. I avoid starting. I avoid applying myself. I avoid showing up. I avoid the personal connection. Avoidance shows up in over commitment. I am filled with excuses that without someone who will stand up to them, sound reasonable to the listening ear. I can even get others to make excuses for why I avoid.
I am a procrastinator. I do work relatively well with a deadline; however, much of life does not come with a deadline, other than death. And so I often avoid starting. If is don’t start it, I won’t feel any sense of failure for not completing it, for there is always tomorrow. I can feel the urge to do it, but by avoiding to start, I can resist the outcome.
I avoid applying myself. Somewhere inside of me is a book smart person, who avoids coming out. I can say that with confidence as my track record backs it up. In junior high, I missed half a semester of school and still made honor roll. In high school, I graduated a year early, fifth in my class. In college, I read two books and finished all three of my degrees with cum laude and magna cum laude designations. Looking back, that is not something I’m proud of, but I was never challenged to apply myself. I was able to skate by and do good.
Part of the DNA of my resistance is to avoid showing up; this is worse than not starting, a form of procrastination because I tell myself I will start someday. I often avoid by failing to put myself out there at all. Sometimes I convince myself I can’t show-up. I do some of the negative self-talk of why I am not good enough or qualified. However, most of my avoiding to show up comes from the pride talk. I tell myself that it is not something I was called to do; but that it is the narcissistic part of my past that wants me to be the center of the world again. I avoid showing up because I don’t want to do something that brings attention to me. I don’t want to do things with the wrong motive, so instead I don’t do them at all.
Avoiding making a personal connection is another way my resistance genome shows itself. I have built a fortress around myself over the years avoiding true personal connection. One part of me longs for connection, but a bigger part of me has such clearly defined boundaries that I don’t provide opportunity for others to get to know me. I know a lot of people, but I’m bad with names because I don’t take the time to invest in relationships. Not that I am resistant to relationships, if someone puts for the effort I meet them there – I am just not one to initiate it.
Tonight as my preacher was sharing on worry and read a scripture that mentioned a garrison. A garrison is the troops stationed in a fortress or town to defend it. A little grin of excuse escaped the corner of my mouth as I thought about this writing challenge. My maiden name is Garris. I know that many immigrants dropped “son” off their names when they migrated. I knew it was just a familial trait that I am battling with the personal connection.
Sometimes avoiding comes in the form of over commitment. I can stay busy 24/7 with productive things, that are not what I have been called to do. I can complete everything on my list of “to-dos” and not do the one thing that I knew I was supposed to do that day to help me in the journey to my destiny. Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should do it.
The resistance genome shows up in many different ways, usually when I think about doing something outside my comfort zone, or something that requires self-discipline, or consistency. Last year, I decided that it was time to get serious with my weight loss journey. I needed to lose over a hundred pounds, and while I am still healthy, I figured it was time. I started the year off with Weight Watchers. I found it a good program for me because I could eat what I wanted, had some wiggle room with weekly points, and could start over each day. All of these were areas I had struggled with in dieting previously.
I started out just watching my food intake. I didn’t attempt to increase my activity, just tracking my food. When my mother passed, I decided that the time I had spent with my mother, I would join the gym. It wouldn’t create any changes in my schedule, so I started swimming. I told myself when I reached a certain weight I would join a water class. I did that in June. I was very successful in my weight loss until October, since that time the resistance genome has completely sabotaged my efforts. I have been trying to lose the same ten pounds for the past seven months. Why? Because I set a goal that when I lose those ten pounds, I would start a land class. I went to one and watched in October, I was very much outside my comfort zone. So instead I have just avoided eating right. I put it off. I have been over booked for my regular exercise routine. I haven’t been applying what I know for healthy living. Binge eating and relaxation have been my comfort zone.
In my career, I love what I am doing, but I know that there is a deeper level that I could be operating at. I avoid putting myself out there and instead just wait to be discovered. When I see a need, I meet it. If someone asks for help, I am there with resources. Yet, I have a dream of something more. One day I will stop avoiding, maybe tomorrow.