Résistez à la Résistance
I awoke this morning to a text message from an old friend with a rather sharp tongue:
Lol. You’ve gotta stop it with these Facebook posts.
I knew exactly what it meant. It stung a bit because it was precisely what I worry about: I have a tenuous relationship with Facebook because there’s a disconnect between the I people know & consider (Internet) friends, and the interests I have. I vacillate between thinking I should post content I’m interested in (and let the audience self-select) and thinking that I should tailor my posts to my audience.
I’m currently in the first mode. I share what I like, and hopefully I’m opening the door to new connections—maybe I’m entirely wrong in my assumptions of what people like! At least for me, it’s better this way. But I can’t pretend that I’m not a bit self-conscious about what I put out. I fixate on how it must be uninteresting to the majority of people, how boring (not to mention uncool) tech can seem from the outside, and how my interest in the process of self-improvement can seem awfully self-centered.
—and suddenly my alarm went off. 7AM. It slowly dawned on me that there never was a text message from my sharp-tongued friend.
It seems so incredibly devious that my mind would latch onto a pre-existing concern, then take a jab an me in the guise of an individual whose words it knew would sting. And I don’t tend to be an undermining person. The unconscious brain is quite a thing…
I couldn’t help but think of Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art1, which discusses and personifies the (internal) forces which hold us back from doing the things we want to do with our lives:
RESISTANCE IS INTERNAL
Resistance seems to come from outside ourselves. We locate it in spouses, jobs, bosses, kids. “Peripheral opponents,” as Pat Riley used to say when he coached the Los Angeles Lakers.
Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. Resistance is the enemy within.
RESISTANCE IS INSIDIOUS
Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer and then jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.
I wish I could recommend this book wholeheartedly but I can’t. The beginning sections are great, but near the end of the book it really goes off the rails with odd ideas regarding the artist’s connection to the gods, or some such garbage. I’d probably tear off the back half before offering it to a friend. I can, however, wholeheartedly recommend the book that led me to Pressfield in the first place: David Mack’s amazing hand-painted / collage / decoupage / strange loop comic masterpiece, Kabuki: The Alchemy, which holds a special place in my collection of books. ↩︎