This word held a very specific meaning for me.
1re·sis·tance noun \ri-ˈzis-tən(t)s\ : refusal to accept something new or different
: effort made to stop or to fight against someone or something
: the ability to prevent something from having an effect
Resistance came first into my life as an effort made to stop or fight against many things. As a young school girl, I fought against the demands of the nuns to change myself into their perception of a good Catholic girl. It was a constant for me to question the dogma. I also resisted their inference that there was only one way into heaven. Upon transferring to public school, I resisted those who thought I wasn’t popular or pretty enough to join their group. I helped others resist those who excluded them. I also resisted abuse mentally and physically. This meaning for resistance carried through civil rights, equal rights, and anti-war demonstrations. It figured prominently through most of my life for others and myself.
When the Borg entered my space I immediately noticed myself react to their famous saying, “Resistance is Futile”. My battle cry was resurrected! They were wrong we would not be assimilated! Dr. Who had been shown the effects of resistance and they would soon learn its effects.
Eventually I was introduced to the effects of resistance to accepting something new or different. It was a strange encounter. For the majority of my life I had been busy resisting oppression, abuse, and assimilation and now I had to re-exam my reaction to resistance. My first encounter to writing was met with strong resistance. Working through it allowed me to see how resistance figured very prominently in everyone’s life. Resistance to love, intimacy, a new job, a deeper understanding of who we are, and changing our minds to allow for another point of view are all daily examples of resistance.
As I began to make a simple examination of this new aspect of resistance, I noticed that fear was a central figure. Fear appeared as the motivator for resisting the acceptance of something new or different. Once the fear was faced and found to be unnecessary resistance disappeared and acceptance ensured. Facing the fear was the key.
Resistance to oppression brought fear but not as the motivator. It seemed that integrity and compassion were the generators for the resistance and fear fed the ability to continue the resistance. I am sure there are many more emotions that may be the leaders to the resistance depending on what was being fought or needed to be stopped.
It is a very thin line between the different aspects of resistance. The line often gets blurred and confusion can set in. Often times we think we are being oppressed when we are actually only being asked to open to a different point of view. There are times when the change we are being asked to make is really oppression and should be fought. It takes a sense of self and our soul, a backseat ego, and honesty to decipher the difference.
Courage to fight the oppressor comes when we know our truth, believe in ourselves, and hold a compassionate heart. Courage to open to change requires the same. Wisdom reveals the nuance.