"What you Resist Persists

What you Look at Disappears"

 Carl Jung was an influential psychiatrist around the time of Freud in the early 20th century. “What you resist persists" is an abbreviation of his original quote which was “what you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” To "resist" means to hide, deny, or cover up those parts of ourselves that we don't like and/or don't want to deal with. These parts cause us pain and discomfort so we try to suppress them somehow.  But, assuredly, these parts get acted out in one way or another in our lives anyway causing our mental, emotional (and even physical) pain and dysfunction.

 

Jung found that those who resisted aspects of themselves would have those aspects persist, or actually enlarge. This would draw much energy into the cycle of resistance – problem – more resistance – more problem.

For example, a child gets called “dumb”, feeling lots of shame. As an adult he then resists “dumb”, striving to be smart, perfect. It becomes exhausting to run from any chance of being dumb. For example, maybe he’s always wanted to write a book, but so afraid he could say something anyone would think is “dumb”, so he never writes, ever. The more he resists, the more the pain persists. Oddly, he’ll be plagued by random occasions of really “dumb” things, more shames, more striving for perfection. Ever had this happen to you?

So what are you resisting? Perhaps it's time to look at it so it can be released and disappear.

What does this quote by Carl Jung mean?  To "resist" means to hide, deny, or cover up those parts of ourselves that we don't want to deal with because these parts cause us some kind of pain or discomfort. So we try to suppress them somehow.  But, even though we try to suppress these parts, they create our negative thoughts and feelings and get acted out in one way or another in our lives anyway causing our mental, emotional (and even physical) pain and dysfunction. (To learn more, click here).

The interesting fact is that if you just "look" at these parts directly instead or trying to suppress them, they will be released and disappear from your life so you won't have to deal with them anymore. Yes, you may have to deal with some temporary discomfort in the process of releasing them, but, again, they will be released and disappear from your life so you won't have to deal with them anymore. Whereas, if you don't "look" at those things you "resist", they will just continue to effect you negatively on an unconscious level throughout your life.

 

Dave Dodge, L.C.S.W., C.I.R.T.

Individual & Couples Therapy

Anxiety & Trauma Specialist
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Dave Dodge, L.C.S.W.
Mt. Kisco, N.Y.
(914) 242-3484
391-4350
Skype and telephone sessions are also available
Skype name - dave.dodge11

I am a therapist with over 40 years of experience working with people to help them resolve the issues that are creating problems in their life. I am Certified and trained in a number of alternative therapies that are quicker, easier and much more effective than talk therapy in releasing one's issues.

Please also visit my other website for more information on how I can help you.