We’ve had a house full of sick kids the last week. Those of you with kids probably know the drill quite well – the first time or two they have to take medicine, they may be somewhat willing, and may even like it if it’s in a sweetened syrup form. But after a few doses, the resistance starts. It starts with a mild protest, and before you know it, it’s a full blown screaming tantrum with locked jaw and thrusting body. Now, my kids are usually quite well behaved and agreeable; they are not tantrum throwers… except for this week, in which we’ve had full blown tantrums with every dosage.
As adults, we may not go into full force screaming tantrums, but we all have our own grown up version of it. I often feel myself get hooked by my toddler’s assertion of her independence. She’ll refuse to do something I ask, or will keep doing something I tell her to stop, and I feel a surge run through me where I’d like to kick and scream and cry, too!
In those moments, what I sometimes fail to remember is that everything in life is a choice. Sometimes we get to chose whether to take part in something or not, but other times the choice lies in how we take part in it. For instance, when my 3 year old has pneumonia and has to take medicine to get better, she “has no choice” but to take it. But she does, in fact, have a choice – she can surrender to the need and take it willingly, or she can resist it and fight it and take it by force.
We all have areas of our lives where it may feel like we have no choice. Perhaps it’s a difficult boss or relative, perhaps it’s a financial burden brought on by a partner or actions from our past, perhaps it’s an illness or ailment that you or a loved one are dealing with. Whatever it may be, there is always choice. Resistance doesn’t serve you. Just like my daughter’s tantrum only brings her stress and misery – she still has to swallow the medicine. You can chose to accept it and, from that choice, have the strength and resolve to deal with it effectively, or you can fight it and resist it, only to be miserable and worn out in the process. Choose what is. Resistance is futile.