The Wisdom of Dread
Lately, I've been experiencing a lot of resistance. Resistance to getting out of bed, to connecting with other people, to finishing projects, to putting myself out in the proverbial "there".
I know to just push through the discomfort. This is where growing, learning and moving forward happen. Then, I started wondering: how can you tell the difference between the natural resistance that comes up when you do something challenging, and the feeling of dread that lets you know you are taking a wrong turn or walking down the wrong path?
Here's what I came up with: "dread rhymes with dead". When you are walking down a road that isn't good for you, there's a heaviness, a resignation a weight on your shoulders. Doing something you dread usually requires ignoring a part of yourself that is saying: NO! Maybe even hiding it away so you can't hear it at all.
Resistance, however has a nervous, agitated energy to it. Resistance is the thing that makes you suddenly get hungry, or tired, or need to check your email and bake a cake RIGHT NOW! it can't wait! Why? because resistance comes from trying to stop or control something, an impulse or idea, that might be scaring you, or that you can't rationalize or explain.
Dread, on the other hand is a constant stream of rationalization and good reasons. There are millions of them. Look for the words "I should" and "it will be a good experience". There is no love or joy for the thing it's self, just a lot of good reasons.
So, why should we care about dread and resistance? Because on the surface they seem similar: both are unpleasant and can make us feel kind of numb, frozen even. But ultimately, I know that if I push through the burn of resistance there is a payoff, but if I push through the molasses of dread , I end up paying.