dismissive, resistant, and yielding… breakthroughs

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)

I’ve been noticing a pattern. When encountering any new experience, I may first dismiss it, next resist it, and then finally yield to it: https://jrfibonacci.wordpress.com/what-have-you-fiercely-opposed/However, sometimes I simply yield without first dismissing and resisting something. That would be if I am ripe and open to something. Otherwise, a new experience may result first in a temporary breakdown before a breakthrough. What gets broken down? An error, a mistake, an illusion, a vanity or some other attachment breaks down and then a sudden breakthrough can develop.

At the root of resistance and breakdowns is attachment. When life uproots my attachments, that can produce a breakthrough- like transplanting a seedling into some rich soil where deep roots can be spread and nourished.

If you are willing to have a breakthrough develop from some recent breakdown in your life, I invite you to keep reading. The next breakthrough could be happening suddenly any moment.

Now, when a seed first germinates, the best soil provides a stable base for the seed to stretch its roots. Some soil is very hard and dense, and the seed does not take root. Some soil is soft and loose, and the seed does not take root in that soil either. However, the best soil for a particular seed is any soil that works for that seed to stretch its roots.

English: This is a chlorophytum comosum or spi...

Image via Wikipedia

Attachments are like those roots. Sometimes a plant can flourish abundantly without uprooting the original attachments for that plant. Sometimes a plant can flourish abundantly after uprooting those original attachments and possibly even disturbing the soil. What is best for any particular plant depends on the plant and on the soil.

So, returning to the explicit possibility of a personal breakthrough that you are willing to experience, consider whether you can imagine a particular issue. If you can specify an issue, then consider if can you just dismiss the issue? Is it a minor or temporary issue, or is it something that is persisting and growing in magnitude?

If it has not been persisting and growing, consider identifying another issue that has been urgent- or at least persisting and growing. If you have selected an issue that has persisted and grown even if you have been dismissing it, then you may be ripe for a breakthrough.

Next, consider if you can just resist the issue. Maybe it has been persisting and growing, yet there is some other focus that you value instead of focusing on that. You can acknowledge the persistent issue, yet simply resist it- like intervening to remedy a symptom of healing to slow or interrupt the healing process in order to focus on something else.

Resisting a particular issue may allow you to prioritize and focus elsewhere- even if only temporarily. Resisting is similar in some ways to dismissing an issue, but acknowledges the issue as a possible future focus (while, in contrast, dismissing an issue does not require even noticing it at all).

Resisting an issue implies that the resisting is temporary, but also may be persisting. There may be an ongoing remedial intervention to hold a certain issue temporarily in remission while maintaining focus on some other issue. A resisted issue will either be “upgraded” to an urgent issue, or some other issue will be the focus of urgent attention first, and if any other issues that are valuable to focus on instead have all been resolved, then it could be optional to discontinue resisting an issue and actually directly explore it- even if not especially urgent. Or perhaps the investment of energy into resisting a certain issue may eventually be so exhausting as to frustrate any alternative except discontinuing resistance immediately.

So, if you declare that you are unable or unwilling to effectively resist any issue that is urgent or at least persistent and growing, then you may been ripe for a breakthrough… perhaps soon, but not quite yet. There is one more stage before a breakthrough.


Image via Wikipedia

A plant does not uproot itself. Attachments cling to the soil, which is their purpose and function. However, we are not plants. We can declare a breakdown and discontinue our investment into resisting an issue.

Declaring a breakdown is admitting that we may have been resisting something. We may have been attached to one thing and resisting a transplant to a new context for experience. However, we may feel an attraction or a seemingly outside force pulling at us, matching or overwhelming any attachments we may have been holding and resistance we may have been practicing.

First, we may have dismissed something, then declared it a symptom to resist temporarily as we focus elsewhere, then declared that we value the issue (and the resolution of the issue) rather than just continuing to resist it. We may have declared a breakdown in our resistance- discontinuing it or “giving it up”- as we open to a breakthrough.

Sometimes a major breakthrough follows a single instant in which I practice relaxing a single attachment. Sometimes that instant follows a long series of practices of relaxing a complex network of attachments- like suddenly releasing the soil from an entire root system, perhaps after a long period of loosening.

Or, there may be nothing to practice. Either there are current attachments that hold or not. Maybe I am the one who has been resisting, but then I yield. However, maybe it is just the soil that resists for however long, and then eventually loosens and yields.

The plant does not transplant itself. The plant may just grow. Wherever the plant is rooted, and however it is rooted into whatever soil it is rooted it, the plant either grows or not. Either a plant is transplanted or not. Either there is already a breakthrough or not yet- and if not, is a breakthrough ever guaranteed?

Some seeds germinate. That is their design. Some sprout up, breaking through the soil into a seedling. That is their design, too.

However, when a plant is transplanted, that is not the design of the plant. A transplant may happen or not. There is nothing inherent in the seed or plant that brings about a transplant, right?

Of course, we still are not plants. In fact, we may have always been transplants- like by design.

The breakthrough of germination is possible. The breakthrough of the sprouting of a seedling is possible. The breakthrough of a transplant is possible, isn’t it?

By the way, some say that death is just another transplant. Consider that your body is just the visible part of something- like the part above the ground- and there may be invisible roots and an invisible seed that may live even when there is no plant showing above the ground. Any body may be just one possible breakthrough, an expression or fulfillment of a particular design: temporary, beautifully desgned, and something to be attached to only as long as there is no other priority on which to focus instead.

Finally, in case you were wondering, if you had asked me when I started writing this whether I could have accurately predicted the content of that last paragraph, I would have said no. However, I did not have to predict it for it to happen, did I? The seed may not know it is designed to germinate and breakthrough the surface of the earth into a realm that it would not have predicted, might have even dismissed, and may have been resisting all the way up until however recently….

Consider also that the physical body is like a root system. Perhaps the body is designed to extend from a seed and then to nourish and give access to a breakthrough into another realm of experience. We may resist our design, but it is possible that our resistance is part of the design- allowing the roots to flourish so that a sprout can suddenly break through. Now, wouldn’t that be interesting- to know what flavor of fruit might yield from this plant, rooted in these attachments, seeded by this design?

One Response to “dismissive, resistant, and yielding… breakthroughs”

  1. jrfibonacci Says:


    This is generally a follow-up to the prior composition with the subject “dismissive, resistant, and yielding breakthroughs.” [It’s here: https://jrfibonacci.wordpress.com/dismissive-resistant-and-yielding-breakthroughs/ ] In this one, I share a breakthrough that I had… this morning. I wrote this, which has a specific reference to a certain someone’s email, and then sent this email of mine to that certain someone, and phoned her to request that she read it, which she said she did and then she had no particular comment and I just thanked her. I also spent much of the last 5 hours with her, by the way, which was generally wonderful.

    “Ah, underneath the resisting, what else is happening?” Well, you may resist the answer I am about to offer, but consider that you are not here to merely resist….

    So, anyway, I’m going to give you the answer indirectly by telling you a little story. Actually, I really just wanted to tell you the story and the “moral sermon” preaching practice just goeswith that, like gives me a little framework to introduce this VERY important story. 😉

    What happened is… I got a short broadcast email this morning from someone I know. I could have said: “wow, that’s great. That’s her being responsible and creative and boldly expressed, plus light-hearted.” Alas, I initially did something else….

    The core of the email was “I am declaring today, right now, in this moment, as only I can do……. I am joyous and happy in my life!” Suddenly, from out of the bottom of the chimney, the soot-covered Grinch appeared in a spreading cloud of fine black dust:

    I (as Grinch) reacted with some only natural thoughts like these: “it’s about time you [she] get happy. If only you [she] would have caught on sooner! You should have already, you know?”

    So, in other words, the Grinch was feeling hurt… yes, again. The Grinch was creating the effect of “she hurt me. Waaaa!” The impact of that pretense was that the Grinch also got to experience not just hurting or resisting, but something darker and nastier- not just resentment, but something even darker and nastier than that: contempt!

    The undeclared context operating was “she should not have been like she obviously was, which was the [alleged] CAUSE of my life being how it may have been.” Oh, and what an interesting irony I just noticed: the Grinch imagined saying to her “you should have caught on sooner, you know” yet what if the Grinch was saying that to himself- since the thought did only occur “in his head” at the time- not out loud, not typed and sent. Wasn’t the Grinch thinking that he should have caught on sooner?

    Ah, then that might have been the Grinch creating himself as guilty. Of what was the Grinch guilty? The Grinch testified by confession (and it was “uncontroverted” and thus stood as a fact i.e. the ruling law of the case) that the Grinch “should have caught on [to how much she would obviously cause him so much hurt] SOONER than he actually caught on.”

    The unexamined conclusion was of course that she OBVIOUSLY DID cause him hurt.
    Naturally, the Grinch did not question the obvious. Obvious things are obviously not superstitious, contemptuous, self-serving, self-fulfilling myths, right… obviously?

    After all, didn’t the Grinch already know “deep down” that she would cause him hurt? That is just what people (or at least women) do, you know? It’s so obvious!

    Or, did the Grinch actually just take that BELIEF into the past? Did the Grinch go into the past with an “already knowing deep down” (believing in a truth so obvious that no one even needs to state it, since it is common sense, common knowledge, OBVIOUSLY TRUE)? Didn’t the Grinch PRESUME UNQUESTIONINGLY that (1) she would cause him hurt, and (2) she should not do that and (3) he should have caught on sooner and, finally (4) she also should have caught on sooner… to how he was taking a belief into his past and organizing his experience of reality around that belief?

    After all, the Grinch knew deep down that who he is… was a victim. Some of us may be victims of circumstance. Some of us may be victims of people. Being a victim of a person (or a group of people) is perhaps the more “pathetic” of the two.

    So, the Grinch looked over the menu and said “Yes, I’ll have another helping of that!”
    Then, not out loud of course, he said “that will give me a valid-looking excuse to experience contempt.”

    Contempt for whom… is something the Grinch did not ask. The obvious answer might have been… contempt for her, the one who should have been how she wasn’t, who should not have been how she was, who should have caught on sooner, who should not have hurt me (or at least should have had the common courtesy to issue me a disclaimer at the onset of our interactions by saying “I am obviously only going to hurt you, just so you know”).

    It was not full disclosure! It was a fraudulent contract! It was a… well, such a HUGE scandal. Stop the presses. SOMEBODY should do something about this!

    Call 911. Notify the governments. Report her to the IRS, or the UN, or the IMF, or the PLO, or the KGB, or the NFL, or the FDA. Start a revolution. For Christ’s f_cking sake, will somebody call a press conference to condemn her already to eternal damnation?

    However, recall that the Grinch did not actually ever ask for whom he was experiencing contempt. That is not something that the Grinch would even think of doing.

    Was he experiencing contempt for her? Sure, he may have been! However, was she the only one?

    Didn’t he also have contempt for that one dude, and that other her, and those over there, and these over here, and the bad guys and the wicked witches and the evil villain corporate governors and the inclement weather and the corrupt, bastard God who is SUPPOSED to be responsible for all of this? Oh, by the way, didn’t he have also contempt for not just everyone else, but for that particular subcategory of “everyone” that he called “himself?”

    Snap! Just like that, the tension suddenly had just resolved.

    The Grinch obviously could not acknowledge the mere possibility that he even might have contempt for himself. He would obviously dismiss that as obviously preposterous, ridiculous, hilariously unrealistic, and crazier than not thinking about a pink polka-dot rhinoceros.

    If pressed, he might even resist it, attack it, or even claim that whoever asks such an obviously wrong question the obviously wrong way is HURTING me. Then, he would obviously BE FORCED to defend himself, you know, to protect his sacred vanity- oops, I obviously meant his sacred self-idolatry, no I mean his trail-blazing display of hypocrisy, no no no no, cancel all of that, I clearly meant his dignity.

    Yes, that is it! His dignity is exactly what he obviously was protecting. Remember his glowing majestic dignity as he mindlessly walked down the street mumbling about how she should be… and how the corporations and government and media and economy should not be- and how dignified he was in his contemptous self-righteousness- oops, no, I mean his glorious display of integrity. He was such a model of joyful spite, and such a picture of graceful guilt, and such a lighthouse of old-fashioned pass-the-buck responsibility.

    He was a hero in his own mind. He was a victor in his own war. He was the winner in his own game, just as long as he’s the only one who’s keeping score.

    He makes his own rules like the king. He sings his own song like he’s deaf. No one can tell him that his notes are sour; they must be just plain incorrect!

    He has all the dignity of a victim, and scandalous stories to go along. He is the center of the drama of how he almost saved the world.

    Oh, wait a moment, hold on, aha, he seems to have finally gone to sleep. When he wakes he may not even recall that the Grinch was just a child having a dream.



    “Life is not what it’s supposed to be. Its what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” Virginia Satir (1916-1988)

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