How Your Resistance to Reality Causes Stress

Place of Serenity | Resistance to Reality

How Your Resistance to Reality Causes Stress

‘I don’t want this to be happening!’

This phrase could be referring to any events or experiences in your own life and in the world around you. It is relevant to the last year or so as your life will have been affected by global events.

When you don’t want something to be happening, notice how your resistance to reality causes stress. Your resistance may be quiet, hostile, angry or frustrated.

Do you recognise how this happens for you in your daily life?

‘I wish my child wasn’t ill’

‘My partner should understand me’

‘Why is my friend not supporting me?’

‘My neighbour needs to mend their fence’

‘My children should pick up their dirty washing from the bedroom floor’

‘I want the meeting to cover a, b and c with no unexpected points arising’

‘This family get-together must go perfectly, with brilliant food, everyone happy and not a single hitch to the day’

‘My colleague should stop gossiping’

‘I want the sun to be shining’

Rage against reality

The Reality

Byron Katie says:

‘These thoughts are ways of wanting reality to be different than it is … All the stress that we feel is caused by arguing with what is… When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.’

So the stress and discomfort arises when we fight against reality.

When your thoughts are, ‘I don’t want this to be happening,’ it’s not reality itself that causes the stress. It’s your resistance to reality that causes your stress!

So when you think: ‘I don’t want this happening’, the first thing to do is take out the first three words ‘I don’t want’:

I don’t want this happening’

‘This is happening’

‘This is the reality right now’


  • Make a list of things you wish were different.
  • Take out your words of resistance.
  • See how this illustrates what Byron Katie says.

Let it Be!

Rage against reality

Give yourself time to sit and meditate – simply be with yourself.

Accept the moment as it is. Accept how you’ve been resisting so much of what is actually happening in your life. Acknowledge your part in creating stress.

Simply let it be!

Every day you can practice being with what is.

This is your mindful way of life. Accept the present moment.

Your Resistance to Reality is Not Wrong

When you put up a barrier of defence or anger to something happening in your life, it doesn’t mean your resistance to reality is wrong. These are your feelings. You are not being asked to simply let circumstances overwhelm you.

Your feelings are an invitation to self-exploration. This creates a pathway shaped by curiosity. Lockdown and Covid will have provided all of us with situations that we’ve wished were not happening.

Place of Serenity

Yet when you choose to surrender, you’re no longer fighting uselessly against facts.

Become aware of your expectations too.

Learn to focus on your business.

On what you yourself can do. On your behaviour. That’s what you’re in charge of – your response.

Byron Katie says:

‘You may come to see that you’ve never really been present, that you’ve been mentally living in other people’s business all your life. Just to notice that you’re in someone else’s business can bring you back to your own wonderful self.’

You may realise that you’ve been railing against someone or something for years – and now you can simply let it be!

And that means you can focus on what YOU will do next.

Simple shifts in our behaviour can have profound results. Mindfulness is one of those skills that will help you with this.


‘Loving What Is’ by Byron Katie

The Work of Byron Katie

A useful read: How to Feel Empowered



Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Guide

Place of Serenity | Place of Serenity








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