5 Ways Resist Smarter (not Harder)

Photo credit: DickDaniels (http://carolinabirds.org/)

There’s a time to be angry. There’s a place for anger in our lives — we must give it that. I even wrote about it. But there’s a time to admit the limit of anger and channel that energy into productive action. What I am seeing these days among women, men, and compassionate, fed-up people is anger. I am happy to see it, but encourage everyone to go inside themselves and get to the alchemy phase. That anger, after a certain point, only burns us out while feeding the beast you would be better to starve.

Anger is very expensive. It’s also a sign that someone has power over you. I know, the president is a powerful position that people vote to fill. What happened here to give this latest excuse for a leader power? Voting and cheating. What happens to take it away? Certainly not untethered anger, name calling and reactivity that feeds him and his toxic bandwagon. No. Channeled energy: Proactive emotion and clear statements. Voting. Action to bring people together. Action to bring people to justice.

From this day on, if I see a white man in a business suit and a typical headline or Tweeter reaction, I will cultivate the opposite of what is expected: I will ask myself “is there anything new I should note in this?” and then swiftly move on. I certainly won’t get emotional about these guys. Their victims, yes. Their antics, no.

We know enough about GOP clowns and their circus. It’s actually numbingly predictable at this point. The Republican administration will not change or get any better. It has actually been getting markedly and more noticeably worse for 40 years. The fact that Bush and Cheney almost look like people you could sit down and chat with now is proof enough.

From today, I refuse to get sucked even the slightest in to the emotive quicksand these greedy people have created. I sent in my ballot request for the midterms. I live abroad because, among other reasons, I don’t pay taxes if I earn under a certain amount, and I refuse to fund this corruption any longer. It takes energy to adapt to other cultures, learn new languages, to resist with every cell of your body and presence. I have been angry since I was young, and I have channeled it.

Now I am getting more precise, and I invite you to as well. We need all our precious energy and emotion for action that really makes a difference.

People I care about are being robbed and abused in the USA — a country that keeps insisting and fooling some people into believing it is number one (as it sinks like the Ottoman empire did). Many don’t even see it — which is good, because from what I can see, they can’t get out. Some are financially and health-care-wise safe. But others are hanging in the wind and could be taken to the streets should anything go amiss. You better believe I have EVERY reason to be angry. But from today, I am making a commitment. Yes, I will stay informed about what these old, white men are doing to degrade the system further and further. But I will not engage it. I will not “like” anything about it, even an argument with it. I will not convince myself so slyly that I am surprised or overwhelmed by such predictable reptile-brained logic. I will not let them have my energy and give them my emotions any longer.

Here are five things I will do instead:

  1. I will vote democrat every chance I get, and when I can, I will donate to democrats who need the funds. I will also support any causes that are currently created or negated by the current regime.
  2. I do my best to help anyone who feels left out, alienated, under-represented, misunderstood to feel welcome, recognized and respected.
  3. I will speak up about the times I was sexually assaulted and the time I made a hard decisions that would not be popular with patriarchal religious people who want to control women and their bodies — books, blogs, etc. forthcoming. This will help normalize some things that are still tabu and misunderstood precisely because so many of us have been afraid to say anything or admit anything. I will not share as a victim, but instead matter-of-factly as someone who is wiser for it — sharing the wisdom, not the grief or confusion, which takes time to process into something meaningful to others.
  4. I will counter conspiracy theory nonsense with intelligent facts and statistics about issues that are widely misunderstood (because of people of the opposite inclination stand to gain from propagating and preying on people’s ignorance). Talking about well-studied information, direct accounts from fact-checked sources and research based on large samples. I will also react less and be happy to engage openly in informative (vs. reactive) debate given the complexity of some things I stand behind (and may appear at first to have not considered as I am, by virtue of my appearance and optimism, often more considerate and strategic than assumed or imagined to be). E.g.: climate change, gun laws, abortion, death penalty, prison system, justice system, alternative energy and sustainability, indigenous people, cultural realities, endangered species, suppressed women, suppressed children, suppressed populations, the tragedy of rogue capitalism, marketing, psychological manipulation, history, etc.
  5. I will keep my heart open, engage in practices that center me, keep educating myself, make difficult decisions when my integrity is on the line … like closing accounts that had thousands of connections and ego-gratifying power but also weakened me and gave my data to a cause I can’t get behind on second thought.

I WILL conduct that energy in a way that is meaningful. I WILL cultivate the opposite.

English translation of 2.33/34 Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras




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Emily Alp

Emily Alp

In My Opinions

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