Being Recalcitrant

Most of us have resisted change or a request from someone in our life at some point – like last week or maybe yesterday or maybe five minutes ago. The truth is, humans overall tend to resist, rather than embrace, change. Now, a little resistance can be helpful if we need to think things through or wrap our brains around a new idea. But, how long do we need to stay there gathering evidence that we don’t have to change our thinking or actions?
Being recalcitrant in our thinking or actions adds a completely different level altogether to the decision-making process. Recalcitrance is stubbornresistance or just being difficult – usually when there is no other reason than we’re just being stubborn. It’s when our inner brat starts acting out spurred on by our overbearing ego and we do absolutely nothing to stop it. We and our ideas are stuck in mental concrete while at the same time kicking and screaming.
There are times, however, when we may need to be recalcitrant. For example, what if your 16-year-old daughter wants to take a two-week road trip across country in a van full of senior college boys? Yeah, I’d be a little recalcitrant myself. I’d probably be VERY stubborn, saying “NO!” and meaning it without any further discussion. But that’s a pretty drastic example. How can recalcitrance show up in our daily lives?
A teacher of mine often says, “I am not moved by appearances. Therefore, appearances move for me.” I believe that, but when I wacked my head into a rafter in the attic last week, nearly losing consciousness and having to deal for the next week with a mild concussion, dizziness and nausea, I must admit I became a little skeptical. That rafter was way more than an “appearance” and it had no intention of moving.
I’m actually grateful that. If the rafters in the house moved from time-to-time, keeping the roof from leaking would be rather difficult, so I can see the advantage of being immoveable in this case. But how many ideas, situations and relationships do we have in our lives that require that much rigidity? Probably a lot fewer than we’d like to admit. Yet we still continue banging our heads against issues that can’t be resolved because we’re doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
If there’s a problem or person that has been plaguing you for a long time would you be willing to take a deep breath this week, step back and see if going over, around or under the situation might work better than banging your head against a rafter? Or, perhaps a good dose of acceptance and flexibility might be helpful? Just a thought – give it a try!
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


P.S. Yes, there was an amusing (in retrospect) metaphysical meaning to my incident. No, you don’t get to know, but suffice it to say I’m not going to venture back into the attic without a hard hat anytime soon.

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