"Let go of resistance." We hear it all the time in guided meditations, don't we? "Don't resist anything." This can be confusing. If something harmful is happening to me or someone else, shouldn't I resist it? I think the confusion happens most people think that "Don't resist" is solely a call to inaction. Sometimes it is. Sometimes that is what is most wise and skillful in the situation. But it doesn't mean to never try to change anything, or to just let bad things happen even we have the ability to stop them. It may not often be seen this way, but "Don't resist the moment" can also be one of the strongest calls to action, because for me, non-resistance isn't about letting harmful things continue, it's about not resisting the reality of what is happening, because only when we first soberly acknowledge reality do we have the opportunity, should we want it, to address it and change it.
Here's a living example. We are too often exploited, abused and taken advantage of without doing anything about it. While it's not always the case, we often don't do anything about it because we're at least partially in denial of the fact that it's even happening. In some cases, we resist acknowledging what our body, intuition, and even mind are telling us that we don't want to hear. In this denial, we are averting our eyes from the unpleasant truth of the moment and repressing our awareness that our boundaries are being trespassed. We go into full inner resistance mode.
When we pretend that things are other than they are, we have no opportunity to change them. To change things, we have to tune into and listen to the signals saying something isn't right, that something is hurting us or others. "Don't resist what's happening," in this context, is about what's happening on the inside, and it's a call to courageously face reality, even when that means discomfort, disturbance, and disillusionment. Practicing opening up to what we are feeling inside is leads to more freedom and empowerment to take necessary action, and also can help you discern what that is!
So, "Don't resist" isn't always suggesting "don't do anything." It means allowing the reality of what is happening in the moment so that you can determine when you need to take skillful action towards positive change, and then have the choice to mobilize yourself to follow through with it.
*The idea isn't that resistance is bad or unspiritual, which is also implied in a lot of teachings. Ironically, "Don"t resist" even applies to resistance itself, meaning that part of the practice, as I see it, is welcoming the parts of us that feel resistant. Resistance is natural and serves a function as well. Our bodies have resistance wired into them and this has protected us in many ways throughout our lives and we can appreciate that. We aren't getting rid of anything, and that's the point.