BOTH OF EACH
When my daughter was young and I would offer her toast or waffles, she would reply “both of each,” an endearing response that generally resulted in just that outcome, with jelly and syrup.
As she grew up, I learned that she was also teaching me the hardest lesson of adulthood, at least in my book. That of paradox.
Yes both of each – feeling two things at the same time that seemingly contradict each other and even ought to cancel each other out, but that can, in fact, coexist. Isn’t this the meaning of paradox? How can we humans feel devastated and relieved at the same time? Afraid and happy? Guilt-stricken and content?
I can assure you that these subtleties of emotion were lost on me in my youth, but I am awed and reassured to find that younger generations are far wiser, more emotionally grounded and able to grasp this concept at far earlier ages.
With “both of each,” as an operative concept, we can process the deepest losses in life and somehow go forward. For example, when a couple ends in divorce, the partners can feel deep prolonged sadness and simultaneously experience relief and hopefulness. When someone loses a job, he or she can feel enormous fear and also experience an optimistic longing for a different future. When adolescents feel confusion about relationships and sexuality, they can also feel joy when experiencing a meaningful connection.
I started off programmed to believe in a black-and-white approach to emotion – either this or that. I also discovered such polarity can leave one feeling pretty trapped, with inflexible choices and outcomes.
With emotional marinating, I learned that “both of each,” is the gentlest path to self-forgiveness and growth. I can feel both regretful of past experiences and encouraged that I can understand, grow and change. I can immerse myself in the bounty of grey and the comfort of paradox.
May I offer a few options for your consideration?
So without a doubt, both of each – toast and waffles!
To schedule a mind wellness retreat/experience, contact Laurie Morgan Silver.