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Living in the Tension of “AND”

We live in a world that is obsessed with labels and more comfortable with distinct boundaries then blurred lines…

Most of us become uneasy with nuance or the inability to place something neatly within one predetermined category or another.

When we become so used to placing our experiences “in boxes”, we start defining all the experiences of our life as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘exhausting’, ‘stressful’, ‘exhilarating’, ‘tragic’, and the list goes on and on.

When we do this, we inadvertently block out any information or emotion that we receive that does not fit neatly into our predefined box.

For instance,

You are exhilarated at the birth of a new child, but the depression and isolation you feel is overwhelming…

You dissolve a destructive long-term relationship and the fallout for the rest of your family and friends is incredibly difficult, but you feel a freedom and optimism that you have not felt in years…

You start your dream business and it is going so well and you feel so successful, but you are literally working 24/7, your house is a mess and you are putting on a lot of weight…

Your partner receives an amazing opportunity in a new city, and you are so happy for them, but you are angry at everything that you now need to give up supporting their dream.

When we live in a world of labels, we are forced to define these situations as either good or bad…right or wrong…

When we speak of our experience to others there is most often only room to voice one emotion…

“Having a new baby is amazing!”

“The divorce has been a nightmare.”

 “The new business is going so well!”

“We are so excited about the new job and big move!”

There is no room for it to be amazing and really, really hard…or really hard and completely amazing…

When we only allow one side of our experiences to be expressed, the emotions that remain unexpressed get trapped within us. That unvoiced part of us continues to be ignored until it becomes silent, even dormant…but it remains a part of our subconscious grid that influences our future thoughts and actions.

We need to give ourselves and others the ability to express things as they really are…not in tidy boxes of good and bad. We need to ability to laugh and cry over the same situation, sometimes even within the same moment! 

We need to learn the power of “AND” so that both sides of our experience are given equal voice.

“Having a new baby is amazing AND I’m really struggling”

“The divorce has been a nightmare AND I feel a joy and optimism I haven’t felt in years”

“The new business is going so well, AND, it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done”

“We are so excited about the big job and big move, AND, I’m really angry about everything I am leaving behind to support them.”

Living within the tension of “AND” brings a freedom that allows our experiences to be exactly what they are…a great big mess of joy, pain, beauty, longing, difficulty and gratitude.

Use the following truth statements to remind yourself that all emotions you are feeling are valid and have a divine right to be expressed in a healthy and healing way…

I affirm that any contradictory emotions I feel are valid and healthy.

I allow myself to feel what I feel without label or judgement.

I reject any labels that limit my full experience.

All my emotions are valid, and I express them in a healthy way.

Allowing your feelings to simply “be” without judgement is a move towards health and wholeness. Integrating the “good” and the “bad” brings opposites together to form a complete picture and a fuller expression of your true self.  

Check out my life-changing program: Transforming Fear into Action.

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