You’re not crazy, lazy or indecisive if you feel two opposite feelings at the same time.
In truth, the ability to hold polar opposite thoughts (polarities) in a paradoxical tension is a sign of mature development.
It’s a big shift beyond either/or and black and white thinking.
Polarities manifest in many ways:
- If two people looked at the picture of the Golden Gate bridge and one said, “It’s cloudy” and the other said,”It’s clear,” both would be right. It’s both cloud covered and clear in the same geographical space.
- You plant seeds in fertile soil and do everything right and you get both gorgeous plants…and weeds.
- Every living organism is both living and dying.
In Your Body:
- You commit to eating healthy and your body craves sugar.
- You sit down to meditate and you feel antsy, anxious or tired.
- You’re exhausted and can’t sleep.
- You try to listen and zone out.
- You move towards someone in a friendly way, but underneath, you feel judgmental, angry or wary.
- You love your partner and you don’t like your partner.
- You love your child and you feel ambivalence for your child.
- Your partner loves your outgoing energy and drive, but thinks you take over and monopolize a conversation.
- You love your partner’s quiet, grounded energy, but you wish they wouldn’t fade away at a dinner party.At work:
- You have a hard time organizing your office and being on time and you’re one of the more creative people on the team.
- You are success and team oriented and encourage people to be transparent and you hide parts of yourself that don’t seem successful causing people to lose trust in you.
- You are a quiet and analytical person who doesn’t like attention and you like to be recognized for your efforts.
When polarities show up, we tend to view them as something to eliminate which is like trying to eliminate one side of a pendulum swing. Our mind, emotions and bodies don’t respond well to trying to eliminate our perceived negatives.
- Our minds build a dialogue of resistance, self-judgment, confusion, frustration.
- Our emotions get stirred up especially when we try to ignore them.
- Our bodies respond by tightening, getting anxious
Yet our inner polarities are made of the same energy. They are valuable parts of who we are.
Trying to eliminate them is normal, but not helpful as it is like trying to push down a jack-in-the-box. It’s going to pop up the moment you stop pushing.
Instead, try this: Notice how your polarities. Then:
Relax. Welcome the polarities. Accept what is happening fully. Breathe.
• Welcome your thoughts.
• Allow your conflicting emotions.
• Relax into your body’s response and breathe.
When we shift our need to control these internal and external opposites, valuable insights tend to emerge. It’s as if we used to see the world in black and white and now we can see it in color. We open up enormous energy for creative ways of seeing ourselves, another and vexing situations.
There is more energy in this state and more of a sense of internal flow as you’re not acting against what’s natural.