Boy oh boy! So if I hadn't already been mulling over the "Both together at the same time without blending the two idea before..." it has all but become a new mantra, not only for my life, but in my work with women. Since writing my original post on this it has been EVERYWHERE I turn (well, let's be honest, it was there all along, I'm just noticing it more clearly now!). And since I felt like my original post was lacking in real life examples, here we go...
A lovely and very self aware woman I work with was sitting in my office last week, lamenting her inevitable return to what she, only slightly jokingly called "Crazytown." (Maybe you've been there? It's gorgeous this time of year!) She and her partner were shifting towards trying to conceive again after taking some time off. She'd been feeling relatively un-crazytown these last months (and digging it!) But of course, this deep desire to be a mom is worth risking all that zen and then some.
"So..." she asked, "How do I try again, and stay sane instead of going to Crazytown?"
HA! If only I had the answer to that one!
But, what I did come up with is this...
"Can you wrap your head around it being possible to let go and stay Zen in some ways AND go to Crazytown at the same time and without blending the two or one canceling the other out?"
In other words, why does one have to be right and one be wrong?
Why should it be her goal to have all of one and none of the other?
Why do we want only what we perceive as the "good" "happy" or "easy" emotion and not the one that's... not those things?
Realistically, doesn't it make sense that both would be present? Doesn't the reality of the situation involve both opportunities for mindfulness and calm AND opportunities for crazy?
Is is realistic to have both? To see that both make sense? To know that just because you feel one thing in one moment that it doesn't cancel out that you've felt the other a moment ago, or prohibit you from feeling the other in the future? It makes sense, there are two sides that aren't ever going to blend or feel like they go together, except if you can just accept that they are both there for a reason and they are both okay!
It's a leap of faith for sure, but I'd argue it's easier to make that leap than to go on beating yourself up about not just being/doing/having 100% of the one you've been idealizing in your mind... that seems way harder to me!
Another really tough example, but one that's good to talk about, because we really don't do so well with grief in our culture... I just met with a grieving, heartbroken woman who suffered a really, really big loss recently. She was tearfully explaining how hurtful it was when others were sharing well meaning sentiments, such as, "Well, at least you can be grateful for what you DO have." Ugh... first off, please put this WAAAAY up on the list of what NOT to say to someone who is grieving (but that's another post entirely!) She tried to convince me that she really does appreciate what she has when I assured her that I know... and that feeling hugely grateful for the things that are blessings in her life doesn't somehow mean that she shouldn't grieve or visa versa, that just because she is grieving doesn't mean she isn't grateful. Again, with the both together at the same time without blending the two!
As our conversation progressed, yet another example came up. She was feeling a whole other layer of hurt because in addition to all the natural grieving she was doing she was feeling guilty about not just being able to take other's well meaning gestures 100% as helpful, but was instead finding them a mix of supportive and generous, but also sometimes hurtful, inadequate, or less understanding than she wished they could be. She felt both things at the same time but they didn't both feel okay to her, one thing she judged as the "nice" thing she "should" be feeling, the other some rotten thing that reflected some meanness in her. But again I suggested that that isn't really it at all... the same questions apply... is it realistic to feel both? To see that both make sense? To know that just because you feel one thing in one moment, that it doesn't cancel out the you feel the other? That one isn't right and one isn't wrong?
And lastly, a simple example from someone I saw just today who is going to do her first (and hopefully only!) IVF in the next weeks. She was trying to find the balance between caution and hope. Trying to get it right, trying to figure out which would skew her results in the best possible way... You know the drill by now... it was such a good example, they don't blend, they don't go together at the same time, but there they are, both right there at the same time.
So, there are just a few of the many many many examples I've applied this idea to these last days and that's only in my practice. To all the women above who have shared these hard feelings and inner conflicts with me, I am so grateful that you can share and feel safe and I hope this idea helps you like it helps me. To all those reading, I hope you will see areas where it translates to your life too! I hope the next time you are feeling like you should be able to be all one or another, you'll stop and ask yourself... or could I just embrace them both together at the same time without blending the two!
Welcome to my blog!
I'm an acupuncturist, teacher, fertility specialist, patient centered advocate, mom, activist and more! This blog is a place for me to write down the things on my mind, the things I discuss over and over, and the things I find helpful, interesting, and inspiring all in the hope that someone else out there, maybe YOU, will find some of these things to be helpful, interesting and inspiring too. I love learning, I love sharing, and I am passionate about helping others lead more balanced, fertile, and healthy lives - while trying to do the same myself. So here goes... The Blogging Life...