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WHAT CHANGES WHEN I EMBRACE THE INEVITABLE PARADOXES IN LIFE?
I begin to have compassion for myself and others.
The flow of life. You can embrace but not too hard a hug.
I feel like the flight coordinator for Apollo XIII. “Let’s work the problem.”
Sometimes the paradoxes cease to be paradoxes. The puzzles work themselves out
That the most complex, stubborn and tangled problems can be solved simply if we look honestly at what is.
I only tend to see the paradoxes when looking backward over the outcomes. And often times I huff a laugh.
So I don’t know if I embrace the contradictions in life as they arise.
But if I embrace the idea of inevitable life paradoxes, then I see the mystery, humor and amazingness of life.
And I acknowledge that logic and experience can only take me so far -sometimes the unexpected, the unfounded, the unimagined arises and delights me…saying often, I never could have expected that!
Everything changes when we embrace the inevitable paradoxes of life. One thing I’ve learned in anti-racism trainings is that either/or thinking is a symptom of white supremacy. By moving past everything being only this or that without a both/and element, we begin to dismantle certain forms of oppression.
I would say that either/or thinking is a much deeper problem in all humanity. We are uncomfortable with uncertainty, with paradox, and mystery. My God is a Trinity, a balance of individuality and relationship, a both/and, not an either/or. Christ is God and man, a both/and, not an either/or. Which means that love and discipleship are mysteries that must be negotiated in each moment without a pat answer. All the great heresies of the Church stem from the inability to live with mystery. Much of human social sin comes from trying to substitute the certainty of black/white where it doesn’t apply instead of appreciating each person as a mystery reflecting the divine/human both/and nature of Christ. That said, I don’t disagree with your observation. I just think it’s a much much wider problem.
I’m learning to delight in how my opinions about something will change from ‘Good’ to ‘Bad’ and back again. I’m learning to take my current opinion about something more lightly.
Embracing paradox is a key to spiritual and emotional growth, maybe even maturity, and certainly contributes to a lighter more contented me.
Thank you, Elaine. This is just what I needed to read today. 🙂
I can quit fighting it, or trying to control or figure it out. I can relax, accept and live with it.
For me, it means I can move forward. Always. It also means, for me, I am alive in all parts of my life.
Like the old quote from days gone by, “The only constant in life is change”. That is the inevitable paradox.
Nothing except for the additional stowed lesson[s] “inevitably” learned by the temporary personality !The fixed idea that Life is, or can be, “Paradoxical” is the opposite to accepting that Life IS “Change”, IS motion, BUT in appearance only…and with that comes the next lesson to be learned and “appreciated”. Just as it was suggested in to-days ‘Word of the Day’
“What will carry us into living freedom is not the holding of attention so much as the holding of appreciation. We need to not waiver, to never waiver, with our appreciation.”
The discovery that I may know less than what I thought I knew. Embracing such things is like opening a door to humility.
Nothing and Everything
Learning that not everything can be explained or the fact that there are uncontrollable factors of why things are happening. Try to accept that fact and go with the flow..
It helps me understand that I both cannot and need not have an answer for everything.
It helps to break me out of black-and-white thinking patterns.
It becomes harder to make assumptions and generalisations.
It helps me to feel more comfortable with my own flaws as a human.
Grace abounds! When I use my pains and disappointments to unify myself with my Lord who gave his life for my salvation, a stillness overcomes me. It reminds me the greatest sacrifice we can make, is to give our life for a friend. So, in my disappointments, my trials and tribulations, I offer myself to the living God. Gratefully unifying myself to his cross, offering my suffering for the many whose sufferings are far greater than mine.
I’m not sure what changes, but paradoxes certainly remind me that not everything in life can be explained, that it’s okay to know that you don’t know, and that, no matter what happens, there is something to gain whether it be knowledge or simply a new perspective on something.
I change and find peace when I am able to accept the paradoxes in life.
I discover the “silver linings” in all.
A splendid gift is being able to sit with contradicting emotions or states of being, as if holding them side by side in each hand. Grateful and yet angry, loving but upset, sad, yet able to laugh. I used to think I had to be one or the other. I really appreciate having learned to embrace the shadow self, situations that are difficult, and yet feel grateful, or kind toward self and others. This shift is holistic: a full human experience. I feel more accepting and yet realistic. And somehow I know it’s all a part of being alive.
I relate to this. I compare it to having both black and white emotions which = grey, a mixture of both.
So much grey I’ve found.
As the saying goes, “when we learn to roll with the punches of life,” we get to experience life with a little more grace and a lot less stress.
My old friend equanimity……
It seems to denote maturity too as having learned from the tough stuff, I think.
Change is a constant in life. Knowing and anticipating that is a good reminder.
It sure is…
I prefer to think of these as contradictions, both/ands. There is a tension that when created provides something to hang on to, like a rope bridge across a gorge in the jungle. It demands that I broaden my mind enough to hold both possibilities simultaneously. So what seems to change is that I can use the tension to advance and grow. Example from early life: when a child experiences discipline from a parent that demonstrates their love. At the time it was hard to grasp.
I wrote something similar about the contradictions above before reading your writing, Howie. Being able to look at things as they are, could be, critically, and sit with them all, even tough stuff, is a good thing.
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