I hope all of you U.S. readers had a fun and memory-filled Fourth Of July!
We invited friends over for a pool party, grilled up some burgers and had a “S’moreo-off” (That’s a contest to see who can integrate an Oreo into their s’more in the most delicious way. Competition got FIERCE.)
This week I want to share with you a bit of a pickle I’ve encountered lately, and how I’m finally learning to move past it.
Each week, I do my best to share with you guys the tiny insights and mantras that appear on my journey as I work to become the brightest version of myself (a journey that I’m well aware will never end, by the way.)
Many of these tiny wisdoms continue to pop into my head long after I type them in this email, gently guiding me along in my daily life.
However, for every moment that one of these ‘truths’ pops into my head and helps me move forward or overcome an obstacle, there is another moment when I encounter a situation and my core tells me to do something that’s completely in conflict with one of those truths.
Let me give you some examples…
- Building a business that’s unique and memorable is of utmost importance to me, and yet sometimes I’ll follow the well-lit path laid by entrepreneurs before me, and I’ll implement a smart tactic or strategy I’ve seen elsewhere on Made Vibrant. On one hand I might feel unoriginal, but on the other I might feel smart for capitalizing on what I know works.
- I’ve experienced the benefits of staying in the present moment and not letting the future rule my actions, but I’ve also found that setting goals helps me become intentional about what I prioritize each day. On one hand I might feel detached from the present moment, but on the other I feel productive and motivated.
- I have a desire to challenge and improve my weaknesses, but sometime I feel the best thing to do to set myself up for success is to eliminate activities where my weaknesses are constantly being exposed. On one hand I might feel like I’m taking the easy way out; on the other I feel empowered by the fact that I’m creating a life where I’m not constantly being confronted by my shortcomings.
- There are times when I value the freedom and creativity I find in chaos and times when I value the productivity and progress I find in structure.
Are you starting to see the struggle here?
I’m hoping that maybe I’m not alone in this. I’m hoping that maybe you too have experienced a time or two when you felt in contradiction with yourself.
This used to bother me a ton. Wavering on some of my own advice made me feel weak and undecided. Like I lacked faith in my own principles.
That’s when I had to remind myself, though, that there is no RIGHT answer to every situation -- there is only what feels right and authentic to our core self.
More and more I’m realizing that there is often wisdom to be found on both sides of the street. The key is knowing when to cross over and explore the other side.
- There is value in originality AND value in strategy.
- There is value in presence AND value in planning.
- There is value in sticking it out AND value in letting it go.
- There is value in chaos AND value in structure.
There’s so much good to be had in this world - there’s no shame in not wanting to choose sides.
People seem to like making a big stink about the word balance these days. “There’s no such thing as balance,” they say. Striving for balance causes us to pull our hair out over a state that doesn't exist, they argue.
And while I can certainly agree with the point that true balance - that magical moment when all aspects of our lives are in perfect harmony together - does not exist, I don’t think that fact should disqualify it from being a great thing to strive for.
Now I’m learning to think of each of my contradictions is a huge swinging pendulum. There will be times when it swings to one side and times when it draws back to the other. The benefit to be found in balance, then, is not in the pursuit of some perfect equity between those two sides; the benefit is in the constant reassessment of each side. The constant evaluation of which of those truths will best serve your brightest self in whatever moment you find yourself in.
And that is how I’m able to make peace with my contradictions.
To realize that holding two contradicting beliefs at the same time doesn’t mean you’re weak or lack conviction. It means you look at life with an open mind, and that should be seen as a strength.
Our core beings and our lives are infinitely nuanced. There are no blanket statements, no universal truths, no one-size-fits-all wisdom.
Take what serves you, release what doesn’t, and allow yourself to view each new day as an evolution in itself.
This week, your simple challenge is to make peace with your contradictions.
Wishing you a peaceful and beautiful week, my friends!
Thanks for reading!
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This post first appeared in my Monday newsletter to Self-Made Society -- Made Vibrant's email community for soulful creatives. Sign up and you'll get instant access to my e-book, A Year Made Vibrant, with over 50 of my past weekly newsletters.