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Both/And

In these polarized times, there might be some value in looking at the ways we understand the nature of duality – of the yin and yang of our experiences.

As many have noted, it’s significant that a white dot exists in the

black portion and a black dot in the white half; within any half of a

duality, a bit of the opposite side is incorporated. It’s all about the

balance. It’s possibly even more important to recognize the circle

around the image, the holistic integration of the two sides.

To me, this means that whenever we face a duality, there is a larger

truth – a both/and – that takes us beyond either/or.

EXAMPLE: One of my clients couldn’t decide whether to live in the country or the city. The two environments had equal pull and she was so torn between them that she was completely stalled and couldn’t make any choice at all. When asked what the two locales symbolized, she grew thoughtful and responded. “The country is about being close to nature, about having time for myself, of living at a slower pace. The city is about friends and restaurants, stimulation and cultural events.” She wanted both experiences and began to think about how to have them. She thought she might: live in the country near a vibrant city; live in the country but vacation regularly in the city; or live in the city but vacation regularly in the country. But none of these choices felt quite right. When she thought further, a more integrated solution emerged. “What I really want is to live in the city, near my friends with access to all the experiences a city has to offer. However, I’ll find a home that has some serenity; perhaps it might have access to a park or a tiny garden. Better yet, I’ll make sure I create a personal sanctuary within my home. I can re-consider my lifestyle and allow myself to slow down even while living in the city.” This was her way to have both/and.

EXAMPLE: Another client was trying to choose between two possible partners. One was exciting and fun – always up for an excursion or an adventure. The other was down-to-earth and practical, focused on building and repairing a career and a home. Upon reflection, he realized that these represented two parts of himself. Actually, neither partner was right for him. He felt he would only find his right partner after he had fully integrated and claimed both sides of his own personality. So, for him, the both/and was within himself.

Are you on the horns of a dilemma right now? Is there something that seems seriously like an either/or? Try an experiment and consider the both/and solution. If one doesn’t immediately come to mind, set your inner knowing to work. Ask that the greater whole might be made clear to you, sometime in the next week . . . and then let it go from your conscious mind and allow yourself to be surprised and delighted by the both/and solution that appears.


PDF of this blog: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dxedJSBEXwHSW-mwrYUhCT87X0TRv8Zq/view?usp=sharing


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