As I navigate through life, creating and re-creating myself, something has become clear to me: my life is full of paradoxes. While there was a time I would fight that notion, I now am learning to embrace it. I used to think that having a split decision about something meant I was spineless, weak, and easily influenced, without a mind of my own. But as it turns out, I am finding more and more power in being comfortable with the “in between”.
Since allowing myself to embrace the paradoxes, I have experienced an expansion of my life. I feel like there are so many more possibilities and discoveries when I am not limited to a one sided mind or opinion. I find that I have more compassion and acceptance because I am not stuck in any notion that things should be a certain way. Today I might feel like squats is the best thing to tighten the tush. But next week I’ll tell you that jump lunges really do the trick. The reality is, I truly believe they are both great exercises and I also believe that they are both the best depending on where I’m at physically and how I feel. Same goes for politics. I find people who are an “extreme” anything, right or left, to miss out on a lot. Because they are so consumed in “following” a particular leader or idea, they become blinded to the fact that the “other side” might have good ideas too. I find it limiting. I believe the same to be true for religion. Believing strictly in one way of life, in one follower, one can become lost emotionally and spiritually. One can loose it’s true self to the depths of another person’s beliefs. On the flip side, I value commitment and loyalty, choosing something and sticking to it. I value the fact that some can put all their faith in another person or idea and be happy with what comes of it. I see the strength that comes with choosing to live with strict ideals and morals. I myself, need flexibility. I can’t just stick to squats. My body functions so much better when I incorporate all kinds of exercises, and my mind is the same.
The appeal in living a life full of paradoxes is the freedom that comes with it. One day I can sit and meditate and fully embrace the peaceful lifestyle of a buddhist and the next rejoice in the celebrations of a christian faith. I will reap rewards from having a progressive and unconventional parenting style while at the same time instilling some positive values in my child with firm discipline. While choosing to have a mainly raw, vegan, wholesome diet, I can be found chowing down on some beer and pizza from time to time. I embrace it all. My life feels fuller, without unnecessary sacrifices. Why limit myself with labels such as “christian”, “democrat”, “hippie”, when the world is so full of opportunities and constantly growing ideas? Be a tree hugger one day, and be a city girl the next. The only thing I need to be committed to is the creation of ongoing beauty in my life. And that comes with lots of experiences, lots of failures, lots of ideas and exposure to ideas, but mainly lots of acceptance in the world and myself, and the role I decided to play in it to make it a better place for myself and the ones I love.