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For so long, I felt pressured to live a life confined by “either” and “or.”
I didn’t feel like I could have everything that I wanted: connection, impact, creativity, stability, groundedness, and security.
I always thought I had to choose either/or—creativity or stability, connection or security, impact or groundedness.
There’s so much in the world that convinces us that life has to be one way or the other; things must be black or white, not grey.
But life is full of contradictions, and so are we.
I’m slowly learning that we can embrace the duality of life instead of confining ourselves to fit into one box or the other. We don’t have to live confined by the definitions we or society have placed on ourselves. We can find so much beauty in living in the grey area.
There’s a lot of letting go in this expansive, grey version of living.
Letting go is vague though. It’s confusing.
So what is letting go?
It’s continuously breaking down the boxes that we have placed around ourselves.
It’s not dwelling on it. Not analyzing. Not continuously talking about what could have been.
It’s accepting what is now: where you are, who you are with, what you are doing.
It’s finding gratitude for all experiences and the lessons learned through them.
It’s using the past and present as a tool to navigate into the future.
It’s slowing down and cherishing each moment.
It’s trusting instead of forcing.
It’s trusting that a release of that which no longer serves ourselves or others creates space for abundance in many forms.
It’s opening ourselves up to the possibilities.
It’s opening ourselves up to the fact that we may be wrong.
It’s listening and empathizing.
It’s opening ourselves up to living fully through ebb and flow, highs and lows.
It’s opening up to fully feel.
When we start to feel and experience with every inch of our being, not just what we believe is acceptable or how we should feel or behave, then we can experience ourselves and this life to the fullest.
We can find freedom, again and again.
There are pressures to stay small and boxed in—not reaching for change and not questioning the norms—in our lives and our minds every day, but we do not have to listen to them.
We can choose to live in the grey area.
We can be hardworking and giving while also taking time for ourselves when we need it.
We can be afraid while also taking bold chances and finding success.
We can believe in the power of positivity and optimism while also sitting with our sorrow and heartbreak.
We can speak up for others, even if we don’t know the best words to say.
We can believe in magic and logic, anecdotes and science, visions and history.
We can see and feel things from both sides.
We can embrace every bit of our being: the happiness, the sadness, the joy, the frustrations, our polished strengths, and the parts that are hurt and healing.
It just takes listening to ourselves—observing our thoughts and feelings. Learning to love every bit of ourselves. Forgiving our past mistakes. Learning from them and growing. Making bold decisions and taking chances, even when it’s illogical, even when it’s scary. Forgiving ourselves again and again when we screw up.
Opening up our hearts to others and seeing we have so much in common.
Trusting ourselves. Trusting others. Trusting life.
Taking steps to know and love ourselves, and then extending that same compassion to others, again and again, as long as we live.