I always have this binary mentality, that I either do or I don't. I either can or I can't. I either will or I won't. It's either good or it's bad.
I understand that we humans have a brain that works by comparison. We are made of the stuff that needs hot to understand cold, pain to understand joy, spicy to comprehend bland. And yet. There are so many options that live between the two. Around the two. Inside of the two.
Learning to see more than black and white will be a life long process. Actually, allow me to clarify. I SEE much more than black and white, I've always sensed the unspoken nuance and shifting energies in my midst.
Decisions that keep my life's landscape smooth are difficult for me to make. I make BIG choices that create dips and climbs rather that lots of grey decisions that provide progress through gentle, simple turns.
I fear so I plan and I navigate the fantasy of it rather than wait and see what presents itself, moving in the real moment. I operate out of future ideas and fear of what might become, or past experiences and fear that something may repeat.
There is no freedom there. I am bound when I make plans, then feel overwhelmed so I cancel. I experience doubt, so I avoid. I love and so I fully surrender or hold back. There are so many OTHER teeny tiny options and considerations I'm learning I to honor.
First, the grand gift and grace of PAUSE. I don't have to decide RIGHT NOW. Ever. Pause, breathe, sleep on it. That is growth that took many years, and I still forget that I've learned it sometimes. Until I'm in the mess. The burdened calendar. The overwhelm.
The best way I have found to make sense of my chaotic and ambitious mind is ironically something that takes considerable time. When I want to lean on binary decisiveness. YES or NO. I want to be clear. I want to be decisive and respectable. I want to check this box and be done with it, not drag the ambivalence into tomorrow. I want to please you now. Disappoint you NOW, so that I can move on.
Do I though? Do I move on when I make quick decisions? Not usually. The truth is that I make a quick decision in a moment of discomfort. I tell myself I've done well but I nurture the "did I do the right thing" anxiety for a considerable time after. I create unnecessary tumult, by attempting to avoid creating tumult.
So. I repeat. The best way I have found to make sense of my chaotic, binary and ambitious mind, is to sit still. In quiet or to relaxing sounds and do nothing. Sit and do nothing. Yes. You read that correctly.
Here is my process:
I pray and admit what I'm thinking. I admit what I fear. I admit what I want. I admit what I don't want. I admit that this all causes me struggle. I concede that I do not want to struggle, I want peace. I want to be useful. I want to be OK. Then, I sit.
I sit quietly and I focus on my desire for quiet. And I wait.
I wait. In quiet. Doing nothing. Miraculously, other options appear. I am freed of the binary workings of my mind. I am invited into new solutions, new perspectives, new attitudes.
But I must do this. Daily. Build it in. Time with silence. Time with a greater wisdom. Build it in.
And please, when I seem to be spinning, remind me to return to the daily practice. Because when I'm spinning, I just forgot to sit. Quietly. And wait.
A favorite prayer:
Universe, help me to seek you, alone.