May 29, 2011 Johannasawalha

Paradoxi and Dichotomies…

There is so much advice to be had in the world.

Good advice and bad advice but if that was all there was to it, life wouldn’t be and feel so complex.  If life wasn’t so deep and multi-faceted, and after some reflection, you could probably fairly easily distinguish which advice is the true one for you in that moment.  But what about when two contradictory pieces of advice seem equally true.


We are supposed to be compassionate, but shouldn’t be pushovers.

We need to be understanding of others, but we know we need to take a stand for ourselves and our own beliefs.

We are supposed to be in charge, but also live and let live.

Live and learn.  But design your life.

Be a great listener.  Speak up.

Don’t be a glutton.  Enjoy what life has to offer.

Clean up after yourself.  Don’t waste your time on household chore s– take on bigger things and hire a maid.

Life is short.  Time is all you have.

Don’t take on too much.  Don’t play small.

Stand by your man.  Be a liberated woman.

Be sensitive.  Be a man.


How to navigate all of these pieces without losing your mind?

To not get lost amongst it all, I wonder if we shouldn’t look at the word “should”.  Anywhere we are “shoulding it” might be the piece to let go of.

One dictionary definition of the word “should” refers to conditionality.

And that is exactly how it feels.  There is this thing you “should” do, or else…

(something quite undesirable happens).


This is not to say that we should (!) live to avoid all responsibility or anything that remotely could be painful.  Rather that we make the choice of what we do with both our hearts and our minds, as a “should” seems to be mostly a decision of the mind.


I am reading a book where the emotional mind is likened to an elephant and the rational mind its rider.  The rational mind sets the path and the direction while the emotional mind provides the energy to move them both forward.  However, if the emotional mind refuses to do something, it simply casts the rider off.  Conversely, if the rider ignores the needs of the elephant, the path ahead will be a very dry and lifeless one.


See if you can balance the two.

And stay out of the “should” forest.


Write back and let me know your thoughts.









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