We’re All Doing It

February 9, 2015 at 7:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” – Carl Rogers

We are all human, oh so very human. We can be kind, compassionate, open minded, loving, honest and the list goes on and on. But we can also be judgemental, discriminatory, closed minded, mean or dishonest at different times. Our journey sees us navigating thoughts, words and actions, whether consciously or unconsciously, grounded in love and fear. How we grow our individual and collective awareness of how these choices impact our own and each others potential is a major determiner to the difference we are able to make in our own and others lives as is explored in the TED Talk and quote above.

“Life is strong and fragile. It’s a paradox… It’s both things, like quantum physics: It’s a particle and a wave at the same time. It all exists all together.” – Joan Jett

We would all have said something at some stage or heard others say something that justifies or clarifies why we or someone else ‘isn’t’ a certain way (e.g. judgemental). This may have been after a particular thought, word or action offended, disappointed, hurt or angered an individual or group. We have that thought that one mistake shouldn’t define us or the person we are protecting, but do we also apply this specific appreciation of the wholeness of the human journey to everyone we interact with? We are all living paradoxes, that is what makes us human.

“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox.  Now we have some hope of making progress.” – Niels Bohr

The attached thought provoking TED talk could be applied to many areas of the human journey, not just the specific example that Verna explores. There are many, varied and complex biases, inclinations and stereotypes that we develop within our journeys, impacting how we are able to engage, interact, contribute, grow, support and be supported throughout the many successes and challenges that we will encounter. As much as we would like to eliminate certain vulnerabilities, reactions and disempowering ways of being from our lives, these will always be interwoven into our days.

“Actions are always more complex and nuanced than they seem. We have to be willing to wrestle with paradox in pursuing understanding.” – Harold Evans

So why is being completely comfortable with the paradoxes we navigate in our lives so challenging? Where do biases, inclinations and stereotypes show up in your journey of potential? What is it that we as individuals and groups fear most about admitting to some of the paradoxes that we experience? How could becoming more comfortable with the paradoxes that are in our lives empower us and others in our journey of ‘being the change we wish to see in the world’?

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” – Brené Brown

We are definitely all in this together, as described in the quote above. As I shared in last week’s post, we all experience the need to be independent and interdependent (personal identity vs social identity), or as Brené Brown speaks about in her work we are brave and afraid in the exact same moments, or we could be alone but not lonely, or any other experience that we all would have felt before. This final quote below I feel sums it all up so eloquently, rather than seeking perfection, it really is all about connection.

“… this thing is not about perfection, it’s about connection.” – Verna Myers from the linked TED Talk above

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