I think a lot about “straddling the paradox” and choosing both/and rather than either/or when it comes to people – especially those who trigger me and whom I’ve developed as villains in my ego-driven scripted storylines.
It’s so easy for me to do an extreme zoomed-in close-up of the negative, focusing only on the flaws that I love to exaggerate and exploit to justify my judgment. But the reality is that in most cases, there is complexity and nuance that I’m overlooking (usually on purpose, because how else could I keep the narrative going that they’re the enemy?) and within those details are our shared humanity and my ticket out of obsession and resentment.
I would certainly appreciate it if people, especially those I’ve wronged or have received an unfavorable impression of me, would apply both/and to see my good parts as well as my flaws and mistakes.
I’m just as complicated and contradictory as any other human, and nobody wants to be lumped into a static definition that doesn’t allow for growth and development and healthy change. I am a work in progress – just like the people whom I’ve frozen in my perceptions of their past.
Either/or isn’t always accurate or fair; I will practice extending the empathy of both/and.
One thought on “Both/And > Either/Or”
So necessary for peace in the world. (Said after I just got into a little conflict with my dear husband. I really have to try and apply your advice!!)
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