I want to talk about the beautiful balancing act between grip and release, clinging and letting go. This is a universal dilemma, as we consider whether to embody fierceness or zen, passion or stoicism. Not to say that any human falls into a black or white category. I do believe, however, that most of us have a natural proclivity for patterns. For example, my boyfriend and I fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. I am fifty shades of easily moved; his philosophy is to accept circumstances regardless of what they are. We each do pretty damn well for ourselves, considering. We're good for each other, too. I appreciate my partnership for its differences.
I am an empath, deeply internalizing others' feelings. I have sky high hopes. I visualize ideal outcomes and tell myself I can have them. I have a hard time saying goodbye. These are all manifestations of a certain "cling". When I love something or someone, I work to keep that presence in my life. This sometimes does good things for me. It can also lead to disappointment. When I become emotionally invested in the status quo, I am subsequently thrown by change. I almost take it personally when reality doesn't align with my vision. Spoiler alert: this happens all the time. My challenge is to learn to let go, to be as fluid as the water that constitutes 60% of my being. Entropy is the governing force of the universe. Ergo, it is an act of self- protection to learn the steps of many dances. It is easier to cultivate internal contentment when we accept our external world as is.
My boyfriend is a stoic guy. He believes in keeping expectations low, so that all outcomes are to be celebrated. He is unattached to the details, and remains level- headed in response to positive and negative events. He tackles challenges as they arise, instead of mentally tussling with future hypotheticals. He keeps his grip loose, and his palms outstretched. As a result, his mood is far more stable than mine. I can feel reckless in my highs and lows, while he coasts along calmly.
Is there a right way to do things, or a best? I don't think so. I believe that there are glorious perks and pitfalls to any way of life. For instance...
~ I enjoy intoxicating highs. I love feeling buzzy and productive at work, humbled by my loved ones, and thrilled by things to come.
~ Allowing change to thrust me into negativity is a missed opportunity. I cannot predict how the differences will ripple out, nor how I will change as a result.
~ A stoic human will experience far fewer unnecessary stress responses. These wreck havoc on the human body, elevating blood pressure, disrupting sleep, and dis-regulating appetite. Stress and health are inversely correlated, and stoics reap the benefits of this.
~ As a feeler, my natural response to these people is "just feel it, allow yourself to be moved". I believe that there are things in this world to be wowed and wounded by. I do not believe that we should escape from them.
So in conclusion, this world is full of contradictions. Times to grasp, times to release. Moments wherein we will make the wrong choice. It's a blur of chaotic beauty, this balancing act. I wouldn't have it any other way.