On Day 9 of the Reverb 14 journey Kat McNally writes:
“Like most humans, I tend to be a bit black and white in my thinking. I have “good” eating patterns or “bad” ones. I have a “good” day or a “bad” one. I am “good” at keeping on top of domestic tasks, emails, blog posts, my twitter feed or I am “bad” at it.”
Our post today takes Kat’s self-reflection to the next step as she asks:
As you enter into the new year, what would you like to do/make/have/be more often? How will you bear witness and celebrate the tiny milestones? How will you respond on the occasions when your intentions do not come to pass?
Once upon a time in a faraway place I was a black and white person. Always and never, good and bad, best and worst were the extremes by which I measured just about everything from the quality of a take out meal to that of a friendship. And then I attended university; I learned to think in a different way.
Now everything is grey. There’s always two sides from which to approach just about anything.
Decisions used to be split second events and the certainty with which these were delivered now appal me. These days I am inclined to consider matters in the context of good and not so good rather than good or evil. Good and not so good have possibility. They are able to slide along the continuum of possibility and change as the circumstance alters moving away from less desirable to more appropriate behaviours.
This approach to decision making and life in general is something I use in my work with parents who are substance dependent. People behave in certain ways because that behaviour has proven a good strategy to help manage painful emotions, memories and/or circumstances. An example of this would be when we discuss a parent’s drug use. We ask them about what are the good things about drug use; what do they like about their drug? Believe me there are some very good reasons people use drugs as a coping strategy. As a counsellor my role is to work with the information provided and explore ways to move the parents along that continuum. We work hard to identify coping strategies that are less harmful to themselves, their spouses, and their children.
Nothing is black and white.
It is all grey.
I have previously spoken about the freedom that comes with age. Freedom on so many levels it’s a joyous time of life. Another aspect is that the opinions of others have less bearing on my thinking and I find it easier to set aside their judgements of my behaviours or decisions. It’s the confidence and sense of self that has been found late in life, along with the many shades of grey. As someone who trusts her intuition, sees herself as empathic, benevolent and enthusiastic grey is a beautiful way to see the world. So while others may be taunted for seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses, mine are grey, and very good things look through them too.
And when those intentions don’t pan out as anticipated. What can I tell you lovelies? Shall we do pink bubbles anyway!