Those Pesky Life Dilemmas You Can’t Magically Solve & Make Disappear For Good!
Jane came into the office and complained about being angry at her friend for not being invited to her birthday party. Another client, Jason, came in a little later and complained about his wife making him invite people from his office to their anniversary party. The next day, Margie plopped on my couch and voiced deep frustration with her superiors at Microsoft instituting new and supposedly more efficient procedures that were actually going to make her job about 5 times harder. Then, Jack and Jennifer entered and began to blame each other for being selfish and making their marriage go sour. It was quite a day!
These kinds of complaints are what I hear every day. But people don’t realize these are universal
life challenges; fundamental inner conflicts in the form of a dilemma designed to help you expand
your mind, heart, and soul. How does it do that? In a dilemma, you have to make a choice between only two options – and that choice is the stretching point for your awareness.
Some dilemmas are easy to handle – and you can make them disappear by just choosing one of the options. For example, a fixable dilemma might be deciding between Thai or Italian for lunch. Not too stressful a problem to solve.
But there are dilemmas that can’t be resolved because they’re offering you a fundamental life challenge: how to sustain your happiness and peace of mind in the presence of never-ending change.
For example, you need to work on Saturday, but your spouse needs you to go to his office picnic. Whose need do you fill? Of course, you have to pick one or the other. But in this case, this need to choose between your need or someone elses keeps coming round – again and again.
Why? Because “self” and “other” are two sides of the same coin called ‘relationship’. This kind of confusing tension arises in many, many places: trust vs. doubt, professional life vs. personal life, and freedom vs. accountability, to name a few. Can you imagine any one of these experiences standing alone,
without its polar opposite? It’s not possible because they define each other and are thus inseparable – a tiny point that is huge to embrace and take with you throughout each day!
This is the defining characteristic of those dilemmas you can’t make go away for good. And I call them Unresolvable Dilemmas … and if you don’t know how to handle an Unresolvable Dilemma, or paradox, I guarantee it will be the biggest drain on your time, energy, and possibly money.
New Criteria For Sustainability
Whether you’re looking for sustainability in the environment, growth, the economy, or personal happiness, viewing from a paradoxical perspective opens new creative possibilities. Without the ability to look at life through the lens of paradox, you will unconsciously and automatically move toward “gain” and away from “loss”, or toward “praise” and away from “blame”.
If these opposites were independent of each other, this unconscious strategy might work. However, these polarities are inseparable and we are stuck with the dilemma of how to live with both sides of this coin called ‘success’.
Trying to live with only one side is like saying ‘yes’ to the in-breath and ‘no’ to the out-breath. In and out-breaths are both separate and connected. This is the inevitable ebb and flow we have been mistakenly trying to eliminate, rather than understand and manage, so we can succeed and prosper.
We Need Tension to Sustain Success, Prosperity, & Happiness
Not knowing how to handle Unresolvable Dilemmas creates stress, doubt, confusion, and
the erosion of confidence and self-esteem. Unfortunately, we are constantly trying to decrease
our stress without understanding this root cause.
The Stress Dilemma will arise when striving for excellence in performance. Excellence arises
from creativity. And creativity arises from the tension and flow between ‘chaos vs. order’.
Do you try to keep order by pushing yourself and doing what may be unhealthy? Or, do you
step back, relax and let chaos have its way? Either choice can feel like a lose-lose.
But it can be a win-win by learning how to move with the inevitable ebb and flow between the two.
Only by embracing both poles can you paradoxically sustain excellence, freshness, motivation,
and that desired sense of aliveness, satisfaction, and happiness..
Guidance from the Psychology of the Mystics
What I am sharing with you is a model for inner peace based on the Psychology of the Mystics. Awareness of this wisdom however is not enough. Don’t stop until these ideas are living in your muscles and have set up housekeeping in a new neuro-physiological coding in your brain.
Knowing how to manage paradox does just that. It provides the option of real behavioral change and paves the way for dynamic creativity and a more relaxed approach to success and prosperity. Please, don’t believe me. See for yourself. CLICK HERE to check out my new on-line course The Mystic’s Wisdom De-Coded.
**From Vol. 5 Waking Up To ‘What Is’ Newsletter