Hello Readers! Please welcome Belinda of The Halfway Point as my guest post today. Belinda’s posts often have me thinking about the bigger picture. Her prose is lyrical and her poetry elevates. Please give her a warm welcome! I am honored to have her in my space today. For more neighborly tales, please visit Amy at Never True Tales.
The notion of self-definition both fascinates and repels me. I have a fair assessment of my mental and emotional fitness but if I were to draw myself on paper, my silhouette would have hazy, smudgy blots instead of sleek, sharp lines. “Yes and no” and “sort of but not really” spatter the edges of my contours, smearing attempts at smooth strokes. I have trouble calling myself one thing without wondering if I’m also at least a little bit the opposite.
In many debates I see both sides. While I often take a stand (and on many issues a very strong one), there’s a part of me that empathizes with the opposing side. I’m anti-violence but understand how others might gather a sense of security from knowing they have a firearm in their home with which to defend themselves in case of a break-in.
Plodding deeper into this jagged path of self-definition, I’ve found I’m riddled with contradictions. I crave simplicity but find myself fully immersed in a complex world. I seek permanence but only know change. I value rational thought but often make decisions based on intuition. I ache for large-scale peace but can’t deny the existence of conflict on a personal level. I’m convinced I have an artist’s soul but I’m way too pragmatic to commit to any kind of a starving artist’s life.
These incongruities have served to challenge a side of me that wants to adhere to a tidy if-then thinking. If I identify as an anti-violence pacifist type, then there should be no room for hurtful language and tone in my communications arsenal. Right. My dear husband would beg to differ. And I simply can’t promise to rule out a weapon of some kind if someone were to ever attack my son.
In my process of sorting out these contradictions, I find this arduous path leading me toward self-acceptance. I am simple yet complex. I am an intuitive thinker, a dreaming realist and an artistic soul who refuses to starve. And as I’ve come to synthesize these opposing facets of my portrait, I arrive at a place of curious comfort, a place where my bundle of contradictions, in all its messy glory, makes sense to me.
How well do you accept contradictions?
I’m honored to be your neighbor, Rudri!
I love this, Belinda. Contradictions are good because you always see everything with open eyes instead of just black and white. Beautiful ! You are an artist in your soul- no doubt !
I do not just accept contradictions (within the self, within others, within the world). I embrace them. It’s all about the grays.
Belinda – as always, a big fan of your thoughts and words. Rudri – thank you for bringing us this great post.
Black and white is just no fun, right? Hey, at least that’s what I try to tell myself. Because I crave order and never seem to have it!
I am a jumble of contradictions myself, and I can’t see living life any other way. I think it helps me appreciate, understand and even respect the opposite perspective more.
Lovely to see you here, Belinda 🙂
I’m a bundle of contradictions too! Once you start thinking too deeply about it, it’s overwhelming. But this this life. There is no cut and dried, no clear answer. Also great food for thought from you, Belinda! So happy to see you here.
Yep – full of contradictions. The thing I see most is that the more I experience, the more I learn, the less I am as confident in my former opinions. I like the fact that I am now flexible enough to change my mind.
To me, contradictions are like the knot in an exquisite tapestry. It makes things more interesting! The only place I really strive to be steady, solid, and true is in motherhood. And it’s never easy, and I always fail. But I also always keep trying. That’s all we can do, right?
(Good to see you here!)
Seems to me you are very loving, open minded and self-accepting. Amen Sista!
I wish I could be more black-and-white and less gray. I have friends like that. They make decisions and stick with them. They take up an issue and feel steadfast in their defense or attack of it. I, on the other hand, can argue both sides of a point until everyone’s blue in the face.
However, your description of this intimate, innate incongruity makes it seem much more a blessing than curse. Great post!