Complexity is a sign of credibility.  Has anything of real depth and truth been simple?  Or binary?  In fact, can it be said that all truths are wrapped in the complexity of Paradox?  My challenge to you is every time you come across a binary idea to dig into the in-between space between the polarities.  This is where you will get closer to the Truth.

The problem is that most of us originally discovered the world through a binary lens which lacks complexity and nuance. Male/Female, In/Out, Here/There, Agree/Disagree, This/That.  I propose the grand application of “AND” to provide the tool required to dig into the spaces in between to explore the More.

Unthink, Unlearn, Rethink and Relearn

Once again, complexity requires Curiosity as you would have to be complexity, word cloudinterested in the More.  It also means an openness to Doubt.  Doubting yourself and what you think and what you think you know.  Unthink, unlearn, rethink, relearn.  In fact, by expressing doubt, uncertainty and wondering about the more we don’t know or is not immediately apparent (space between the binaries), we demonstrate humility and become open to growth and expansion.

Awareness is Vital

A word about curiosity: Because it is both a personal trait and a state of being it involves thinking, feeling, and behaviour.

When you think now about something you are curious about, what do you feel?

As you notice the feeling and let it take over a little, What is the pull to action?

Are you compelled to want to do something about/with it?

Is there a desire for your heart/mind to want to invest your time and energy a little more to explore this?

Are you noticing that awareness is vital?  The key is generating or priming the pump of interest which grows curiosity.

As with hide and seek, the element of surprise, and even expecting to be surprised, adds to the cumulation of excited energy.  That generates more curiosity and culminates in amplified emotion in between the thinking and feeling.

question mark, complexityCognitive Dissonance

Part of packing and repacking our mental baggage (in order to make room for personal growth) is being able to recognize the as-yet unexplored binary and contradictory thoughts that dwell in the dark of our own minds.

Have you ever said something out loud and then felt a swift internal confusion and realized, “Wait, I don’t really think that.”  Or, said on thing and in the next breath spoke another thing that totally contradicts what you just said?  This is cognitive dissonance.  Cognitive dissonance is only a problem when it is in the shadow…  Be on the lookout for mental contradictions you hold and see if you can build bridges between them.  Besides the fact that the world needs more love, in order for this to flourish, we need to think critically about what we think we know and what we do not, and everything in between.

Like Clang or Clunk

As a side note from my own life, one thing that has allowed my partnership of 29 years continue to flourish is the ability to pivot.  I know this has become a cliché word since the pandemic, but I man it in the sense of psychological flexibility and fluidity. 

When either myself or my partner says something new to our ears and creates a feeling inside, (like “clang or clunk”) we pause and get curious.

Ask more about that.

Ponder the new perspective.  Try it on.  If the new information feels more comfortable or clarifying to our ears, we always concede.

We laugh and say, “Well, once again you’ve changed my entire worldview on a dime.  Thank you!”

It’s actually quite fun and it keeps things fresh.

What would your life or your relationships be like if you had the flexibility and openness of mind to pivot that quickly?

How might you grow and change?

How do you want to grow and change?

Kathlyn McHugh RCC, RSW Counselling Practice takes place at the Vitality Clinic in the West Shore Area, close to Victoria BC.

Visit the website at: Home – The Vitality Clinic