Nov 24, 2019
[from FaceBook post, Oct 09, 2019]
I realized something a few days ago when a close friend asked me "how are you doing, ReinMan?"
So... for years, when I'm having a really rough week, and someone close to me asks "how are you doing?" I would feel my anxiety rise up a notch or two.
Why? I feel stuck, kinda like a bug on a pin, with that question.
Truth is: a "really rough week" is NOT that rare for me. I've had countless "really rough weeks" in my life. And, after a few decades of self-help books and some rather brilliant therapists, I've learned how to navigate these challenging patches of my life. In fact, it can be a REALLY crappy day and I'll still find good things in my life, and still be able to be there for other folks.
So deeper truth is that I'M OKAY. Even in the shitstorm.
BUT... (and here is where my anxiety tends to get kicked up a gear or two when friends check in on me during these turbulent sections of my life) we have built a world where it's either up or down, left or right, dark or bright. I feel I either tell them "I'm really struggling right now" or I give the old "I'm okay" response that most of us would default to. Either of these responses are not accurate.
I'm actually feeling terrible AND feeling okay at the SAME TIME. That is my personal reality. (and, full disclosure, with me the vibe I can give off at times like this tends to NOT feel that "okay" so my sharper friends pick up on that if I tell them I'm all right at the moment and then I get the "I don't think you're telling me the truth, dude" stare).
HERE IS THE THING I REALIZED the other day: Our minds are NOT built to handle a paradox. Our minds want yes/no, on/off facts. Anything else causes us discomfort, mentally.
Our HEARTS, though (some might say our "souls", but I'll stick with "heart" for now) have NO PROBLEM with a paradox. When I talk to someone who allows their heart to be part of their "listening apparatus" they can hold BOTH sides of that truth, Okay/Not-Okay. And when this kind of listening happens in my life, I RELAX. I feel truly HEARD. I'm not alone in the craziness of my human experience.
That day, my friend got it. (They have a HUGE heart and are not afraid to let it interfere with their brain's limited ability to parse reality.)
And I felt seen and somewhat less alone in my own sometimes rather intense "heart n head n body" world.
So: do you let your heart be part of your listening apparatus? I don't mean ignore your mind, but perhaps your mind could use a second opinion?
Just a thought. From my heart to yours. ❤️✌🏼 - ReinMan
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