I’ve been really stuck lately, as I mentioned in my mind-mapping post.
Yesterday, I made a big fat list of all the things that are getting me down (“problems”), so that I could face them and make a list of ways to make them better (“solutions”). Sometimes, it was enough to simply identify a problem – just naming it made me think, “Huh, okay, that’s what that was. I’m better now.” Some of them need fixing of a more complicated sort.
And then there are the A/B problems.
I want to save lots of money and I want to buy lots of things.
I want to lose weight and I want to eat junk food all the time.
I want to travel and I want to stay home.
I want to sleep late and I want to be productive in the mornings.
I want this thing and I want its opposite.
But I can’t have both.
But I want both. Really badly! And I get really attached to both, and I don’t want to give up either, and I get frustrated and upset and stuck. Stuck! I spiral down and circle around, looking at A and looking at B, wanting both – and really, often getting neither because I’m too stuck. I can’t get clear, can’t focus, can’t get unstuck.
The answer is C.
The trick isn’t in compromise. Compromising with yourself all too often ends in unhappiness and resentment.
The trick isn’t in alternating between A and B. Having both, in this case, means having neither half the time.
When we want A and B, what do we really want?
I want to save lots of money and I want to buy lots of things: for me, buying lots of things is a sign of financial security. If I’m free to spend tons of money, I don’t have money problems – but spending tons of money will, eventually, create money problems. So the trick there is to find new and different ways of feeling financially secure. Neither A nor B, but C.
I want to lose weight and I want to eat junk food all the time: what I really want is comfort. I want comfort in my body and I want comfort when I’m feeling scared or upset or threatened. Eating brings me comfort externally, but being overweight brings me a lack of internal comfort. The trick here is to find non-food ways of getting that comfort; reading, curling up with Pace and our kiddo, spending time with people who love me – or simply looking in the mirror and loving myself. Neither A nor B, but C. It’s not the lollipop, it’s “what problem are you trying to solve?”
When we’re divided, it’s a call for help. It means we have fallen out of alignment with ourselves. We’re no longer on our own team. Often, our inner child wants one thing and our talking selves (or brain or what have you) want something else, and this creates a back-and-forth split. Dissonance. Division. And that leads to resentment and unhappiness.
So the trick isn’t to compromise. It’s not to give in. It’s not to suck it up.
The trick is to realign. Listen. Take time to get at the heart of the matter, find out what you’re really needing – and then choose that.