There is a middle ground in everything we do. The middle is not motivated by comfort or seeking ease, it is motivated by flow and the way things are meant to move. I have a tendency to form opinions very quickly in order to make decisions. I’ve spoken many times about how quickly my mind moves and that it changes directions just as fast—it is something I really need to work on harnessing, but at the core it is also human nature. That’s a piece for another day. But in all seriousness, there is a time to slow down and really evaluate what you’re thinking. Not just the content of the thought but the quality and they why. It’s easy to allow our emotions to dictate the course of the day. But if we are not careful, that can dictate our lives and those initial feelings aren’t always accurate.
I read a quote about letting things fall like rain rather than diving into it entirely. In contrast to the black and white of thinking in extremes, we can go gray. We can’t allow ourselves to drown in one side or the other of what we are feeling when all we have to do is float, find our direction, and start swimming. At the same time, there is little space for compassion if we are thinking in black and white. When we think in extremes, anything that doesn’t align with our personal belief system is deemed bad and anything that serves is good. But there can be too much of a good thing and sometimes what is “bad” is exactly what we need. We need to gain perspective.
We’ve been operating under the same social paradigm for centuries and it is safe to say that many of the founding principles are no longer applicable. We often take what we are taught and think that is simply how it is. We are never taught that we have the power to change it. I’ve had so many conversations with people and I see the fear when I talk about changing things and taking the power to move forward in a way that works for them: I’m guilty of it myself. My fear of stepping out and not being supported often outweighs my ability to just do what I want. But I have also seen the amazing freedom and know the feeling of that weight dropping once you step into who you are. Those little glimpses are enough to keep me going. The point is we CAN change.
Finding the middle is a Buddhist principle as well and it makes sense (at least in my mind). Our perception can’t always be trusted because it is clouded by our experiences and preconceived notions. So taking the time to find the middle ground is super important because it shows us something closer to the truth. There are multiple ways to get up the mountain—some are easier than others—but regardless, it is the person’s choice and we all get to the same place in the end. It isn’t for us to tell people what is right or wrong, it is for us to go our way and understand there is space for others to do what they need to as well. It’s tempting to judge because we feel we know what is right and because that is what we are trained to do. What started as needing the ability to discern what is safe turned into a layered game of social climbing—and we don’t need it anymore. If we operate in the grey, we honor that everyone has value. We honor that everyone has a place and a purpose. Honor that in yourself first and give yourself the gift of a new perspective.