Three years ago, a professor told me something that has lingered on as most of the other lessons blur with time. He said the crux of life is finding a way to reconcile all of your own personal contradictions.
One of the few truths I gladly credit to my university education was instantly confronting; mainly because I happened to disagree so strongly with it. Then, reconciling your personal contradictions sounded a whole lot like a hypocrisy lacking integrity. Reconciliation was defeat.
Being the extraordinary human I saw myself as, I would always need to choose a side and live out that side to its fullest extent passionately. All grey areas were for the mediocre who haven’t truly considered all perspectives (yet). The cure must simply be to THINK MORE; surely an answer is bound to present itself. With a big red bow, no less.
Today, I spend most of my time thinking, carefully considering every angle of every thought. Eventually my mind reaches a certain capacity. The consideration stops and it starts rejecting ideas. I wrestle with a stubborn mind and all the thoughts it decides it can or cannot handle. I find myself holding a truth in each arm. I want my mind to come to a conclusion on these truths. They are slippery and do not like to cooperate. A speedy decision on the matter is highly desirable.
Unfortunately, not enough answers have presented themselves to justify all the “thinkings”. So I trudge along…. I continue considering all perspectives. And I think all the thoughts satisfying the belief that I am an extraordinary human.
And it is exhausting.
I am completely spent with trying to organise all these thoughts into a rubric of rows and columns and bulleted lists in my mind. It has chosen the few it can tolerate. Chosen the parts it can endure, and the rest, well it just is. It has no home. Subsequently a part of me shuts down. With a gang of thoughts are left without a nice little box to live in comfortably. These are questions with no answers and no red bows.
Still, I have got to find a way to live in this world.
With all its people, and places, and things, and ideas.
And all the people, and places, and things, and ideas I agree with.
And, all the things, people and ideas I disagree with.
And all the things, people and ideas I haven’t reconciled with yet.
You have to get out of bed every day and do your work well. And pay your bills. And say please. And say thank you.
So I gather up all the misfit thoughts that didn’t make the cut and I carry them, as tenderly as I can, downstairs and bring them to bed in my heart of hearts. So that they can rest. Today was a big day. They all wanted to be entertained. And brought to life. And lived out passionately by an “extraordinary human”. But my mind, well, I guess it can only handle so much. And maybe tomorrow, there will be a vacancy for a few of these orphans.
Somehow, my heart always finds enough space for every orphan thought my mind rejects. Like the capacity is multiplied with each new one.
My heart may never discover a synthesis of all the thoughts my mind is looking for. There’s no big red bow here. My heart is not designed for such things. All it can do is hold these contradictions. Reconcile them by simply letting them be.
In the same way my mind will never know a peace like this. My mind is not designed for peace. I don’t really understand how the expression “peace of mind” came to be.
Peace can only live in a heart of hearts.
Maybe Peace is just a misfit thought my mind couldn’t handle too. I’m glad for that.