The Power In ‘And’

This is a long one and rambly, but worth it (in my humble opinion). I’m hoping it gives you new perspective, makes you feel less alone and gives you a resource to share with others who may need it.

Okay, consider these things for a moment: Peanut butter and jelly. Salt and pepper. Bread and butter. Cliché? Yes. But you may also be thinking, “Yup, those are things that go well together.”

Since we use the word ‘and’ a lot for the things we perceive as going well together, some of us have never considered that perhaps we’re not the greatest at understanding how that word ‘and’ may (and should) bring together two things we perceive as ‘not going well together’. 

Here’s an example: Amy says, “I love so-and-so and I have made the choice to no longer have her in my life.” Some may hear this and ask curiously or perhaps judgmentally, “Well how could you possibly love her if you shut her out of your life?”

From my experience, this limited way of thinking comes from our tendency to think in absolutes. We pigeonhole ourselves and try to control our reality by labeling it: something is either right or wrong, black or white, this or that. And to further limit ourselves, many of us only rely on our own lived experiences to make decisions about something or someone.

Oftentimes, this need to control something is out of unresolved fear or trauma. When we feel like the world is spinning out of our control, we try to regain command by placing people and situations into boxes. Compartmentalizing may help us feel like we’ve finally steered back onto a straight path.

In the beginning example, I think it’s easy to imagine that Amy has decided to no longer have the other person in her life because maybe she’s abusive or because they share different values and the relationship will never move forward in a positive way.

There’s a million and one reasons a relationship no longer makes sense, even if the love still exists. Would you agree? I believe all that matters in this case is that the decision-maker understands what’s best for them.

While I don’t think I’ve taught you anything new, it’s my hope that you’ll stay open-minded like you were with the above example when it comes to the harder things to grasp these days: war/no war, masks/no masks, vaccine/no vaccine, political belief A/political belief B. I want this for you and the world because we’re collectively hurting. On top of our concerns and worry, many of us are angry and anger prevents us from living our best lives. Anger causes health problems, relationship problems, and it’s a major roadblock to achieving our goals and enjoying everything this amazing world has to offer.

If you find yourself grasping to unhealthy things (thoughts, words, actions) as it relates to the world around you, I get it. I’ve been there before too – many, many times.

The first thing I’ll suggest is to check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I okay: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually?” and then “What areas do I need to focus on to feel better? What unresolved stuff should I focus on for me?” While I can’t change the things happening in the world (oh where is my magic wand when I need it?), I can promise you that if you focus on yourself, you will start to feel better and the world will start to feel and be brighter.

Also, don’t forget your curiosity and your ‘and’ statements. I think this heightened way of thinking can help you feel even more in control, because you’ll remember the sky isn’t even the limit when it comes to understanding and embracing this crazy thing we call life. And there’s a lot of power in knowing there’s so much more for us to learn and experience.

If you’re already open-minded and have your anger under control, then go YOU. You can help others by sharing this blog and if it makes sense, offering some of these gentle suggestions so that their life has more peace and balance.

While I don’t find it a part of my calling to discuss politics or anything controversial (I’m going waaaaaay outside of my comfort zone here as can be seen by my wordy and zigzaggy prose, so thanks for sticking around and supporting me), I do consider it a part of my life’s work to help the world heal from trauma and judgement habits. In our current state of finger pointing and name calling (and worse) that many of us have found ourselves in, I hope to be a source of light and guidance for those in need.

I’ll end with this: I want you to know it is my sincere belief that Sally can be a people-centric person with a heart of gold and may have voted a certain way. And that Franko can be well-educated, love our country and decide not to wear a mask. I believe that Henry, Joe, Lucy and Sue can do things I don’t understand, things I would never ever do myself and things that I wouldn’t suggest others do and believe they should keep listening to their intuition and experiencing life the way that feels best to them (while of course being a respectful human being that acts and lives as though we’re all connected, because we are. I hope this goes without saying).

As my mentor always says, “There’s no wrong way to do life. It’s all a learning journey.”

Geri – This blog is dedicated to you. Thank you for being a strong woman with strong beliefs and being open and kind to all walks of life. I channeled your light as I wrote this one. I’m proud to call you a friend. 

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you’re having a hard time making sense of the world, “Everything I need is within me.”

PPS – One of the first steps in any healing process is acknowledging you’re hurting. Grab your journal and a pen. What is happening in the world that is making you scared, sad, lonely and angry?  What is happening in your own life that is making you scared, sad, lonely and angry? What daily practices can you incorporate into your life to lean into these feelings and then release them in a way that best serves you and humanity? This could be meditation, short walks, journaling, yoga, volunteering and more.

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Break Judgment Habits

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