It was my grandmothers that first encouraged me to accept and learn from the contrasts that live within me. I was a boy, growing up in Edmonton, Alberta. There was Grandma Lena, my Dad’s mother, who so encouraged me to learn contrasts in my mind. A thought of this and that, that juxtapose. There was Grandma Fern, my Mom’s mother, who so often encouraged me to learn contrasts in my heart. A feeling of this and that that entangle. Lena and Fern were important people to me, leaving me hints of how to welcome contradictions within me and with others. I miss them.
Recently, from The Outside, I read Tuesday Ryan-Hart’s post on contradictions. With appreciation.
Find your smallness; find your bigness.
We are both unimaginably big and infinitesimally small. And it is in this place between the giants and the ants, that we begin to remember ourselves.
Don’t do anything; do something creative.
Get quiet. Express. See what expression comes after the quiet and also how the quiet changes after you express. Notice yourself in both times. Remember who you are.
Be great; be terrible.
Be really excellent and revel in that ease. Be really awful and enjoy yourself. Remembering who you are doesn’t have to be full of effort. Clues can be found in ease as well as (light hearted) failure.
There is lots of fleshed out guidance that Tuesday offers. I’m grateful for that too. And for the ways that such encouragement to live all of it — the contradictions — grows wisdom and more conscious ways of being, all the way back to some beloved elders.