Oh boy oh boy…life has a way of providing AMPLE opportunities to practice what the experts call, “The Dialectic” or what I call (well, I’ll be nice right now)… Roses and Thorns. 😉 Feel free to fill in words that come into your own head that mean wonderful and horrible happening simultaneously.

You can see previous blog posts in which I’ve shared my insights on the important work of Dr. Marsha Linehan and others on this concept of holding opposing emotions simultaneously.

Traveling around Europe is a huge gift and a privilege AND there have recently been many opportunities to practice holding BOTH the Roses and tolerating the Thorns. Do we need to expect ourselves to do this perfectly? No. Am I doing it “perfectly” (whatever that means) while traveling and experiencing difficulties? No.

How do we manage to hold conflicting emtions and still have enjoyment?

We learn to notice and allow both. It is a process. I find it helps to be in a state of curiosity about both the enjoyable and painful experiences. Here are a few examples of me trying to hold both:

  1. Getting to ride around the Dalmation Islands off the Coast of Croatia and ride wonderful e-bikes up and down these islands with new friends was a thrill of a lifetime. Being on a boat with 36 other people from over 12 countries and eating in a confined space while the pandemic is still infecting millions and being a person with asthma who is at higher risk.
  2. Having the amazing opportunity to have a tour led by the lovely Lydija in the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia with our new friends. Learning from her first hand experiences of living through the daily mortar attacks for 4 years with her family 30 years ago. Hearing that she had to make a trek each day to get their 4 liters of water for the day was heartbreaking…along with hearing of the trauma of knowing that more were coming over mountain at any moment. Each time I looked at the mountains I thought about what that must have been like for the people of Dubrovnik. All because a tyrant wanted money and power – they love they people of Bosnia…Made me think of current tyrants who only want money and power and try to divide us for their own means.
  3. Eating in wonderful Croatian restaurant with new friends. Coming down with  Covid after doing so…the sunglasses in the photo above hide a LOT.
  4. Getting to see the Sagrada de Familia in Barcelona, Spain. Biking with limited energy and lung capacity due to said Covid infection.

These are a few of the examples of opportunities I have had the past few weeks to practice holding BOTH the “good” and the “bad” as we might identify them.

Here are a few of my own tips of holding both:

  1. Try to learn to not ID experiences as good/bad, instead, allow all of the feelings and notice what they are.
  2. Remind myself that both things can be true at the same time.
  3. Be conscious about choosing which emotion I will focus upon.
  4. Be gentle with myself.
  5. Allow myself to not do it perfectly.
  6. Be curious as much as possible.
  7. Allow the feelings and ID them.

Lot’s to think about. And with my foggy brain from the Covid, it is tricky to think of all the things. This is another chance to let it not be perfect. 🙂

For support with your own process, feel free to check out our HUG Kits and our Recovery Roadmaps webinar series. And remember that AE Reupple is taking new clients for me while I’m gone. Reach out to her for a free consult at beckyhenry.com to find out if coaching with her (with supervision by me) would be a good fit for you.

Let us know how you’re doing with holding opposing emotions.