A wise teacher told me today that within each of us exists polarities. When you try to be too perfect, you set yourself up for self-sabotage. When you think of yourself in a grandiose form, you open yourself up to self-loathing. When you try to please everyone, you tend to swing to an extreme of wanting everyone to please you. When you starve yourself, you set yourself up for over consumption. When you work too hard for too long, you reach a point where you can’t work at all. When you set the standard for “good” too high, you set yourself up to be attracted to an equally opposing “bad”.
And we watch these polarities at work all around us. In movies, we witness the heroes and the villians, in religions, we see the saints and the sinners, in countries we see the patriots and the rebels, we look at people often in terms of success vs. failure, beauty vs. ugly, good vs. bad etc.
Are these labels helping anyone? In oversimplifying any human life or group, do we blind ourselves a little bit at a time? What happens when you fall into the less desirable polarity? Do you fall apart and hate yourself? Do you need to be the best of everything all the time?
And herein lies the heart of many mental health issues. Caught in what we think we should be, we lose touch with who we truly are, which is a living being so much more intricately complicated and valuable than you ever thought possible.
What are your extremes? Do you try too hard to please everyone? Work too hard to succeed? Try to look the best? Be the funniest? Have the most things?
Whatever you hold onto too tightly, seems to find it’s way just out of reach. Whatever you run from, likes to follow you. But somewhere in the middle, there is that sweet spot. Like that spot on the baseball bat, that if you hit the ball just right, it goes out of the park rather effortlessly.
Well, you may ask “How can I find the sweet spot?” Really, that’s something you have to discover on your own. But I will say this, whenever you are aiming for some “ideal”, hold it lightly and have fun with it. Know, that we all have elements of success, failure, beauty, ugliness, good, bad etc. The healthy individual learns to embrace all these parts, not just the ones he or she finds palatable. And perhaps the occasional good laugh at ones exaggerated sense of self importance wouldn’t hurt either.