Life is full of tensions. Should I speak up or be quiet? Is this a time for sensitivity or strength? Do we engage the head or the heart? Do I need to withdraw or engage? Should I stay or should I go? Do I contend or release? Is this a time to rest or work?
Learning how to hold the many tensions we face each day is an important awareness to living a fulfilling life.
But how do we maneuver this journey of holding of tensions well?
In talking with my 12-year old daughter, the challenge of holding life’s tensions was all too clear. It was a simple example that happens to most of us quite often…do I need to rest or do I need to work? Being a person of high responsibility, her natural answer was to stay up late and finish her homework, but as tears came to her eyes at being overwhelmed I had to help her consider a better way. As we talked and her exhaustion was apparent, it was clear to both of us that she needed to rest.
But what about real life that was swirling around her with the responsibilities of getting homework done and going to school? At 9:00 pm…a plan emerged that helped her hold the tension of resting with working. Go to bed now, get up early and finish homework, and miss first period which was P.E. This was a workable plan that helped her hold the tension of getting the rest she desperately needed while still honoring her responsibilities.
To live with a deep fulfillment and show up well for our lives, we must develop this skill of holding tensions well.
How often do we allow ourselves to hold tensions well? Are we aware of the many tensions we face? Do we get overwhelmed and feel trapped in ‘black and white’ thinking where we are either in or out with no grey areas of ‘in between’?
Here’s 3 ways to “grow into” holding tensions well . . .
1 – Make space to reflect
In a world that moves at lightening speed…be intentional about taking the time to pause. Consider what is important and decide on actions that align with who you are and who you want to become.
2-Use each experience to learn and grow
Evaluate how the experience went. Do you feel proud of how you responded? What might you want to do differently next time? How does my heart feel? How does my head feel? Why are you grateful for in this experience?
3-Ask better questions to get the answers you really want
- What’s important here?
- What actions or plan aligns with my core values?
- What is my heart whispering?
- How am I being guided?
- What barriers are preventing me from getting what I need?
Enjoy the journey as you learn how to hold your tensions well.
Cheering you on,