Listening to Your-SELVES: A Balancing Act

Theater Masks

Welcome to Prompts Day at Better Endings. On Tuesdays we entertain a list of topics for applying the principle of Better Endings to a weekly theme; this week, Attitudes. Some speak of a “Law of Attitudes,” which makes sense to me. Our attitudes to a large extent determine our experience. Attitudes reflect and can establish “mindsets,” which act like filters between our minds or hearts and the “reality” we are able to perceive.

Let’s consider especially opposing, paired attitudes this week. These are polar-opposite perspectives that frame very different outlooks on the same event or situation. Here’s a list of some paired-opposite attitudes for you to consider and add to:

optimistic            pessimistic

open            closed

impatience            contentment

       insecurity            self-confidence

   belief            cynicism

expansive            narrow

kindness            meanness

acceptance           rejection

constructive            destructive

respectful            demeaning

gratitude            conceit

Can you recognize within yourself BOTH poles of one or more of the above pairs of opposing attitudes with regard to some situation or enduring conflict in your life? I invite you to choose that sort of opposition to explore. Consider a subject that you can “look at” from either of a very opposite pair of perspectives. Allow yourself the space to feel-think-Be first in one attitude, and then shift grounds to the polar-opposite attitude about that same subject and feel-think-Be in that attitude instead for a while. What do you pay most attention to, in each perspective? What appears more important, and less important, depending on your outlook? What about the subject itself motivates you to shift more to one or the other side of the polarity?

Recognizing duality or bipolarity in ourselves, especially around ideas or situations we feel conflicted about, is natural for everyone, sometimes. From an archetypal psychological viewpoint, situations that evoke conflicting attitudes can expose to us ‘parts’ of ourselves that are worth listening to and exploring–in moderation–because we may tend to suppress some ‘sides’ of ourself at the expense of a whole, balanced, integrated outlook. Allowing an attitude you normally suppress to express itself while you are there to pay attention to it can help you to get to the root of some issues you might otherwise be denying or seeing only from a self-limiting perspective. These ‘buried’ attitudes can help you to troubleshoot a stubborn point of view in order to develop some more balanced and creative solutions!

Jester Juggler Juggling Balls Retro

For today,simply choose one or more of the above attitude-pairs–or use another–that represents a set of opposing attitudes you sometimes hold about some situation or subject in your life. Let both sides have their say, either through journalling from each perspective, or engaging in an imaginative internal ‘listening session’ to both sides, one at a time. The only guideline is that each side gets to have its say without judgement or interruption. Then, try looking at the situation again, AFTER clearly expressing both of your opposed attitudes.

Does a creative solution or a deeper understanding of the situation light up for you?

Tell us about it (if you’d like). If you wish you can submit your story or journalling practice as a Story of the Week (If I receive more than one, I’ll probably blog them all!) And always, I welcome your insights and Comments!

Better Endings to You!  – Linda

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s