Not to scare you or anything, but I’ve been trying to write this post for a while, feeling I had something to say but unsure what it was. I’ve started to write it lots of times, only to stop part way through and delete my unfocused ramblings. (You’re welcome!) Then yesterday, an epiphany!

Here’s how it started…

I was talking to a friend about my sleeping problems, and she was giving me the kind of solid advice that people give to friends who can’t sleep, various methods of quieting my mind. Then suddenly I heard myself tell her that I like my unquiet mind. Not only did I say that I liked it, I said that I thought it may be an indispensable piece of who I am. “It may be where the stories come from,” I said, attaching words to a fear I’d been harboring for a long time, “my passion, my fire, my creativity. I really don’t want to be Zen!”

It was an outburst, really, a mini-explosion, surprising us both. And it was a little embarrassing… Who doesn’t want to be Zen? Come on.

Then, over the weekend, I read Gretchen Rubin’s excellent post about the paradoxes of a happiness project, and I realized that’s what I’m dealing with. The paradoxes of simply being me. I do sincerely want to be less stressed, less volatile, less scattered. I also truly believe that, to some degree, I thrive on the very messiness (physical, psychological, emotional) that causes my stress.

In her post, Gretchen Rubin says to embrace the paradoxes, and I’m convinced that’s the answer. As embarrassing as it was to admit to my friend that I fear becoming too quiet, too grounded, it was also freeing. An acknowledgment of who I am. And if I accept that I can both crave and fear inner peace, then maybe I can stake out a place that’s right for me somewhere in between Chaos and Zen.

It’s hard to explain what this realization means to me. I read Gretchen’s post and felt as if she’d written it for the purpose of explaining me to me. I am swooning, more than a little in love with the idea of embracing my paradoxes… accepting that I don’t always want what I am supposed to want, and that’s okay.

So, what do you think? Are you conflicted about something? Can you learn to love the conflict, or do you think salvation lies in its resolution? Come talk to me. I love these kinds of philosophical discussion.

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