Life is a Paradox. Here's Why That's a Good Thing.
The deeper into life you get, the more you realize that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense most of the time.
What seems one way is actually another way entirely.
A person you love also has terrible qualities.
To know what good feels like, you have to go through some very bad times.
Why is this?
What is the point of the paradoxical nature of life?
I’m not going to even pretend that I have the answers.
But I think it’s worth exploring together.
There are No Simple Answers
When I was a child, I thought there were simple answers to most of life’s questions.
I expect this is the way it is for most children.
But the questions of life don’t come with simple answers. In fact, they often don’t seem to come with answers at all. Life, in its mysterious unraveling, is more of a constant flow of paradoxes. (This doesn’t seem like it should be the plural of paradox, but I guess it is…A paradox in and of itself!)
Why is it that the best people often had to go through such misery and trauma to get where they are now? Wouldn’t it have been better if they had been spared the cruel hand of fate and just appeared to the world in wonderful and perfect condition?
Apparently, the world bakes the inspirational people of the world in a kiln of confusion and misunderstanding. It is only by muddling through what seems impossible situations that clarity can emerge. Seemingly, it’s a paradox.
Are There Two Sides or No Sides at All?
Something I’ve been wrestling with lately is something I’m not sure I’ll ever figure out.
Are there two sides to everything or no sides at all? Are good and bad opposite sides of the coin, or are they just one and the same, different perceptions of what the coin already is?
The same can be applied to mental health. Are happy and sad polar opposites, or are they just one whole? Is depression the opposite of euphoria? Of mania? I don’t think it’s that simple, but we try to make it simple so that we can understand it better. To simplify is to apply words we know to experiences we can’t quite grasp.
And I think this is the huge challenge of mental health. We can’t simply boil down entire life histories and ways of being into words and phrases. To reduce something in that way is to completely dehumanize.
We are all made up of an uncountable number of components. Just when you think you’ve figured a person out, they do something to surprise you. And I think that’s because there is an infinite realm of possibility within each person. It’s terribly exciting, but it’s all terribly overwhelming and confusing.
How can one person take action after action to hurt himself or others only to one day, in a flash, change and become a great healer?
Because that unlikely scenario is within an unfathomable range of possibility. Because life isn’t so simple. Because life, in reality, is a paradox.
And in a world where understanding sits right next to misunderstanding, life can get pretty darn confusing.
I think that’s the point of it all. To understand that there is much we know, there is much we don’t know, and there is much that we don’t know we’ll one day know.
Isn’t that strange? To think that one day you will know things you never once fathomed you could ever know?
That kind of thought excites and produces goosebumps because I know it’s happened to me in the past and it’ll happen to me once again.
It’s more about the process of living than anything else.
Get lost in the process. That’s where you’ll figure out more than you ever thought you could.