Personally and professionally I have adhered to the notion that one cannot have it both ways.

Pick a side.

Chose one of two diametrically opposed things.

Etc.

It usually applies to client’s poorly conceived notions of what they can have for the price they want to pay and for my friends’ bad dating choices.

I have let “have” spill into “be”. As in you cannot be two things or two ways at once.

Turns out that isn’t true.

I can be angry and be at peace. I can be grieving and laugh. I can be deeply uncaring and passionate about things like work. I can just want to hide in my bed all day and accomplish a lot (I adulted hard yesterday and barely got out of bed to do it). And I have been evaluated for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia with a “it’s not that” result by two qualified professionals as part of my evaluation for PTSD, so it’s not that.

It has taken me a long time to be able to recognize this. It is really annoying to try to explain it to my therapist, who “hears a disconnect”. Well, hell, I’ve been smashed to pieces so sure, a few things about me are probably disconnected. I don’t think this is one of them. If anything I finally connected to my ability to experience a lot of emotion at once and be comfortable with the friction. I’ve stopped trying to make myself feel ways that “I think I should” and just let it be what it is.

Gratitude and pain, not gratitude or pain, is one of the most significant. It’s powerful. It’s good. And it hurts like hell the whole time I’m genuinely smiling.