Living with Contradiction


Life is the coexistence of all opposite values. Joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, up and down, hot and cold, here and there, light and darkness, birth and death. All experience is by contrast, and one would be meaningless without the other. — Deepak Chopra

As human beings, the urge to “find ourselves” – to recognize and manifest our place in the world– is an essential part of who we are. We strive for physical, emotional and spiritual balance as a means of achieving wholeness, and as we mature, we begin to understand that the only way to accomplish this end is through service and love. While we have a more than passing familiarity with the baser aspects of our nature,  we try hard to express what is best in ourselves. In doing so, we often deny those aspects of who we are that we prefer not to see. We blame others or our circumstances for our shortcomings, rather than accepting ourselves as we are.

Releasing judgement is an integral step in the healing process. The law of opposites dictates that for every positive there is a negative; this is as true for you and me as it is for everything on earth. To achieve wholeness, we must accept the contradictions in our nature and embrace the duality that defines our lives.

Journaling Exercise

Write in your journal about the dualities in your life. What contradictions are you trying to integrate into your self-concept? What shortcomings or perceived lack are you trying to avoid seeing in yourself? If you are having trouble with this question, start by looking at the qualities that you find most upsetting or offensive in others. These are almost always the qualities that we deny in ourselves. For example, if you find arrogant people upsetting, look for places in your life where you are condescending or snobbish. If you dislike displays of anger, look at where you are denying angry feelings in yourself.

Only by seeing ourselves clearly and opening our hearts to all that we are can we ever truly be whole.

Next Exercise: Silencing Voices

Section home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Get Personalized Help

    Contact Us