September 6, 2018

Why We Need to Stop Trying to Define Everything.

We humans seem to like to define things.

We tend to live our lives with firm opinions about what is right or wrong, good or bad, wanted or unwanted. It almost feels like an inherent need we have to define, determine, and set concrete, impenetrable boundaries around what we think we know, believe, and understand.

We like knowing what we believe and we like taking ownership of it—wearing our beliefs like badges we can proudly display to the world.

We have a desire to define things, and sometimes, with things that are undefinable.

Sometimes it’s difficult to adequately put words to what we feel.

We like to put words and labels to our feelings, probably because it helps us to make sense of the variance that twirls and swirls in there. We like to believe that our thoughts and beliefs are definite, that we can decide upon something and hold to it with unwavering resilience.

But life is fluid and complex, and no matter how much we’d like to neatly package it into easily digestible ideas, we can’t. And when we attempt to do this, we obfuscate the inherent intricacies. We also block ourselves from understanding that what we think we observe in a particular moment is but a limited view of something far greater.

We need to allow ourselves to feel whatever we feel. And we should also be willing to acknowledge when something changes, when we have a new insight or understanding that shifts everything we thought we had previously understood. Especially when it is something that we may have thought or spoken about starkly and definitively.

Sometimes what may feel like a powerful understanding in the moment may merely be an inability to see beyond the immediacy of our specific thoughts. Sometimes we misinterpret my feelings, due to, for example, being caught up in the heat of the moment or distress.

We have to let ourselves feel whatever we feel, and we have to be open to learning what our experiences have to teach us.

We have to be willing to allow for new insights to infiltrate the walls we’ve erected. We have to be open to accepting that sometimes our perceptions change. And we especially have to be willing to allow for the change when it contradicts something we thought we’d understood so precisely.

Maybe we don’t have to dissect and analyze every single one of the feelings we feel. Maybe doing that obscures more than it reveals.

Maybe some things don’t need to be defined at all.


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