- Nancy Ogilvie
Practicing "Both/And" Thinking
Updated: May 14, 2021
Principle: Either/or thinking is inherently constricting; shifting into both/and thinking opens us to the flow of Divine love and wisdom.
Practice: Open to holding two apparent contradictions at the same time.
written 4/28 and 4/29/21
Good morning, Beloveds All: Isis, Sekhmet Great Mother, Yeshua, Black Madonna, all guides, angels, ancestors, wise ones in form and not. I’ve recognized this morning that I can be pissed as hell at You and still dependent and loving You, both. Being angry with You doesn’t put me at risk of losing Your love and support. What a concept! Thank You for opening my eyes, and thank You for a new day to walk this sacred Earth path with You, as You, and through You.
That clarity has come in recalling a memory from when I was 10 years old! My family ws moving to England, and we took a ship across the Atlantic. My brother was 2, and being a normal 2-year-old, would pull away to explore whatever caught his eye. So our parents put a harness on him to keep him from going overboard when we were on deck.
Of course, he hated it; it restrained his freedom, and he still tried to pull away with all his might. He didn’t have the capacity at that age to understand that the harness was an expression of our parents’ love and care for him. As a 2-year old, he needed to explore and test any limits to his freedom, and he needed our parents to provide safety through the harness.
This morning, this memory reminded me of my relationship with You, Beloveds. I so often pull away from Your attempts to keep me safe because my freedom and autonomy feel more important. And no matter how much I resist Your will, no matter how angry I get, You don’t let go of me. You continue to hold tight to my harness. You continue to love all of me!
That gives me the freedom to resist Your guidance and at the same time to recognize my dependence on You and know that I can count on Your ongoing love and support. I can resist holding Your hand and hold it tightly, not wanting You to let go. I can be in “both/and” instead of “either/or.”
In either/or, I believed I had to choose either to preserve my freedom and autonomy by resisting others, or to be accepted and belong. If I pulled away to preserve my freedom, I had to “go it alone.” If I chose being accepted and belonging, I had to submit passively to others’ will and lose my sense of self.
And I’ve carried that “story” into my relationship with You, Beloveds. I have believed that I could not both be myself (have my freedom) and have Your love (be supported). It’s a no-win choice, and it’s made it very difficult to trust You or have faith in You. Here are some of the beliefs that come from “either/or” thinking:
· This is too hard – and I’m a victim of unfair, ridiculous rules!
· It’s not fair that I have to go to all this extra work. Other people don’t!
· I’m ashamed of my weaknesses.
· I’m a failure, not enough; my needs are an imposition on others…
With the ”both/and” story, all that changes! It means that I have agency in our relationship, Mamas; I have power and choice! I can be myself and be loved by You! When I say “I surrender to You,” or “Thy will, not mine, be done,” I am not submitting passively to You. When I choose to receive Your infinite love, I do not have to give up my sense of self, my freedom. I can lean into trust and faith in You in ways that simply haven’t been possible up to now! Here are the new beliefs that come out of this story:
· My needs are important and legitimate, and it is always ok for me to own them and ask for them to be met and negotiate them.
· I do not need to be ashamed of having needs different from others’.
· I have agency when I own and express my needs.
· This is as hard as I want to make it. The more I resist, the harder it becomes.
This doesn’t mean that I can do whatever I please and expect no consequences. And it does mean that in any given moment, I get to choose which story I believe about my life: either/or or both/and. I think I’ll choose both/and, and start this grand adventure of walking unarmed into the arena of the unknown/Unknown, praying only for greater intimacy with You, others and myself. Blessed be!