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the pendulum theory

September 25, 2012

Ideas came with explosive immediacy, like an instant birth. Human thought is like a monstrous pendulum; it keeps swinging from one extreme to the other.
Eugene Field

Extremes show us what is possible, the light and the dark. The richness is in the mixture between them, though, and I refuse to resign myself to the idea that the “explosive immediacy” of human thought is destined to be passively extreme.  We can grab the pendulum with both fists and keep it in the middle for longer with our weight.  We can maybe even enjoy the ride.

I’d love to think it only takes figuring this out once to remain perfectly balanced in the middle-ground forever, but the nature of pendulums is the inertia to return to the extreme.  How many times have we pushed ourselves too hard to lose weight and then burned out?  How many times have we confused acceptance with inaction?  I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve been dancing with this issue for my whole life… passively as a kid and more actively as a teen & adult.

Acknowledging the extremes helps. Experimenting with pacing and degree of internal pressure helps. But mostly it takes time.  We keep re-learning the same things until we learn them.  I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m finally able to see the simplicity of the years of struggle.  It has all been a pendulum ride… trying to tame the swing through internal struggle.  Opening, acting, noticing, reacting, reflecting, experimenting, shifting.  Not always in that order, and often repeating.

For the first time ever in this process, it feels like Sam and I are both in a good place.  What do I mean by a good place?  We’re excited about shopping at the farmer’s market, we’re not stress eating, and we’re making time to move our bodies.  The most surprising piece to me is how separate it feels to be in a good place about it.  We are able to support each other by standing back and leading one another by example… and mostly just by leading ourselves.  This is what works for us.  When we get too into the gritty analysis of each other’s and our own struggles, we get bogged down and overwhelmed by the whole thing.  Perhaps we needed to do that before to get to where we are now, but at the moment it doesn’t seem necessary or useful for us to get too enmeshed.  We just do our things and feel proud of each other.  It’s great 🙂

The wedding being in ten months is an interesting variable.  It adds a pressure that tempts me toward the pushing too hard side of the pendulum, the side where I want results too quickly and therefore act in ways that are not sustainable. BUT, at least right now, I can feel that the pressure is there, but I don’t feel powerless against it.  It is serving as a reminder, like a firm and honest friend, but it is not giving me an excuse to become self-destructive.

I’ll let you know how it goes– fingers crossed!  It is exciting to feel like this whole journey might land me where I want to be, looking and feeling the way I want & with newfound skills and self-knowledge.

❤ Diana Banana

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