5 Ways to Be With The Grey

I'm an all-or-nothing kind of woman.

Lately my all-or-nothing, black-or-white style hasn't been working for me. It's actually been causing a lot of suffering and a lot of pain.

So I've been wondering if I have some room for growth. I've been looking at my 0% or 100% way of living and daring myself to look at what's underneath.

Know what I found?

A very scared little girl who is worried people will abandon her or ignore her if she doesn't give all of herself in every moment.
     - Perfectionist, much?

And also a little girl who operates from scarcity and fear instead of flow and abundance.
     - You are enough, little one.

As I get to know this little girl better and understand what she wants, what she needs, and what her purpose is in my life, I begin to ask myself:

  • How do I want to live? 
  • Who do I want to give the power to make decisions in my life?
  • How do I want to feel?

One response that keeps repeating itself:

Get comfortable with the grey.

And I'm not talking about Christian Grey.


So what are five ways to be with the grey?

Here's what I've got so far:

STEP 1. Take Responsibility

Acknowledge the ways in which you are rigid in your beliefs and expectations. The first step is seeing where your 0-to-60 mindframe makes things uncomfortable and holds you back from a more fulfilling life. You can't change what you can't see, so once you see it, take responsibility with love and compassion.

STEP 2: Open to the Possibilities

If you're all-or-nothing, black or white, there's a whole lot of options in between the extremes that you're missing out on. Compromise may seem like a four-letter word, but the discomfort is way better than hustling for your worth and burning bridges. What would life be like with more than two crayons in the coloring box?

STEP 3: Understand It's Not Personal

Someone's inability or choice to not meet you where you're at is not a judgement. It's not commentary. It's not personal. People have their own priorities, their own values, hell, their own lives they're preoccupied with. In most cases, we're not operating in conscious friendships or relationships where people are considering their decision's effects on you. So don't take it personally. It's not about you.

STEP 4: Realize the Nature of Life

Change is the only constant in life. Life is about birth, growth, and death. People can fall out of love, fall out of favor, grow apart. Yes, people are either dead or they're alive, technically, but in every other aspect of life, you can see a whole range of existence from numb to coping to surviving to thriving. Choose the way you want to live, and throw some color in there!

STEP 5: Release Expectations

In a recent conversation on Facebook, I asked, "How does one lower her expectations to live a happier life?" I'd recently watched a video about how lowering expectations was the key to happiness. Someone replied, "One works to release expectations entirely!! Lower your expectations, get lower results & be perpetually wanting. Keep high & rigid expectations, be perpetually disappointed."

So ask yourself, "What am I expecting to happen here? How will I feel if my expectations aren't met? Can I release my expectations and allow this moment to unfold as it will?" Then love your answers, understand what's underneath them, and have great compassion for yourself.

This isn't something I've perfected. I am human. I make mistakes. It's tender and vulnerable to admit my patterns and coping mechanisms. But I am committed to growth...even through the discomfort. 

To your growth and mine and loving you through the tender times,