The Paradox of Acceptance and Change
Last week I found some old notes I had composed on a lined sheet of paper and folded to use for a bookmark. The notes illustrated some paradoxical aspects of acceptance and change. I vaguely recall developing examples of paradox when preparing for a workshop. I don’t know if the list was inspired by the book I was reading, or if the paper was simply a handy bookmark within my reach.
Here’s an edited version:
- Trying to get to sleep will keep you awake.
- Trying not to think is thinking about not thinking.
- Trying to be calm is being anxious about not being calm.
- Failing to accept a poor working memory contributes to relying on it.
- Wishing your mate would be a better partner makes you not such a good partner.
- Trying to be confident is doubting yourself.
- Wishing not to feel pain makes needles hurt.
- Trying to meditate (effort) is not meditating (relinquishing effort).
- Avoiding uncomfortable situations gives birth to anxiety, which is uncomfortable.
- Trying to feel better is rejecting a feeling…instead of relating to it.
- Trying to be positive can be negative; acceptance requires no labeling.
- Avoiding the feeling of embarrassment obstructs learning from mistakes.
- Attacking someone for confronting you supplants their concern with your own.
- Denying that ADHD affects your relationships is harmful to your relationships.
- Being is not trying to be.