Resolution: Learning to Live in the Grey

I’ve been known to live a life of extremes. You can probably relate: happy or sad; energetic or sluggish; in love or out of love.

For many years, I bounced back and forth between these states of mind as my mood shifted from mania to depression and back again. Always, I was on medication to keep me from going too far in either direction. Still, I wavered, back and forth like an all too flimsy flag blown about every which way.

These days, life is more balanced. Age has something to do with it: I am 34, and I’m more centered. I sense when a manic mood is taking hold of me, and I can go sleep it off. In a depression, history offers the glimmer of hope that, like every time before, I’ll rise up out of it again.

But still, I have work to do.

I have many days when I feel like a complete and utter failure.  And others when I feel like a success. My inner dialogue can shift from “You are stupid” one day to “You are smart” the next. These inner mantras inform my mood, my actions, and the person I project to the world.

For the past few months, I have been fortunate enough to work with a life coach in addition to therapy. At first I wrote life coaches off as silly, but she’s helped me a great deal. One of the things we have talked about is how draining it can be to live a life of extremes, of black and white.

There is a place in the middle of the extremes. She calls this “living in the grey.”

Here’s to a 2014 focused on finding more grey in my life. I hope you will too.

My Grey Resolutions:

  • Embrace life’s ambiguities.
  • Stop striving for perfection.
  • Accept and love myself completely.
  • Practice gratitude for the things I have.
  • Let go of regrets that keep me caught in my past.
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