Most of us have had times in our lives when we experience conflicting emotions.
Sad when your first born leaves for college / happy they are taking independent steps.
Angry if a job is terminated / elated to have the opportunity to start something new.
Devastated by a fire / grateful for the support of friends.
These are examples of the “good” within the “bad”, typically we call these the silver lining.
However, there are other times when difficult events share space with unrelated happy events. Because these events happen simultaneously the conflicting emotions can lead to feelings of shame, guilt or confusion.
Less than two months before the May 9th release date of my book Live Large – The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next, my husband died (more on this in my March post: http://elizabethbcrook.com/2017/03/is-it-time-to-rebuild)
During this time, I struggled with how I could feel deep sadness AND excitement at the same time. My excitement about the book and the lives it could change (including mine) embarrassed me. How was it possible that in the midst of being emotionally overwrought, I could still be clapping my hands and jumping up and down. It felt like sunshine in the rain.
The answer came from an unexpected source. A friend had been enthusiastically telling me about the future of AI – artificial intelligence and quantum computing and I went on line to refresh my very limited understanding of quantum mechanics.
During my research, I ran across Niels Bohr the famous Danish physicist – a name I knew from a high school science class. Bohr is perhaps most famous for the duality paradox, which explains that most people experience the world in duality (light vs dark; good vs evil; right vs wrong). In fact, by studying the particles of light, he found that light is both a particle and a wave at the same time.
It’s scientific, events don’t happen in isolation, they happen in continuum. And no two emotions, events or thoughts can happen without the other. “The duality paradox,” Bohr tell us. “Is a fundamental or metaphysical fact of nature.”
It exists. What a relief!
So the next time you have emotions that seem incompatible and make you feel guilty and/or confused, remember Bohr. You are experiencing a fact of nature, give yourself a break and permission to express it all.
A huge thank you to everyone who bought a copy (or multiples copies!) of Live Large last week, and shared the book on social media. Please keep spreading the word! Next week I will be rolling out a Live Large photo contest, so there will be more ways to join the fun.
I also want to take this opportunity for a special thank the members of the Live Large Team – who went above and beyond to support my book launch over the past few weeks:
Tom Garrity (linkedin.com/in/tomgarrity1)
Erin Harris (www.barbershop.org)
Marite Rio Nevado
Paul & Gloria Sternberg
Live Large Team – I couldn’t have done it without you!!!