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Underbelly: 10 Things - Nuance

Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#125 in a series of wild and precious ways to notice the subtleties in life so that you can move away from polarities.

This week I contemplated nuance — even as I felt that my internal world was sometimes swinging wildly from joy to despair, from rage to peace, even from deep shame to feelings of well being.
It was an odd week.
The tempest in a tea cup this week occurred when my second son noticed me playing my series of games over coffee and I rather casually told him the relaxed set of rules I follow — which he countered was absolutely cheating and was horrified. I tried to defend my position, mainly that it’s a completely private affair and I certainly don’t use language like “winning” the game, etc.
Point being he was horrified and, combined with one other son’s reaction (I decided not to go further; it was already pretty embarrassing) I changed the rules I play by.
Fast forward to the end of the week when I come to find out that my dear husband unabashedly follows the same set of rules that I do and sees no reason to change.
Nuance :)
The other examples were more intensely relationship based and in nearly every example, often privately, I allowed myself to sit quietly and contemplate the relationship — and it was often extremely painful.
At one point, giving myself permission to step out of the arena helped me to begin to notice why staying in might be worthwhile in the long term.
I’ve begun to see the arena as a state of being in authentic relationships with other people. Stepping out of this arena is, I have noticed, what we do when we prize something more than this essential state of being.
I think it’s fairly common. I know I do it or am tempted to do it often. Relationships can hurt — the closer the relationship the more painful the hurt potentially can be.
“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” — Aristotle
3. Prompt
During difficult times it’s extremely important to have an anchor: To know who you are essentially. From there, holding space for nuanced ideas becomes a bit easier. Staying in the relationship even when things are challenging makes sense.
And you also know when leaving a relationship is necessary.
One game I play each morning over coffee is “Worldle” You are given the outline of a country and have 6 guesses to figure out which country it is. It is skewed toward fairly often choosing countries like “St. Helena” (look it up — I’ll wait) so at guess #5 I had allowed myself to look at a map.
I honestly don’t think it mattered that much — in fact I am using this example precisely because it is not super emotional. But it reminded me of how nuanced relationships can be when we are deeply in relationship.
We subtly negotiate, advocate, and redefine the rules of our relationships as we grow together. It would be odd if your relationship rules stayed exactly the same over a decades long friendship.
And the more firmly we are anchored in who we are and why we are here, the more strong and flexible we can be in our relationships.
Strong enough to stop “cheating” :) at Wordle. For example.
4. Quest
If you feel polarized this week, perhaps practice anchoring yourself and then changing a habit, frame of mind, way of looking at a scenario.
If, for example, you regularly play fast and loose with rules in your morning games routine :) try to stop cheating. (Okay, enough! Yes, I did not know what Gambia looked like yesterday and holy cow was I irritated.)
5. Level up
They can be abstract things, personal things, small or large. A few of the things I tried to get more subtle with and see the nuance in this week were political. Yikes. But honestly, growth inducing…
6. Video
There are only two kind of people who don’t experience strong emotions: they are either psychopaths or they are dead.
Don’t chase happiness. Become antifragile | Tal Ben-Shahar | Big Think
Don’t chase happiness. Become antifragile | Tal Ben-Shahar | Big Think
7. Podcast
Episode 73: What Is This? — Ear Hustle
8. Poem
South African Poetry: Puno Selesho: I am an African -Spoken Word - (Part 1)
9. Hero
Poetry Goddess Puno Selesho | Her | Girl Gone Authentic
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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Nelson, British Columbia