One thing I often encounter when working with clients – and myself – is a place where things suddenly seem very black and white.
It often shows up when we find tender territory and a client realises that a certain type of behaviour is no longer working for them. They feel limited by how they behave, yet trying something new feels very scary. That is normal, and to be expected, because it challenges the way they are wired.
Somewhere in that exploration, things become really black and white.
“I am usually more in the background, if I claim more space I am afraid people will think I am a bitch”. “I know I am a control freak, but when I loosen my strings I am afraid things will go horribly wrong.” “I am bad at setting boundaries, but I am afraid that when I start setting them, everybody will leave me.”
Black / white. Quiet / bitch. Control / total chaos. Self-abandonment / real life abandonment.
I love it when we find those black and white places. It shows me that a) something matters, b) this is delicate territory and c) this is also territory where there is so much to gain. I see it as an area where a client – or I – have not yet learned about all the flavours in between.
And that is where the magic, the exploration and the growth lies.
It is like eating ice cream. If you have only ever tasted chocolate and vanilla flavour, how would you know about and learn to appreciate strawberry, lemon, chocolate chip cookie, coconut and… you catch my drift.
I call this exploring your bandwidth. Finding the colours in between, trying out new things that are somewhere between being quiet and being a bitch. That honour the tenderness of this new territory, yet also push you a little out of your comfort zone. So you can start experiencing that, as a matter of fact, it is not that dangerous to speak up a little, to draw a line, to let go of control a bit.
You are gathering evidence that the world, or your life, or your relationships, are not all going to shit when you try something different than you have always done before.
It is beautiful. I also admit it is way easier to do for other people 😉
Nowadays, when I find a black and white situation in my own life (often with help from my support system), after some grumbling, I get curious. I see it as a way to play more, and to find new flavours to explore and get comfortable with.
It is a way to create a wider bandwidth.