If we are paying attention, we can learn from the ironies. They are sneaky and subtle though, so it requires getting out of our own way to be the best student.
Here are a few of my
1) It takes great strength to admit a weakness. Once we do this, simply admitting we're weak at something allows us the grace to become stronger at whatever we're facing. It's almost like the admission neutralizes the weakness or the overcompensation and replaces it with awareness. All of a sudden, there are new ways to dealing with something. All tickets on the awareness train are one-way, no transfers.
2) Faster is easier; slower is harder. Tell anyone who's lifting weights or doing push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, etc., to maintain proper form and slow down the motion by a factor of 10 and you will see their bodies shake due to the resistance. Don't believe me? Try it. How about this: try talking slower, taking a moment to choose your words before you speak.
3) Whispers garner more attention than shouting. When someone shouts, we listen but only because we physically have no choice. When someone shouts we just want to run away. When someone whispers, we listen and close in because we want to hear what's being said.
4) Naivete begets wisdom: the more "falls" we supposedly take are actually progressions to achieving success. There are no more stumbling blocks; just stepping stones. Don't despair at a supposed set-back or lapse of judgment: you are meant to learn a lesson. Look for it, it's there.
5) It is hard to be soft. When we are soft, we let people / sensations in. Doing this requires we let down a guard. Letting down our guard means we accept we could be wrong about something (usually about being so hard) and it lets us out as well as letting others in. It allows us to admit we hurt too. Getting hurt means we are taking chances; I always say, "you can't win if you don't play."
6) It's easier to be angry than to be happy. Happiness requires gratitude and humility; that we accept the way life is and the blessings that have been given to us. For some people, being angry is a strong addiction that fosters judgment, closed-thinking, complaints, increased isolation & disconnection from the larger society. Chronic anger is also reeeaaally bad for our hearts and arteries.
7) We can't appreciate light without darkness. Being in the light requires acceptance of our realities, that dark moments got us here to appreciate the light. Sometimes things just suck, endurance makes us smarter. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "When it is darkest, you can see the stars." That darkness allows us to use our other senses to work through problems. Feel your way out; don't think your way out.
8) Without silence, we can not appreciate sound. Without sound, we can not understand silence. We might say we want silence, but that would mean no birds chirping, no sound of rain gently falling, no music, no laughter. I think that rather silence, we just want peace, and that's a totally different experience. You can have peace with sound. Peace comes from within.
9) Being alone can make you easier to be around. Sometimes we are hard to be around: bristly and snappish. This usually means that we might benefit from being alone a bit, to sort ourselves out. Being a mother, I can attest to the benefits of my own personal "time outs."
10) You can not know hate without knowing love first. Indifference is the easiest thing in the world to commit to. Take a stand on something, one way or another, and you're also bringing awareness to the opposition. Taking a side without knowing its opposition breeds bigotry not indifference and certainly not tolerance.
11) A good cry makes you happier. While the immediate effect usually feels as though we've been drained, and we probably have (all that woe weighs a lot!), a good cry ultimately makes us feel better, and lighter; ready to take on the world.
12) Fats can help you lose weight. The body needs fat to generate hormones and the good cholesterol that helps regulate them. If you remove all fat from your diet, you will definitely not lose fat because your body will hang on to it to stay healthy, but you will lose lean body mass (muscle) because it's the body's most efficient fuel. The right dietary fats: olive oil, raw (unroasted, unsalted) nuts, avocado and other vegetable-based fats will help you stave off headaches, get proper rest and keep your hormones in check.
Try out one or two of these ironies. See what happens.
Some of you are new to Grass Oil, check out some earlier posts . . .
Humor in the toothpaste aisle
Mindfulness in apologies
Parenting and the flight of time