We humans are multi-faceted beings who walk around trying to put each other into neat little boxes: good/bad, right/wrong, broken/fixed, brave/scared, mean/kind.
We lose so much of the beautiful nuance life has to offer when we force everything, including ourselves, into a box.
What’s true is that two things (at least!) can be true at once. Even things that look contradictory on the surface can be simultaneously true. Let me explain…
Think of the last big scary or risky thing you did – something that was pretty intimidating and took a lot of courage to do. Maybe it took you a while to work up to doing that; but eventually you did the hard thing. In that moment of doing the hard thing you were simultaneously brave AND scared.
What about those times when you snap at someone? You’re having a bad day or something at work just went dangerously wrong, so you lash out at your partner or friend. This doesn’t make you a mean person; it’s simply a moment in time. When these moments occur you’re simultaneously mean AND kind. Yet if you observed someone else at exactly that moment of lashing out you might label them as mean. Heck, you might even label yourself as mean in that moment!
What’s true in both instances is that no one is ever all one thing. We all embody contradictions all the time. Notice when that instinct to categorize yourself or someone else shows up. What else could be true in that moment? Resist labeling and get curious – with yourself and others. When you notice the urge to make a snap judgment, expand and explore the beauty that lies in life’s nuance.