Ambivalence ” is the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone”
NOW is a great time to talk about this !!!
Firstly, because of my own inner conflict about choosing to follow my heart and achieve my dreams, during a time when my heart also feels pulled to stay here and support my family.
Secondly, because of the political hoo haa happening in America at the moment, that has many of us freaking the fuck out.
When CHANGE comes, it can look a lot like CHAOS
So … I thought it was a good time to dive into ambivalence
Although our mind is a beautiful complex creation, we can break it down to two parts. Our conscious mind, which is the known aspects of our psyche and our unconscious mind, which are all the hidden parts of our psyche. Most of the studies we are privileged to are based on research conducted on the measurable aspects and objective truths of our conscious mind.
But what lies deep within our unconscious mind ?
Each mind holds different information, based on the lived experiences of that individual. But those of us who believe in past lives, believe that our life force, our soul, has lived more than once. So, imagine the memories and insights into who we are that await to be discovered.
I cant recall ever hearing the word “ambivalence” before I learned about it during our psychology degree. And if I had heard the word, I had no understanding what it meant. My learning is a little like that though, until I experience something for myself, then I can lack interest and understanding.
I recall my first “conscious” experience with ambivalence being something that caused me immense discomfort. I wanted to keep studying my degree full time but it was beginning to impact negatively on my family.
I felt VERY conflicted.
Educating myself was important for ALL of our futures, but the immediate needs of my children were also important.
I thought to myself, if I knuckled down and did the hard work now, while the kids were under 16 years old, I was gaining government support, so I could afford to drop a few shifts at work. But, if I dropped out of uni, I wasn’t convinced that I would ever have the financial support to do it in the future.
What ever choice I made, I felt screwed !!!
But it soon became a case of …
Right or Wrong it was NOW or never.
But as a single mum, studying full time, working part time and striving for a social and romantic life, was having a negative impact on my ability to be a “good mum.” Yup, always have been the kinda woman who wants it ALL.
During those times of trying to DO it all, I often struggled with the basics, like sitting down to a home cooked meal as a family and my parenting wasn’t always consistent. I would often bend the rules a little, so I could finish an essay or grab some sleep. Then get upset and wonder why I was having more and more tension and conflict with my young teenagers, which was soon followed by overwhelming feelings of GUILT
Those were very tough times for us all, but we learned a lot during that experience. For me, some of those lessons are still unfolding. Because the more I failed and fucked up as a woman and a mother, the more I continue to learn and grow … the irony.
I must add, I say that about myself lovingly and with a sense of pride. Because my fuck ups and failings reflect my willingness to get out there, have a go, take risks and rise up to the challenges. Something I love and respect most about myself ❤
My understanding of ambivalence has deepened and changed somewhat since then though. I now see this inner conflict as being a compass, that supports our adaptation during change.
The truth is, ambivalence is a natural state of mind that makes its present known during times of uncertainty. When we reach a cross roads in life and are confronted with more than one option.
It implies the existence of 2 conflicting forces within us …
Right – Wrong
Love – Hate
Light – Shadow
Negative – Positive
Strength – Weakness
Its unrealistic to believe that we can have light without dark. One cannot exist with out the other. So, it makes sense that finding the balance within us is about seeking harmony between both polarities and ALL aspects of our psyche.
I think its fair to say that the majority of our internal conflicts often happen unconsciously, without our awareness. However, it certainly does influence our thoughts, emotions, behaviour and experiences. Its often difficult to see both sides clearly, when our sight is clouded by our beliefs, emotion, wants, needs and desires. Therefore, our understanding and insight into our internal conflicts, is often seen later, in reflection.
Unless we make a conscious choice to better understand this aspect of our psyche. This is why self awareness and mindfulness is so very important for those of us who strive to expand our knowledge of self.
I now see ambivalence holding a very important purpose, which automatically reduces my sense of discomfort. It serves as a mediator of sorts. Our ambivalence increases our awareness, by diving deeper into our consciousness. It helps to open up to more possibilities, instead of being trapped in our minds with conflicted thoughts and closing our hearts to conflicting emotions. Our ambivalence helps us to open up our minds to both conflicting sides of self, which hopefully leads to a deeper and higher understanding of self and others.
To our own inner wisdom
Having this insight and understanding does not stop the internal tensions and conflicts from occurring. Neither does it lesson the mental anguish or emotional discomfort. But it does help us to better understand what is happening within our minds and hearts, which then helps us to make better choices …
One would hope so anyways 😜
Something I am learning is …
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much we weigh up the pros and cons, because the conflict can remain no matter how long or deeply we look at it. Sometimes, we just need to JUMP in for a closer look, because its the only way to determine what we truly want and need. And sometimes, we will make the wrong choice … and that’s OK.
Because we never lose, we either win or we LEARN
Mindful interaction ❤