"Two hands" working together make life better
Certain life dynamics require “two-handed” cooperation
Some people call it “keeping a good balance.” That’s often not the best metaphor.
The better metaphor is “using two hands, to work separately and together, as needed.”
The two hands of my-now and my-next
My-now (feeling good now) is important. We don’t know the future. And it’s always now. So be happy now. Take care of now. Enjoy now. Everything is now anyway. So if you’re not taking care of now, you're not taking care of anything.
My-next (concern about feeling good in the future) is important. The future will be now at some point, which we are now calling the future. If you don’t take action to have a better future, then when that future becomes now, you will have forfeited your right to have a happy now. Eat the cake now. Be overweight tomorrow. Exercise now. Feel fit tomorrow.
When the “two hands” of my-now and my-next are mutually supportive, then we feel great about ourselves and we are our own best friend.
The two hands of my-me and my-you
My-me (concern for one’s own feelings and self-interests) is important. Taking care of yourself. Making sure you’re happy. Saying “no” to others. Making requests of others. Standing up for yourself. Being assertive. Expressing your feelings and desires.
My-you (concern for the feelings and interests of others) is important. Taking care of others. Concern for the thoughts and feelings of others. Saying “yes” to others. Avoiding hurting the feelings of others. Being a team player. Keeping your agreements with others.
When the “two hands” of my-me and my-you are mutually supportive, then we are friends with the world.
The two hands of perseverance and quitaverance
Perseverance and persistence are important. Keep on that diet. Apply for that next job. Master that skill. Ask her out again. Time to go to the gym. Finish your education. Just one more day as a non-drinker. Make your marriage work.
Quitaverance (choosing the courage to quit) is important. As the lyrics of Kenny Rogers expressed, “You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em.” More humorously, W.C. Fields quipped, “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.” My mother suspected she made a mistake in marrying my father after the first two days. But she believed in perseverance. She finally divorced him after 41 years of “trying.” Every time I spoke with her after she left him, she said to me, “Why didn’t you tell me how great life would be without him!?”
When the “two hands” of perseverance and quitaverence work together, then the game of life works and makes sense.
The two hands of assertion and accommodation
Assertion is important. Ask for what you want. Say “no” when you want to say “no.” Let others know if something doesn’t work for you. Speak up, don’t be a wimp. Take care of yourself.
Accommodation is important. Think of what others might want or need. Look for ways to take care of others. Listen first to understand. Try to say “yes” whenever you can. Be sensitive before making requests. If you must say “no,” do it gently and with respect. You are your brother’s keeper.
When the “two hands” of assertion and accommodation dance together, then our relationships work great.
The two hands of structure and spontaneity
Structure is important. Planning. Following the plan. Getting organized and staying organized. Having regular times for things. Creating and following routines and practices. Having others hold you accountable for things. Making promises. Keeping promises.
Spontaneity and flexibility are important. Feeling free. Being in the moment. Following your feelings and intuition. Doing what you feel like doing. Being a bit (or more) crazy. Expressing your thoughts and feelings openly as they arise. Canceling your plans and promises and letting the day flow.
When the “two hands” of structure and spontaneity work together, life is even more amazing.
The two hands of peacocking (masking) and innocence (authenticity)
Peacocking is important. Politeness. Smiling. Good manners. Dressing nicely (or at all). Dyeing your hair. Smelling good (or not smelling bad). Keeping yourself clean. Decorating your home. White lies. Lies. Trying to appear fair. Being proper. Not showing your anger, judgmentalness, or resentment. Not complaining. Pretending to be confident and fearless. Or sometimes even pretending to be frightened, when you’re not. Creating and maintaining a good reputation. In other words, the game of guile, which, short of being 14 months old, we all seem to play to varying degrees and forms.
Innocence, authenticity, and realness are important. Telling the truth. Being open and vulnerable. Not hiding your automatic hurt or anger. Letting go of defensiveness. Trusting the world. What you are is what they get. Listening to and following your heart openly. Not worrying about your reputation and what others think. Doing what you feel like. Letting that child within roam free, fully expressing himself or herself.
When the “two hands” of peacocking and authenticity find a way to work together, life is a blast.
The two hands of mechanism (cause and effect) and intention (commitment)
Mechanism is important. The car works. The train works. The computer works. If the plane is repaired, then it works. We drink water, then we pee. It works. I shout at you and you get angry. It works. The cancer takes over your body and you die. It works. The doctor sews up the wound and it heals. It works. Objects of a certain size and position, when not otherwise supported, fall towards the earth. It works. Mechanism is everywhere.
Intention is important. I take a stand. The universe shifts. I decide to do something. Things and events arise to support me. I say I will find a way. And I do. I think the universe is on my side. And it is. I look for the gift in my accident. And I find so many gifts.
When the “two hands” of mechanism and intention support each other, our power and spirit become immense.
The two hands of everything-is-your-business and nothing-is-your-business
Everything is your business. You are 100% responsible for creating your life as you would like. You are 100% responsible for the all benefits, costs, and risks associated with every choice you make. Anything and everything always comes back to you. You have complete and absolute responsibility.
Nothing is your business. You are absolutely choiceless. You can watch the mechanism of your decision machinery. But that mechanism is not you. You can watch one part of your machinery fighting with another part of your machinery. But none of that is you or your business. You can observe your machinery either fighting with or enjoying the machinery of another person. But that fighting or enjoyment has nothing to do with you. You can watch thoughts and feelings flow through you. And these thoughts and feelings are not your business.
When the “two hands” of everything-is-your-business and nothing-is-your-business work together, miracles occur.
The two hands of the small picture and the big picture
The small picture is important. Just focus on now. Enjoy now. Do this small thing. Make this one thing work. Keep the moment small. Love the moment. Do the moment. It’s all here right now. Nothing else. Swallow. Breathe. Step. Blink. Just be present and focus now. So important.
The big picture is important. What are the end results that we want? Does it all work together? Do our actions and tasks have integrity by being mutually supportive? Is this task productive or counterproductive for our target? Are we all aligned together? Does the possibility of our goal inspire the process?
When the “two hands” of the small picture and the big picture flow together, our life becomes a dance.
The two hands of acceptance (love) and let’s-change-the-world
Acceptance is important. Love reality. Don’t fight with what is. Love people just as they are and just as they aren’t. Accept and adore yourself exactly the way you are. Feel and know that everything is already perfect. Bask in the bliss of heaven on earth.
Let’s-change-the-world is important. So exciting to make a plan and set a goal. Let’s make this better. It’ll be quicker and easier another way. I know how to fix that. A cure for cancer would be nice. How about that Hyperloop idea!? If I plant the gardenias now, I’ll be able to enjoy watching them bloom later.
When the “two hands” of acceptance and let’s-change-the-world support each other, heaven and earth combine.