iconParadoxes of Life

Throughout life there are paradoxes that seem to make sense out of normally confusing situations. “You won’t find love until you stop looking for it,” “Sometimes you must first lose everything before you can have anything,” “You must let go before you really can have control.”

These seemingly contradictory phrases counterintuitively make sense and sum up certain parts of life that are otherwise unexplainable or outside our initial understanding. What do these phrases do to help us understand what in life is so complex we don’t grasp it until it’s paraphrased? Why are they so¬†poignant and telling? What lies in the contradiction that allows us to relate to such counterintuitive statements?

Life presents us with many situations that go against the grain of what we typically think to be true of the world. Our brains are telling us one way of doing things, which we think is the most logical, but in reality the solution is the farthest from our intuitive solution. When we were young we all crushed on someone, a person to whom we were attracted either physically, emotionally, or intellectually. The common response of someone young is to show someone we love our cards, to lay it all out on the table before them… but often this route backfires and our love is unrequited.

This situation doesn’t make intuitive sense. It follows that if we love someone we should tell them, and after knowing they should return our affections. What we fail to see of this situation is that there is another and equally important part – the other person. In our youth we rarely consider the ideas or feelings of others in such a way to give us insight into such a complex scenario such as dating or relationships.

We see our parent’s relationships, but we don’t understand what has taken place and what work has gone into things. We are naive and don’t understand the seemingly complex nature of the world. At this stage of life we are introduced to an early paradox: If you like someone you can’t tell them you like them, and even better you should ignore them sometimes.What? How on earth does this make sense?

This is one of many paradoxes we are confronted with as we grow into adulthood. As we mature and gain a better understanding of our lives, ourselves, and the world around us we begin to see that these paradoxes are merely stepping stones to a greater understanding of life. Until we gain insight and experience we rely on advice and paradoxical statements to guide us.

No matter how old or how experienced we become these contradictions in life always appear and we use them to shape the world as we peel back another layer of our life experience. Paradoxes are a necessary tool we use to help wrap our minds around the parts of life we will always struggle to understand.


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