What does “Interesting” REALLY mean? Getting to Love Someone Better Through Precision in Language I often hear people say, “I think that’s really interesting.” What does that mean? Interesting like noteworthy, exciting, or fascinating? Interesting like disgusting, confusing, disappointing? Do you want to know more, do you feel cautious or…

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Help! I Want To Stand Up For Myself But I’m Afraid Of Causing Pain Dear Jordan, How can setting and having boundaries be loving? I know you have said I can just say no but when I try to do what I know is best for me, my friend seems…

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Saving The World

The Frustrating Secret to “Saving The World” Love, Acceptance, and the Paradox of Change Loving People As They Are, Instead of Telling Them How to Be There’s a magical paradox that happens when we love someone perfectly as they are—this love often allows them to change. In fact, I think…

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Minimizing Ulterior Motives in Communication for More Efficient and Loving Interactions Communication goes a lot better when we learn to take responsibility for what we feel instead of blaming another person, trying to fix them, or manipulating them. This is called “owning your experience [1]” in a lot of circles, and…

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Finding Strength By Exploring Weakness You may have heard it before—your greatest gift often comes from exactly what you think your biggest weakness is. They are usually two sides of the same coin. Take neediness for example. Being needy sucks—the needy person feels like someone else holds the key to…

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Communicate Authentically to Find a Fierce Love Beyond Social Niceness Dear Jordan: “How the heck do I communicate to an acquaintance that I’m willing to be friendly, but I have no desire to invite her to events or spend time with her? Isn’t that insincere? But if my only other…

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Why I Do Not Believe In Pathology & How this Affects Happiness and Spiritual Awakening  There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with your life. Despite what I tell you, despite what advertisements tell you, despite the idea of enlightenment, despite all of the changes you want…

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Fixing Psychological Problems

How can I hold both of these seemingly contradictory truths?

I have to let go of the assumption that two contradictory ideas cannot coexist at the same time. Beyond relativism, where I can be both tall and short from different perspectives, it is quite possible to be both happy and sad at the same time—from the same perspective.

Easier said than done. We are socialized to draw distinctions and create absolute boundaries because they can be extremely useful. Yet when it comes to the complexity of the self system, psychology, and human emotion, a more encompassing way of understanding is necessary to be more accurate and caring.

So once I let myself experience both the desire to fix my own problem (of wanting to fix other’s problems), and the desire to not fix my own problem (partly in order to fix it), I relax into that paradox.

And whenever I feel myself relaxing into the paradox in order to resolve it, I notice that and laugh. If I notice myself using that relaxation as a technique to fix myself, I just stay with it, noticing the feelings of disappointment and frustration, of wonder and excitement.

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