There’s Something in a Shade of Grey: Breaking the Stark Contrast

by Melody Jean

There’s Something in a Shade of Grey: Breaking the Contrast Contemporary SeekerOne of my all-time favorite songs is Counting Crow’s ‘Ana Begins.’  I love it for a multitude of reasons. Yet, the element that I will touch on in this post is one particular line that has lingered in my cranium ever since I first heard the song well over a decade ago. It sings:

But, I’m sure there’s something in a shade of grey or something in between.” 

With those words, almost unknowingly to me, my soul began the daunting journey of questioning my mind’s either/or perspective.

It’s been a long road to finding the shade of grey that my soul so desperately sought. Yet, still there are times when I slip back into black and white thinking, forgetting grey, as do most of us.

It takes awareness, diligence and good ol’ fashion work to be able to see a shade of grey, or something in between.

More than One

When I was younger and in a conundrum pondering possible solutions, my dad always said that there’s usually more than one reason for something or answer to a problem. He offered that I always wanted yes or no, yet, life wasn’t like that.

Many of us get caught up in this line of thinking. That is, the stark contrast between two, distinct, polar opposites, not realizing that there are endless possibilities.

Those possibilities, too, very well can lie in the beautiful shade of, well, grey.

To think otherwise is very black and white thinking, and with that, self-limiting.

Black, Black, Black, or White, White, White

In recent weeks I was faced with a situation where I forgot about my friend, “grey.” The friend that took me forever to incorporate into part of my being.

I found myself in the trap of thinking I had to choose between to opposite entities.

In fact, I was so deadset against the situation remaining as it was, I convinced myself that if I did not change it, I was forever doomed.

All I could see was black, black, black, or white, white, white.

It was then that I turned to a confidante who reminded me of something important.

She said, “It doesn’t need to be a black or white situation. Responsible choosing allows for many positive options with no need for a big, bad punishment for choosing the “wrong” of two options. There are always way more than two options. We are never trapped except by your own limited perspective.” 

Ahhhh, yes, I thought. Now I remember!

Getting to Grey

In my twenties there were pointed times when I wished I was living in a shade of grey, or even just had the ability to see that grey existed. To be able to fathom something other than the hardcore colors of black and white.

There were many times over the years when I’d be in the midst of a decision, a project, an opportunity, or a problem and that harmonious line by Counting Crows would sound in my head.

It was as if a light bulb would go off. Not to the point where I stopped to think about it in depth, every time. No, of course not – especially when I was just in my young, rash, 20-something days <wink, wink>.

Usually in those moments the thought would flitter into my brain, and leave just as quickly as it came.

From Yesterday to Today

As days turned to years, and I grew older, I was afforded more opportunities to decide among different solutions and answers. Therefore, I often found myself in the juxtaposition of choosing among black/white, either/or and right/wrong.

Looking back, I realize that despite how successful I’ve been on many levels, in my mind’s eye, I often thought there were only two endings. Whatever I decided would end either blissfully right, or so horribly wrong.

With that stress and uncertainty would ensue. My mind and soul were often consumed by “what ifs?”

There is No Wrong

Having tasted a shade of grey, it’s much easier for me to realize, today, that there is no wrong.

If I feel my decision is right at the time of choosing, what transpires after, is just what transpires. It’s not wrong.

It can’t be wrong, because it was chosen, and it was chosen by ME.

Loving Grey

The advice I received to the situation that I opened the post with, was ideal, and just in the nick of time.

While I know that we all have the tendency to fall back into black and white thinking at times, it pays to remember, “grey.”

So here I sit, again, in a comfy shade of grey, instead of the dark contrast of black or white. No longer pushing and pulling or tossing and turning.

Yes, my fellow seekers, there is indeed always something in a shade of grey or something in-between.

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