Opinion: Wisdom Workout

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Tender Discoveries

What would happen if shoes didn’t come in pairs? Imagine that instead of wearing the same style on both feet, you were free to allow each foot to express itself by choosing its own style.

Maybe you would discover that your right foot is daring and extroverted, therefore, it would choose a shoe with bright colors and a unique design. Your left foot may be more reticent, so it would pick something that would keep it from being noticed.

How would this impact clothing style? Would pants decide to express a unique preference by having different colors and textures for each leg? Moving on up the body, imagine that your arms would want the same privileges. You might discover that your right arm often feels cold and would choose long sleeves and tightly knitted fabrics. Your left arm may hate to be encased in anything and would pick short-sleeves or sleeveless.

If shoes and clothing styles established the fact that each foot, leg, arm and hand was not simply a duplicate of its partner and instead was individual and unique, it could affect how we do everything. For example, maybe one leg likes to walk with a strong, wide outreach, while the other leg prefers smaller, precise steps. One arm may like to swing freely, while the other would rather stay tucked close to your body.

The truth is that if each partner demands its own way, it would create chaos. Therefore, functioning as a pair requires cooperation and flexibility, built on mutual respect.

It would require that no one took the other’s willingness to compromise for granted. Some deeply ingrained habits would have to be explored.Each pair would need to decide when it is appropriate for them to function together and also stay aware that functioning as partners doesn’t mean that they must give up their own identities.

Though couples rarely look like each other physically, being paired requires certain sacrifices for the good of the partnership. What if you have too easily assumed that being a partner means that you each must align your preferences exactly or something is wrong? Perhaps, you are more dominant and expressive and therefore assume that because you “see it and say it” your way of doing things is the right way. Are you aware of your partner as a unique person and do you continue to learn new things about him or her?

It is easy to assume that we already know our partners and friends and expect everything to stay the same as it has always been. Therefore, as long as they function and do their job, we can take them for granted. That attitude leads to becoming numbingly unaware of the significant people in our lives.

We curb our curiosity and interest in others because it is easier to take them for granted. Each of us is a swirling mass of random thoughts, feelings, aspirations, goals, plans, disappointments, loves and hates, contained and often held deeply inside and out of sight.

It takes being awake and aware to our own complexities to become open and receptive to the not-so-obvious aspects of others.

Resolve to listen with a kinder and more attentive ear this week. Open to the subtle clues that surface, by deciding to be both curious and respectfully interested in others. Maybe there are tender treasures to be discovered and uncovered by deepening your intention to really learn anew about the hidden dreams and aspirations of the people that you love.

Susan is the author of: Beyond Intellect: Journey into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind. She loves feedback! Find her at susanvelasquez.com.

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