The Beautiful Mess of Life: How to Allow and Move Past Negative Patterns

If water is too clear, it will not contain fish.
—Chinese proverb

As a culture, we have an obsession with cleanliness. It’s not just bodily cleanliness, though, it’s internal purification as well. We desire to be free of negativity and unwanted emotions and feelings.

So what we often do is push those unwanted feelings out. Or we cover them up with positive thinking. We think, “If I can just think positive enough, then the things I don’t want will disappear.” Yet, I’ve found that this hardly ever works.

I’ve tried it for a long time, and it hasn’t ever worked for me.

It’s in the waste, compost, and ugly mess that flowers grow. It’s through mess that beauty is able to emerge. Not by getting rid of it, but by transforming it.

The water that is too clean has no fish.

Let’s make an assumption. Each thought or situation that arises in your life that you would label as negative or unwanted has an underlying beneficial intention. If you go deeper into the negativity, there may be a lesson, an intended protection, or a concern. And those are there with an intention of doing you some kind of good (even though they may be keeping you stuck or causing you some kind of pain).

By pushing out or trying to escape from a negative situation or thought, you deny a part of yourself. You don’t transform something by denying it. You can’t. You must go through it.

In order to transform it, you must welcome it and give it space. Ask what it is there to teach. Ask what it wants for you. Invite it into your heart, and let it rest there. Make space for it. Only then can you address it and allow it to dissolve.

In this way, the mess becomes beautiful. Underneath the dirt and mess is a beautiful gem. But the mess was necessary in order to create and hold the gem.

If you remember this and practice inviting the mess, you will be able to move beyond it. By holding and loving the unwanted thoughts and emotions, you allow something beautiful to grow in their place. And then, real change can take place. You will no longer be covering up or pushing away with fake positivity. You will experience genuine transformation.

In every mess there is beauty. In every beauty, there is a mess.

Now you can see why denying what we don’t want (the negativity and the mess) we also deny what we do want. We cannot have what we want without going through the mess.

So instead of trying to move away from the mess, go through it. If you always make space for it, it will never control or hinder you again.

photo courtesy of cobalt123

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