When I was young, all television was broadcast in only black and white. This meant all colors were translated into some form of gray. You could certainly see and understand the images, but it wasn’t very interesting.
I can still remember the first time I saw a television show in color at the home of a family friend. It was amazing!
Sometimes the movie, The Wizard of Oz, is still broadcast in its original format – with the beginning in black and white then color suddenly appearing when Dorothy awakens in the Land of Oz.
Living in Black and White
Too many people these days are living their lives in black and white instead of in color.
Are you one of them?
Living in black and white means:
- You see very few options.
- You may bounce back and forth between two extremes.
- You are really good at either/or thinking.
- You have parts of yourself that you can’t seem to make work with other parts of yourself.
The hectic pace of today’s world is pushing us more towards black and white thinking and living. You rush through life by multitasking as much as possible and are left feeling distracted, alienated and exhausted. You then recover by unthinking entertainment provided on some kind of screen.
The depth of experience and the richness of the world is lost in the frantic pace AND in the mindlessness of your downtime.
Black and white life is increasingly isolated and self-absorbed despite the hectic pace and the multitudes of people that are included.
At times it feels chaotic and in response you may find yourself becoming rigid in order to push back the chaos.
It’s a survival mechanism when we feel overwhelmed. You turn to it because it’s simple and it works. But it robs you greatly in the long run.
Living in Color
Living in color means creating a life and a world that leaves you feeling connected, full of meaning and purpose, alive and whole. It’s a life that is integrated instead of fragmented.
Integration is by nature harder. It’s complex because it’s combining all parts into a whole. And it can be uncomfortable because it requires you to be continuously challenged.
The reward of integration though is far bigger than the effort put in. The sum of the parts is so much bigger than the whole!
It’s only when you acknowledge, honor and use all parts of yourself that you are reaching your true potential. Integration leads to success and to happiness.
Two Concepts of Integration
There are two important concepts about integration.
First is that integration starts with differentiation – that means that there are parts of the whole that are specialized for different purposes. Each of the parts of you is valuable and there for a purpose.
So integration is not the same as blending; instead integration links together parts that continue to have their own distinctness.
The second important concept of integration is that of the dialectical. A dialectical is two things that sound or feel like they cancel each other out but actually can go together. For example, I can both love my mother and hate her.
The two elements in a dialectical seem like opposites, but integration requires you to find a way to hold them both as true. To allow the tension that might be created by this paradox of the two.
The first and most vital dialectical in integration is that you need to both differentiate and link. The goal of integration is to get to know yourself – become more aware of your own internal processes, values, talents, goals and needs – while still linking the various parts and aspects of yourself, pulling them together into a harmonious whole.
Achieving integration requires you
to slow down,
to be very aware and
to allow yourself to feel discomfort at times.
And it is so worth the efforts. Integration moves you and your life towards a harmonious flow.
Integration gives you gifts like being flexible, adaptive, connected and open. You become receptive to new things and engaged. Your life has new vitality.
What have you tried to move yourself to more integration in your thinking and your living? Let us know in the comments below.