Flipsides of the Same Coin
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, and invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger—something better, pushing right back
~Author unknown, partially written by Albert Camus
Emotional agility is a major component of conscious bravery, and within the capacity to be flexible with our emotions comes the crucial skill development of stretching ourselves to both ends of any black and white continuum. The tool of Flip Sides of the Same coin means we elongate into the truth that we can be both strong and vulnerable at the same time—and various degrees of both in between. Strength fuels our ability to be vulnerable, and our authentic vulnerability grows our capacity to be strong. We stretch former beliefs and warm up our fascia of tenderness, and this enables us to have the thicker skin of toughness. Additionally, when we blame, we keep ourselves stuck in a cave of isolation. When we know we want to experience release and feel happier, we can openheartedly surrender that blame, mustering our capacity for assertiveness in bright compassion for our own and others’ greater good. These apparent opposites are flip sides that we can tap into to grow our flexibility in conscious bravery.
Flip Sides of the Same Coin, or seemingly opposing things, are true across the board in all of life. We hold a coin and see that on one side is our ability to be spatial and see things broadly, while, turning it over, we notice that we can also be very concentrated in our vision. We see both the forest and the tree at the same time. The many and the one. The dark and the light. We can hold onto some things and let go of others. They all go together, really. Opposites giving grace to one another. Developing one means enabling its apparent flipside to come to us more easily.
How do we access both sides of our coins? We commit to this yin-yang perspective, and we practice. Action empowers us, developing and embedding our skills. A first step into doing anything is to exhale. The inbreath and the outbreath bring embodiment to our decision to expand any outlook. They are flip sides of the same coin of our lungs. Remember how whenever we’re about ready to do something, we almost always take a deep breath or let out a big sigh? The inbreath opens us up, and the exhale lands us solidly, releasing tension. We can then take action into the less natural opposite of what we might usually do.
Engaging Flip Sides of the Same Coin as a conscious bravery practice, we can, for example, lean into the state of suffering or the state of joy as needed, choosing our direction with mindful awareness. In this way, we weave coherence into our whole beings, re-setting, and retuning. Finding the in-betweens at times, without pressuring ourselves, we remember that our healing and bravery development don’t have a due date. We live in an alchemical space full of potential and accessibility to guidance and wisdom. With greater capacity to be or do many things at once, we become more adaptable, accessing whatever skills are appropriate at the moment when various types of conscious bravery are called for.