Life is Messy, Embrace it.
March 18, 2017
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Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

Think of a drop of water in relation to a puddle in the ground. Then think of that puddle in relation to a lake. Now, think of a lake in relation to the ocean, and the ocean in relation to planet earth. Earth is a fairly big planet yet when compared to other bodies in space, it is but a speck of dust, one of many floating around in space. This is one of the simpler aspects of Einstein’s theory of relativity which, put in a very simplistic way, said that there is no absolute frame of reference. Everything is relative, that is, the size of the puddle depends on the viewer – the puddle is to an ant, what the lake is to a human being.

The Concept of Duality

Einstein’s theory of relativity then creates the foundation for the concept of Duality which is the nature in which anything and everything holds opposing truths – all of which are true. Paradoxical, I know! To break it down, here’s what we are saying. The puddle is a huge body of water – this is true for the ant. The puddle is also a small body of water – this is true for the human being. The puddle is both huge and small – opposing truths – but neither truth trumps the other. Truth is truth, even when it is relative because it is all about the observer’s point of view.

Being a spiritual being in the realm of duality means that for the most part, we experience life in duality. The mind experiences both positive thoughts and negative thoughts. That means that it is possible to think that all people deserve to be respected, and also think about wanting to hit a slow walking person in the street over the head with a shovel, in the same breath. The heart experiences both positive emotions and negative emotions. It is possible to feel both happy and guilty at the same time, like when you’re having the smoothest milkshake of your life but are still consciously aware of all the extra calories you are consuming. The body also experiences pleasurable and painful senses – the most common being the all famous painful itch – it hurts when you scratch but the relief feels oh so good. All of it together forms a wholesome experience.

Life is messy

Life is messy. Some people glee in how messy their lives are for various reasons – shock value, sympathy, self-deception, but there are others who would rather cut off their noses than admit that their lives are a mess. The truth is, life is messy for everyone for as long as we exist in the realm of duality. A coin is not only made by the heads or the tails. We cannot afford to fixate on one side without the risk of missing the beauty, wonder, fullness and growth potential in the other. It is time we accepted that everyone makes bad choices every once in a while – sometimes even on purpose. We all have a dark side that sometimes secretly craves and revels in chaos and anarchy. The side that wants to gag an incessantly crying baby. The side that secretly hopes someone’s relationship fails. The side that wants to flip out a driver changing lanes at a turn. Basically, the side that we frequently tell to use the inside voice. It’s nothing to feel bad about, it’s just what it is.

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Everyone has a dark side.

The human experience and life in general is tailored in this way. Bad decisions turn into lessons. Temptations fortify your discipline. Frustration teaches you patience. Anger challenges your ability to show compassion and forgiveness. Bitterness tests your ability to let go of unpleasantness and move on. Turbulence reminds you to appreciate peace of mind. In order to fully realize the human experience, we must accept the messy side of life and the dark side of our personalities, albeit, (and this is perhaps the most important part) with good temperance. Embrace the downswing of life with as much vigour as you do the upswing.

How far you go in life depends on your being compassionate with the young, the aged, the striving, and the weak. Because, someday you will have been all of these things.

George Washington Carver



About author

Wanjiru Ndung'u

Wanjiru Ndung'u writes fiction, poetry and essays. She is an irretrievable night owl, tea-lover and cat mom. She enjoys books, alternative music, movies and streaming shows.

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