People love absolutes. They like distinct sides to choose from. They want polarized answers, because proving one right also proves the other wrong. There is a concreteness to blacks and whites that can be agreed upon. The gray is much trickier. It gets neglected as being neither instead of heralded as both.
|photo credit: thehdrimage.com
By pledging our allegiance to a single position we miss out on all the other truths we might have known. There are a lot of other options between CrossFit and laying on the couch. When you believe there is only one right and fall short, you internalize that failure as your fault. You start hating yourself for not being able to do what others do. But where do you question whether that’s right for you in the first place? Before starting or after your breakdown? The answer is in between. It’s in process. That’s where you figure out what turns to make. The learning and development of practice lies in the gray. Uniqueness and individuality live in neutral colors, unafraid to combine or detract to form something new.
When you live by all or nothing you will always end up with less than, because the all is unsustainable. It’s why diets fail and clean eating turns into orthorexia. Extremes breed bitterness and further extremes. Somehow the whites get whiter and the blacks get blacker, but the grays seem to hold firm. Expecting variation gives you the freedom to linger, consider, and think. Gray knows it doesn’t have to be black. And it doesn’t try to be white. It acknowledges exactly what it is, and knows it can make adjustments accordingly.
The gray is consistent, the gray is formidable, and the gray is compelling. It validates the endpoints but recognizes that the widest, most applicable range of certainties lies in-between. In a world where the most genuine of answers is always, “it depends”, the gray is a comfortable familiarity.