The AND Strategy

by Caroline van Kimmenade

If you struggle with over-giving, or often get duped because you tend to only notice the good in people, then you’ll want to start practicing the AND strategy. The AND strategy asks us to be open to allowing opposites, or conflicting observations to be present at once. It defies the totalitarian logic of rational thinking and attunes us to all of who we are and all of our senses for a pluralistic and more complete […]

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1 Debra February 26, 2014

This article came at such a *perfect* time for me! I’ve been struggling with relationship issues between myself and 3 different girlfriends (all at the same time, no less – can we say “overwhelmed”?!), and wondering what to do with each of them. As an HSP/partial empath, AND a Bigger Picture type, I normally seek to do the “rightest” thing possible for all concerned. (while others go blithely about, stepping on toes and acting decidedly self-serving…ugh) But it’s often such an exercise in frustration, and so very exhausting, yet I still feel *compelled* to tackle these issues in my own, broader way. To make matters worse, my spouse is definitely a “black and white,” either/or, totalitarian, AND non-empathetic type, so usually favours the “just dump ’em then” approach, making my decision-making process all the more agonizing should I ask for his opinion when I’m feeling conflicted.

So while I’ve just made some decisions and took some action on how I wanted to handle at least 2 of the 3 gf issues so far, reading your article immediately after the fact has done some very key things for me:
– validated how intricate finding a good balance can be in working through such dilemmas.
– validated how I’m not alone in wanting to consider every conceivable ‘angle’ I possibly can, and that I’m NOT wasting my precious time in doing so.
– letting me know I don’t need to beat myself up for seeming to be “indecisive” as I try to integrate an “all of the above” approach, i.e., it’s OKAY to use it ALL and not be forced into feeling there’s something “wrong” with me just because I don’t fit the usual rigid (and yes, I’d agree, often “brutal”) lines of handling things!
– and perhaps most importantly of all, this is another one of those vital “giving oneself permission” approaches I’ve found so invaluable for all manner of emotionally-charged yet also cognitive challenges in life, and for building self-acceptance and self-trust.

A brilliant piece, Caroline! Thank you so much!!

PS. I also just love your uber-creative, playful, and most amusing “verifying” system prior to posting – SO much fun!

2 Caroline van Kimmenade February 26, 2014

That is great to hear Debra! Thanks for sharing those inner shifts with us.

I love the free verifying system too. You just reminded me to let the people who created it know that I appreciate them, by sending them a donation :)

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