Did you know that ambivalence is proving to be a powerful emotional tool for creativity and becoming unstuck?
Harvard Business Review posted an article in 2021 https://hbr.org/2021/09/embracing-the-power-of-ambivalence reporting some research which found that work cultures who model and embrace ambivalence produce several beneficial qualities in the work environment, including an increase in creativity and safety.
I wonder.... if this is true, is it also true that ambivalence is generally helpful in producing more of the kind of relationships we are longing for so desperately?
Ambivalence is feeling torn between two opposite emotional states. Ambivalence is often thought of as indifference, but that definition couldn't be further from reality.
When I experience ambivalence, I am getting emotional data that feels like a contradiction within. Contradiction often feels like conflict. Of course, we are programmed to believe that conflict is bad unless the conflict produces a winner and a loser, like in sports. Even a losing outcome feels more satisfying (in a way) than the tension of a tie where no team is obviously better.
What if we could grow our ability to become curious when we experience ambivalence? Even more, what if we could have a group of people who are willing to explore these differing emotions within us rather than demanding a state of decisiveness?
Story work is by nature, a container for the deep and often frustrating waters of ambivalence. When we combine the difficulty of ambivalence with the psychological impact of our formative stories, it's a recipe. Notice I didn't say for good or bad. It's simply a recipe...a potential for something.
Do you feel stuck in some way?
Do you have one or more stories from your growing up years that you just can't shake away?
Would you like to have a safe place to tell the story?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, story group might be right for you.
If you answered no to any of these questions, story group might especially be right for you!
Everyone has a story and every story is worth hearing.
When we take a closer look at our stories within a structured context, themes and perspectives that create our view toward ourselves, others, and God, can better be seen.
Nestled within our stories is the power to create - the power to grow - even in a mess.
Would you like to join a story group? We are offering three story groups beginning late in January 2024. All of the groups will be virtual. We would love to have you join us and be with you to explore your stories.