Win-Win / by Dana Bergstrom

I remember the day my therapist said I could achieve win-wins in any situation.

The cogs in my brain came to a screeching halt.

I contorted my face and squinted at her, certain that she was now the nut in the room.

Doesn't my therapist know the world's a place where we battle for resources and security and there's no way there could always be a win-win?

Doesn't she understand that humans are born inherently broken and that I've been working really hard to become a better person?

Doesn't she get that life itself is difficult not easy?

But here's the thing: My therapist is amazing and she'd never said anything outrageous like this before.

And I truly wanted to understand how she could make such an unreasonable statement.

So with my still squished up face I softly asked, "What do you mean?"

She said that I could decide to do only what brings me JOY.

And if I allow the other person to do only what brings them JOY, then we could come together in JOY and that's a win-win.

My grimace remained.

WHO does only what brings them joy? Who lives like that?

I've witnessed obligation and shoulds and have-tos and need-tos and sacrifice all based on external authority type definitions of what is good, right, healthy, Biblical and worthy.

But JOY?

Doesn't that make you a hedonist headed straight for hell, or if there is no hell, at least condemnation from all of the "moral and upstanding people" of the world?

Welp. My therapist and I had this conversation several years ago, and it's taken me until now to fully comprehend what she was talking about.

Today I can see clearly how I am able to live every moment for the purpose of joy.

It's actually possible.

And that's because I have the ability to think whatever thought I want.

I can always choose the least resistant thought in this very moment.

My petty mind (the new name for ego - it gives it less power!) is always gonna conjure up some reason not to enjoy this very moment. It'll go to the past or the future and focus on negativity or as I used to call it, "reality".  :)  "I suck, you suck, this situation sucks." That's where my petty mind likes to live - in resistance.

But it's entirely possible to let go of thoughts of lack and move to a state of allowing goodness to flow.

In my case, it's been important to let go of the belief system that we're all born sinful, broken, lacking, and separate from one another. That makes it sound like life begins as a problem.

When, in truth, there is no problem.

There's a stream of creative wholeness called Life Energy or God or Source or whatever you wanna call it, that I'm either allowing or I'm resisting with my thinking.

I know win-wins are possible now.

As I continue to allow that stream to flow, I am trusting in the goodness of life itself.

And I'll run into people who feel the same way and we'll create beautiful conversations, experiences and things together.

Like today!

We've become pals with our mail lady. As soon as she got our route, she began giving our old dog, Oslo, treats every day. This brought her and Oslo joy. Then we'd give her chocolate and coffee to-go on cold days, bringing joy to her and us.

We had so much fun chatting when we first met that, right away, I got casual with language. This brought us both marvelous, curse-filled joy.

Anyway...she's been out on leave for weeks and hasn't seen the exterior on the fixer upper that Pauly and I have been having so much fun and joy creating.

And today I find this on the back of some junk mail in my mailbox.

A joyful, sweary note from my favorite mail carrier!

Made my day!

Win-wins abound!