The virtue of loving both

I remember moving to Chicago the first time, back in 2008. It was a new adventure. I was leaving the small town rural life behind for new horizons. I was leaving the ordinary world for the stormy, husky, brawling city.

When I got to Chicago, I felt so…
Alive.

Chicago ended up not working out the first time. Being that we were in the midst of a worldwide recession, money ran short. We decided to head back home to northern Nevada closer to family after a two-year slugfest with the big city.

Human capital is a great thing when you’re feeling low, both spiritually and financially.

I remember that move back home. It was a rough one. We returned, tail between our legs, defeated by the city of big shoulders. That’s hard on the ego. So what did my ego do? It did its typical judo reversal and bashed the big city. My personal narrative went something like this...

Ugh, yeah, Chicago sucks. It’s too cold in the winter. Too hot in the summer. Crime and homelessness everywhere. So much nicer here at home.

The ego forces us to choose. To define. To pick black or white.

We grew to love it back home. And then this opportunity came up for us in Chicago. All of a sudden, the ego did the same thing.

Yeah, small town living is lame. We need more than this. There’s not much to do here. So boring. Chicago is so much better.

But this time, I called my ego and its dualistic hijinks out on the floor. And I realized that it was just doing its thing, being a helpful decision-making tool.

But it’s limiting. Severely limiting.

Yes, the ego forces us to choose. To define. To pick black or white.
But the spirit has room for infinity.

I just went for a walk tonight like I do every night with my dog. It’s a warm late summer’s night. Our neighborhood here in Chicago is sublime. It’s just quiet enough but lively enough. It’s clean but vintage. It’s friendly but not intrusive.

And then, my thoughts took me back home. The Sierras were practically in our backyard. Lake Tahoe was 20 minutes away. Crime was zero.

No, ego. I can say yes to both. I can love both. I can fully own the fact that both can live in the same sacred space.

Yes, both.

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