Contrast is a tool for helping us gain clarity about what we do want through being aware of what we do not want. Contrast refines our preferences, whether the contrast is painful and radically contrary to our desire or “just a bit different” than what we seek.

  • “Contrast” as part of “compare and contrast” helps us become aware of and refine what we want.
  • When something shows us as contrast, we can choose to view it as a gift for our clarity… as long as we do use it for clarity by asking useful questions.

They Picked On Me!

Who likes to be picked on? No one!

What becomes of the person who was picked on and bullied as a child? We know that sometimes that leads a person to become a bully themselves. They try to “solve” the horrible feeling of being bullied by being meaner and tougher than others around them.

Sometimes the trauma of bullying can leave us frozen, unwilling to risk being anywhere with anyone that will pick on us… hiding to avoid even more pain. And when we can’t hide, we might expect (even allow people) to continue to abuse us because, hey, don’t we deserve it? It seemed that way back then!

Here’s where contrast can help. After actively healing some of the trauma from past bullying, we can get clear: as a result of those experiences, what am I truly wanting to have in my life?

Some answers might include:

  • Physical and emotional safety
  • Acceptance of how I am different from others
  • Mutual respect
  • Non-violent communication
  • Freedom to leave and get away from situations and people who are abusive
  • Co-create spaces with other beings who want similar safety, respect, and freedom

Notice how contrast can lead to devotion to qualities that thriving people cherish.

Many in our community experienced bullying and abuse earlier in our lives, sometimes from the people who were supposed to protect us. As trauma heals, we can take the contrast from those experiences and actively choose to live differently.

I Was Wanting More… What?

Contrast often shows up with an “ouch.” It’s normal to react with blame or hurt feelings. That can also trigger trauma responses inside us as well.

An alternative is to pause and get clear: “I was wanting more…”

What? What were you wanting that was not showing up? Respect? Acceptance? Support? Understanding? Patience? Consideration?

People who are not thriving often don’t have a lot of those emotional qualities to offer. If someone says, “I am worried about you,” that may feel like contrast. “I was wanting more… reassurance and faith that I will find a way here… more confidence in my resilience.”

Contrast is a regular visitor. How we greet it can help us gain clarity, share what we’re wanting more of in our lives, and allow ourselves and those around us to thrive together even in challenging circumstances.

Useful Questions

  • So what is it that I DO want here?
  • I was wanting more… what?
  • How does this situation contrast with what would be more acceptable (and thriving) for me?
  • Does this kind of contrast keep showing up in my life? If so, what is it indicating to me that I want instead?
  • If I pause rather than react to the contrast, gain clarity about my true preferences, and then and only then take action… how does my life improve?
  • What if I expect contrast as a natural part of refining my preferences, and instead of pushing against it, allow it to redirect me?


  • Abraham-Hicks on Contrast

Related Concepts

Clarity, Body Guidance, Awareness, Devotion

Contributors: @Rick

We invite you to share your experiences and wisdom:

  • Life examples where this concept has played a role
  • Other useful questions
  • Links to audios, videos, books, and courses that add to our shared understanding of this concept
  • Memes, quotes, and inspiring images

Added They Picked on Me and I Was Wanting More… What?


See the book


I prefer the hearty optimism in this quote… and the intention to bring harmony amidst contrast (especially with those we love).