If you could give the dark a face, what would it look like? Close your eyes, swallow, take a deep breath, and give it a go. Come on, you can do it.
At first glance, if the face you imagined was scary, monstrous, or even slightly unsettling, you may tend towards yin (generally translated from Chinese as “shady side”). If you visualized an innocuous, pleasant, or even smiling face, you may tend towards yang (generally translated as “sunny side”).
Okay, the test is over. Good luck with your life.
Huh, excuse me. You know me better than that, right? If you’re a first-time reader of my blog, got ya!
So, yes, it goes much deeper. Of course.
What if I told you that one of the secrets to having life balance is warmly inviting the monstrous face into your living room, and keeping the smiling face in your foyer?
And so we come to the final letter in the L.E.G.A.C.Y Blog Series: “Y” for Yin and Yang. You can’t follow all the other principles of L.E.G.A.C.Y, then ignore this one; your life will slowly fall apart.
In the Daoist philosophy, our problems of balance, suffering, even morality, stem from perception. You see, reality is already balanced; in fact, it’s absolutely indivisible. If you don’t believe me, just try to think of anything without it being in some way related to its opposite (e.g., how could you even call your face in the dark scary, if you don’t understand what pleasant is?).
Okay, I’m waiting. Actually, I’ll wait for an eternity … about as long as the logical Law of Opposites will be true.
When we fail to see the appropriate amount of yin and yang in something, our lives have fallen out of balance in that area.
When I’m finished writing this blog, I have to do a ton of preparatory marketing work for my new novel coming out soon, book three in my Captain Shelby Trilogy. Do you think I want to do that? I would rather work on this music video for a song I recently wrote for a friend who is fighting cancer. After that, I have to go to German class where I’ll likely be laughed at for my geeky learning style and for my hopelessly heavy American accent. The point is, if I don’t do these things, I’ll have too much yang and my life will fall out of balance. My book might barely float, and those laughs will get a lot louder.
But how our perceptions fool us. Right now, I don’t perceive any problem with doing music all day. After all, it’s Friday, right?
By the same token, if you obsess with a problem, after you’ve done all you can do to solve it, you’ll quickly become depressed, too much yin flooding into your veins. Perhaps it’s time to get outside and soak in some yang!
For those of you who saw nothing in the dark. Congrats! When it comes to scary things, you have healthy yin and yang.
Now, go work on your yin and yang in all those other areas …
… and don’t forget to keep your enemies close at all times.
Yours in balance,