When I look at the Chinese yin-yang symbol, the first thing I notice is duality, the dark and the light. Next, I see how they are shaped, occupying their own space while simultaneously providing space for their opposite. Lastly, I see the dot within each that contains light within the dark and vice versa.
Philosophically, we can see the oneness here, too, if we view the whole, circular symbol. The duality, then, is contained in the One.
Why is this important to me, today? In a post that I wrote and never published, I bemoaned the partisan divide in our country. I did not post it because this is not a political blog and my mission is to unite us as fellow travelers, people who are moving through this physical reality wondering and discovering as we grow older and, perhaps, wiser. I like to see more of what connects us rather than what disconnects us.
This morning, I feel a mix of connectedness and disconnectedness. I enjoyed a beautiful sleep, so much so that I found it difficult to rise and greet the day. A part of me didn’t want to put my feet on the floor and begin a day full of responsibilities. Instead of doing things, I wanted to stay in the world of dreams that I enjoyed during the night.
Creativity can take place in either side of that symbol. On the right side of the symbol, I’ve composed songs about death or grief that reveal immense gratitude for life. On the left side of the symbol, I’ve composed songs about joy while acknowledging our need to enjoy it before it invariably disappears. In other words, my writing life (at its best) is complex like the symbol.
As importantly, I am learning that life is not lived well if I am always longing to be in the light. I’ve experienced enough sorrow and grief, now, to know that it is part of the oneness of life, as much a part of the circle as its opposite. The beautiful truth is that we get to experience a deeper kind of love when we move bravely through grief. We find a deeper, more useful kind of wisdom when we recognize that we move through the darkness with our Heartlight showing us the way. And I now know that real joy is necessarily tempered by a realistic understanding that we can be blinded by the light. When we move in this space, we can surf the wave of ecstasy but still look over our shoulders and watch out for the undertow that often follows the wave. For within every experience is some of its opposite.
This means that Republicans have wisdom and so do Democrats. My father who left us also gave me wonderful parts of my personality. The day follows night, fire and water are related and my ability to walk and then run is a part of my willingness to trip and fall flat on my face!
Traveling on an Adventure, we move through the miles much better when we accept every experience. Practically speaking, this is the essence of meditation and life. Mindfulness is not about bliss. It’s about accepting what is without judgment. Sure, I’d rather have a smile on my face than a frown and I wish the same for you. There’s nothing wrong with the “pursuit of happiness,” but let’s not be attached to it. Life is much better, in my opinion, when we reject the notion that success means receiving what we want and, instead, learning to value whatever we have.