Life isn’t about success or being happy all the time. Everything is, according to old Asian wisdom; yin and yang. Opposites spinning together. One can’t exist without the other. No right no wrong. Just an ever ending circle, of life. In this article I’ll name values Yang and fears Yin.
It’s not just about the Yang
Unconsciously and consciously we are brought up to believe that it’s only yang that matters. That it’s the “bright side” of life that we chase and which defines our “success”. Yin, on the other hand, all that is dark and perceived as negative, needs to be avoided. We have diagnoses for anything that makes us less happy and creates anxiety. In other words; it needs treatment. And is to be avoided at all cost.
But we can’t avoid what has to be in order for us to live.
If you don’t sleep well, you might seek medical advice. Your sleeplessness is treated as something wrong.
If you feel down and sad you might get diagnosed, and get treatment. Because feeling down and sad for no obvious reason, is perceived as something that needs to be avoided.
But what if we loose out of the yin part of life by always seeking a solution that as quickly as possible can get us back to the happy life?
What if we loose out on life itself by not embracing the whole circle, both yin and yang, not only one side of the equation.
Don’t miss out on half of the circle
Perhaps you have once been asked to list your top values. Maybe even done different questionnaires to narrow down your top five. It feels good right, to get clear on those values and then start navigating based on these values.
When we live by our values, we feel good.
But when we don’t, we can’t sleep and feel tired and life feels hard. And so we seek treatment and answers.
Half of the circle is missing, but instead of turning towards the other half, we strive to regain the missing part.
Not only do the yin and yang melt together, they also nourish each other.
If everything is yin and yang, our values (yang) also have a yin; our fears.
If you can’t sleep, or feel anxious, what value didn’t you honor?
How values and fears nourish each other
I can’t tell you what is true, or what isn’t, but let me give you an example. You might have a value of having high standards. It’s important to do good work. To deliver great results and this is something you then strive to live by.
But “high standards” might have an opposite; a fear of not being acknowledged for your work. So when you unconsciously let fear rule your thoughts and feelings, your body reacts with sleeplessness and a feeling of being unworthy and not good enough. You might strive for acknowledgment, without fully being aware that this is what you are doing, and that this is what is causing lack of sleep and a depressed mindset. Instead of honoring your value, you say yes to more than you can handle, and act in hunger to be noticed.
The fear of not be acknowledged might be perceived as negative (ego) but in the circle of life, this fear also creates your value of having high standards. You see, you can’t have one without the other.
If you realize this, if you’re able to find what fear is creating these reactions (like sleepless nights where your mind keeps telling you that you are not good enough), you can start exploring and embracing your fears. Knowing that you need them as they nourish your values. That way you can start living a greater life – living the whole circle. Yin & Yang.
I am not writing about serious sleeplessness or deep depression or from a medical or psychological view. Neither is this article meant to give medical nor psychological advise.