Recently my yoga teacher was talking about balance and neutrality. What he shared was different than I expected (that’s a lesson in itself, isn’t it?). I was sure he was going to lecture how we need balance in life, the yin and yang of things.
What he actually did talk about was that we seem to experience a lot of extreme ups and downs lately and we are all so focused on putting a positive spin on everything. Make it all look good. See the positive in your break-up or when you get laid off or fired. It’s over the top.
On the flip side, there are people who are always focused on the negative, the next crash or disappointment. They are standing in line at the check-out and the cashier closes the register: they just know that this was bound to happen to them. Nothing ever works out; you can bet on it, they tell you. They are off and running with the latest story of how they got screwed buying tires recently. They “know” the world is going to hell in a hand-basket.
Or we do both in the span of a week, a day, an hour. We are either way up or way down. Like an adrenaline rush. Things are working out and we are flying high, things aren’t working out and we get depressed.
Well, neither one of those perspectives is real. Life simply IS!
It is much less exhausting if we can acknowledge these ups and downs. If we can just observe life working out or not working out as we had hoped. What if we could just accept what is? Neither act positive nor negative. Just acknowledge that something, whether that is sad, painful or super-exciting. Allow it to run its course, because you know it will.
That’s where true peace resides.
What if you are having a conversation that triggers the memory of an incredibly painful time in your life? Of course if you are in a check-out line at the store, it’s not appropriate to delve into it, but what if that happens with friends or family? Or while you are posting in Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Wouldn’t it be incredibly freeing to know that you don’t have to pretend? You can express the facts of what is happening, recognize that although you feel upset this too shall pass.
Or feeling the high of getting our way, because you know this is also fleeting. It’s wonderful, that feeling of making things happen, but observe it. Watch that ego going overboard and rein it in a bit. Opt for balance.
We can share the truth of our lives without delving into a negative story, but with honesty and the awareness that this happens to all of us at one time or another.
Feelings come and go along with our memories. Sometimes talking is the most healing thing you can do, other times just taking time out to process on your own is best.
Extremes are rarely the answer.
Too much positivity creates shame, guilt and envy in others (and if that’s your intention then you likely have those feelings about your own life).
Too much negativity is depressing.
The best gift we can give each other is authenticity and vulnerability; we recognize ourselves in each other. That is where we connect.
We don’t connect when only sharing our strengths.
What would it look like if we were authentic and accept what is?