Yin and Yang
Light and dark, hot and cold, positive and negative. Yin and Yang, two opposing forces that are complementary. So why do I feel so bogged down by all the negativity surrounding me at the moment?
Why is the world so obsessed by all the bad stuff rather than the good things? I often wonder what it would be like to read a paper that only reported positive news. Instead of celebrating that lost cat, how about celebrating the found one? Or instead of reporting on another war, let’s report on two countries getting along for a change.
Ok, so I realise I’m being somewhat simplistic here, but I’m trying to make the point. As they say, no news is good news. Which is so true. The evil, the sad, the tragic, the horrific, they’re newsworthy, they sell papers or get people tuning in. The happy, clappy happenings just don’t pull the crowds.
Last night, I was at a meeting for my local town and was talking to the mayor afterwards and she hit the nail on the head. She mentioned how often reference is made to the deprivation of this area. And therein lies the problem I think. Rather than go at a problem looking ahead, too often we go in looking back, taking a defeatist attitude that if it didn’t work before, or if it went wrong last time, then why bother? And this is so true of life I feel. We avoid relationships if we’ve just come out of a bad one, we won’t eat somewhere we’ve had a bad meal at, we won’t speak to that person that upset us last month. There are so many times when we let negativity lead when we should instead let it teach us. What did you learn from that bad relationship, how have you grown as a person as a result? Did you let the restaurant manager know about the problem so that it could be addressed? How do you know that person wasn’t rude because they were having a tough time and you caught them in a bad moment?
Even with children, there are so many negatives, it’s a wonder we ever notice the positives! A tough pregnancy, followed by a long and painful labour, only to find you have a child that doesn’t sleep through at 6 weeks, that wants to be carried all the time, that cries with pain every evening. The list goes on. Instead of seeing these things as problems, what if we started to see them as learning experiences? A difficult pregnancy might mean the mother-to-be needs to slow her life down a bit or make some changes. A long and painful labour should not be the focus of post-birth discussions, instead the result of a new family member and the wonderful ability of the woman to produce that child. That baby isn’t sleeping at 6 weeks because it isn’t supposed to. It wants to be carried to be close to its caregivers, after all, it is totally dependent on them. That baby that cries all evening needs lots of extra cuddles and patience as its parents take the time to show they are there for baby and will not abandon it when it needs them most; baby can only communicate its needs this way.
As with Yin and Yang, there needs to be negative for there to be positive, but can we change our approach? Can we use the negative to create something positive and stop focusing our energy on the bad stuff? Can we look ahead and be more appreciative of the learning opportunities that come from the bad things?