Can I get a little yin with my yang?


No matter what you’re going through, the gift of time shows that sometimes just the beauty remains.

by Cherri Ellis

I can’t seem to avoid the lesson of duality lately.   The special of the day is the same as always: With every plate of yin you get a free side of yang, whether you order it or not.

The philosophy of yin and yang basically promises harmony to the universe through the balance of two equal but opposite forces.  The symbol splits a circle with two interlocked fish, each with a dot in the middle to show that there is a little of the opposite in everything. Part of the idea is that polar opposites only exist in relation to each other. For something to be considered masculine or feminine, or light or dark, it requires a point of reference—something to which it can be compared. Charlie Sheen looks insane until you compare him to Jeffery Dahmer. Suddenly the spoiled, burned–out sitcom star looks like he’s got it together just because he hasn’t killed and eaten anyone.

I know the concept to be rock solid, because it is both ancient and Chinese. There are over 1.3 billion Chinese people on the planet. That’s a huge talent pool from which to pull good ideas. Like it or not, with talent pools—size matters.

That which attracts you is what will ultimately repel you. The passion that you found so fascinating in a new love will, after some time has passed, look like so much drama. Elaborate nurturing can soon feel like control. Someone who is appealingly steady will eventually bore. Enviable morality will one day smack of self righteousness….  You name it—it has a dark side, and the catalyst that makes the change happen is time.    Here’s the good part, though. Hang on long enough, and things will change again. The world, beautifully, breathes and shifts.

Life’s fullest moments are full of both sides of the heart. The outpouring of love that is generated during times of crisis is buttery good. The daily kindnesses, the affirmations, the show of solidarity—it’s good stuff. Constantly hearing that you’re loved and forefront in people’s minds….it’s pretty much the way I like to live. Tragedy is a game changer. It shows life through an immediately different lens. Priorities shift in the blink of an eye, and what you spent most of your last Monday doing no longer matters at all.

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone. She was in the middle of the biggest professional crisis of her life and as she told me the lurid details over the cell, her youngest daughter decided to not be put off any longer. She crawled into her mother’s lap and repeated everything she said word for word right after she said it. I got every sentence of the story twice. The frazzled mom didn’t even to stop to fight with the child about it. She just plowed through, so it sounded like “OMG the presentation was a nightmare. OMG the presentation was a nightmare. I could feel the hate waves coming across the desk. I could feel the hate waves coming across the desk.”  What is so telling to me now is that I can’t remember what the business crisis was, but I remember how funny it was to hear a five–year–old deadpan mock her mother until she got what she wanted. No matter what you’re going through, the gift of time is that sometimes just the beauty remains.

I recently discovered that the bra I had previously considered to be my least comfortable bra, I had actually been wearing inside out. That was a humbling yet useful bit of information to glean, and I look forward to recognizing such simple solutions with any future problems.

Sometimes, however, not everything is so simply solveable. Life cannot just come at you fast like in the commercials—it can bitch slap you down to the ground and dare you to get up. When that happens, gather your breath, take the time you need to find your balance, but then get to your feet. Remember that dawn will follow the darkness, with or without your permission, and however bad it seems right now, it will not last. Yin and yang—1.3 billion Chinese people can’t be wrong.

One Response to “Can I get a little yin with my yang?”

  1. Chere Brown says:

    I love reading your articles of life,love and perspective. You have such a great way of putting life into shape. Thanks.

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