Updated: Aug 10, 2021
There is an aphorism in Zen philosophy, “the source of human suffering is the desire to obtain (pursuing happiness) the unobtainable (pure bliss) and the desire to avoid (running away from anxieties and fears) the unavoidable (complete sadness)”. In other words, the pursuit of this one-sided life is the source of aggravation and extreme frustration.
Ever wonder why when you’re seeking positivity, negativity just pops up?
The Kybalion explains the law as: “Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.”
You are designed with both sides, how magnificent?
You have an autonomic nervous system that is designed for both support and challenge. Within this system, you have your parasympathetic nervous system responsible for rest and digestion and on the other side, the sympathetic nervous system, that takes care of the stressful situations that pop up. These two are complementary opposites and are both required to ensure a fully healthy functioning body and mind.
When your parasympathetic nervous system is too dominant you become too relaxed, not due to excellent health, rather to a damaged body that just needs a lot of rest and cannot be aroused and you suffer from lethargy. When your sympathetic nervous system is too dominant, your body remains in a state of fight or flight most of the time and in this state, degenerative processes begin and when left unaddressed, can result in a variety of chronic health conditions and overall poor health.
When the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are in balance, the tendency is to rest as much as your body requires and easily allow for renewal and healing to the body. Balance between the two systems is key toward greater health and vitality.
Negative self-talk, is a response to unrealistic fantasies to get you grounded and to set realistic achievable goals. Feelings of depression often occur when our current reality does not match the unrealistic fantasy. As Dr. Demartini explains, “depression and anxiety do not have to be perceived as ‘terrible’ afflictions. Instead, they could be perceived as feedback mechanisms to your conscious mind to guide or initiate you to go back and set more realistic goals and expectations or clarify realistic strategies to achieve your desires.”
On the opposite side, feelings of pride and elation occur as a response to set higher-achieving goals for your purpose. The negative and positive self-talk is our intuitive self, whispering to us to be objective, to bring us back to Aristotle’s Golden Mean, the basic principle of moderation, or striving for balance between the two extremes.
Everyone has tendencies of being kind and cruel, generous and stingy, nice and mean. Diogenes, an ancient greek philosopher went on the search for an honest man, but reputedly found nothing but rascals and scoundrels. This is the reality of the world we live in. By embracing and appreciating the contribution of both sides of yourself and the world around you, presents a more practical and meaningful way to address your life.
When you are willing to see both sides of life, you are more likely to love and appreciate yourself. Denying or suppressing the one side makes the other side rule and takes you off centre, on either extreme you are not objective but overruled. How are you going to love yourself if you're trying to get rid of half of yourself?