In this short, sharp, snappy article, we’ll explore one of the less talked about sides of life as a living, breathing human being. It is an ‘ugly truth’ that most people prefer not to even consider, let alone face up to and accept.
This truth has everything to do with balance and the two-sided nature of life. You see, we have become a society that is fixated on the quest for all things good – happiness, health, satisfaction, love (along with things many people think are good – wealth, power, beauty). This, however, makes us unwilling to accept anything bad or undesriable.
In actual fact, many things that we associate as being good are simply a lack of something bad; happiness is a lack of sadness, peace is a lack of conflict, contentment is a lack of stress, belief is a lack of doubt, and so on.
What’s more, there tends to be a natural cycle between such things caused by none other than the ebbs and flows of life. Happiness cannot last forever because sadness is a natural reaction to certain events. Peace will eventually give way to conflict, just as belief is shattered by the return of doubt.
Without full spiritual realization and the ascension beyond all that is linked to the individual mind-body, fluctuations between positive and negative will occur until our dying days.
What does this all mean?
It means we needn’t try to run from all our negative emotions and unwelcome circumstances because they are just part of the greater cycle our lives follow. The flow is not always an even oscillation either; both long and short waves of good/bad are possible.
You might go weeks, months, or even years without having too much in the way of bad enter you life and then face a prolonged period of it – and vice versa. Trying to fight against the tide is often a futile exercise.
So I should just take all the crap that life throws at me?
Kind of, but not exactly.
Bad things will happen to you, but you have the power to choose your reaction to any given situation. This power allows you to lessen the intensity with which you feel and express your emotions. You can face up to a particularly difficult time and recognize it for all that it is – a chapter in your life that will come to an end.
Knowing that things will one day get better is, by itself, a powerful shift in your mindset, and one that can help you to cope to the best of your abilities. As difficult as the present might be, you can be 100% positive that the future holds something altogether better for you.
This holds true in both the short and long term. Emotions can come and go in a short space of time which means that even if your day starts off terribly, there is an opportunity for something better to come.
And often, the very knowledge that good follows bad makes you more open to seeing the good and welcoming it into your life.
But surely this means that good times have to end?
Yes, this is also true.
When you’re enjoying a particularly tranquil and pleasant time in your life, be aware that it will come to an end. You may think this knowledge would make such times less enjoyable, but consider it a wake-up call to embrace every single infinitesimal moment in the now.
Understanding that bad will follow good is actually a blessing, not a curse. If you live in denial and neglect to consider the natural flow of life, you will take the good for granted.
If you accept the passing of good into bad, the opposite is true. When you are on a high note, you will cherish every single second of it in the knowledge that it must end. It will force you into the present moment to engage with the world in such an honest and open way.
Is change for the better just a dream then?
In some cases we are right to expel certain people or behaviors from our lives where we have such power. Self improvement is a possibility for everyone and a reality for many. We can make changes with the aim of getting the most out of all that is good, while learning to cope and manage with those times that are bad.
This won’t necessarily influence when and how the tides change (although it might), but it will make us appreciate the waves all the more.
Life, after all, is change; it cannot be avoided. As humans, we are far from perfect, but we have the capacity within us to improve our circumstances with the power of mind alone.
We will all make mistakes, we will all fail miserably at something, we will all be faced with times of great anguish. But we can all rise back up, we can all learn from events, and we can all grow and adapt to become better people.
Remember this: sometimes in life you can be the driver, and other times you have to be a passenger. Whichever you happen to be at any given time, know that your attitude makes a big difference to how you experience the entire journey.