Yin and Yang

I don’t know what my problem is but I tend to feel good when those around me are having good days and feel grey when those around me are troubled. One day last week, I had a light day when things were turning out well for those I care about, but yesterday the very people I was excited for then were struggling.

My morning read currently is The Tao of Inner Peace by Diane Dreher. I wanted to read a book on the Tao because a man I know and respect brings it up frequently in conversation. Today’s chapter is on Yin and Yang, two opposing forces in life. Here are some words associated with each”

YIN                                                         YANG
darkness                                              light
night                                                      day
earth                                                     heaven
water                                                    stone
soft                                                        hard
interior                                                 exterior
passive                                                 aggressive
contemplative                                   active
nurturing                                             achieving
feeling                                                  thinking
knowing                                               doing

A Tao person, as described by the author, finds balance between these two extremes. She gave several examples of people who were either too much Yin or too much Yang. In our culture, Yin people might be viewed by others as lazy and irresponsible; Yang people as energetic, go-getters. Western culture values Yang people more than Yin people. We will put workaholics on pedestals’ and meditative people should be in cloisters. But if you were to investigate the life of a nun or monk, you would find that Yang activity is scheduled into their daily routine.  It is all about balance.

Back to this tendency of mine to feel good when the people around me are doing well and to feel down when they are not. I thought maybe reflecting on the Yin and Yang idea might help me. Too much Yin,  not enough Yang. Or maybe I just care about people and that isn’t such a bad thing.