Categorising things in black and white terms leads to rigid thinking that does not help to empower you, and can lead to Depression, Stress & Anxiety. If right and wrong were black and white, there would be a million shades of grey in between. These opposites are actually two end points on a continuum.
Depression, hopelessness & despair, are on the very same continuum that contains happiness, hope and joy. Why does this matter? Well, because if you have Depression, and are suffering from this type of all or nothing thinking, you might think you have to jump from Depression to Happiness in one HUGE leap. It doesn’t work like this. If you are suffering with Depression, or simply having a bad day, there is a neuro-somatic (mind-body) feedback loop that causes you to colour everything else you experience with that same black tar. When you look at the world through the lens of sadness, then you don’t notice all the good stuff that is going on. What good stuff? There is ALWAYS good stuff going on, there are ALWAYS good things in your life that support you and assist you, you just may not notice it on a bad day because your mind is focussing on the negative stuff. It’s easy to say there’s always good stuff going on, and sometimes it’s hard to find it.
The truth is that good and bad, happy and sad, right and wrong are flip sides of the same coin. Just like there is a North and South Pole, and positive and negative ends on a magnet, these opposing sides keep the world in balance and equilibruim on a macro and micro level. In just the same way, there is always a balance of support and challenge in YOUR life. I find this a very comforting thought and try to constantly keep the balance of life in my mind as I go about my day. When I find myself starting to think that something is all bad, I look for the positives. When something seems too good, I look for the drawbacks.
What’s the point of looking for drawbacks in good things? If you think something is all good, you may be tempted to have too much of it, or make an irrational, emotional decision that could cost you down the line. An example may be someone who has experienced a series of ‘wins’ on the stock market. They may begin to think they are a better investor than they really are, and get arrogant and then make riskier decisions, as I’m sure you can see, this will lead to a humbling fall very soon after.
The whole point of this swinging support and challenge is to keep us in balance, and lead us back to our own true calling and life purpose. the world and events will push and pull us to keep us from getting too down, or too up. The balance of happiness and depression, joy and despair, right and wrong is LOVE. True love does not judge people, it compassionately accepts. Love allows you to grow and become what your heart is calling to. So when you’re down in the dumps, look for the flowers. Keep looking until you find where in your life you are being supported, assisted, loved and helped. When you are elated and think nothing could ever go wrong, humble yourself and remember your purpose.
The simple, easy question to remember to bring balance back into our lives is: what can I be grateful for right now?