The symbol of Taiji ☯ is about balance. Right now we are living in a time that requires a lot of shifting to stay balanced. And while I was practicing this morning something occurred to me.
I've been avoiding my scans of social media because of the overwhelming fear and anger in us humans right now. For some it presents as literal fear: fear of not having basic needs met, fear of a loved one becoming ill, fear of not knowing how life will be in the future.
For others, it presents as anger. Anger due to the lack of trust in elected officials (and fearful of the changes they may or may not make), wanting to blame someone or thing responsible, anger because of the lack of control in an uncontrollable situation.
There's a lot going on.
You know, we are human. We feel fear, anger. We should. Fear keeps us safe.
But when fear grows and overwhelms, we aren't in balance. And we begin to react in ways that are damaging, destructive, irrational.
This internal fear has to get back in balance before we take regrettable action - whether that action is verbal, physical, or shared online. It's our responsibility.
We really must start building our awareness of what is going on inside so we know when we're out of balance and headed for overwhelm, depression, or rages. Building awareness helps us realize this by slowing us down enough to know we can shift back.
And to balance fear we look to love.
It's easy to love the people we care about, the pets that are curious as to why we are always home now, the songbirds that serenade us every morning. It's easy to love spring (perhaps not for allergy sufferers!).
These are good ways to begin the balancing process.
What's difficult is finding ways to have love for what we fear. It's difficult to find love in what angers.
But it is our challenge when we feel strong fear, anger, and hate to not get swept away. It is our responsibility to bring ourselves back to balance as functioning, mature adults.
We create balance by leading with compassion (a form of love) when we face our fear and anger. Compassion for those who have different experiences, views, life paths we aren't privy to that brought them to stand across from us in disagreement.
And when you are in that compassion, can you feel the difference? It's so different from deep fear, uprooting anger! There is no elevated blood pressure. No crazy heart rate. No family, friends, pets running for cover!
Compassion allows us to feel strength. In compassion, nothing can uproot you. You stand where you are, owning your space.
We only have this strength when we are in balance. We can feel anger and take action. But we can do it rooted in love and compassion.