Welcome to the flip side!

One of the beauties of the internet is it allows us to really connect with people from all over the world. One of the curses of the internet is it allows us to really connect with people from all over the world.

I said this a little while back to a new friend I met online. Someone who I would love to have as a “real world” friend.  And it got me thinking. Then again what doesn’t get me thinking? It reminded me of the post another of my internet friends (athursdayschild) called Unity. When I read this I felt how well it resonated with my beliefs, and of course filed it away for the possibility of a future post. Apparently said post is now ready to emerge.

Humans define the world around them with opposites. We are binary thinkers. We can not really truly understand anything without being able to have a concept of its converse. That is just the way we think. Good cannot exist without evil. Light needs dark. High needs low. The list is infinite (even infinity can not be understood without understanding finite). Sure each of these terms has their definitions, though the definitions may not specifically mention the opposites. But our actual everyday understanding of the concepts does. How would you describe light to a man with no eyes?

Photo by Steve Kramer

There is an ironic twist to this concept. It is an odd phenomenon, but sometimes the opposites are not so opposite. Or  to make it more twisty: the opposite is in fact one and the same. Huh?

Look at that first statement. How can something be both a blessing and a curse? Another example: there is no difference between love and hate chemically. And the way that they function is pretty much the same. Obsessive, passionate feeling for a specific object. It is just what we do with that feeling that differs.

The question, “What are your greatest strengths and weakness?” often comes up. I sometimes find it difficult to answer because in my mind they are frequently the same thing. I consider patience a strength. But it is also a weakness. For sometimes instead of being proactive and pushing something when that may be the better choice, one might instead wait things out. Or take flexibility vs rigidity. They both can be strengths and weaknesses depending on the situation. A flexible support beam will weather a strong wind or an earthquake because of its flexibility, where a rigid  beam will be more likely to snap or fall over. Yet the flexible beam will not support as much weight as the rigid beam.

I actually started writing this post a while ago, but never quite managed to finish it. It was emerging a bit too randomly even by my standards. Now it seems I am ready to finish it. The beauty of this duality that is not always duality is that it means that sometimes we can change things just by looking at the flip side. When we see something as having a negative impact on our lives, then maybe the issue is not in what happened but in how we perceive it.

Photo by Steve Kramer

Two years ago I had a near fatal heart attack. Right afterwards I went through a period of depression (not all that uncommon) thinking how this was going to change my life completely, and not necessarily in ways that I liked. I honestly felt it was the end of the me I had known and wanted to be, and I was not looking forward to what was next.

While obviously it did change my life as it was, it did not change in the ways that I feared. For one thing, I would never have even considered blogging if I had not had this experience. And blogging has already had a profound impact on my life.

Everything, no matter how dark it may appear at first, has a bright side! Sometimes it may take some looking, but it is there. That is a fundamental truth of our view of the universe. Nothing can exist without its opposite.

The real challenge is remembering this!