There is a Seinfeld episode where Jerry discovers he is “Even Steven”. (I can relate nearly everything in life to a Seinfeld or Family Guy episode). Basically whatever happens to Jerry balances out moments later. He loses twenty dollars out of a window, and then finds twenty dollars in his pants pocket.
This balance is the essence of Taoism, and its representation in the Yin and Yang symbol. It is also a functioning factor in my life. I believe in balance. I believe in striving for balance in my life. I believe it is healthy for others to do the same.
Of course is often difficult to attain and maintain balance. I’ve worked out three times in the last month, a far cry from even my recent lazy level of twice a week. I’ve barely read anything other than text books. I have been busier professionally than I have ever been, and the things I rely on to provide balance in my life have suffered. (Just prior to writing this I worked out. This morning I read several short passages from a Taoist book). The goal is to catch the slipping and get back to what works.
The Yin and Yang sign is a personal favorite. It represents how seemingly contradictory forces are necessary for the whole. Dark and light, good and evil, mountains and valleys, they all rely on the other to exist. There are no mountains without valleys. We would not know the feeling of joy if we felt it all of the time. Opposing forces are necessary. In addition to the representation of the opposing forces making a whole, there is a little spot of each in the others mass. This represents that even in the positive there is some negative, and in the negative some positive. The Yin and Yang is a beautiful symbol representing all of this.
I decided to write this blog because lately I have felt like Even Steven. I’m making a little more money, and there is a new financial need (student loans are coming due as my forbearance has expired). I’m teaching more but putting less hours in at the office, and that paycheck suffers. Whatever positive occurs, there is always a little negative along for the ride, and vice versa.
What becomes important, besides simply keeping the balance by exercising, reading, and so forth, is to keep in mind things will work out. I have learned for the most part to have faith in my process, to believe that things happen for a reason, and to allow the Tao to move through me. Although I often have a minimal (at least to me) negative reaction to things that don’t go my way, I usually quickly realize things are the way they are supposed to be, and that ultimately they will work out. I have faith that in the end I’ll be Even Steven.