The Yin and Yang Within Each of Us

All things, including each of us, have a Yin side and a Yang side. Many people feel more comfortable with one side than the other for various reasons and therefore tend to focus more on that side, but no matter how strongly we lean one way or the other, we all have both, and there is always at least some expression of one within any expression of the other. They need the support of each other. One cannot exist without the other, and nothing can exist without both. Similar to Mind, Body, and Spirit balance, Yin and Yang are also in perfect balance within our True Self. Once again, note that balance does not mean equal focus at all times. Balance means responding to the needs of the situation by focusing on the required attributes of each side at any given moment. Balance also means that both sides of ourselves are valued equally even if we are not focusing on both equally.

Let’s take a look at what each is and how it manifests in healthy and unhealthy ways.

Yang is doing. Healthy Yang is strong, virile, logical, enterprising, protective, just, outwardly focused, leading, decisive, punctual, assertive, structured, dutiful, focused, firm, and active. It is productive and does what needs to be done despite whatever Yin emotional storm may be raging.

Yin is being. Healthy Yin is caring, emotional, nurturing, gentle, accepting, inwardly focused, yielding, sensitive, imprecise, affectionate, enigmatic, pleasant, flexible, soft, and passive. It gets what it needs by attracting support. It sees and tends to the emotional and comfort needs of itself and others in soft, sweet ways.

When Yang is unhealthy, it’s overly aggressive, angry, rigid, anxious, and domineering. When Yin is unhealthy, it’s helpless, complaining, depressive, and needy.

When they come together in a healthy way, Yin personal values and emotions motivate Yang to meet Yin’s desires and needs. Happy Yin brings the color and enjoyment to life. All of the Yang energy in the world is empty without Yin’s receptivity and appreciation of it. Yang loves to see Yin delighted, so Yin rewards Yang for its efforts by enjoying the fruits of Yang’s labors. When Yin is hurting or in danger, Yang mobilizes to defend as necessary or work to alter the situation. Yang’s drive, discipline, and ability to structure help Yin to get more enjoyment out of life by minimizing unnecessary delays, chaos, waste, etc. Yin’s awareness of emotional and physical comfort needs helps Yang avoid overwork and remember to take some time to enjoy itself. Yin can also advise Yang about how to be more agreeable to others and therefore attract cooperation.

Once again, we all have both Yin and Yang sides, and one can only function as well as the other. Regardless of our focus or level of comfort with each, one side can only be as strong and healthy as the other because they are a reflection of the strong, healthy True Self. They are also entirely interdependent. However, this does not necessarily mean that we will focus as much on one side as the other. It just means we can when we desire or need to do so.

It’s possible to have a side that’s strong and capable yet not strongly expressed because most of demands for it are being met in our environment. If, for example, the environment is incredibly Yang, such as that of boot camp in the military, we must respond by manifesting obedient Yin behavior in order to thrive. If, on the other hand, our partner is very Yin, in order for us to get along with our partner and for the couple to thrive in the world, we must demonstrate more of a Yang focus.

Also noteworthy is that we don’t naturally embody all of the traits of either side. Also, there is always at least some Yin within Yang expression and Yang within Yin expression as shown in the Yin/Yang symbol. Taijitu - Small (CW).svg  For example, someone who focuses more on Yang might be introverted and stoic rather than extroverted and lustful. A very Yin person may be more concrete than intuitive and embody Yin more through sensuality than through mystique. We’re all individuals with unique sets of characteristics that don’t fit cleanly into any model.

Without the support of the other side, neither can function in healthy ways. Yang side needs to have the nurturing support and emotional attentiveness of Yin, or it becomes uncaring. Yin side needs the protection, decisiveness, and productivity of Yang or it becomes weak. When both sides have the loving support of the other, the individual thrives. Eventually, both sides integrate the healthy traits of the other and use them as needed. It becomes impossible to tell which side is the strong side and which is the caring side. The individual is able to wisely act according to the needs of the situation, whatever they are, in any given moment.

In order to provide support to others, we must first be supported ourselves. It helps, of course, to have strong Yin and Yang support from others in our lives, but there are ways to develop it within ourselves over time. It can be done through mindfully recognizing and meeting the needs of each side within us with the strengths of the other. Allow your Yang side to remain strong and protective of your Yin side while it breaks down or enjoys itself. Allow your Yin side to nurture, inspire, and sweetly care for the emotional needs of the Yang side while it accomplishes things and makes decisions. Allow them to support each other! Both sides will immediately begin to grow stronger and healthier, and they will continue to grow over time as you practice this. You will notice rapid beneficial changes in your life.

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