The Chinese believe Yin and Yang describe polar opposites, or contrary forces that are interconnected. The reason I believe in Ying and Yang is that I don’t believe we can be happy without knowing the opposite of happiness. Life is difficult. It is full of the opposite of happiness: injustice, poverty, illness, inequality, natural disasters etc.. I try to be happy or at peace in spite of all these factors that are opposed happiness.
I still believe for most humans who are social animals. The quality of our lives and our happiness are based on the quality of our relationships. That is, relationships with ourselves, first of all, then others. I was just doing a pilgrimage with a friend and she kept saying to me. You have to love yourself more. I was surprised. She kept saying that because my foot was killing me and I would forge on because I had a goal. After five days I realized what she meant. I was willing to risk my physical well-being for a goal I couldn’t attain without hurting myself. Her words became louder, and one morning I decided to stop. I had planned this trip for years but the fact was, no one would want me to hurt myself to reach that goal. No one was forcing me to do it. I was doing it to myself. As my friend said, I was not loving myself.
I have learned over the years we have to know who we are and what we want and we have to take care of ourselves if we want to be happy. There is a difference between self-love and selfishness. To love others, we have to love our own higher self. Loving the self is not loving our personality or ego or our desires which often take us way from love.
I don’t believe we can always be happy. I believe life is about balance. Things change. That is the only constant. Just remember when you are unhappy, it will only last for a while. Happiness is bound to knock on your door again soon. In the meantime, find a way to love your higher self.
2011 Texas Conference for Women speaker Patricia Gras is an ardent storyteller, whether it is using the medium of television or music. Her current award-winning show “Living Smart” with Patricia Gras is now airing on over 200 PBS channels across the country. Across her career, has produced and hosted some of the most respected television programs in Houston, including, “Latina Voices: Smart Talk with Minerva Perez and Sofia Adrogue.”