Balancing Opposing Qualities
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”
It is not common to hear people talking about the need to develop opposing sets of qualities, yet in my experience and journey, this has become clear.
We may be aware of our obvious shortcomings, but are we aware of the shortcomings that come from our qualities?
Personal qualities, or virtues, by nature also bring with it shortcomings. People that are:
- too calm are often slow;
- too disciplined are often rigid;
- too active are often restless;
- too patient are often passive;
- too compassionate are often taken advantage of;
- too spontaneous are often inadequate
“To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be.
When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.”
– Jack Kornfield
Develop opposing sets of qualities
This means being strong yet flexible, creative yet disciplined, determined yet gentle.
Of course, this is easier said than done. However, even by simply acknowledging this fact can be helpful in pointing out some ‘blind spots’.
Life is rich and complex. We need more than one set of skills to live well and flourish. Sometimes we need to accept things, and at other times we need to change them. Often there is no easy way to tell the difference!
Try this out!
Think of your top 3 personal qualities. Are there any opposing virtues, qualities, or attitudes that you need to cultivate to balance these?
Once you have figured that out, it’s all a matter of REMEMBERING that virtue all the time. The more you remember it and think about it, the sooner it will become natural for you. Look for opportunities to put it to practice.