The Power of Equanimity
“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”
What was Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung trying to communicate in this simple, yet powerful statement?
Equanimity can be one of those elusive words that often goes undefined. Simply put, equanimity is the gentle allowing and acceptance of “what is.” Sadness and pain are unavoidable. It is our perception and our level of resistance to that pain that determines our ability to cope, adapt and recover.
This is not to say that we need to always like our painful experiences and it certainly does not mean we need to agree with or tolerate those who hurt or abuse us.
Consider the following:
The perceived linear path that life presents us can be easily, and mistakenly reduced to a series of moments, events or situations which appears to arise in our awareness and incite some sort of action or reaction. We are neither victims nor perpetrators, but simply observers of the present moment. If we ride the challenging waves, instead of swim or struggle against them, then we allow space to surround our situation. The waves can then pick us up and move us forward, backward, or keep us in semi-static state of suspension. Either way we aren’t resisting to what “is”, but allowing what is to just “be.” There are no victims or perpetrators when we ride the wave. Life is no more linear than the mountain stream which finds it’s path not through resistance, but through greeting each obstacle with a sense of acceptance and “is’ness. Roll with the waves and move through the stream of life with fewer expectations and a greater sense of trust. You’re lack of resistance will be met with unimaginable rewards.