Dealing with a painful experience or crisis according to Chinese Medicine

Letting Go And Break Through Negative Thoughts
You can see a crisis as an opportunity to grow in awareness, love and compassion and inner freedom. Anyone who studies nature and life cannot ignore it: life is about growth and evolution. The philosophy of the Tao shows this very clearly.

A crisis hurts

A painful experience or crisis is your engine for growth. A crisis hurts, it hurts and it raises questions. You seem personally incapable of changing it. It forces you to look deeper. The questions that are raised demand an answer. Result: you start looking, you start moving. Viewed from the Tao, there are two opposing ways of dealing with something: a yang way and a yin way. The same goes for dealing with a crisis.


Yang faces outward. That means: you want to do something. You want to change the situation. This requires action. You want to do everything in your power to get out of this. For a targeted action you need to know what you are doing and why. So you start thinking about it and talking about it. You want to understand. You look for a cause so that you can work on a solution. You do what is necessary and useful.

However, there is a catch: If you are not careful, that ‘searching for a cause’ translates into pointing the finger at the situation and/or at the other person. “That’s because of…” . What does that do to your feeling? Do you actually still feel your real feeling? Or do your beliefs create a top layer of anger, powerlessness and struggle, so that you can no longer be with that in you that needs love, comfort, reassurance and healing?

Chances are that your energy is now going to the other person or the situation. A situation that you cannot manage (and which often triggers old experiences of powerlessness). Before the weather you are stuck in anger, struggle, old beliefs and powerlessness. In this way you end up in a dynamic of victim and perpetrator. That dynamic takes you further from home.


It is now time for the yin quality in crisis management. What does that mean? Yin faces inward. Not so much on a purposeful action, but more on actually meeting what is there now. Being close to yourself, you could say. If you really can do that, then you are able to give yourself what you wanted from the other person or the circumstances. That is quite an art, I must admit, but after all it makes you free and whole.

How do you do that?

Let me first say: that is a path of trial and error. You don’t do that right now. In my experience it is about this:
You receive what is there, in other words: you take your loss, your pain, your failure. (Well, that’s a lot!) To do that you need some self-forgiveness, self-compassion and trust, and sometimes a period of real mourning.

That way inward is also a way of surrender. It requires you to dare to surrender to the not-knowing at the right time . So you go through your personal powerlessness. You stop fighting, blaming and looking for causes. In fact, your ego then bows to something else, something greater.

For that you need something of faith, which makes you dare to surrender and open up.
* Believe in yourself: for example, that you have the deeply felt intention, to never abandon yourself again, not to judge yourself, to support yourself and to take yourself seriously.
* Believe in a person who will pull you through: someone who will anchor the yin side for you, who will help you embrace yourself in what is there and who you can trust.
* Believe in something greater than you: call it your Higher Self, your Buddha nature, God or Tao. The/the One that underlies every form, of which you are a part. That faith is something you can grow in. This is what a crisis invites you to do: to develop a confidence that lies beneath everything.

Finding that primal trust sets you free

In psychological terms, the yin movement is known as “the fall.” It is an important part if you want to get to the core. The young bird doesn’t know if it can fly until it drops into thin air and finds that it won’t crash. And yes, that’s scary. The survivor in us usually does everything to prevent this.

We know that yang way. This is necessary so that you can do something to improve the situation and to learn something from it. However, if the yin way is missing, then the heart (the core, the love and the essence) is missing. It is then never complete.

If the yin movement is missing in your crisis management, then you can endlessly have ‘therapies’ and yet you will essentially not progress at a certain moment.

In summary, you could say:
The yang quality in a crisis provides insight and personal power.
The yin quality gives a deep primal confidence in life. You open the path of grace in which you can receive. It liberates the power of vulnerability, the pure, the original.


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