Why balance is key to achieving happiness


Balance is a feeling derived from being whole and complete; it’s a sense of harmony. It is essential to maintaining quality in life and work.     

-Joshua Osenga


For a long time in my life, I had been told all the most terrible things about negative emotions, feelings and thoughts.

I was schooled, not in the direct sense though, to believe that we were always to be happy only when we are focused on the positives while repressing the bad feelings. Much of these basic philosophies were tied around how we must have only positive thoughts, feelings and emotions before we can live life.

It was the positivity science.

It became so loudly accepted that positivity became not only a trending hash tag but a movement. Maybe a religion, even.

This new age dogma isn’t a bad thing by the way. It had come from the need to help us find solution to our too much unhappiness. The problem was how it made happiness a harder nut to crack for some of us who had a very difficult time having just positive thoughts and maintaining it that way.

It was in my quest to be happy, I mean truly happy with myself that I began the search for more. Because focusing on only the positive sides of life and trying so hard to pretend bad things weren’t happening to me wasn’t working for me. I needed something that showed me how to also deal with the other negative side of the coin.

I have always been one that thrives in happiness. For me, happiness isn’t a mantra. It is why we are here.

Of what use is the awards, promotions, relationships and all the good rewards of hard work if it won’t make us happy? I really don’t know. Do you? I think happiness isn’t a goal; it should be what the journey that leads to the goal is mostly about.

In my search for how to manage the frequent negative feelings that usually arise from the day to day lifestyle of any human, I moved towards nature and found more than I had envisaged.

The universe operates in many cycles in order to maintain a balance here on earth. One of the most common is the water cycle. These cycles exists to show how nothing is missing in droughts as in rainfall. It actually depicts how nature had been set for these millions of years and still survives; because all aspects of the cycle matters. It is why we have seasons, and how each of these seasons represent a time when certain crops are cultivated, and the ground is also allowed to fallow without planting.

The cycles are proof that there’s a time for everything.

If we had all rainy days without summer, we may perish with flood. And a summer without some rainy season after some time may leave us all heated up.

In the same vein, negative feelings must be accompanied with positive ones for us to experience life in all aspects. That’s why we die and are born. Yet the population of the world keep increasing.

Imagine what would happen if no one ever dies yet we keep reproducing, or if no one reproduces but we’re dying?

Any one sided outlook to life is an imminent danger because there must be a counter effect for a balance to be achieved.

I remember my physics class on battery experiments in order for us to lighten a bulb while in secondary school: how the fusing of the negative and positive terminals was what turned on the lights. This shows how both sides of the terminal is relevant to achieving the light bulb moment.

It made me realize the more importance of experiencing my feelings, no matter how bad or good at that time, and then allowing them the passage to ebb away.

I am science trained. I had my first degree in pure Chemistry before moving into psychology. So I can relate with these cycles well now. Even though I couldn’t apply these laboratory lessons then to my life practically.

These basic principles of opposite charges is very true and applicable to how we achieve balance with embracing both our negative and positive feelings too.

We are humans. Not robots. It’s not easy for us to be always positive at all times. Because we get hurt, have our values trampled upon, and do not always have our goals achieved. When bad feelings arise from these failings, we must feel them without repression. Because that’s a legitimate response to the event we had experienced at that time. The important thing is not to dwell longer than the valid phase in which it had happened.

We must always move on with the phases in order to achieve this balance. That’s what the universe does. We should learn from it.

Most of what we’ve been taught is to ignore these bad or negative feelings or find a way to hide them and push up some positive affirmations to make them go away immediately. But do they actually just go away?

The feelings we refuse to acknowledge won’t just leave us. They remain subconsciously within and find outlets for expressions. These are mostly the feelings that catch us unaware in our most decorated moments when we suddenly flare up for no just reasons.

This was where positivity failed me.

And would make me feel like a hypocrite even though I was a human soul in genuine need of happiness.

As an emotional healing teacher now, I share the need for us to embrace both the good and bad feelings from the not so good days as we do the very cool feelings from the good days.

It is like learning to accept both commendations and criticisms without taking any of them personally. Else we be doomed by the changing opinions of others.

All of these feelings we have about ourselves and situations are valued for that period they showed up. And none of them should be taken too personally; whether the good or the bad. We must develop the ability not to be attached to how we feel because these things are fleeting and not who we are.

Our goal should be to recognize them. And also to understand how much a part of us they are at that point we experienced them and then let them go.

When we have this kind of mindset towards all our emotions, thoughts and feelings, we see how we are not any of them. They become a passage through our lives for the moment they exist. Because none of these feelings lasts forever.

It is with this understanding about our feelings we learn to accept both the negative and positive sides of our stories. We stop trying to portray being always positive, because we really may not achieve that. It’s frustrating, and makes the very thing we had hoped to achieve with it far fetched.

Happiness is easier to attain when we understand that everything seeks balance. Our negative or bad feelings are balanced when the good memories also interplay because there’s rarely anytime we have all things totally bad or good. Besides most of these happenings are subject to our personal interpretations anyway.

We should therefore learn to embrace all of these things: positive and negative feelings as the case may be, without too much efforts to hold on to only one side of the cycle. That would be lopsided. And therefore unbalanced.

Balance is also achieved when we accept that life’s in phases. There will be good days and bad days. Our quest should be how to embrace both without being carried away with either.

Too much positivity and we could become maniac. And much fixation on the negatives could lead us to a downhill towards depression.

Balance is key. This balance is where happiness resides.

This balance is attainable only when we recognize the importance of both sides without condemnation of one against the other. Every side of the negative and positive feelings from our life’s experiences here on earth is important for our emotional well-being. Issues arise when we assumed one as better than the other.


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To your healing, love and fulfillment.

Joy Iseki, #thecounsellor

Follow me on Instagram, @thekounsellor or @Dkounsellor on Twitter.

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