Balancing Duality

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

January 4, 2024

Our will is a function regulated by reflection; hence it is dependent on the quality of that reflection. – Carl Jung

I’ve been silent. I’ve been finding my will. I’ve been reflecting.

There are times when looking deep within to find purpose and stability is paramount. There are times when spewing my heart out is the only way. I’m learning to listen to my body and give it what it needs. When I think about my life and how far I’ve come, I’m proud. When I think of the amazing people surrounding me, I feel honored. When I think about who I am today, I like to imagine my much younger self being in awe.

It hasn’t been an easy road. I’ve learned lessons I wish I never had to learn. I’ve trusted people who’ve failed me. I’ve loved people who’ve hurt me. I’ve been knocked down, disbelieved, and tortured at times. But the beauty in all of that is, I’m still standing. I’m still learning. I’m still breathing.

Peace is not something to search for externally. The world will continue to be a place full of hatred, bias, destruction, abuse, and pain. And the world will also hold pockets of joy, love, and harmony. The universe is full of duality in every sense.

As Nelson Mandela was known to say, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” And if there was even a human alive who knew the highest highs and lowest lows, it was Mr. Mandela. If he could be a beacon after all the pain, torture, abuse, and bias he encountered, why couldn’t I? I don’t imagine he would’ve become the activist he was if he grew up in a world free from the harmful side of duality.

The oppressed who rise are beacons. The are not beacons because life was easy. They are beacons because they knew the right path forward and despite large obstacles, they forged the path anyway. They transcended fear. Although sometimes I imagine the fear kept them silent. They pushed the neigh sayers words out of their mind. Although sometimes they likely succumbed to cognitive dissonance. They knew in their heart what the truth was, and they spoke it to the world. Although sometimes, their voices may have shaken. They rose, every time they fell. In the words of Cardi B, “Knock me down nine times, and I get up ten.”

The reality of duality is balance. Balance cannot be achieved by only having success. Balance cannot be achieved by only having joy. Balance can only be achieved by taking the hard hits and moving forward with a new plan. Balance can only be achieved by embracing silence and release. Balance can only be achieved by breathing in and then breathing out.

“i thank the universe
for taking
everything it has taken
and giving to me
everything it is giving
—balance” – Rupi Kaur