“We are taught that suffering is one promise that life always keeps. So that when happiness comes we know it is a gift, and it is ours only for a brief time.” U Aung Ko ~ Beyond Rangoon
I love the movie Beyond Rangoon, it’s not a popular pick, but it is one of my all time favorite movies. There is just something raw and honest about it even though it is a fictitious story, with fictitious characters – it is based on true events and shares the truth about Rangoon [Berma], and the atrocities that have occurred there.
If you haven’t seen it I recommend it, but you may want to have some kleenex handy.
(Plus it has an absolutely gorgeous soundtrack.)
But none of this is my point. My point is the quote above. It is my favorite line from the movie. And I truly believe it and hold it in my heart. When life sucks, and sometimes it will, it is just the flip-side of the coin for when life is amazing, same coin – LIFE… but there are two sides. Sometimes life just… well, meh, sometimes it just carries on… not bad, not good. (would that be circling the edge of the coin?) But how boring would it be if life was forever in that realm? Seriously that would be like if there was only one colour, or one music genre, or one style of poetry, or object of beauty. It would be dull and monotonous. But thankfully life is full of variety. Ups and downs, highs and lows, good and bad.
BUT, we have rainbows. Did you know there are more shades of just green alone than we can fathom. There are so many genres of music its crazy! Acoustic, jazz, lyrical, classical, metal, country, grunge, punk, reggae… on and on… and they are all appealing to different people and sometimes we cross over and embrace opposing genres. Well emotions are like that too. We have ‘rainbows of emotion’ if you will. ROYGBIV – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. When we picture each colour in our heads they invoke a different emotion. For me the rainbow feels a bit like this: Red would be anger, control and power. Orange is bold and bright yet chaotic (frenzied). Yellow represents warmth and happiness. Green is general peacefulness. Blue is melancholy; so what of indigo and violet? To me they stir heart feelings, love: happiness tinged with sorrow, the bittersweet. But they all go together and they all balance each other out. And they can be blended to create new colours (new feelings).
If you know anything about the colour wheel then the two sided coin may make more sense. See the primary and secondary colours are opposites on the wheel, they are called complementary colours. For example: Red and Green are opposites on the colour wheel – they are complementary. I like that, these opposites are not negative but complementary. So suffering and joy are complementary to each other. They balance one another out. Like the quote above, we experience suffering so that we can understand and receive the joy. So could we then assume that anger and peace balance one another? Or perhaps melancholy and boldness (mania) even the scale. I do not necessarily think that there are any negative emotions – there are however negative outcomes/reactions to emotion especially if we lack the ability to control them. But if we are truly in touch with our feelings, and we take the time to accept them, understand them and embrace them then we can find that balance that we so desperately need. I am working on this, sometimes I am successful – sometimes not so much. But that too is part of the human experience, part of that proverbial coin. 🙂