Appreciate The Flip Side

the flip side of lifeOnce I looked at life and only wanted the good things in my experience.  I think everyone would feel the same way, no sadness, no loss or grief, just happy things that are easy to deal with, yet we all know that life is not going to come as easily as that.  We all must go through some difficult times and I think that is OK because you will never appreciate the good in life unless there is the opposite aspect to compare it to. There is always a flip side.

Sunshine and Rain

No matter what your favorite weather is, there is a difficulty enjoying it fully without having experienced the opposite of your desired temperature.  For me, it is the weather of that fall in the northeast.

sunshine without rainWe are blessed with nice temperatures during the day and cooler weather at night which are perfect for sleeping. Each day it seems that there is a different and wondrous color scheme on display. Fall has a feeling in your heart that you can’t explain, just feel.  Yet the appreciation I have for this season is deepened by the hot, uncomfortable weather of the summer and the oncoming extreme cold and snow of winter.  Those extreme experiences help you tune into the perfection of September/October that you are experiencing right now.

If the weather was exactly as you like, all of the time, you would eventually find that you lose the special appreciation you have for it.  It would be more difficult at any rate to find that appreciation for the beautiful autumn days, they would just be “days”.

I think this is true about all things in life, we need to have what we don’t want in order to know what we do want and more importantly, appreciate it when it is in our lives.

Being Alone Leads To Growth

Most people are longing for comfort and company, yet many have this in their lives and manage to throw it away because of a trivial moment or slight that they perceive.  If you

have ever been without someone who “gets you” and are forced to live your life truly on lonely makes you appreciate relationshipsyour own, then it is difficult to appreciate it when you have that connection partner in your life.

You would be much less likely to throw that relationship away if you were aware of what real loneliness felt like. The warmth of happiness and connection should stop people from cheating and be taking their partners for granted.   The opposite side of this coin would help many a relationship find its way through rough waters.

Empathy for another and being able to understand the feelings, dreams and ideas that make someone else tick is, to me, one of the most important features of any relationship.  It allows you to understand and to be understood, to give accordingly and to receive.  When the empathy is gone and people start worrying about their own needs without a concern for the needs of the other, trouble is not far away.

Sometimes you simply need to be alone to allow yourself to grow into the person you are destined to become.  Much like a seed needs to be in the ground alone, you may need the same situation to allow yourself to grow, in understanding and idea.  Life is a tricky game and none of us have all of the answers at the outset.  That is why it is so damn interesting.

You do not have to be lonely to appreciate the company of others but it certainly does make it a lot easier to remember, and keeps your empathy at the surface.

Loss Makes You Appreciate What You Have

If you have never lost everything, then you do not appreciate everything you have quite as much.  Everything is a subjective word that can apply to anyone and their situation.  You may lose your family, friends, possessions or guiding principles.

Whatever it is that you lose, a friend, a family member, a relationship it is through this loss that you will learn to appreciate what you do have.  When you are evaluating the things that you have lost in your life, remember to include equal time thinking about the good that you have in your life and the appreciation that you have for them.

Sometimes the wounds of the loss are too big and we can never move past them.  Sometimes the pain of loss or the idea of the loss has engulfed us and our identity to the point that we can’t see around it.  My experience tells me that once I have let something go there is an appreciation for the people and things that are in my life that I would never have known.

You don’t have to lose everything to find this appreciation, you just have to look at what you have in your life and be grateful for it.

Look at the Flip Side of Everything

So my final urging is to look at the flip side of everything that you experience each and

Superman is not as great without a villain to compare him to.
Superman is not as great without a Lex Luther to battle against.

every day.  Noticing in all moments that there is something positive for you to appreciate in every situation.  Appreciate moments of down time as well deserved respites from the whir of activity that often rules your life.

Appreciate the moments of being by yourself as opportunities to grow.  Nobody knows who you will end up with, but know that making yourself the best person you can, will bring the person into your life that will make you better.  With the heart-wrenching bitterness that death and loss of a loved one, brings to your life, there is an appreciation for those you live with still that can envelop your heart and touch your soul if you look for them.

That is why we should always look for and appreciate the flip side of the coin because, without it, we would never appreciate things as much.  Light without darkness, happiness without sadness, love without fear, the lives that we live are defined by our ability to appreciate our experiences. 




10 thoughts on “Appreciate The Flip Side”

  1. Yes. There are many sides to the many things we experience… and I think it takes understanding the different sides to make the next experience far richer… and, hopefully, more comfortable and rewarding. A nice read for a Monday.

    1. Thank you Karen, I appreciate the time to read and to comment. Glad you enjoyed it and I hope the rest of your week is good as well.

  2. Thank you, Jon, for sharing this today. I did laugh at your ‘flip side’. I never even thought of a coin. I’m so retro! I thought about how on the other side of a vinyl is a totally different song. A song that balances out the one we are within and hopefully carries us into the top 10.

    1. The flip side of the record! I am old enough to appreciate that. Great analogy to compare a song that balances out the one we are in! The flip side can be a coin, a record or a mattress I think as long as the awareness of the other side is there and builds an appreciation for all states of experience. Thanks for the comment Kris!!

  3. Wow what a wonderful post! It made me really think about how often I am alone, and did i enjoy it as much as I like and did I benefit from my loneliness? The answer was yes. While I do wish to hang out with friends and laugh with them, I am around people 9 hours a day 5 days a week. I enjoy their company, their laughter, I learn from them. So any alone time is worth it.
    I am either becoming a cat lady or a hermit far too soon ha ha ha

    1. I don’t think you are on your way to being a cat lady or a hermit.:-) There is a difference between being lonely and being alone. We all need time for personal reflection and figuring out what we think and who we are. That makes the parts that we share with others real. What do you see as the ideal time to spend alone? Alone time is definitely worth it and necessary. Eventually I bet you will want to share the great person that you are with someone else and they will get you and your cat lady circumstances. Nice to hear your thoughts Rebecca!! Have a great day.

      1. Thank you! Well of course after work, I need to unwind. The peace and quiet is much needed there!
        But after awhile I need someone to talk to, just to talk utter nonsense with.

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