Today is not Opposite Day. If you observe this holiday, you know this statement is always true. Nearly every day of the year is not Opposite Day, but for the one day that is, January 25th, you do not say, “Today is Opposite Day.” To play along, you must say, “Today is not Opposite Day” because you must say the opposite of what is true. If it is yin, you must say yang.
Do opposites attract?
Law of Attraction believers operate under the presumption that we attract into our lives what we focus on. Does like attract like, or do opposites attract? Which is it? Regardless of your belief, opposites create distinctions in an otherwise meaningless world. What would be the point of asking for iced tea if hot tea didn’t exist? Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not need to remember to focus on opposing thoughts.
You have to remain alert on this day, or else you might be tricked into feeling like an April Fool. If someone asks if you’re irritated and you are, you smile and say, “No, I’m quite pleased at the moment.”
Are you a planner or procrastinator?
My husband and I recently traveled to Southern California. One day we took the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to the mountain station at 8500 feet. When we got to the top, we saw tourists shivering in shorts and t-shirts. They obviously didn’t do their homework about the temperature of their destination. Perhaps they had more important things to do.
Fortunately, there was an indoor cafeteria where they could warm up, but they missed out on hiking to see other breathtaking lookout areas around the mountain peak. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember that planners must also master the art of procrastination.
Starting in elementary school, we begin a long series of tests in which we must determine if statements are true or false. And we play a similar game on other tests as we try to select “right” answers among multiple choices.
These standardized tests shape our thoughts. They teach us that right answers come from elsewhere, not from within. And these thoughts shape our lives. True or false? Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember that as long as you know what’s true, you also know what’s false.
Can you see light when it’s dark?
Our eyes are incapable of observing the pure brightness of the sun or perceiving absolute darkness. We don’t live in either extreme.
Most of us don’t live on the edges of anything. By definition, most people are average. We live our lives in a dim middle-zone reality, somewhere between dawn and dusk. As light increases, darkness subsides. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not need to remember that darkness is merely the absence of light.
Are you filled with love or fear?
My sister has a fear of flying, especially in small aircraft. Her husband is the opposite. He’s a pilot who’s passionate about flying. For more than five years after getting his pilot’s license, she didn’t go up in the air with him. But eventually, her love for him helped her to overcome her fear.
Because he loves planes, he doesn’t fear them. He respects them and takes precautions to make sure he’s safe. His desire to be up in the sky inherently helps him overcome fears that might otherwise keep him grounded.
Love and fear are opposites. There are many shades of concerns and emotions in between, but these feelings have roots of fear or love. Fear is evidence of a block in the flow of love. Love is the absence of fear.
Love is to fear as water is to fire. Love extinguishes fear. Today is not Opposite Day, so there’s no need to remember that your fear of love is not real.
Are you wise or ignorant?
Fear and ignorance are siblings. If you love something enough to learn about it and understand it, your fear naturally subsides. Understanding moves you in the direction of empathy and love. We don’t have time to learn about everything, so we live in a world where we fear many things we don’t yet understand. And we move away from the things we fear.
Knowledge doesn’t obliterate fear, but it can help to minimize it. My brother-in-law has studied planes and practiced flying for years. He could still experience fear in a plane if he had an engine go out, but even then he would have had the training to know how to handle the situation and take hopeful action to glide safely to landing.
He has prepared for what to do in the case that something does go wrong. The world is neutral. The plane has no intention to harm him and neither does the earth. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember that it’s wise to know that you can overcome ignorance at any time.
Are you responsible or carefree?
You are the only one who qualifies to play the director and starring role in your life. At any given moment, you either care or careless about the opportunity you have to design your own stage and write your own script.
You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.
Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
You are not responsible until you adjust your thinking and overcome your fears of judgment. You cannot control what others think. Therefor, what they think should not concern you. Until you begin walking, you can not attract followers. This is the step-by-step way to begin. Today is not Opposite Day so you do not have to remember that it’s responsible to learn how to live carefree.
Are you open or closed?
When you have a strong desire for something or someone, you open yourself up to many things. I remember preparing for my first trip to China. I knew my husband would be working there and I wanted to join him on his venture. Although I loved the idea of having another opportunity to live abroad, I had never traveled to Asia. I heard things like, “you can’t trust the food,” and “don’t drink the water.” I was afraid of getting sick there. Prior to moving to China, I didn’t speak a word of Mandarin. I was also afraid of what might happen if I couldn’t communicate with doctors.
As I was preparing to travel to China the first time, I read blog posts by people who had traveled there, and books by expats who had lived there. The more I learned, the more my fears were calmed. The more I understood, the more excited I became.
After moving to China and immersing myself in the language and day-to-day life in Shenzhen, my fears transformed into greater curiosity and a deep appreciation for the culture and people. I made close friends and formed bonds that will last a lifetime. The thought of living in China started out as a fear, but turned out to be one of the best experiences in my life. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember that you have the strength open anything that appears to be closed.
Is great weather hot or cold?
When someone says, “it’s a beautiful day,” do you imagine a blue tropical beach or white ski slopes? To me, “a beautiful day” is somewhere between 80-90 degrees near a beachfront with an easy breeze. I’ve had 90 degree days when I wanted to be outdoors, but I’m with someone who feels miserable in hot weather and wants to hunker down in air conditioning.
Opposite preferences can cause conflict, but they’re necessary in order for us to attach meaning to our world and relationships. Cold is absence of heat and nothing more. Today is not Opposite Day so you do not have to remember that great weather is both hot and cold.
Do you believe that objects are neither good nor bad?
Today, practice believing that nothing is substantially good or bad. I’m no expert on gun control, but I do understand that physical objects in our environment do not take action on their own. They are instruments of our thoughts and actions. If guns kill people, do spoons make people fat? Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not need to remember that objects are neither good nor bad.
Can you believe that people are neither good nor bad?
If a soldier from one country kills a soldier from another, is he a hero or villain? It depends on your perception and how you have been programmed to see the event. Hollywood, or anyone else, will tell you. Even if you’re there as a witness, you’re not qualified to judge. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not need to remember that bad people are good people.
Are you judgmental or appreciative?
Judgmental people criticize and point out what they don’t like in the world they see. Appreciative people are more accepting. They tend to look for what they like in the world around them. Everything, in and of itself, is a meaningless illusion that we’ve created from prior experience.
One person sees a dog and feels love, while another feels fear. Meanwhile, the dog is sniffing around minding his own business. He did not bring love or fear with him to dole out to the people around him. They arrived with their feelings based on prior experiences with other dogs.
When you remove judgment about what’s happening now, you free yourself. If you can wrap your mind around this concept, you will tap into an innate superpower. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember to appreciate people who are judgmental.
Are you asleep or awake?
The only way you can understand sleep is to have an idea of what it is to be awake. Observe someone dozing. Note that his eyes are closed and his conscious mind is numb. If you poke him, he will awaken in fear.
People operate at various conscious levels, some more asleep and some more awake. Perhaps you know people whose eyes are open but their consciousness is not fully activated. Although today is not Opposite Day, there’s a chance you can experience an abrupt awakening.
Are you opposed to Opposite Day?
You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to tell people you love them. And you don’t have to wait for Opposite Day to hone your thinking. Holidays are mere reminders of your culture’s values.
Today is not Opposite Day, but you can be aware of the concept and fire up a debate at any time. Go strike up a conversation on something polarizing such as: religion, politics, abortion, animal testing, euthanasia, gay marriage, standardized testing, medical marijuana or concealed guns. Experiment with answering the opposite of what others expect from you.
Is synonym the antonym of antonym?
Get tooled up for Opposite Day. Not all words have opposites. There’s no opposite of dog, for example, unless you’re using it as a verb instead of a noun. A guy might refer to a gal as a dog if he perceives her to be unattractive, for example. If you’re unsure about a word’s opposite, look for its antonym at PowerThesaurus.org. I’m particularly fond of this thesaurus because it gives you the opportunity to contribute by voting on synonyms and antonyms that make the most sense to you. You can help clarify the nuances of polarity.
Knowing what you don’t want is useful
Thinking about opposites can help you gauge what’s important to you. When you go through unpleasant experiences, it helps you become aware of what you do not want. It’s a warning that you need to do a U-turn or recalibrate your direction. This sort of mental gymnastics can help you get your thinking in good shape. When your thinking is grounded in the truth, the curtains will open and your stage lights will come on.
Today is not Opposite Day. This is the truth.