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yin yang

The ancient Chinese philosophy of yin and yang is commonly portrayed using a black and white circular symbol. If you’re not familiar with this symbol, we’ll try to explain it briefly. A circle is split into two parts, one black and one white. Upon first glance, these colors are opposites. The black part of the circle curves around the white, and the white part of the circle curves around the black. The symbol doesn’t end there, however. Within the black, there is a white dot; within the white, there is a black dot. Although there is the contrast of the two colors, they work together to form the whole symbol. Yin and yang is the concept that two distinct and opposing things can actually complement and connect each other. You may be wondering where we’re going with this and what an ancient Chinese philosophy has to do with recovery…stick with us, because adopting some of yin and yang’s concepts as you go through your recovery can have lasting benefits. 

Finding a Balance

When people first arrive at treatment, they usually don’t have a lot of balance in their life. They may be actively abusing substances, engaging in self-defeating behaviors, dealing with trauma, or experiencing mental illness. It’s not uncommon for more than one of these things to be impacting the individual when they show up at The Guest House. Thus, it’s understandable that the individual may have a negative outlook and be skeptical of treatment. This mindset would be the yin side of our symbol, represented by the black portion. 

Although the individual may show up to treatment overcome with negative emotions and in a cloud of darkness, The Guest House will try to slowly incorporate some sunlight. This sunlight is the yang, the drop of white among the black. As you go through the daily treatment routine, The Guest House will help you explore the root of your addiction. We can help you process the trauma you have dealt with and work through the difficult feelings that may be attached to the trauma. As time goes on, the grip your addiction has on you will begin to loosen. You’ll be able to implement healthier coping skills in place of those self-defeating behaviors. Instead of being stuck in the yin, you’re slowly working toward living in yang. 

As treatment goes on, you will feel more comfortable living in the sunlight. As you work through your trauma and addiction, you will find strength to thrive in areas you never imagined. As a survivor, you will discover your value, worth, and place in the world. With each day, a greater strength of freedom, peace, and hope will be available to you. But, just like there was white within the black, there is also black within the white. 

Recovery from trauma and addiction is a life-long process. Although you may be basking in sunlight, there will be reminders of trauma and temptations to return to self-defeating behaviors. You have the power, though, to stay on the sunlit road. It’s up to you to understand how your life has changed as a result of the trauma you have endured and the addiction you are managing. You can find success in the yang, while also understanding that the yin is close by. 

Striving for Success

Finding the blend of yin and yang that works for you is important in your recovery. This balance helps keep you from fluctuating too high or too low. You’ll come to understand that if you are going through a dark and difficult situation, there is some hope to be found that can keep you moving in the right directions. Similarly, you’ll know that when things are going well, you must always commit to working hard in your recovery. If you begin to slack off and get complacent, that’s when the darkness tries to creep in. 

Using Yin and Yang in Recovery

If you find that you are feeling off balance, return to the yin and yang philosophy. Ground yourself in the present moment and remind yourself that nothing — good or bad — lasts forever. You can always find a silver lining in darkness and remember all that you’ve overcome to keep you on top of your recovery in the light. Below are some more tips to help you apply yin and yang in your recovery:

  • If you’re going through a difficult time, look back on the past. You’ve gotten through every difficult moment so far, you can make it through this one, too.
  • Try to look at struggle as a path to success. You cannot have one without the other.
  • Use every experience as an opportunity for growth and gratitude.


The Guest House wants to help you find your balance between yin and yang. We understand that you might not see the sunlight at all right now. We encourage you to remember that the darkness will not last forever. You don’t have to live in the pain of trauma and addiction. We can help you walk through the darkness and into the light. If you have questions about any of the programs we offer, call The Guest House today at (855) 483-7800. Our trained and experienced staff is here to help answer your questions and get you started on the path to recovery today. Call us now. We can’t wait to speak with you and get your recovery started.