Year of the Tiger

  • MEGAN VALNES
  • 02/2/22

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! Also known as the Lunar New Year, this year, we celebrate the symbol of the tiger, which represents bravery, wisdom, and strength in Chinese astrology. I find this symbolism incredibly relevant as we forge ahead into this new year, fraught with tension and debating over who is right and who is wrong with no clear winner in sight, just a lot of upset people. 

What can we learn from the tiger about how to handle the current state of the world?

The tiger is brave, fierce and fearless, yet also wise, which means that tiger does not need to jump as soon as it senses danger or prey. Tiger can wait patiently and observe, listen, and choose the most opportune time to get what it wants. 

As humans living in an overly-informed world, can we also pause before leaping? Instead of inserting our opinions into every conversation, can we fearlessly listen, even if what we hear deeply triggers us? Are we able to wait, the way tiger does, to speak only when we can actually be heard by those around us. Instead of involving ourselves in any debates, online or off, is it possible to observe and feel the information? Notice I did not say ‘think’ about the information, I said ‘feel’. As humans, we have become so reliant on left-brain thinking and quick reactions that many of us have forgotten to check in with how we are feeling about the very thing we’re reacting about!

Tiger operates highly on senses. Tiger feels the vibrations within the ground when hunting and smells every scent on the air. Instead of using cognitive thought process, tiger is more apt to feel with all of its different senses in order to meet its own needs. During this brand new year of 2022, might we as humans also find a way to courageously tap into our senses and let our feelings guide us into a place of acceptance, love, and open-mindedness? 

Instead of needing to be right or prove any point, can we just be? Finding the strength to sit within discomfort of any kind builds resilience, confidence, and a greater depth of understanding within ourselves which allows us to lend this same grace to others. 

Tiger is also a lone animal, only living with other tigers when she has given birth and is raising her cubs. This means that tiger is independent unless she is caring for others. I see the lesson here as: keeping to ourselves and minding our own business unless we have something positive and loving to contribute to someone else.

I see 2022 as the tunnel out of the dark place we’ve all been traveling through these past few years. 2022 is the year where we can make the decision to bravely step back into the light, our birthright, or stay inside the darkness of the tunnel. Light becomes obtrusive to eyes which are adjusted to darkness, so keep moving forward even when it feels uncomfortable. 

This year, let’s celebrate our differences, our commonalities, and our capacity for courage, strength, beauty, and wisdom.  

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