Balance is something I have continually strived for. Does anyone ever have their lives perfectly in balance? I have come to realize that with “balance” as my goal, I am living in a very tenuous state. Have you ever tried to stand on a balance board? You put weight on one foot then the other and try to distribute your weight equally until you find that balance, which only lasts momentarily before you are out of balance again.
As a kid, it was fun to ride the teeter-totter or see-saw. We’d find it fun to go back and forth, up and down, in a constant state of motion. We might try to find that balance somewhere in the middle, but we couldn’t do it alone. We had to work together, finding the exact positioning that would momentarily hang our lives in the balance.
To be “in balance” is to be at risk of being out of balance. It is a constant adjustment and readjustment of all the aspects of ourselves and our lives that we are trying to bring into balance. As a single, working Mom finding balance is no easy task. I juggle many balls - maintaining my responsibilities at work, caring for my girls, my pets and aging parents, maintaining a house and yard, tracking finances, etc. The more balls I am juggling, the harder it is to find that sense of balance. At one time perhaps I thought of “balance” as keeping those balls in the air without dropping them. More and more though, I find I am dropping balls. I have had to learn to say “No!” when someone tries to give me another ball, to pass a ball to others now and then, to not be so hard on myself when I do drop one, to just pick it up and try again, and to put the balls down on occasion and rest.
I think of yoga class and trying to find my balance in one of the yoga poses. It is fun to try to get to that place of balance, and with practice it becomes easier to get there and easier to maintain the pose. When I lose focus I tend to wobble and even lose my balance, falling out of position. In that moment I have a choice, I can give up or I can try again. In giving up, I am not recognizing that being out of balance is part of the process of learning to be in balance. Finding that balance is a constant shift and willingness to move in and out of balance.
As circumstances have changed for me in my life personally, I have essentially had to redefine what “balance” means to me. Where once it was the goal and something that I seemed to be able to achieve rather effortlessly, now, I have come to think of balance more as a static process. I have come to accept that at times I will feel in balance and that no sooner that I do I will feel out of balance again. It is a back and forth momentum – like riding that teeter-totter. As I have come to understand that being out of balance is as much a part of being “in balance” it has become easier to accept and enjoy the ride.