Wednesday, January 9, 2013

You Need Balance...or do you?

Lately people keep telling me to balance things.  They keep telling me that I have to take care of myself.  I am doing the best I can with what I got, and I am not sure it resembles balance much, if at all.

I got to thinking about it today.  Balance is a funny thing to strive for because it is something that only lasts for a moment, or two, and then often is gone.  I suspect for there to be movement or growth, there needs to be an imbalance.

What comes to mind as I say this is a teeter-totter.  When it is perfectly balanced it doesn't move.  Nothing happens.  For anyone who has enjoyed one, you know that the fun is in the movement.

Think about balancing on one foot. For most of us it only lasts for a short period of time.  Balance doesn't seem to be something that sticks around for any length of time - and often takes a lot of effort.  Plus, while we are standing there proving we can balance, we are not moving forward.

We are told we need balance in our lives like it is something we can attain, often something we must attain - for our own good.

I am beginning to wonder about this because if you manage to get "there," it likely won't last long any way. And it takes a lot of energy to seek this thing called balance, and a lot of energy to stay there.  And we are so good at kicking ourselves when we don't accomplish things, or do them right, maybe it gives us too much of an opportunity to feel badly about ourselves if we don't perceive ourselves to be in balance.

Maybe it is not balance we need at all.  Maybe we say "balance," but we really mean something else.  Most times when balance is spoken of, it seems to be something that gives peace/makes us peaceful.  Maybe we could be out of balance but have a great sense of peace from what we are doing.

Maybe when we are focused so intently on something it is a way to avoid something else, and the problem isn't so much that we don't have balance as much as it is that we are avoiding something that we should be paying attention to.

Maybe the idea of balance is a diversion.  Maybe focusing on balance is something akin to a doctor treating symptoms, instead of addressing a cause.  Maybe if there is an imbalance it itself is not the thing to be treated/analyzed/addressed, but is a symptom of something else?

So maybe all of these conversations that people have about balance aren't about balance at all.

And, maybe, to harp on a point I have often talked about, balance is one of those things we use as a way to "fix" the things we don't like, or aren't seeming to go the way we want them to.  What if everything is exactly as it needs to be and nothing is wrong with where we are in relation to where we, or others, think we should be?  We wouldn't need concepts like "balance" to fix us.

As always, just thinking out loud...

Life is a never ending conversation, isn't it?

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