Finding Hope in Balance

It’s been kind of hushed up over the last few years but every so often someone will bring up the concept of balance.  Many people roll their eyes, others feel frustrated and a few are thankful for the reminder.  I’ve personally learned that balance is essential to life.  Maybe not the zen-like balance some people try for, but the balance that means you know more to life exists than one thing or person.

A few years ago the big word being thrown around was balance, now it seems engagement, social, and culture are.  Just because it’s super popular doesn’t mean it’s wrong or right, and in the case of these watchwords, there are some truths to both sides.

The thing that the concept of balance recognizes is that there are ups and downs, highs and lows, ins and outs, strengths and weaknesses.  We’ve never been very good at accepting that the bad has to come with the good, but without the bad would there be good?

Balance doesn’t mean that things are boring, lazy, uninvolved or status-quo, rather it indicates that there has to be an accounting/feedback for the things that do happen.  As I’ve said before, if we think that we can get away with working 24/7 for a long period of time without damaging our relationships or health, we’re wrong.  Balance doesn’t mean that we can’t work 24/7 on a project or our relationship or our health for a short period of time, it just means we have to recognize that that can’t be all we do forever.

It’s kind of like seeing yourself as just a father, mother, sister, wife, husband, employee or boss.  These things are part of who you are, but they can’t be the only things that define you.  You are much more than the label most people see you as.

Don’t be afraid of the bad stuff or fear the good stuff because it means the opposite has to happen as well.  Instead, let it remind you that you are more than just this minute, more than your last conversation, and more than your best/worst day.

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”  Carl Jung


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