Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Striving For Balance ~ Does it Exist

How often have you come across the phrase: you need to find a better balance, I am striving for balance, I am trying to balance it all?

In some form or another, the idea of finding balance seems to be something that many strive for.  But I wonder, does it really exist?

I came across a wonderful analogy while reading Tonya Dalton's "The Joy of Missing Out".  In there she talks about how it is outside of the balance where we can truly thrive.  Think of a riding a bike she says.  In order to stay on, stay centered, you have to be constantly making adjustments.  Too big we fall.  Too small, we don't go anywhere.

Let's compare it to our comfort zone.  Too big of adjustments, we fall in the form of making mistakes and failing.  But even in that, there can still be growth and blessings.  And let's be honest, failing and mistakes...that scares the crap out of us sometimes.  We let the fear of making a mistake or failing take control and we dig our heels in, unwilling to move. 

On the flip side, to little of adjustments, we can stall out.  We slow down to a point where we give up.  Letting all of it overwhelm us and take us down.  We loose sight of the good things in the day and how far we may have come or where we are headed. 

Both of these lead us to become, well, become complacent.  Refusing to work to improve and thinking that if everything was balanced life would be good.

Yes, it is true, small steps lead to our end goal, and yes, we learn the most in those in between moments.  But there needs to be a balance between the too small and too big, but maybe balance isn't the right word to use.  It is a harmony in it all that we strive for.  And in that harmony, it isn't always dead center, it isn't always balanced.  Yet it feels right.

Like riding a bike. We make adjustments along the way.  Speed up or slow down just enough to keep going.  Coasting to rest here and there, gearing up to go faster to make it up the hill ahead.  But in those adjustments we are re-calibrating, resetting, and pausing where needed.  As we do this, we begin to look inward and can dig in.  We also get to see glimpses of the bigger picture. 

We are in a constant state of learning, growing,  changing, but only if we let ourselves.  We may not be in balance, but we can be in harmony.

However, we have to realize that it starts with us, our attitudes and behaviors.  Our decision to step out of comfort zone, to place our priorities where they truly are meant to be, and to build our lives around them.

There will always be chaos, there will always be busy, there will always be storms, but even in the midst of that we can still find calm, joy, rest, and harmony.

We can still ride our bike, as we ride through the day to day of our lives.  Being present, thriving, working toward the bigger picture, and adjusting along the way. 

So instead of finding a balance, I encourage you to find a harmony.  A harmony between all your roles, your priorities, your ministries, your faith.  Something that ebbs and flows as you do.  That allows you to have calm in the chaos, to release and reset, to go with the natural rhythm that God has set for you.

What can you use as a guide?  For me, I start with my faith.  Then through discovering who I am and where I am headed, I am able to move forward.  Yup, I still fail and make mistakes.  Oh and do I ever take like five steps for every one I take forward at times.  But I have learned to pick myself back up, dust myself off, and reset back at my last solid footing.

It isn't always easy, but as I move through it, it lightens and flows more smoothly.  Sometimes it also means setting stuff aside for now or even permanently...and being okay with that.  Sometimes it means letting those around me do it and in their way.  Sometimes it is being open and honest about where I am at and what I need.

As we round out the year, through the month of December slow down enough to get a solid footing.  Then push off, forward despite mistakes and fails, let yourself learn and grow changing where you need, move out of your comfort zone. Feel the freedom that harmony brings.

And let yourself ride a bike.

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