Balance. An important concept in all things from nature to personal health. Throw off the balance and there will be conflict and trouble.
Balance is a common device in literature, too. We call it conflict. We put our characters in situations where they have to choose a path, make a deeply personal decision, and eventually solve the dilemma–at least for awhile. It’s an essential element to the novel. Learning how the protagonist works his/her way through the situation keeps readers turning the pages, right?
Solving the dilemma through our characters is difficult. But put the element of balance in your own life, and well that’s a completely different animal. Keeping work, play and meditation balanced is a constant struggle. Like little children, individually they cry for your attention. If one aspect gets too strong , it pulls on the others. And ta-da! You’re in conflict. It makes for a good story, but in real life, being out of balance sucks.
Keeping a healthy balance equals SUCCESS to me. Unlike a lot of my contemporaries, who think success is a pile of money, big houses and expensive cars--although, I wouldn’t object to any of this–it might be fun to even money to get all the bills paid on time, success to me is a healthy balance of work, play and meditation.
I’ve come to the conclusion in my middle-age life that in order to achieve success, I have to work at something I enjoy; I have to play enough with friends, and I also have to have enough time alone to maintain a healthy spiritual life. If I can keep these three things even, happiness and contentment follows.
My present challenge in keeping balance is struggling with my desire to have a vacation–to get away and not think of the challenges I have at home. I’m sure you’re thinking — so get on a plane, already. But here’s the conflict. I also have a strong need to keep my husband who suffers from MS safe and cared for properly. That responsibility and desire is pulling me away from the vacation I need just as strongly. I feel it would be selfish to just take off and leave him and my everyday life behind. I know I should go.I know I need to go, but so far, I haven’t figured out a way to have peace of mind knowing Ken would be all right while I’m gone. And until I do, I will be out of balance. And so it goes.
The moral to this tale: When you’re feeling angry or sad about something, look at the balance in your life. Is it out of whack like mine? If it is, try to pull it back and see what happens. I’ll bet you feel better if work, fun, and spirituality each have their equal piece of the pie. Go ahead, try it. I dare you!