A Need for Balance

One of my favorite finds this year is the book and series called, Good Omens. In it, the earth’s birthdate is uncovered, and it turns out the earth is a Libra. At the time, this made me laugh as I too am a Libra. However, with all that 2020 is challenging us with, I am discovering that both I and the world are being asked to find more balance, which is both a core challenge and passion of we Libras.

Photo by Evan Clark on Unsplash

Balance is not a fixed location but a constant readjustment. Think of someone riding a unicycle. They do not get the unicycle upright and then stay in that perfect state of equilibrium. To stay balanced the cyclist – and we – need to make constant adjustments in how we think, how we act, and how we interact.

Balance Your Time

Much has been said about balancing our time between work and home. Balancing time is also finding the present moment. Staying in the past brings regret. Focusing on the future brings fear. Being in the present moment is the point of balance between negative emotions of the past and future. It is also the space where we are empowered to act.

All or Nothing

Much of our pain these days in in taking sides and seeing issues, people, and situations as clear-cut dichotomies, which they never are. All-or-nothing thinking makes us lopsided and off-balance. Through my own life, I have found that nothing is absolutely black-or-white, right-or-wrong, true-or-false. Between all people, issues, and ideas there is always gray. When we can find that gray, we can find balance.

Action and Inaction

Where all-or-nothing exists in our mind, the concept of Yin-Yang expresses balance in action. Yang gets the limelight for me personally and much of society. Yang is aggression, action, accomplishments, and holding to beliefs. Taking action is not bad in itself. The trouble comes in when this is all we have and when we don’t make space for the Yin. Yin is about flexibility, adaptability, and flow. Yin is about strength through bending and humility. You can learn more about these concepts in this great video.

For me personally, I usually lead with the Yang. I am the bull in the china shop trying to fight for what is right and make things happen. Again, this is not bad, unless action is all I have. Sometimes the best solution is in the pause, in acceptance, in flexibility, in humility, in the Yin. The key to peace is not to choose Yin over Yang or Yang over Yin but to discern when to use each.

Equality

Equality is finding balance between people. Nothing, read that again, nothing makes one person more important than someone else. Not money, not beauty, not nationality, not gender. We are all equal. The only inequality that exists is based on our own judgments. I have experienced inequality growing up a woman in a man’s world. I have being perceived as “the other” being the only Caucasian in an African American History class. I have felt superiority bestowed upon me due to my education, position, financial status, and skin tone. Through all of these instances, I see that the differences, the inequalities were all in someone’s mind. To find balance between us and others, we need to release the false sense of separation. We need to seek to understand and accept the other, instead of spreading and continuing prejudice. We need to release our fear of loss as meeting others as equals (raising up others) does not minimize ourselves. Together we are both stronger.

Steadiness through Constantly Changing

Where are you feeling off-balance? Is time making demands you can not meet? Is your thinking skewed? Is the imbalance between trying to act when the best option is to wait? Is it in feeling that you are due more than you receive or a fear that others are taking from you? Take a few moments to close your eyes. Breathe gently in through your nose and out through your mouth. Find the balance and peace of this moment. Then examine where you feel off balance. What needs to shift to help you find serenity?  Throughout your day check-in and make minor adjustments to help you maintain stability in balance.

hide feelings

The Way Out is Through

This article captures much of what concerns me about the mainstream spiritual movement. Be positive, raise your vibration, and attract what you want. The message repeated again and again is to focus on the good and more good will come to you. The unspoken message is that if bad things happen, it is your fault for not keeping your vibration high. The problem is life is not always good, and the truth is, it is not your fault.

We have bad days. To deny these negative feelings, to believe that feeling them is inappropriate and to be avoided, is to deny ourselves the truth of being human. No one is perfect. No one is happy all the time. We are meant to grieve. We are meant to get angry. We are meant to be sad. We are meant to experience every emotion humanly possible. To deny your feelings, bad or good, is only denying yourself and denying the truth of life.  

Feelings are like seasons. Without winter we can’t have spring. After summer must come fall. One season is not bad and another good. All are necessary to maintain the balance of life. The same goes for our feelings. Happiness is amazing to experience, and yet sorrow helps us know what we value. Anger is a great tool to help us identify and act against what is not serving us or others. Grief is an acknowledgement of love and the noting of transition – ours or others. If we do not experience all of these feelings, we are not truly living.

hiding our feelings
Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Often, we perceive feelings and being emotional as weakness. It is the opposite. As Fred Rogers said, “Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”

To hide from the unwanted and undesirable feelings, many of us numb our feelings. But facing our feelings, all of our feelings, is not only living fully it is also necessary to our growth. The last months of 2019 I was plagued with medical issues, and I didn’t like it. I stupidly cut my foot open, requiring stitches and weeks of healing. Once my foot was back to almost 100% utilization, I came down with a doozy of a cold, keeping me on the couch for another seemingly endless week. I resisted being ill. I was angry that I could not do what I normally did and begrudgingly had to ask for help. I created an awesome pity party for my predicament. To top it off, I tried to deny these feelings because they were not positive and helpful to me or others.

What finally released me from these emotions, was sitting with them. When I stopped, accepted my situation and how I was feeling, and then explored what I was learning from this episode (awareness of my codependent tendencies and finding gratitude for things I take for granted) then I was released from the experience and the emotions. Instead of ignoring how I felt, instead of trying to be positive when I felt crappy, the way I found release from these not-so-awesome feelings, was by feeling them. The way out of the negative experience was by going through it.

What do you find difficult right now? What do you not want to experience? What are you avoiding?

What is this experience trying to teach you? What can you learn from what you are going through?

Do you have the courage to feel completely? I hope so. For the only road to release, is through. If you need some support as you go through, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your support system. Hang in there; it is better on the other side.