Balanced Rock is a great example of equilibrium in nature. The boulder looks like it could fall at any moment, and someday erosion will force it to topple. Until then, it stands as a scenic wonder located in Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs. Balanced Rock required perfect geologic and weather conditions to achieve its balance. In the same way, people often go to great lengths to achieve balance in their lives. We try to balance our finances, our diets, and the never ending work-play struggle. But is balance ever possible? And beyond that, is balance necessary to our happiness?
I’ve thought a lot about balance lately. After my foot surgery five weeks ago, my activities drastically changed. My doctor ordered me to not put any weight on the ball of my left foot for three weeks. I used a walker and managed to balance on my right foot to walk to the bathroom. I spent most of my days and nights on the sofa.
Resting was difficult. I’m not by any means a “couch potato.” At first I dreaded so much inactivity. Then I began to see what a wonderful opportunity this time of recovery brought me. How often have I wished for more time to pursue my passions? I passed the hours by reading, writing, and praying. I was completely out of balance, yet completely happy.
Our desire for balance comes from our desire to control our lives.
Are you a time management freak? We all have twenty-four hours in our day, and follow some kind of routine. We can make plans, but interruptions arise, throwing us off balance. These interruptions remind us we don’t have control of our time after all. I admire people who can go with the flow of events. They are usually calmer, happier people.
Instead of desiring balance, identify personal priorities.
Do you exhaust yourself trying to balance your own needs and the needs of others? Narrow your demands on yourself and your time. Pray and make a list of your priorities. God knows you. He knows your abilities, and he knows the needs of those in your sphere of influence. Before you commit to anything new, evaluate it according to your priorities. Be accepting of what you can and cannot do. Be accepting of other people and their priorities. You will be a lot happier.
Re-think the social media energy drain.
When I made a list of my priorities, I reflected upon the amount of time I spend on social media sites. I realized I have an addiction. Any time I have a few spare minutes at my disposal, I start logging onto facebook, twitter, or instagram. Beginning writers are told they must increase their online presence in order to succeed. Spending time interacting on social media is a never ending cycle that always demands more energy. Energy that might be better spent in face to face relationships.
Respect life’s seasons.
Nature’s four seasons were created for the purpose of growth and rest. All of us have seasons in our life when we are more focused on one goal or another. It’s important to recognize when one season ends and a new one begins. Each season brings new opportunities for growth, outwardly and inwardly. When we relax and submit to God’s will for the season we’re in, all striving ceases. For writers, there are times of creativity, and other times to seek inspiration. You might feel like you’re out of balance, but you’re right where you need to be.
The Book of Ecclesiastes offers wisdom about life and balance.
“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That every man can eat and drink and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.” —King Solomon
What are your thoughts on balance and happiness? Does happiness depend upon achieving balance? Leave a comment.
4 thoughts on “The Balance-Happiness Debate”
I believe personal balance in everyday living is self-discipline, and
is a virtue according to the Scriptures. Correct me if I’m wrong.
You are on the right track!
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I agree that personal balance is a virtue. By seeking God first, we can focus on the right priorities each day. Thanks for your comment.
Well said! Finding balance isn’t easy. Addressing and conquering fears is another area for thoughtful introspection. Ahh, so much to do, so little time in which to do it.
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I’ve had a lot of time on my hands as of late! Hope I can practice what I preach and carry my thoughtful introspection with me when I arise from the sofa. A time for every purpose under heaven. Thanks for reading my musings.