Friday, December 9, 2011

Life is a See-Saw

Remember the see-saw? A child would sit on each end of a “plank” that was centered over a “sawhorse”. We'd take turns going up and down, the goal doing so smoothly, evenly, with balance. Sometimes your see-saw partner would decide to hit the monkey bars and off he or she'd go, leaving the see-saw partner crashing to the ground with a hard thud. That feeling of the bottom dropping out from under us as the see-saw responds to gravity's pull leaves us caught off guard, shaken.

Life is like a see-saw. Our goal is to live life in balance, not in one extreme or another. Imbalance occurs in the most positive as well as negative experiences. The start of a wonderful romantic connection can create imbalance in one's life as it's arrival creates disorientation and distraction. The loss of a loved one, expected or unexpected, creates imbalance in one's life, creating overwhelm and a feeling of dangling upside down. Regardless the see-saw experience, it leaves us feeling topsy-turvy, out of control, dazed and confused.

I use to believe the goal in life was to maintain balance at all times; I'm learning keeping life in balance all the time is impossible. The true goal is to know the balance within me, my Center, so that as life around me shifts, (and life is ever shifting) I can move through the shifts Centered and balanced within. I can't balance Life. Life is a force of its own.

Change happens. A new love interest happens. A new career position happens. A death of a loved one happens. Illness happens. And these expected or unexpected changes can leave us feeling like the child on a see-saw left hanging in mid-air before crashing with a thud to the ground. Everything we knew, trusted and managed in our routine called life is disrupted. If we know balance within our Center, our anchor in God, we can stand in the midst of the chaos of change, and therefore, move through the ripples of life's waves with greater grace and ease.

To know our Center is to regularly commune with God. Our Center is God, the inner beacon of Light that emanates our divinity. It connects us in the Oneness of Life expressed all around us. To connect with God, we pray, meditate, breathe deeply, sit quietly and listen. We take time out from the chaos of life, no matter the circumstances, to connect and feel God's presence in whatever way is meaningful to us: church, reading spiritual material, journal, nature walks, music, creativity. To know our Center, to firmly connect with this anchor, we must commune regularly when feeling balance on the see-saw of Life, and most definitely when circumstances leave us feeling imbalanced in the chaos of change. To center, we focus on being present, focused in each and every moment, the vantage point from which to best manage each and every ripple of change we are experiencing.

Yes, we will be left on the ground after the “thud” wondering, “what the hell happened?” In the movie Eat Pray Love, Ketut tells Liz we must lose balance in love to find balance in life. I've seen this movie over a dozen times, and always wondered what this meant. Now I get it.

Love. Health. Family. Death. We must lose balance in order to find balance in life. We often avoid changes in our lives because the upheaval of said change creates imbalance within them. We avoid changes when they would be better for us and others, or offer something greater than we already have or know. We fight changes when they are imposed upon us by others, or Life. If we seek love in our life, we must lose balance in what we know in order to incorporate a different and more fulfilling type of balance. If we seek a new career with greater opportunity, we must lose balance in order to learn a new and improved balancing act of being. If we lose a relationship, or a loved one in death, we must experience the imbalance in order to create an openness to new possibilities and growth for a different kind of balance.

Our Center, God, is our see-saw partner. If we are unfamiliar with this Center, we become sorely aware of its absence in the imbalance of life. When anchored in our Center, we can better manage, if not ease the “thuds” of change as we maintain or recalibrate a new balance on the teeter-totter of life.

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