3 Truths and a Lie: Balance

October 19, 2017


I listened to a podcast recently that really flipped my perception of balance on it’s head. I always looked at balance as a scale so to speak, equally balancing the portions of our life. I stopped pursuing balance when I realized it was an impossible myth to chase. There seemed to be this illusion of a balanced life that I felt I could never reach. It’s an exhausting pursuit. But what if… we took a good hard look at the meaning of balance, and divided the lie from the truths? Maybe then we could actually start finding the peace in our lives that we seek.

The Lie: Balance is a division of equal parts. It is so easy to believe this lie. When you are trying to achieve balance by juggling everything with equal energy, you are in constant motion. No peace is achieved, because you are putting so much energy into the juggle. We are so worried we well drop the ball in one arena of our life, that it becomes an ongoing struggle to uphold them all. Balancing as a verb, doesn’t allow our minds, bodies, or souls to rest. Balance as a form of

Truth 1: Balance requires us to choose an order of priorities. When we understand what is of most value to us, we are able to give the right amount of time and energy into these priorities. Instead of fighting for all of the sides of the scale to perfectly weigh in harmony, we actually want to put more weight onto some sides than others. Which leads us to truth two…

Truth 2: Balance is disproportionate! I expected things should weigh out evenly in the amount of time we spend on each portion of our life. However, when we pour more of ourselves into our priorities rather than trying to equally scatter ourselves, we find more of the healthy balance we ache for. Everything in it’s rightful place is actually the balance we usually seek. For instance, my priorities are my relationships with God, my marriage, my children, and taking care of my health. Work, friendships, hobbies, etc. come after that. If I can make decisions about my day according to those priorities, I can feel confidant that time and energy I put into anything else is enough. There doesn’t need to be guilt. There can actually be peace and confidence in where we are placing our time. Of course, if there is time in a day for everything, brava! If not, we can rest knowing we put our hearts where we needed them that day.

Truth 3: Choosing all good, can be an enemy of the great. I have experienced first hand how my desire to please everyone resulted in a stack of yeses I couldn’t keep up with. They were all good things, but they started to use up all of my energy leaving no room to give the best of myself to the greatest things in my life. In order to find a healthy balance, we have to be able to recognize when to say yes and no! As a chronic over-productive person, I had to learn my value wasn’t in the amount of things I was doing, but the quality in how I was living out these things.

 

Just had to write that all out as I am processing it all! Have you struggled with this topic in your life? There is a book called “The Best Yes” I am sure many of you have heard of that is worth a read or listen on audible. Balance as rest in the right things in my life is where I hope to rest for a while.

*Living room sources here.

Leave a Comment

  • Agreed on saying yes to everything – way too much. I’ve since learned to prioritise my own needs!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  • Hi Anna!

    What was the podcast? Thanks!

  • Hi Anna,
    I’m so happy your putting this out there. Especially for mom’s Of lil ones cause I know at that time it’s a whirlwind of trying to manage and keep balance “order” and we end up beating ourselves up over not having the perfect ending To our day. My kids are 10 & 14 and I’m still trying to de-program myself of that endless pursuit. I just did a video bible study with some women at our church called “Breath” by Pricilla Shirer that was amazing and spoke a lot of this. Thank you for once again shining a light✨ and using words to lift women of all kinds and situations up… I think your thoughts resignate with most of us. 💕

  • Love this post so much! It resonates deeply with me as I have struggled with this very intensely and have had to learn (albeit the hard way!) how important the “right” balance is! I have also heard of that book, it was recommended to me from a friend, and have meaning to read it…I think I will get it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Paula, yes same here! It will always be hard for me to say no to things I perceive as good in the short haul. It really has made a difference though in finding valued time with those closest to me! Hope you get to read the book – it’s fantastic.

  • Ana, this reminds me of a book I read from Matthew Kelly called Off Balance, it was so good! One main takeaway from that book, that reminds me of what you’ve said in your post, is that our idea of balance and our search for it is based on wrong expectations….for example, a vacation should be considered “unbalanced” because it’s all play, all the time, or working on a super hard (but fulfilling, or necessary) project till 2 am a few nights is “unbalanced”, but truthfully they are not, because they are their own set of seasons or stages. Like the fact that what is required of us during the newborn stage (little sleep, less self-care, etc) is “unbalanced” but in actuality, it is not, becasue it is a stage, something we need to look at in the grand scheme of things and not nit-pic what it looks like in 24 hours. We need to sort of “zoom out” and look at the big picture, and find balance that way- in the ebs and flows of our life seasons, rather than necessarily day-to-day in strict 24-hour periods. Just another way of looking at what you’ve already said! 🙂

    • Such a good point. It’s very easy to be overcome by the short phases and allow them to make assumptions about the long term of our life. It is so important to step back and focus on our long term purpose for our life in order to find perspective on the short term!

  • I love reading this-I’ve never thought about balance in this way! I totally agree with the statement that choosing all good can be an enemy of the great. I’ve definitely said “yes” to many, many things and made myself overly busy or over-committed in the past, and I’m trying to work on being more purposeful about what I choose and why I’m choosing it. I’m currently reading the book “Boundaries” (highly recommend!) and it talks about this, too!

  • I totally agree. Balance is not equal, it is just your inner and very personal way of priorities. The priorities that keeps your mind set and heart pleased. The word balance can be easily switch to peace. The inner peace is much more deep, long lasting, and once achieved and maintained, is not so fragile as balance. So wishing you all find your “peaceful way”:)

  • Anna, This is such a timely blessing. We have just moved to the south, are far, far, far from our friends and family. We have 4 children 10 and under (one of whom I homeschool) and I recently found out I am expecting our 5th. I usually get pretty sick during the first trimester and so here I’ve found myself in the familiar season with no extra energy to try and start a new life and make new friends. Maybe for now that’s OK. I realized as I’ve prayed about the overwhelming feelings so much of it comes from a sense of accomplishing little we’ll but seeing so much that needs my attention and energy (like furnishing and decorating our first house!). I’ve felt spread thin. Perhaps if I assign “values” to the proprieties, I’ll rest more if I only get to the top four for the next three months. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Would you mind sharing the podcast? Thank you again for this! You’re an encouragement!

    • Ashley, this was almost the exact scenario I was in last year. Life can feel very overwhelming when we aren’t feeling well. Keep your eyes on the incredible fact that you are growing a new life! It’s hard to be forgiving of all we cannot do when we are staring at it everyday, but little by little things will come together. The podcast is by Fr. Mike Schmitz called “Finding Balance in Christian Life.” I didn’t link it because I know not everyone in my reader audience is Christian, but it had so many good points that good apply to anyone! Give it a listen. Only 6 minutes long. Felt like a big hug for me that everything was as it should be.

Copyright © 2017 In Honor Of Design. Theme by Maiden Sites, Site hosting by Flywheel