Seeking Balance – A Healthy Way to Live!

Think back to when you were a child and the things you learned growing up. You probably learned that when building a tower of blocks, the only way to make it tall was to keep each side even. When coloring with crayons, you learned that there was a happy medium between the child who scribbled all over the page and the one who spent hours making sure to color within all the lines. You may also have learned that when making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, too much jelly was way too sweet and too much peanut butter was just “yucky.”

There is a common factor in all of these lessons – balance! Early in your development, you learned the simple truth that things work well and that you are the happiest when they are in balance – not too much or too little, but just right.

What happens then when people grow older? Do we forget these simple rules? Apparently so! If you look around, you’ll see imbalances everywhere. Some people are work-a-holics, while others are play-a-holics. Some folks sleep or eat too much, while others don’t sleep or eat enough. So, what are the consequences of these imbalances? Think back to your childhood when that wood tower became unbalanced, or when you spent too much time playing, or you ate too much candy. Yes, things fell apart, you got sick and were unhappy.

What was learned in childhood somehow is forgotten as adults. In this modern world, with its competing demands and pressures, it’s even easier to fall out of balance. It doesn’t need to be this way. In fact, finding a happy balance is as simple as it was when you were a child. All you need to do is look at things in your life and try to make sure each is not in too much excess or poverty.

Thomas Merton, a French monk and poet who died in 1968 said, “Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.” And he would be correct! As you continue through the hustle and bustle of your daily life, remember to keep things in balance as much as you can. Time for giving, time for receiving. Time for others, time for self. Time for work, time for resting…you get the picture!

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