We are a species that appreciates and actively works to be surrounded by symmetry; if there is a right side to something, there must be a left; if a certain amount has been given to ‘a,’ then the same amount must be given to ‘b;’ if a piece of art looks wrong to us, it’s because too much or too little of a thing on one side or the other. What we strive for in and outside our minds is a balance; a balance not skewed to one side or the other, but a balance indicating that there is no danger of falling down or shooting up in a precipitate manner. We’d rather maintain the status quo than to rock the boat, though there are always some willing to shake things up to see what will happen or to jar loose fresh ideas or ways of looking at things. This can be a boon if we have become complacent or set in our ways or glued to one routine just because it is a routine. But it is important to look at all sides of an endeavor, large or small, and once you’ve done that, a choice can be made whether or not to maintain symmetry or opt for a therapeutic change. Wouldn’t you rather make a choice than follow blind routine?
Balance applies to everything and balance between anything and everything is crucial to our survival and the survival of the planet. Whether we talk about the physical balance of objects and beings or we talk of the balance between ideologies or religion we are all involved in a balancing act all the time and in this we don’t have many choices. The most important thing to see is that we are all involved in and with being balanced. If we don’t recognize that fact we can create a myriad of problems for ourselves and others. When we lean too far in one direction or another we stand the risk of falling and taking others, friends or enemies, down with us. We must recognize that the only choice we have is to strive to remain balanced and to help others to do so or to refuse to continue to retain our own balance and thoughtlessly affect who knows how many others. Once we’ve achieved balance to one degree or another for ourselves the effect can domino and our environment becomes easier to live in and offers more pleasure since our balance leads to the balance of more and more of the planet. Do you think life can be lived well without balance?
Even though one may be the risk-taking type, or the travelling type, or simply not good organizationally we all recognize a need for some kind of stability in our lives. We may be able to juggle ten things at once or be able to run a household on a nickel or be able to maintain our balance while under pressure, but we do so from a solid base, from stability of a kind different from the purely physical version. Stability involves not only ourselves and ability to keep a realistic perspective on things but also upon a solid base within our family, whether blood family or self-made family, and community. Only with the knowledge that there will always be someone there to ‘get your back’ can we venture off into unexplored territory or unexplored realms of new and challenging things. Stability is not only a fall-back position, though, it also is a cheering section and the place that constructive criticism comes from. With the knowledge that we have a solid base we have can summon the courage to attempt to conquer almost anything, but have succor if we happen to come up a little short. Isn’t coming at life from a strong base more encouraging than spinning your wheels alone and without a solid base to stand on?
The background doesn’t always get noticed, that’s why it is background. on the other hand the background can be beautiful in itself and still emphasize the beauty or performance of the main event. Background, remaining out of the limelight while being watched, looked at, or vaguely heard is appropriate and is its primary purpose; when the show is over or someone comes to study the complete work, the background should take its place as being just as vitally important to a whole site or event as the star. In the same way we can try to choose to be the star at all times in our lives but that is just not feasible; being on view or performing is deadly drudgery and we can lose sight of our own identity since performance is geared to be pleasing to others and does not take our own selves into consideration. However we cannot always remain in the background or we could lose ourselves in a different way, by not ever expressing ourselves we also fail to define our beliefs in our minds either. Balancing being the focus of all attention with a bit of a fade into the background for reflection is difficult, but necessary to be able to see ourselves from many and varied viewpoints. Having all attention directed toward us is nice, but isn’t allowing ourselves a back seat at times necessary, too?
We can be so enthusiastic about a project or having fun that we forge ahead, determined to reach our goal, letting nothing deter us. While this may place us in reach of our goal quickly, we should stop to see who or what we may be trampling or neglecting in our wholesale rush toward a single objective. Having goals and working toward them are a necessary part of a healthy life, but having tunnel-vision in pursuit of a goal is not the healthiest way to gain it. A balanced approach toward all your goals, not giving one more importance than another, can help since by acknowledging you have other goals will broaden your outlook and de-emphasize having one goal’s importance be much more important than another’s. With this more balanced distribution of your goals you won’t find yourself in a place you were not expecting to be, not knowing how you got there, and wishing you were somewhere else or second guessing your choices. It is important to take others into consideration when you are making decisions about where you are going and how you are going about it. Others may be hurt mentally or physically if you don’t include them in the process or you may make ill-considered choices without listening to the advice of others. Comparing all options before embarking on your path will lead to better and satisfying outcome. Isn’t having a goal completely finished better than one left only partially complete?
Sometimes it seems as though we can hardly keep our heads above water, then struggle one more time to reach the surface and find ourselves exhausted. We may have struggled toward the surface from fear of the unknown or a possibly dangerous world below us. We may avoid the water altogether and continually fly above the surface finding ourselves reveling in the magnificence of free flight. These reasons for fearing or rejoicing in an underwater or above water experience represent extremes, extremes that bring strong positive or negative feelings up front and center in our minds. While extremes of feelings can be helpful in the short-run when we face short-term positive or negative circumstances, they are a detriment if allowed to continue indefinitely. It might be of some value to learn to float – hanging comfortably between the deep sea and the light air and be able to enjoy them both. While floating our powers of observation re-emerge and we can take pleasure in our surroundings and learning about them. When we become too busy or involved in our own small portion of life that we cannot observe the rest of life around us we may begin to sink again to the depths of inconsequence and ignorance. When we become so ecstatic or joyful that we ignore the rest of life around us we may float above the surface of daily life with the same result. Once we’ve learned to accept that there are depths to which we may sink and heights to which may rise we can choose our place to float between them. One wouldn’t want to live completely without extremes, but it’s much more comfortable to find our floating place and know that after the joys and sorrows we can return there. For in the place you choose to float you’ll find your sense of the permanence of some things, your expectations about people and events is not jarred, and your life is on an even keel until the next sinking or flying occurrence. Wouldn’t you rather find a floating place than see-saw from high to low endlessly?
Sweeping is not only about cleaning house, and a broom is not the only thing that can be swept with. To sweep is an all-encompassing term that includes everything from sweeping dirt away to sweeping clouds away or being swept away in a storm. The term has inundated many aspects of our language, is appropriate to it, and it is understood whenever it is used. We can be swept off our feet by a stronger foe, or by circumstances beyond our control, or by the winds of change. Amongst all this sweeping it seems that we should be able to have a bit more control over our lives and the situations so that we’re not swept away by everything. If we allow ourselves to be swept away easily we’ll find we haven’t got idea one of where we’ve ended up or why we’ve ended up there. We can’t always avoid being swept away by something but we should know how to try to stop that strong and repeated pressure. Having a strong sense of self and direction can help with the aim of following our own paths. Recognizing the beginning of a sweeping motion will help as well; for then we can react against the motion if we so desire. We do want to be swept away sometimes, especially if we recognize where we’re being swept and wholeheartedly want to go there. We want the sensations of a new love, or the feeling of success and fulfillment from a job well done, or the satisfaction of completing a task that has compelled and eaten up all our time. We wouldn’t want to be swept away by a mob, or caught up in a friend’s vicious wrangle, or be unable to stop playing when on a losing streak while gambling. A sense of balance and a sense of self is really all that is needed to find a path through the brooms reaching toward us every day, and to make our own decisions about being swept. Is holding your own broomstick more appealing than succumbing to others’?