Everything In Life Is About Balance

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. - RumiOne of the most common complaints is not enough time.  There isn’t enough time to get everything done.  When you have the demands of a career, a family, volunteering for your favorite charity, a spiritual life, trying to fit in physical fitness, etc. . . .  how can you fit all of that into one 24 hr time period, or even spread it out through your week?  How do you balance the hours in the day with everything that needs to be done?  The most common answer is something called “time management”.  I have read many books, heard speakers talk about it, but I have never been able to manage time.  The best I can do is keep that running list that just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

You can do anything, but not everything.

  – David Allen

What if it isn’t time management that brings a semblance of balance into a person’s life?  What if it is boundary management?  How many times have you said yes to your friend when she asked you to watch her kids, when you didn’t have the time to do it or even want to do it?  How many times do you have priorities screaming at home you want to get done, but you let your girlfriend talk you into going out on the town?  Not only did you burn up hours that you wanted to do something different with, now your budget is out of whack $100.00, and you didn’t even have good time.

Balance comes in the moments, when you stand up for the life you truly want for yourself, by making choices that align with that.

  – Unknown

We could write a book of similar things that happen with work, such as having to work on Saturday because someone else in your department didn’t get their job done on time.  Or your child’s school talked you into committing to baking 12 dozen cookies for the bake sale.  You want to just drive by the grocery story and buy from the bakery, but every other mom is baking and so you feel that you have to too.  All of these are not time management issues.  They are boundary issues.  We don’t know how to say no in such a way that they know we mean it.  How do you say no in such a way that they know we still love them, but “no I can’t commit to that.”

Life is about balance; too much and too little can kill.  The best way to balance life is setting your boundaries and learning to say enough.

  – M G Garcia

When we don’t stand up for the life that we want, then we end up living the life that everyone else pulls us into.  Boundaries keep our life on track and within the path that we have chosen to walk.  There are a lot of trainings and seminars that sound fun to me.  A lot of books that look like a great summer read.  A lot of TV series that look like they would be fun to watch (everyone at work is talking about them).  But I have boundaries in my life where I self limit the number of hours I spend on things that are not furthering the dreams in my life.  I still enjoy TV and read great books, but I limit the number of hours that they suck up, because I could read book after book after book if I let myself.  The dishes would sit in the sink, the laundry would pile up and I would get around to a lot of chores as soon as I finish the next chapter – LOL.

If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative.  Know when to close the account.

  – Unknown

So boundaries are both between me and the world, and between me and my dreams.  I don’t have perfect balance.  I binge on books or TV every once in awhile.  But I am constantly asking myself, “does this help me grow and expand LemonadeMakers in some way?”  When I do the occasional binge, it is because I have been working way too hard, and my brain needs a break.  I just don’t let my brain stay on a permanent vacation.  I love doing the research, finding the quotes and photos and writing these posts.  I love the comments people make and interacting with the community.  I am constantly learning new things so that I can bring them to my community and engage them in even more meaningful ways.

Try to always live a balanced life.  Don’t deprive yourself, but don’t overindulge; don’t be lazy, but learn that it’s ok to relax; challenge yourself, but don’t be afraid to silly and let loose.

  –   Alex and Ani

In addition to boundaries, balance is also about letting things go in our life.  Understanding the deeper concept of letting go or giving up.  What is the difference between them?  How do we know when we should keep trying and when we just need to stop?  I always think of the hospital shows on TV.  You see the doctor giving a patient who is having a heart attack CPR.  5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes?  How many times do you shock the heart to restart it?  There comes that moment when everyone else in the room has stepped back.  You can see they want to say, stop, this isn’t working.  But they are afraid to say it.  Then finally someone says you have to call the time of death.  No matter how many times you try, that heart isn’t going to start beating again.  So how do you know if it is too soon or too late?  When do you let go?

Life is a balance between what we can control and what we can’t.  You must learn to live comfortably between effort and surrender.

  –  Quotes and Thoughts

When do you say goodbye to a job?  To a relationship?  To a dream?  To a belief?  When should you be holding on, and when should you be letting them go?  Balance is usually achieved by living between the two extremes.  Not letting go of things just because it is too hard; and knowing when to let go of things that no longer serve you.  Letting go of things that are actually beginning to harm you, because of your refusal to let go.

Balance is not something you find.  It’s something your create.

  – Unknown

I think that we need to relook at what is happening with the thing you are trying to hold on to or let go of.  Why are we being called to either hold onto it or release it?  Is it tied to a fear?  Is it too hard to accomplish?  Is it unhealthy?  Have we outgrown it or we just haven’t grown into it yet?  Does it still reflect who we are growing into being?

I always think of children when explaining this concept.  Maybe you have done this, but I am certain that you can think of a child who has done it.  My son had a pair of rain boots that he loved.  He was around 3 years old at the time.  They were like fireman boots, all black, with a red circle around the top of the boots, and went up to his knees.  I noticed one day that he was squishing his toes to fit into the boots.  So I put them away in the top shelf of the hallway closet to save for his baby brother to wear when he was older.  Every time I turned around he had those boots on.  It didn’t matter where I hid them, he found them and put them on.  Even though they hurt his feet to walk in them.  I finally had to give them away.

He outgrew the boots.  But he kept holding on to them.  Even though it caused physical pain, he would put them on.  I got rid of them because I was worried he was going to cause real damage to his feet.  How many things in your life, are you refusing to let go of, that you have outgrown? Are the problems in your life actually being created because you refuse to let go?

This same son, fast forward to high school age.  He enrolled in a drafting class because he was interested in drawing.  About six weeks into the class, he came home wanting to quit the class.  He said it wasn’t what he thought it was going to be.  He wanted to take a German language class instead.  I said he should stay in the drafting class and finish it.  My husband thought he should be allowed to quit it.  So he transferred into the German class.  About six weeks later we were having the same conversation about the German class.  I told my husband that he needed to learn to finish what he started.  Whatever reason he come up with for quitting, it wasn’t the real reason he wanted to quit.  The real reason he wanted to quit, in this case drafting or German language, wasn’t because he didn’t like the teacher, or any other off the top of his head excuse. It was because the class just hit a hard spot.

When life hits a hard spot in a job, or a relationship or a dream – we might think it is time to quit.  We might think that the fact that we are having problems means it just won’t work out the way we wanted.  We might think that the hard spot is proof that we were wrong about that dream being our destiny.  That God is telling us to turn and go back to what we had before.  That we are being called to a different dream, so we should close the door on this one as being the wrong one.

The only way to know that we should keep trying or quit, is to ask ourselves the hard questions around why we are doing so.  We need to look at our past and see what kinds of patterns we have in regards to trying harder or quitting.  We just need to keep growing into the best version of ourselves.  To keep expanding the comfort zone.  To be awake and conscious enough to understand when the subconscious is leading us astray in telling us to hold on to something that is harming us or we have outgrown.  To balance that understanding of when the subconscious is being tricky and telling us to walk away from something that we just had a setback with.  Not to believe it when it says that this is proof that we aren’t meant to be or accomplish that thing.

Your aren’t perfect.  All you can be is your best.  Be your best at work.  Be your best at home.  Even if you can’t spend the time you want in an aspect of your life, be your best at it when you are in it.  Be in harmony.  

  –  Dr. Bill Gentry

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.

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