The Myth of Balance

blog change life balance responsibility Jan 18, 2023

Blog by Gem Fadling

How often have you heard someone say something like this, “I’m just trying to live a balanced life. If I can keep things in balance everything will work out.” 

 

You may or may not agree, however, I don’t think true balance is achievable. 

 

If you think of a scale, you typically have two objects on either side that weigh the same amount and so you have balance. But our lives are so much more complicated than that. 

 

It would be like a scale with multiple plates hanging off in different directions. And then we are expected to get all of them level at the same time.

 

I don’t know about you, but my life doesn’t usually feel balanced, with everything having its perfect place and perfect amount of allotted time. As much as I try, this dynamic is elusive. 

 

That’s because even though we might plan, we don’t have control over people or circumstances…and something always pops up, right?

 

More often there are times when one aspect of our lives requires more attention than another and we pour where we need to. And, overall, hopefully, everyone and everything gets their share.

 

So, let’s set the word balance aside for the moment. What if we try on a couple of different words. What about rhythm or pattern. Now we’re getting somewhere. What if, overall, you have a relatively healthy pattern of attending to the people and tasks in your life?

 

Now, again, life is not this tidy. So, let’s think about this for a moment. We do make plans and carry them out. There are also outside circumstances that insert themselves here and there. So maybe stepping outside this entire construct, let’s ask ourselves a few questions:

  • What will it take to sustain this life I am living? How will I care for my soul so that I don’t deplete myself?
  • Who are the actual people and responsibilities in my life? How do I desire to love and serve them? Are they receiving the best version of me?
  • What might be good to embrace afresh? What is no longer serving me that I can let go?
  • How willing am I to make the changes that bring about healthier patterns in my life?

 

Yes. This is hard. This will take some time to discern. And what’s even more difficult is enacting what you decide. Especially if you realize you need to let something go.

 

But aren’t you tired of feeling whipped around like someone on a leash? Aren’t you tired of always feeling behind? Aren’t you tired of being tired?

 

Let this be a gracious little nudge in a new direction. You don’t have to demolish everything all at once. One small, simple, and gracious change at a time will do. Build a new habit and then choose another. 

 

A balanced life? Maybe not. But an unhurried life is possible…one choice at a time.

 

Reflection

Here are the questions again. Spend some time with them with your journal and in prayer. Talk with a trusted friend, pastor, or spiritual director. 

 

  1. What will it take to sustain this life I am living? How will I care for my soul so that I don’t deplete myself?
  2. Who are the actual people and responsibilities in my life? How do I desire to love and serve them? Are they receiving the best version of me?
  3. What might be good to embrace afresh and what is no longer serving me that I can let go?
  4. How willing am I to make the changes that bring about healthier patterns in my life?

 

My prayer for you is that you will indeed find patterns that keep your heart near God’s as well as allow you to be an unhurried influence in the lives of others.

 

 

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash