3-28-21 Balance


Balance – A harmonious arrangement of parts or elements. An influence or force tending to    produce equilibrium.

In the worst of my addiction I was very, very unbalanced. I inhabited a small world of fear, 

frustration and despair. As I began a journey of healing and searching for my balance, I was often fearful and confused, but I persevered. Even through my uncertainty, I knew that I was walking in the right direction. Slowly, I saw—through others’ examples, stories and efforts—that I did not need to remain a victim, living in fear. Many caught in addictions are never able to take that first step towards healing and to KEEP GOING, and instead let the despair end them.                                                           

Balance is a constant and consistent checking and re-aligning of our hearts. We do not reach a balance and then say, “GOT it! Good to go. Don’t need to do anything else.” The reality is that life keeps happening all around us, and we need to consistently re-balance to new and different circumstances. We keep feeling where we are. We work at knowing ourselves fully. We accept, appreciate and open up to it all.

Even the right path is bumpy at times. If you’re looking for a route that is always smooth, you will not find one. Living life without our blinders on, without a drug or behavior to mask and fog our perceptions, WILL be bumpy at times.                                              

We must give ourselves a break! Balancing is hard and we will fall…a lot. Some days, it seems impossible to find the stillness. Instead of the inner name-calling, we can try smiling and recognizing that the effort is as important as the result. Any result comes about by itself, through right effort. When we fall, we get back up again! And again! And again!

Our striving for balance needs to include aspects of personal, social and spiritual engagement. We’re all different. We can look for inspiration from others and from wise teachings; then, we need to find what balance is right for us, and consistently apply the solution.                                                                                 

Re-balancing need not be a battle with ourselves, but a gentle understanding—an awareness—of which way we need to lean. There are times in our lives when we are out of balance. Circumstances and our old behaviors can throw us for a loop. We’ve all had that wobbly feeling; it’s a part of life. What is essential when it happens is that we not berate ourselves for feeling it, but that we instead look at what we’re feeling. We can work to completely accept our condition, while not promoting self-pity or continuing engagement in unhealthy behaviors. And begin re-balancing. 

When we are out of balance, we often begin isolating and feeling down on ourselves. We may have resentments. Being un-balanced can happen slowly and subtly. When we become aware of our confusion ramping up, we use the tools of prayer, meditation, reaching out to others, and taking steps to re-engage with life. We have to be brave enough, and respect ourselves enough, to start stepping back into life.

A useful exercise is to sit Shamatha meditation for 5-10 minutes to calm the mind. Then we can meditate with a feeling of complete love for ourselves, a complete sense of harmony and balance. This feeling is not dependent on any other person or situation. It is simply being saturated with a sense of balance and love. “I am a good person, I am a kind person, I am a strong person.”

From this place of love, we can look more deeply at how we’re living. Most of us spend a LOT of time in our aggressions or ignoring our discord and frustrations. We MUST spend a little more time on an awareness of how we are un-balanced and then ACT on accepting ourselves as a spiritual and worldly being who will waver but who can always be on the right path.

Begin with being willing to feel what you are going through. Be willing to have a compassionate relationship with the parts of yourself that you feel are not worthy of existing…if you even aspire to stay awake and open to what you’re feeling, to recognize and acknowledge it as best you can in each moment, then something begins to change.” Pema Chodron: Comfortable with Uncertainty.

 “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” –Thomas Merton

We don’t quit re-balancing because we are out of balance; that is precisely when we begin re-balancing.

We need to be on the lookout for a couple of attitudes that hinder our being reasonably balanced:                                                        

  1. Not feeling good enough—a poverty mentality. A sense of being a victim, not worthy. We are worthy; we all contain the Sunlight of the Spirit. We must let our judgments go and just be present. Alive. We must find the strength to engage in our inner balance. We have such a short time…let’s not waste it.
  2. Outsmarting ourselves. We might use our intelligence and rationality to find ways to keep engaging in old, negative behaviors, because the ways we’ve always demeaned ourselves and others are familiar and almost comfortable. We can use our intelligence to realize that our “smart thinking” did nothing but take us to a dark, lonely place, and that we can do something different. We must use our intelligence and our spirituality together. 

A spiritual practice must be PRACTICED, not just thought about. Spirituality is an experience you can have, but only if you do the work. When you stray away, come back, be flexible, be diligent.

Be the source of light you have searched for. It is right there inside you! Embrace it.

Let us grow and glow together.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for

May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.
Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com