“Balance” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
That sneaky little bugger! That darn Perfectionism keeps worming its tricky, oh-so-enticing little head into all my business! I recently asked my Facebook friends to chat with me about their thoughts on the phrase “Finding Balance.” I purposefully left my question open-ended, hoping to find out what folks thought it meant and how they saw it playing out (or not playing out) in their own lives. And I must admit: Through the honest reflections tapped out by several friends, my eyes have been opened to something that genuinely never occurred to me before. It turns out, although this certainly isn’t the case for everybody, and it may very well simply be an issue of semantics, I now realize that— not all the time but some of the time— I have inadvertently been using the term “Balance” as a code-word for Perfectionism in my own life.
Gosh darn it.
You see, although I actually believe the word “Balance” ought to mean “keeping God as my center, following His lead, and letting Him help me keep my priorities, attitude, and time management in their proper places, with wisdom and discretion leading the way and with God’s grace and love covering it all,” the truth is that, in reality, this can very easily get distorted into something unhealthy. It has certainly done so in my mind anyway. Upon reflection over the past few weeks, I now realize that sometimes I have allowed the term “Balance” to warp itself to mean “being so in tune with God’s Spirit and His leading that I literally don’t screw up in my time-management or my decision-making… at all… ever.”
Wait a second… what the heck am I talking about?!?! That is basically the exact definition of Perfectionism! Which isn’t even possible!!!
Ugh. So here is the (perhaps unfortunate?) truth I’ve come to realize lately:
“Balance” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be— and it may, in fact, merely be a prettily-disguised word to actually trick its devotees into the pursuit of the ever-elusive Perfectionism I constantly find myself battling.
Here’s the thing: in its good and healthy sense, I do want “balance” in my life as a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, a mentor, a health & wellness-conscious gal, and as a daughter of God. I want to give just the right amount of my heart and attention to each of my responsibilities at the appropriate times and I want to live a healthy, thriving, wisdom-drenched, peace-filled, free-from-people-pleasing life. I really do. But when attaining that high and lofty goal becomes my priority— and when I neglect to extend grace to myself when I inevitably fail to hit the mark (which happens daily, if not hourly)… or when I (eek!) glean some sense of pride in myself for having achieved some sense of this so-called “balance”— there is a problem. I’ve lost my focus. Rather than simply being my flawed self in the midst of all the roles I play and keeping my eyes and attention fixed on God, I’ve gotten sidetracked.
So this is what I find myself circling back to: my One Word that overarched last year for me: FOLLOW. What can I do but focus on my God, lean in to Him, listen for what it is HE is calling me to do in all my moments— no matter how “out of balance,” illogical, or risky His instructions might seem— and then do that. Yes, I will miss the mark often. I will misunderstand Him or twist His words into what I want them to be from time to time. I will screw up or do it incorrectly or forget to check with Him first, etc…
But if I’m keeping Him as my central focus, my target, the one place I fix my eyes… regardless of how imbalanced my life might look to an outsider, I will be exactly where I’m supposed to be.
I’m still processing through this, friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it all.
Until next time:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
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What about you?
What does “Finding Balance” mean to you? What questions roll around in your brain when you hear the words “finding balance”?
Please feel free to share your comments or your own journey in the comment section below.