How Do We Find Balance in the Hard Things?


Seesaw on grass near palm trees

I’ve written before about finding balance in life. We hear it a lot. We need to try to find balance between work and the rest of our life, between taking care off ourself and those and us, between eating without guilt and not giving yourself a heart attack.

These are often hard enough to find any kind of balance between, of even a healthy mix, but I think there are other issues that create conundrums for us when we try to find a balance.

One is finding that “happy place” between striving to be better at something (learn something, develop a skill, try something you’ve never done before) and being accepting of yourself as you are. I enjoy what’s often referred to as “personal growth”. I try to grow in positive ways, but at the same time, I’ve also learned the importance of self-compassion and self-acceptance. When I push myself too hard, I feel like a failure when I don’t succeed or at least keep trying, but when I try to take a more relaxed, self-compassionate approach, I often feel like I’m wasting opportunities to be a “Better Me”. So how do I reconcile those? If there’s a balance, I haven’t found it yet. It’s more like a seesaw.

Another area where I think it can be challenging for a lot of people is finding the balance between protecting ourselves mentally and emotionally from others while trying to let “the little things” go. I’ve often found myself trying to figure out if something is or isn’t a little thing. I’ll react to something and then feel bad because maybe I should have let it go. Or, I’ll let something pass and then feel irritated (sometimes an understatement) because it really wasn’t little, or it was a pattern of little things that combined is a big thing. Honestly, no, it’s not “All Small Stuff”, but I haven’t mastered telling the difference.

I’m sure that some people have discovered some way to maintain equilibrium on the seesaw and how to clear identify what’s a small thing worth letting go of and what’s not, but I’m not there yet. Here’s the thing, should I keep working on how to figure these things out, or should I just accept that I’ll never figure it out and this is the way things are. Of course, maybe it doesn’t matter and I need to let it go.

Like that’s going to happen.

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