I pretty much suck at spirituality.
I ask all the wrong questions. And then get impatient when I don’t like the answers. I used to drive my parents and my teachers to distraction with the questions, questions, questions. “It’s a mystery!” never satisfied me as an answer. I pick apart the logic of traditional forms of spirituality and many of the newer forms I find a little embarrassing. Except for the Law of Attraction. To me, that’s like grabbing someone by the shoulders, screaming “THEY CAN SMELL FEAR” and throwing them out alone in the woods with the bears. It’s just mean. Actually, come to think of it, some of the older forms of spirituality do the same thing…
I cannot meditate. And yoga makes me swear. A LOT. So when I read about peoples’ quests to ‘find balance’, supportive as I want to be, my sinuses cramp up with my efforts not to roll my eyes.
Well they used to, anyway, because a couple of weeks ago, I tripped over a lump of nothing in the sidewalk (this happens quite often) and as I staggered about, trying not to fall on my face, the light bulb went off.
See, because I had always viewed ‘Balance’ as this om-ed out, static state, one that meant removing yourself from interaction with the big, nutty, amazing world around you. And I wanted no part of that. But as I regained my own physical balance (thankfully with no damage to my person) and continued, embarrassed, down the street, it dawned on me all the myriad adjustments and reactions that go into balance. You have to be aware of everything around you. You have to know what to respond to and what to ignore. And even when you’re standing still, your leg muscles are making constant adjustments, the earth is spinning, your heart is beating and it all goes into this actually very dynamic, responsive state called balance.
Taking it to a (ahem) spiritual level, I can now see balance as something worth pursuing (and I apologize for all the suppressed eye-rolling. I was wrong). Because instead of insulating us from the general cacophony of life, it actually lets us enter into it more deeply. We have to be aware of what’s around us, deciding, yes, what to respond to and what to ignore.
It’s not a state that’s achieved once and for all and then lived in. If I’d been paying attention, I’d have realized that no one ever says “I have achieved balance”. It’s always about trying to find it. It is in fact, as messy and dynamic and challenging as life itself. Not (as I had secretly feared) boring at all.
I’m not really sure where this thought process will take me. I’m just on step one here. But it’s opened up a world of new possibilities and allowed me to take lots of things off my Don’t Like List. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think about balance? Is there another category of lifestyle that you have trouble with (simplicity maybe)? Anything you might want to rethink? Please leave a comment and let me know.