For the last couple years I have really been looking for balance in my life… mental, emotional and spiritual. And it’s not just finding balance between the three, it’s also finding the balance in each aspect. As always, I tend to ride a little heavy on the mental side, but I have made significant progress on the emotional and spiritual side. I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty balanced person, but when faced with conflict, whether it be with a person or decision, I have frequently responded in the following way…
- I have an emotional response (which usually has something to do with my ego and may lead to ranting tantrums…),
- I then go to the mental side and try to figure things out (being such a smart girl and all).
- I then turn to the 3rd aspect… the spiritual side of the triangle.
Fortunately both the mental exercises and emotional outbursts are becoming less and less frequent, and when I do find myself in the midst of one or the other, it takes much less time to realize it and turn for spiritual help. But this still seems to be the last place I go even though it has been proven to me over and over again it is where I find peace and what I want most… more balance. It smooths out the edges of the mental and emotional aspect and allows me to have my emotions, as big or as little as they are, without having to dump them all over everyone else. It’s where I find compassion in the mental judgement of the situation, and allows me to extend grace to others and keep my mouth shut, even when I’m less than enthusiastic about their behavior. It’s where I find trust that we are all in the care of a higher power, and peace that I’m going to be okay, whatever the situation may be.
My husband and I recently made the decision to sell our beautiful hobby farm. Coming to that decision was like being on a roller coaster (which I hate), and brought out all those uncomfortable aspects of myself. I ranted, I became obstinate and determined to make it different. I cried and felt sorry for myself. I was angry at others for not doing enough… and off and on throughout this process, I would find the spiritual side and be at peace for a while knowing things would be okay… until I found myself back on the roller coaster on another mental or emotional jag.
I have a really good book on how to live life on spiritual principles and I turn to it often to remind me that when I’m bothered, I am probably out of balance on the spiritual side of the triangle. To quote a couple lines… “Imagine life without faith! Were nothing left but pure reason, it wouldn’t be life.” and “The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives are good.”
I’ve heard it said that pain is in the resistance. For me, that is in the resistance of living a life based on spiritual principles. For a long, long time I shut off the spiritual side, numbed most of my emotions, except anger, and navigated through life using mostly logic (self-will). It served me well in my work life, but wasn’t especially conducive in being successful in my personal or relational life. I now understand this way of being in the world wasn’t really living life at all. My body was going through the motions, but I was rarely present. When my heart and head finally come to rest along with the spiritual, I am able to pay attention and accept things as they were instead of trying to bend reality to what I want it to be. I get affirmation after affirmation that I am on the right path, even though I may not be ready to commit to a decision and take the necessary action.
Last week our wonderful barn manager was going on vacation and his first day to be gone our fill-in help called in sick. My worst case scenario, the days chores looming, (no light task), were left to me. My husband graciously offered to cancel his Tee-time and join me to take care of the days work and I accepted. We were about half-way through mucking some stalls, and I began thinking of leaving this place, the dreams I had for it, and the people and horses I had come to know and love. I became overwhelmed with emotion and began to sob… I sobbed through about two stalls before my husband happened to pass by. He came in the stall I was cleaning to give me a hug and ask if I was okay. I managed to blurt out ‘I’m just having my feelings’ and we both began to laugh through our tears. That was when I knew for sure it was the right decision… I had balance… laughter and peace through the tears…