During a recent email exchange with a good friend I declared I believed all of life is a balancing act and then suggested this might be based on my ‘Type 6’ personality in the wisdom of the Enneagram and being a Libra in terms of astrology which has a balance as its symbol. While I am an ardent follower of the wisdom surrounding the Enneagram I never had much faith in astrology; it has far too many glaring inconsistencies. This conversation started me thinking much more about the concept of balance in one’s existence. At some point I realized I had the foundation for another blog piece.
I cannot deny I feel and function best when my life is in balance but just what does this concept involve? It can be very difficult to define yet most of us would recognize this state of being and almost certainly understand what it feels like to be ‘out of balance’. Many eastern philosophies speak of being ‘centered’; I believe this is synonymous with being ‘in balance’. Both imply a state of being in which our existence ‘feels’ equalized within all the surrounding forces both external and internal. In another sense our internal energies are in balance with all external energies providing a ‘sum zero’ existence. Imagine a bubble floating in the air, moving neither up nor down, right or left. Its internal pressure is equally balanced against the external pressure allowing it to maintain its iridescent sphere of film. I conjure this image when meditating or performing other efforts to regain my center. Without question I feel better when my life is balanced even though such states of being are very difficult to attain let alone maintain.
Of late I’ve begun to wonder if the whole ‘in balance’ thing is just a philosophical construct. While setting one’s sights on such a goal may not be a bad thing, to cling to such a drive on this plane is probably a snipe hunt. The more I dwell on this concept the more I believe it is probably best to keep all things in ‘moderation’ – at least where ever possible – and just go with the flow. Part of me believes this is my attempt to resign myself to the fact I will most likely never achieve a real state of ‘balance’, at least for any period of time, and hence have lowered the bar. But I do believe if I could moderate all my beliefs, my passions, my emotions and similar I would probably be a much more balanced person. And I honestly do embrace the concept of just ‘going with the flow’; as I’ve written in previous postings some of the best things that have occurred in my existence have come from truly letting go and just allowing the Universe to flow through and direct me. However, as with the concept of balance, I find it very difficult to honestly let go. This is reflected in my ‘Type 6’ personality as one of the major attributes is being ‘security oriented’. One of the toughest things for a Type 6 person to really embrace is the concept that almost all their ‘securities’ are illusion. I understand and do embrace the idea of really letting go but I have a very difficult time doing so because I remain so afraid that letting go will compromise my security.
For me, letting go is hand in hand with the concept of ‘pushing one’s own comfort zone’ which is another way of saying reaching for goals well outside of one’s daily existence. Like so many people, I am not really comfortable doing this yet I have a long history which proves to me that great things happen when I am willing to do so. One example is my volunteering at KTNA doing live radio; as a young child I struggled intensely with stuttering for which I went to therapy but had little success. Because of this I was terrified of speaking live in front of people. Over the decades I slowly learned to manage the issue but I always knew it remained within me. I was given the opportunity to become a ‘trainer’ for field sites when the company I worked for was rolling out new operating systems and applications; I spent many sleepless nights wondering if I should accept. Finally, in a fit of desperation, I truly ‘let go’ and agreed. The upshot was I became one of two top rated instructors – based on feedback by the students – and was even offered a posting as the trainer for a large plant in Georgia. Despite this success when I was encouraged to volunteer at KTNA and do live radio I was once again shy and afraid. But I needed a way to become more familiar with the immediate area as well as get my name out – I moved to the Talkeetna area knowing no local folks – so I finally agreed. I’ve now been doing live radio as either newscasts or music shows for almost four years and I cannot imagine not doing so. None of this would’ve happened had I not ‘let go’ and just went with the flow.
So why do I continue to resist and even fear letting go? I have a bad habit of trying to make my life as comfortable (i.e. ‘secure’) as possible yet in my 63 years I’ve yet to learn that to really exceed at such an effort virtually guarantees I will become ‘comfortably numb’. As soon as this settles in I become bored, lazy and begin to lose sight of that big picture. And this causes a loss of moderation and focus as well as a feeling of being out of balance. Ultimately, this will lead to depression and a loss of interest regarding life in general; I know because I’ve walked this path far too many times. So once again, given I know all this why do I so resist letting go? I suspect it all comes back to that ‘devil in the details’ involved in knowing something intellectually but not really embracing it spiritually. My memories prove to me that letting go produces some wonderful results and is rarely negative; this forces me to accept the premise on an intellectual basis. But my fear of releasing my ‘security’ – illusionary as it is – and really allowing myself to just go with the flow still frightens me and causes me to ultimately accept comfortable numbness over the unknown. While age has exacerbated this issue I cannot place all the blame in that area as I have demonstrated real ‘neophobe’ tendencies for decades. No, I do fear dropping my guard to allow myself to really let go and I also am lazy and I know doing so will require a lot of energy. But long term refusal to at least try to just go with the flow will lead to a negative situation which I know all too well.
Quite obviously I am a human being with some definite imbalances and one of the worst is the aforementioned inability to resolve my perceived need for security versus my acknowledgement of the benefits of just letting go and allowing the Universe to offer up ideas and paths for me to walk. In a way by identifying this imbalance I’ve taken the first step towards working the issue and, hopefully, resolving it. A simple axiom from long ago comes to mind as I reflect upon this situation; ‘none are so blind as those who will not see’. Perhaps it is time for me to finally face the delusion of my ‘security’ and come to ‘see’, at the deepest levels, its myth..?