September 7

My life is spent in perpetual
alternation between two rhythms,
the rhythm of attracting people
for fear I may be lonely and the
rhythm of trying to get rid of them
because I know that I am bored.

C.E.M. Joad


Today's Meditation:

Boy, can I relate to this.  I love being around people, but I also love being by myself.  There are so many positive elements of each state that it's sometimes difficult for me to decide which one I want to seek at any given moment.  The difference between me and Joad is that I don't seek out people for fear of loneliness--I seek them out because I enjoy being with other people.  And I don't want to get away from them because I'm bored--I just want to have some quiet time to think and rest.

Finding a balance is often difficult.  Sometimes we find ourselves in one situation until we reach our point of saturation with it and we become completely overwhelmed.  At that point, if we're not able to escape from it and get a rest from it, we face some pretty major results such as crankiness, anger, conflict, or burnout.  If we spend too much time in one of our many rhythms, we neglect the others to our own detriment and often to the detriment of the people we love.

At times, when I'm doing some important work or I'm working on a novel, I crave to get out among people.  I know, though, that it's important for me to stay focused and to keep going with the work or I'll never get it done.  I have to keep a clear view of what I'm doing, how important it is, and my chances of actually finishing something if I leave it every time I get the desire to do something else.

Life is about balance.  And if you do seek out others for fear of being lonely, keep in mind that times being alone are valuable, too.  Likewise, if you head home because others are doing things that you don't want to do, then keep in mind that time on our own is valuable, too.  Too much of anything is simply too much, and too little of anything keeps us wanting more, sometimes to the point of distraction.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the advantages of being with other people?   Of being alone?

Why do most cultures not value the idea of balance in our lives?

How might you go about figuring out how you're going to achieve balance in your own life?

For further thought:

Balance your time, your energy, your life with those around you.  You'll be able to give more freely and joyfully as a result, and you'll be more open to the gifts of the universe.  It's not wrong to give to others.  But it's okay to say yes to ourselves, too.

Melody Beattie

More on balance.


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