We begin seeking balance in our earliest years. Slowly, we learn to uncurl our toes, distributing our weight evenly on the quest for bipedalism. Rather than grip, we believe. Grabbing assistance wherever we can find it, something stable, someone we trust.
As years pass, we move on to other challenges, removing the training wheels. We persevere despite bumps and bruises accumulating, both badges of honor and reminders of defeat.
For adults, the challenges (generally) become centered less on physical balance. We learn to balance our time, emotional responses. We learn to weigh expectations and dreams. We learn to adjust our fulcrum, to distribute weight more evenly or to exert more pressure in other areas. And, sadly, the bumps and bruises continue, less visibly, and they often take longer to heal.
There was a riddle that floated around in elementary school. There were many, but this one in particular has taken on new meaning for me in recent days.
What weighs more: a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?
We hoped to catch those whom were not listening carefully, those who heard only the feather/lead comparison and not the detail that they had equivalent mass. But during my “unpacking” process, in my quest for balance, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the weight of matters and how a pound of one “bag” is not necessarily counteracted by a pound of its opposing force. The laws of physics aren’t so clear in matters of the heart.
I’ve learned that while I can lift dozens of pounds at the gym, a few pounds on the scale can feel like more than I can bear. I need to adjust my fulcrum.
I’ve learned there is a reason for the term “burden of sorrow.” There are days it throws everything out of balance. It can be so heavy. Sometimes we need help carrying it; sometimes we need to carry it alone.
I’ve learned that an ounce of forgiveness can relieve the weight accumulated from years of resentment. Oh, the relief of adjusting.
I’ve seen how religious expectations are too much for my shoulders, but a faith relationship can leave me feeling weightless. How a trickle of faith can move concrete barriers. How I could not budge that box with my own strength, but a well placed fulcrum does wonders.
It is a constant battle, is it not? Seeking balance? Continue reading “Fulcrums and Finding Balance”