harmony -vs- balance…and why harmony is the winner

be who you are

Can we just get rid of the word balance? I know I’ve spent too many years trying to find balance. The internet is excellent at making us believe that we can, so we do. The internet is also good at making us feel like shit when we can’t actually find that balance we worked so hard to find. It’s so easy! Put down your phone…get off the internet…say no more…make your own cheese! So much information constantly being thrown at us, proving that we’re doing it all wrong.

I’m pretty sick of it.

The idea of balance is so enticing. The notion that we can have it all and that we can look fit and fashionable while doing it. But it’s a pile of crap that is disguised as kale and elaborate playdates and bikini-ready bodies. It’s the instruction that if we JUST! TRY! HARDER! it will all fall into place. Our life, I mean. We’ll be the shining examples of doing it right and having it all! So we can then, of course, post it on Facebook or Pinterest the hell out of it.

No really, I’m pretty sick of it.

Would it be so bad if we all just admitted how hard life is?

The reality of balance is this: if you are putting your focus on one specific thing, you are not putting your focus on every other thing. It is impossible to focus on all the things at all the time. And I don’t believe you if you say that you spend equal amounts of time on all the things. I call bullshit. And I call it OUT LOUD.

In my efforts to find the ever elusive balance, I have somehow created a war. Mostly with myself, but a war has broken out. I’m angry when I can’t be fair with my time. I’m frustrated when I can’t get it all done. I’m furious when my plans are fall apart. I feel shamed when I fail at everything. Because didn’t the internet tell me I could have it all? Am I terrible? What is wrong with me? Where is all the balance?

Have I mentioned I’m sick of it?

I’ve become so frustrated with all that I have to do and all that I have to focus on, I’ve become bitter and resentful. I’m just so mad at myself that I can’t keep it together.

And then I read a book (a completely un-related, a little bit dumb book) that talked about harmony. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering. It was just talking about the Native American views on harmony and it was almost like I was smacked upside the head with this book. (I do realize that the link mentions harmony AND balance. But I’m pretty sure the Native American version of balance isn’t creating a Pinterest worthy DIY project while doing a million hours of planking at the same time. Maybe.) It’s not balance that I’m missing. It’s developing a harmonious place where all the areas of my life can coexist. Although, I kinda want to punch myself in the face after writing a sentence like that. (I’m so sorry.)

harmony

My point of all this rambling is that I’ve created this completely un-balanced environment while I search for the thing that will make or help me live a balanced life. What I’ve done is cause all the areas of my life to be at war with one another because I can’t seem to remember that I’m only one person. And that maybe if I sought out harmony instead of balance, I might actually get somewhere. Because, can’t we all get just along? If I can figure out a way to not be angry or frustrated at all the parts of my life that are demanding my attention, I might be able to see that all parts can work together and more can actually get done. Okay, probably not…but I’ll be able to remember that each part of my life needs my attention at different times. And I hope that I can stop feeling bad about everything I’m NOT doing when I’m in a car for long periods of time…or at work far more than I want to be…or folding laundry for hours on end. Finding harmony and giving a space for everyone and everything to play a little nicer sounds a lot better than feeling constantly guilty for never obtaining a balanced life. You know, the one that doesn’t actually exist.

I’ll probably never be able to fully give up my quest for balance. Pinterest ruins you like that. But at least I can try put my focus on a lot more harmony, and the fact that I’m only one person, and a lot less on the ab workouts and the latest quinoa recipe.

I wasn’t going to do that ab workout anyway.

photo credits here and here