M.S., LMHC, IADC, CAMS I
“The richest and fullest lives attempt to achieve an inner balance between three realms: work, love, and play.” ~Erik Erikson
Balance. It’s a word we hear often. It’s an idea or a concept that we strive for daily; consistently and relentlessly trying to achieve that magical level that keeps us in mental stability. We try to find a working balance between our jobs, our families, and our need to relax and enjoy our lives. And often times, we find that our lives are out of balance because life is a constant moving object, constant waves hitting the beach and then receding back again. Life does not stay stagnant or frozen in time, it is forever moving. So how do we maintain balance in a life that is ever changing?
We adapt. We learn, we grow, we change with the changing tide. We decide what is important to us and we focus our attention to make that matter. We learn to put our emotional needs ahead of working impossible hours to get the next promotion, or put our children’s needs ahead of our desire to skydive off a cliff. We seek to understand ourselves better, to find a sense of self that is strong, so that we can head off a crashing tumble in the ocean of our lives, to keep riding the wave of change as it comes in again.
As a therapist, I have struggled with finding a sense of balance that is harmonized with what I do. I learned early in my career that I could not live for just my career, that I needed to have more focus in other areas of my life as well. I, on occasion, must be willing to put my needs ahead of my work, to focus on being a partner, a friend, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a living breathing human being. This is not an easy emotional feat when your career is based on helping others find their path and themselves. It feels selfish and as if I’m letting others down. But it is essential to maintain my internal harmony.
It is hard to find that perfect balance between work, love, and play. And when you do find it, it changes almost as quickly as it came to be. Perhaps the concept of “balance” isn’t something you “find”, but rather something you simply “are”. I am a balanced person today.