Life is a tightrope act: Learn to find your balance
Sometimes it's hard to find balance in life. We can often feel like we're on a high wire and just a little too far this way or that way can put us in a precarious position. Here are some tips for finding that balance.
Most of us are not extremists. We are able to negotiate our way through life with only a few bumps and bruises. But there are times when it seems like balance eludes us and we are hanging by a thread.
Deciding ahead of time how you might handle situations can be one solution to this. For instance, in how to discipline your children or how you will handle finances. However, life isn't always predictable.
Here are a few of life's most important precarious decisions:
When to hold on and when to let go. This is particularly perplexing when raising children. We want to wrap our arms around them and protect them from everything, but there comes a time when we have to let them take their knocks and learn from them. We want to raise strong and healthy adults, not just physically, but emotionally as well. We don't want to raise wimps who run to us with every little problem. We just have to make sure they know our arms will always be open and we will be there for them.
When to battle and when to let it go and make peace. In life, we definitely have to choose our battles carefully. Let them have long hair or make them cut it? Let her wear make-up and stay out an hour later or hold back for another year? Fuss at him because of the late hours he's always working and the family time he's missing or accept it? These can seem like monumental decisions, so they are ones worth making carefully and prayerfully.
Finances and big-ticket purchases. Money problems are one of the biggest sources of marital discontent. If we argue about money, we are normal, but if we don't find a way to negotiate through it, our marriages can be in peril. We need to take the time to sit down and formulate a plan, and if that doesn't work, formulate another and another until we figure out how to make it work.
Career or stay-at-home mom. This is such a huge issue for some families. Do we work and provide our children with more things or special schools or do we invest in them by being at home? There are studies to back up both schools of thought, so this is one also worthy of a lot of consideration and prayer. Either way, we can't allow ourselves to be beaten up over circumstances beyond our control.
These are just a few of life's big dramas that can make or break us. So how do we decide which path to take?
Identify the decision to be made. Whether this is something we have been anguishing over or something that is on the horizon, we need to identify the specific issue.
Identify the possibly decision options. What are our alternatives? Brainstorm and don't leave any possibility out, even if it seems silly at the time. There will be a time to weed these out later.
Gather and process information. What issues need to be considered in each of the options from Step 2? What will be the impact on each solution or decision? Who will be affected?
Make and implement the decision. Now that we've gathered all our information, processed it, talked it out, it's time to decide.
Pray about the decision*. This is one I am adding to my resource. Once we have made a decision, ask God if it is the right one, explaining the details to him at length. He will give us an answer. We just have to go with it.
Evaluate the decision. See how it works for us. It may not always go the way we envision it and that doesn't mean it's not the right decision.
We're going to spend decades on that high wire. If we want to remain up there and not sprawled out on the ground, we need to figure out a way to make good, sound decisions that will provide us with the balance we need.