The other day a colleague (lovingly) said to me that of course I could write about balance, my life is perfect. I haven't hit any real problems yet to ever feel out of balance.
Curious at her (COMPLETELY FALSE YET INNOCENT) assumption, I asked her why she thought that. Her response was, "You are always so happy. I've never heard you complain about anything..."
She may have had a point. I don't give too much power to the messes in my life, at least I try not to. I did enough of that in my 20's. Running around crying over spilled milk or anything else that may have gone awry that day. Now, the spills have gotten larger, but I try to turn them over to God, and in some cases only tell a few people that I trust for advice or listening.
Once in an interview, somebody asked me about joy. I responded, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." And, it's true. Life is a gift, and we should strive to not waste much of it feeling less than joyful! But God (and my children, the absolute essence of our creator) is the source of my joy, not a perfect life or ideal set of circumstances.
So, as I mentioned, the spills (or tests or lessons) keep coming, and they are getting a bit more difficult. Last night, I spent most of the night on my knees praying, releasing my cares to God, calling on the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control), and listening to the beautiful sound of my children fast asleep.
And, a peace finally came over me.
No - balance is not about having a perfect life; it's about finding that anchor to keep us centered and the compass to guide us through when life inevitably gives us a messy mess. None of us are exempt.
On a different note, my editor and I had a conversation last week, and we were talking about spirituality and spiritual writers. She asked me if I read Anne Lamott. My editor, not having a clue about what was going on with me personally at the moment, casually mentioned the book Plan B and how it was something that spoke to her because of the title.
So, after the feeling of peace washed over me last night, I googled "Anne Lamott Quotes from Plan B". And, this beautiful one appeared:
“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me--that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.” ~ Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
Funny how the messengers don't even realize they are delivering a message.