Why do we need to be mindful of balance? Like a well-balanced wheel, the center is the point of equilibrium. When the center is off the wheel will wobble and fall because the internal centrifugal force will not push substantially against the outside forces of the tire. The ride will be bumpy at best causing the bike to behave in exaggerated ways.
As in our own thoughts, feelings and reactions, if we are not centered and live in extremes, our behavior will be out of proportion. We are connected with soul by being centered. When soul is centered we are operating from a point of balance.
I find relief in the fact that neither positive nor negative experiences influence our level of happiness as much as we think. I’ve had many positive and negative experiences but some of the negative experiences can be overwhelming at times. But, without the negative, there cannot be the positive. Without dark, there cannot be light.
Many of my negative experiences result from circumstances beyond my control (let’s face it – we can’t control everything). But what about when my negative experiences are a result of my own actions? (Ouch!) My ego immediately tends to find reasons outside of myself to blame because this is difficult to accept. However, I must accept myself for what I am and for what I have done before I can change. This logic actually places more responsibility onto me, and gives me more control (confession – I tend to be a bit of a control freak).
Regardless of who’s fault, all of my negative experiences have led me to greater places. Growth is often painful but necessary. Each time I experience suffering in anyway, if I can accept the pain instead of fight it or try to escape it, I find that not only to I learn valuable lessons, but the pain literally strengthens me. It inevitably leads me to something unimaginably profound.
When contemplating happiness, and what makes me happy, I became aware of a surprising concept. The factors that are and are not correlated with happiness may not be what we think they are. Even though I might have always had a vague sense that the things such as
never seem to sustain happiness, I still always seem to associate these with things that we’re supposed to be striving for. At the same time, I resent these perceived values and place them behind the more important and true qualities such as
When my values get our of order they can cause me to be out of sync with true joy.
Harmony beneath the exterior.
This revelation came as a relief since I can only manage to acquire some of the factors some of the time that superficially may be able to provide temporary happiness. For example, money comes and goes and is an unreliable external factor that is often beyond my control, which is very often a source of stress. Age is another factor that is always temporary and therefore unstable. Physical attractiveness may or may not extend beyond the surface. Intelligence actually seems to work counter to happiness, and more often than not, ignorance truly is more blissful.