We recently discussed the need for a purpose in life and how taking care of ourselves helps us to succeed at this purpose. You see, life is really about keeping a balance between the fundamentals of daily living. Aristotle talked about having a balance between Work, Love, Play, and Worship. These attributes of life are mostly self-explanatory, but the term worship really implies, where do you go to get recharged. So, keeping a balance in your life is really about keeping these major life influences in stable measured quantities. If you spend too much time or energy on any of these attributes individually, more than likely life just doesn’t seem right. But here is the catch, we can do our best to keep a balance in our own lives, but our lives can be so influenced by everything and everyone around us, it can really be a complex task.
I would call these influences our “crosses to bear”. These are the negative influences that come and go as we pass through this journey called life. And their influence on our “balance” can be significant. This could be a health issue, dealing with elderly parents, an errant boss, a disloyal friend, financial woes, an ex spouse who won’t leave you alone, a troubled child, or just about anything that puts a negative skew or force on your efforts to keep life moving along smoothly. These “crosses to bear”, weight us down.
When I am influenced by these experiences, I resort to two lines of defense. First, I slow down life and take it “one day at a time.” In other words, live in the moment and don’t get too far ahead of what you need to do to solve the problem. Secondly, I think about “less is more.” In other words, what is minimally important or needed to solve these problems. Or, are these crosses self-imposed by excess. By approaching the issues in this manner, our crosses have less weight, or influence on our daily life balance. It’s a matter of taking these crosses, and doing your best to control them, verses them controlling you.
Life is truly a balance, and we are tested each day as we try to live a happy and positive life. Do your best to keep all the influences on you in perspective and in check. Live in the moment, know what truly in important for happiness, and whenever you can, shed some of the weight you carry on your shoulders, it just may be a cross you don’t need to bear.