Hanging in the Balance

Let it all hang out — in both directions!

Keeping Balance in your life is not like walking a tightrope, but more like sitting on a pendulum (or a tire swing!) You needn’t be tense, watching your own every move, making sure you don’t go over one way or the other, for Fear of falling out of balance. It’s like hanging around balance, hanging out, or just letting it all hang out.

Life naturally swings you one way or another. The world is constantly shifting and tipping around you. The best way to deal with it is not to be rigid, but to go with the motion and just shift your own weight (which spiritually speaking is substantial*) back in the direction you want things to go.

If anything, the ideal way to remain in Balance is to indulge your Light and Dark sides equally but separately. There is no reason you shouldn’t go out to the club Friday night and then go to church Sunday morning (or similar, whatever your path may be). You know within yourself when you get to that point of imbalance: when you’ve had too many drinks to drive, or when you’ve been volunteering in your community too often and need some playtime for yourself. Paying attention to your own personal responsibility will keep you from going overboard.

And remember that things like guilt and resentment get in the way of balance. Having a sense of responsibility is not the same as beating yourself up for your mistakes. If you feel guilty about indulging (or resent having to work for a good cause), you will not enjoy it and won’t get the benefits that led you to want to do it. (Of course there are activities that will harm you, like say illegal drugs; again you must use personal responsibility: using something that breaks down your body or that risks your life security by breaking the law is not the kind of indulgence I would encourage.)

Balance is not about denying yourself the extremes. It is about knowing when to swing yourself back the other way.

Think you’re unsure of your limits? You know when you get that second slice of cake and you don’t even really taste it, or you get a venti coffee and it’s cold before you finish drinking it. You know when you see something on sale for an amazing price but you don’t need it or even really want it. You know when you have a friend who really cares about you and needs help that that’s more important than the guy/girl you just met who wants to go to the club. Your heart, your body and your mind tell you everything you need to decide where you need to be in the moment, whether to swing over to Dark indulgence or to sway back to clearing Light.

You know when someone wants you to use them…

You know when a game becomes an obsession, or when it starts to replace reality…

You know when people around you care more about what they think is fun (or, from a different point of view, righteous) than they care about you…

You know the satisfaction of work and money comes partially from accomplishment, but mostly from the quality of life it provides for you and those you love…

You know the difference between rest and apathy …

You know when you’re making excuses to yourself. Stop making excuses for excess, but don’t stop Living. Oh, and don’t make Balance an excuse not to make the most of it. Experience every aspect of the Universe, because it was created to enhance our pleasure and drive our passion.

A flat, blank piece of 50% gray paper is not art. Art must have contrast, light and dark, a thousand shades of gray, to create a picture of Life. But even if an artist’s image has much more shadow than illumination, a good composition will still be balanced in the way that light is arranged within the darkness.


*for those concerned about their “weight” I’m referring here to like a heavyweight fighter: your muscle; or like a big boss, throwing your weight around to get things done: your influence. Your strength as a spiritual being is quite powerful.

I am a writer/illustrator of various types of speculative fiction but mostly modern fantasy. I have loved magic, and the people and creatures who live with it and use it, all my life, and writing and drawing these people in modern environments makes it all the more real to me. I also like to add an element of Darkness and horror, as well as science fiction, for “flavor”. I am fascinated with everything from unicorns and dragons to vampires and demons.

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One comment on “Hanging in the Balance
  1. Gloria says:

    I found this very interesting and in some weird way it made alot of sense.

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