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Discovering Your Life's Balance
Our childhood experiences have a way of coloring our motives and ideas. If that childhood was an exceptionally good one; we tend to expect things to always be of an upbeat, optimistic nature. Also, if that childhood was exceptionally uncomfortable and problematic—our expectations will have that trace of doubt and negativity.
Is it really expecting too much to want our existence to be a balance of both? Yes, we will be faced with uncomfortable situations, but shouldn’t there be times when things go incredibly right?
Let’s explore the possibilities of a balanced life—or is it really expecting too much?
I will not get into the religious implications of “loving your neighbor as yourself” however, it does bring about a very valid point. You must love yourself. This doesn’t mean borderline narcissism. It does take into consideration the fact that people who tend to see themselves in a positive manner respond to others in the same way. They also tend to have better relationships as well.
People who truly care about themselves don’t require validation from others to justify their actions. No, they only want to share their joy and wonderment with like minded individuals. As in anything, there is the danger of excessiveness. If you are mindful of these pitfalls—there should be little threat in “going off the deep end.”
Self-discovery can be fun as well as daunting. Remember the quote from one of Shakespeare’s plays— “To thine own self be true?” There is nothing worse than trying to fool yourself! Others sometimes realize this fact long before you do. When setting a path of self-discovery, be prepared for what you uncover. There will be both positive and negative aspects you will have to face. Can you handle this?
If you prep yourself for disappointments—you will face them! However, if you can take each new day as it is, a new day, then discovery is your agenda! No matter how hard you try to plan; things just happen! Discover an alternative when deemed necessary—don’t live your life in perpetual “Plan B mode.”
Caring for Others
Unless you live on an unchartered island—there are going to be other people in your life. When you are young, it’s your parents and perhaps siblings. This is where your earliest contact is with other people. If you have been blessed with parents who can share their love for you and with each other—you are indeed fortunate. There is no greater gift than being loved by your parents (except by God.) Although, my purpose is not to sermonize; my beliefs will occasionally surface. If this makes you uncomfortable, rush through it!
Television of the 50s and 60s gave us an idyllic view of the typical American family with a hardworking father and a doting mother. The children would sometimes get into difficult situation, but by the end of the sitcom, everything would have been solved to the happiness of all concerned. How typical is this?
We find that many problems can’t be rectified in 30 minutes or even 60 minutes. There are issues that families have not solved 20 years later. Whether they have tried or not is the basis for another article. The facts are that there is no one standard for a functional family. One size does not fit all!
Brothers and sisters bring into one’s life exposure to diverse personalities and ideologies. If you are an only child, then you have had your introductions into the idiosyncrasies of others later in life. Being born in a family of many sisters and brothers can really be a good thing! Not only because of the distribution of labor—you don’t have to do everything yourself—it exposes you to various personality types. Once you are exposed to the world outside of your abode; you don’t feel alienated as much.
The Big Blue Marble
Time to venture out into the world. Hopefully, your family and an assortment of friends, teachers, mentors and ministers have somewhat prepared you for what comes next. Realistically, no one can really prepare you for what you will experience outside the protective wall of family and friends. Many young people avail themselves of sororities and fraternities to recapture the “family” environment. Church affiliations and other societal organization are sometimes used as an extension of the need to belong and be nurtured. Beware—predators use this fact to lure the gullible and naive. Make sure you understand your required involvement in any such undertaking and if it seems too obvious—investigate!
This holds true in intimate relationships. Although love-at-first-sight is so romantic; it can be a literal roll coaster ride. That person seems to like everything you do, enjoys all the places you frequent and is bias regarding certain behavior and patterns. If you are really in tune with yourself, then you know your own shortcomings. If this person is that much like you; can you deal with seeing your faults echoed in them? If you decide to focus on self-improvement, will your feelings for the other person be affected?
It may not be expecting too much to desire a full, rich and trouble-free life but is it realistic? That is a question that requires an individual answer. There are many factors involved. Yes, it may seem like Mr. Ed and his wife are leading a happy life. What sacrifices were needed for them to obtain this utopia? Sure, if you are single, you may feel that this is your destiny but is it worth giving up your freedom just to say you are in a relationship? Just how many times was Elizabeth Taylor married?
Going back to the concept of knowing yourself, take the comparison out of the equation. Are you content with the person you see in the mirror? What would you change and what would you retain? Is it expecting too much to love yourself scars and all?
© 2018 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS