Economies, dancers, and diets all aspire to it. Sometimes fleeting (if you’re a novice on a slackline), sometimes almost permanent (if you’re a boulder in Arches National Park), and sometimes a distant memory (if you’re a sarcastic economist or political commentator).
What about some of the words related to balance? Equality, equanimity, healthy…these are all great things, and balance is equally good. But balance can also seem very hard to attain, and that could lead us to believe that equality, health, and all those related concepts may also be hard to attain and hold on to. In fact, balance is such a crucial concept, which impacts so many aspects of our experience, that it’s really important to have a clear understanding of it. When I’m searching for clarity and confidence, I turn to God. It stands to reason, then, that a conversation with God would be a good first step when seeking to understand ‘balance’ more. Well, I found out that it wasn’t the first step…it was the only step!
Right from the get-go, I realized that if I wanted to be truly balanced, I needed to start from the right platform. Dancers know that, to be balanced in any position, you have to have your feet (or hands, or head…) positioned securely…like standing on a rock, you might say. You want to know that you are held safely and that any movement you make from there will continue to be supported by your base. The same concept applies here. If I really want to understand my experience better, I need to start from my foundation, God, and not leave that rock of His love.
In her textbook on healing, Mary Baker Eddy (the discoverer and founder of Christian Science) provides some insight on reasoning from that spiritual basis: “For right reasoning, there should be one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence.” (Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, page 492, line 3) So, when striving to see my foundation and discover my balance, it doesn’t help to weigh in all the reasons that balance DOESN’T exist, and how my foundation clearly is NOT secure.
I’m reminded of a witness in a court case. When called to the stand, the witness is not expected to fight the court case and win it. The witness is also not expected to share hearsay, and certainly is expected to not lie (argue for the other side). All the witness is asked to do is to say what she knows, what she saw. To tell the truth, without worrying about what the other side presents. In the same way, when I’m listening about my secure foundation, it doesn’t help to be fascinated with the opposite testimony – to come up with reasons for why I’m NOT secure, balanced, and healthy. When I catch myself saying “yes, but…” I know I’m not really listening. Sometimes I remind myself, “There’s already enough butts walking around – I don’t need to add in another!”
In the book of Proverbs, in the King James Version of the Bible, we read, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (chapter 3, verses 5 and 6). I see that as a Biblical foundation for this concept of being a true witness, of sharing only what I know to be true – of acknowledging God. The more I commit to doing this, to seeing and loving the foundation on which I stand, the more I see balance (including equality, equanimity, health, and all those other related concepts) as simply the natural effect of being on that foundation. I learn that I don’t have to MAKE myself be in balance – starting with God, I discover that there is no other state I could be in.
Well, if this balance is truly my natural state, then it’s a lie from the beginning that I could be out of balance. Knowing that I’m discovering more of the truth of my nature as God’s idea, as His effect (instead of desperately striving to attain something dependent on ME) gives such strength.
I had a great opportunity to practice this recently. My wife, my brother, and I were all enjoying an evening snowboarding session. Mt. Bachelor was almost empty, the weather was warm, the snow was soft, and the sunset on the Three Sisters across from us was magnificent. However, almost immediately upon beginning my run, I caught an edge and slammed forward very hard, knocking the wind out of me. I got out of the way of the trail and stood on the side, and as I was trying to recover my breath, I started seeing many stars flashing in my vision, the scene was growing blurry, and I was feeling pretty woozy – very unbalanced. I was so bummed. I mean, yes, my body hurt, but was I going to have to miss out on this special evening? I got all geared up to make my way to a bench near the top of the lift, where I could gather my thoughts and begin to pray, when all of a sudden I remembered that balance and health were the effects of me being God’s idea. There was no time or circumstance which could ever change me from being His effect, and completely and only subject to the law of Love. I didn’t have to go through time to recuperate and recover my balance, either. I never left my rock and could immediately live from that secure basis. With a big grin on my face, I jumped up and sped down the slope. As I rode, I rejoiced that I wasn’t safe because of my new helmet, and I wasn’t happy because I could ride – I was safe and happy because I’d never left my foundation. And the stars, difficulty breathing, and all other supposed effects of the fall vanished immediately. I enjoyed another 2 hours of snowboarding, free from any lingering fear or physical challenge. It was a wonderful evening!
You and I have never left the rock of God’s love – the secure foundation of divine Principle. Everything about us is governed by Love – perpetual balance.