“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell
Finding balance is a constant, ongoing struggle for me in so many areas of my life. There are days when I think that almost everything that I ever struggle can eventually be reduced down to a question of balance.
The particular area of balance that I am struggling with today has to do with trying to figure out what I am called to do in this life. I want to make a positive, healing difference in the world around me, but I seem to be particularly unsuited to do so. But the longing to be able to do something in this world along those lines is so intense that I cannot seem to leave this question alone.
So I swing between trying all kinds of different work that seems like it might enable to make the kind of difference I want in the world and becoming so discouraged that I sit and wait for insight to strike out of the blue, hoping for some grand revelation like a lightening bolt that will make everything clear. Neither approach is working. Not even a little bit.
I spent over a decade knowing that I needed to be doing something different, but I did almost nothing to make any changes because I didn’t know what to do. I wound up spending so much time just drifting in and out of depression that I had no real energy to do much else.
The last few years, I’ve been trying hard to capitalize on this period of such change and transformation by pushing myself to get out and at least try every possibility that came my way. I’ve tried to head through as many open doors as I encounter because I’m so aware that life is short, and if I don’t try things out, I may never find the right thing for me. That has led to an awful lot of failure as one thing after another has proven to be the wrong direction.
My confidence in my basic abilities has taken such a beating that sometimes I don’t know if I’ll ever find my way back to where I was when this whole process began. My self-esteem has never been high, but it’s never been as low as it is at this point in my journey.
I’m feeling bruised enough that I’m ready to give up on all of the trying and just go back to drifting. The problem is that I know from personal experience that it won’t get me any clearer on where I need to go. On the other hand, continuing to fail at one thing after another isn’t doing me much good either.
Surely there must be some balance between getting out there trying new things and staying home to rest and recuperate, but I haven’t found it yet. And I’m farther from any answers now than I have been in a long time as my self-confidence continues to wane.
Maybe it’s time for a season of doing nothing (after this semester is over anyway) just to try to regain some sense of balance. Maybe some insight will arise during that time. Or maybe I will find a way to let go of this need to make a difference. Either one would be helpful.
In the meantime, I need to continue to look at places I can let go and do less, ways to let go of needing to make a difference, and ways to let go of seeing myself as someone who can make the kind of difference I wanted to make. Perhaps letting go of that identity will allow some other dream to arise that might be more within my ability and skills to accomplish.
A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.