Balance and Stability

Taken at Toms Burned Down CafeThe world is a crazy place.  Reliable is uncertain, known is questionable, and the clear path is obscured.  I find myself struggling for things that used to come naturally, reviewing my basic beliefs and reconsidering my options.  In nearly every role I play lately, I’ve been asking questions and finding that they are unanswerable at present.  I find this extremely frustrating.  And at the same time, I know that I have to work through it all.

This past summer, I spent some vacation time on Madeline Island.  It’s one of my favorite places; a place to disconnect with the world.  I normally go with family, but circumstances provided me with the opportunity to be there on my own for a few days.  It gave me a chance to try some new things and, more importantly, a time to reflect on some weighty issues.  While there, I grabbed a drink at Tom’s Burned Down Cafe, where I saw a sign that got me to thinking.  “Seek Balance, Not Stability”, it said.

Stability: The state of being stable  – not likely to change or fail; firmly established.

Stability was always a goal for me.  Stability allowed me to know what was most likely to occur next.  Stability meant that I always had enough resources, and that I had few real concerns.  I always knew I could count on myself, that I could remain afloat despite any turbulence that I encountered.  I strove for stability in my beliefs, my feelings and my actions.  I had a stable life in many respects.  It was also insular.  Too many external influences can topple you, if all you know is how to be stable.

Stability as a way of life, I learned, is a constant state.  It is not dynamic.  It doesn’t adjust.  It does not play well with reality.

Balance: Keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.

Deciding that stability didn’t work, I started to focus more on balance.  Balance would allow me to handle anything that life threw at me.  I started to take on new roles, new ideas, new opportunities.  As long as I continued to balance the priorities, I would be doing great.  Balance allowed me to sample anything that came my way.  All was great, and then things happened that caused me to stumble.  Stuff I never really considered or planned for.  Things I knew were true turned out not to be.  People I trusted were no longer who I thought they were.  Promises made were broken.  

Had I been living a “stable” life, I would have been knocked on my ass.  I assumed that, since I had balance, I would right myself.  Not so much.  It was then that it hit me.

In order to balance, I need stability.  You can’t build a house of cards on a table with two legs.  Stability without balance is potentially attractive, but it’s boring.  Balance without stability is temporary and scary.

So now I’m in a much better place.  I’ve reestablished my balance built on my core beliefs, my values, and the support of a handful of people who I know are there for me no matter what happens.  And on this platform, I am able to balance myself.  I’m taking on new challenges and looking to learn new things because I know I’m balancing on a solid foundation.  I may lose my balance again, and I know that I won’t fall because I’m stable underneath.  I’m ready to handle what comes next, even if I’m not entirely sure what that might be.

Find your stability, balance yourself, and you’ll have a world of opportunity ahead of you.