Monday, February 15, 2016

Don't Lose Your Balance

I originally wrote this post for Family and Faith Matters in 2014.

How are you at keeping your balance? I don’t mind admitting that mine isn’t as reliable as it once was. There are no gravity defying stunts in my repertoire. In fact, I like to keep both feet firmly planted on the ground whenever possible.

It was actually a little difficult going for walks this past winter with the sidewalks often icy and deep snow making the footing treacherous. I tend to be quite cautious because of a fall I had a few years ago that left me with a dislocated elbow and a broken finger. I still remember the flash of panic I felt in the split second when I realized I was going down.  

It wasn’t long after that when I decided to take an exercise class that was designed to improve core strength and balance. When I started out it was a little dangerous to stand anywhere near me. I had serious wobble issues and would often fling an arm out in a desperate attempt to stay upright in some of the positions we were asked to assume.                    

I did improve as time went on. It helped a tremendous amount when my instructor told me to keep my eyes focused on one spot on the floor about six feet in front of me. I learned to pay attention to where I put my feet and not to lean too far in any one direction. Those were important lessons in more ways than one.

I am a mother of three married children and I have seven grandchildren with one more on the way. Add aging parents and friends who need support to the mix and it’s easy for me to get so outward focused that I forget about my own needs in the process. I lose my balance and once that happens, the desperate fling of an arm is not enough to keep me from going down. When I crash the consequences can be both painful and far reaching.

A dear friend reminded me recently that self care is not the same as selfishness. I need to keep my balance in this busy life of mine.

That means choosing carefully where I put my feet. It’s okay to say no.

It means not leaning too far in any one direction. I need activities that will feed my soul and bring me back to centre.

Above all, it means keeping my eyes focused on the one thing that doesn’t change – God and His love for me.

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