I have a vague recollection of trying to walk on a balance beam during gym class in elementary school. I was not very good at it. In high school we had one semester of gymnastics, which of course included a balance beam. Not fun at all. I lacked proper form and balance. Was this a glimpse into my future life as well being a testimony to being totally uncomfortable in my body?
Leaving the body issues for now, let’s talk about balance. Years ago I took a class for moms at my parish and included was a little quiz about your life and how you spent your time. After scoring the quiz, you plotted the points on wheel and then connected the points. The goal was to have a circle, so your wheel would roll evenly. Take a guess if my wheel would have rolled. Sadly, or maybe thankfully, I was not alone in my non-rolling wheel.
I don’t have the paper anymore to look see what I needed to work on back then, but if I were a betting woman I’d say some of the points would still be the same. I stink at self-care. The struggle is to move from the thinking that it is selfish to take care of myself, heck should I even have a need, to move from the idea that I am here for everyone else to the belief that God has no desire to see me run into the ground taking care of others.
A few weeks ago I was at Mass and the responsorial psalm was, “I praise you, for I am wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14a). It hit me: if I believe I am wonderfully made by God (and I do) then taking care of myself is a way of praising him. So why don’t I do it as well as I take care of others? In order to care for myself I need to find the balance between others’ needs and my own.
How do you find the balance?
Copyright 2015, Deanna Bartalini
Photo: “Southbound Train” by erksnow (2005) via Freeimages.com.