The notion that our relationships are out-of-balance is accepted but not acceptable. We look for solutions to how bad our imbalanced relationships feel and worry that personal problems keep things skewed. There is a way to find balance in relationships even when you’re personally out-of-balance.
Think of yourself on a playground. You know how to have fun, playing is easy and expected. After swinging and sliding, you see the teeter-totter. You’re alone but you want to test your skills. You think outside the box and climb onto the middle, stretching your feet in opposite directions. One side of the teeter-totter slowly rises while the other softly falls. You feel the physical force of balancing, your mental and physical muscles are collaborating.
Keeping both sides level is fun until you start feeling tired. Wanting someone to notice your skill means waiting and waiting becomes work. Your control, readjusting and tenacity replace the initial fun. An audience gathers and one onlooker wants to join your balancing act.
At first, it’s an exciting notion to work together and you take on a partner. Soon, the work intensity increases in difficulty. You can’t balance by yourself anymore, the way you did. You must start learning to balance in tandem or fall.
Balance in relationship isn’t a place we arrive at to stay, it is an experience we co-create over and over. Being out-of-balance together is common. It may feel like failure but constant readjusting doesn’t mean you’ve failed to balance, it may mean you are still learning each others balance points (there are some partners who intentionally throw off your balance but that’s a different article).
Don’t think you can balance yourself on a relationship teeter-totter with your partner on your shoulders and not make even more mistakes. Taking control without having full access to your partners brain is frustrating and futile. Your partner won’t balance the same way you do because there are differences in center of gravity, style, knowledge, experience and more.
Any balance achieved comes from working together, learning from each other, seeking understanding and adjusting. “Peace results from the dynamic balance of opposites within and around us (Dreher,2000).” The only unacceptable part of imbalance is thinking it shouldn’t happen.
Throwing Yourself Off Balance 5 Ways:
1. Putting more weight on your issues, (allowing your stuff to be too heavy).
2. Not making adjustments for your partners movement, (unilateral decision making is lonely).
3. Wishing things were easy, like when you balanced alone, (looking at the differences not the differentiation).
4. Assuming new imbalance isn’t your fault, (playing victim/blamer).
5. Fighting, Escaping, or Freezing instead of Reaching for each other, (two can be better than one on a tetter-totter).
Growing together in health and hope,
Dawna J. Grigsby Ed,S, LPC. ZestofLife.com