Finding balance in our entire lives is a pretty difficult thing, but even in one area balance can be a hard task. Let's talk about parenting--how do you find your "happy place" (and I'm not talking about hiding in the bathroom with a margarita) where you're centered and act from your highest wisdom, instead of just reacting to what's going on at the moment?
But how do you do that, when it seems like there's so much at stake and so many people watching, and the weight of your ancestors and the entire future looking on to judge you? (Yeah, it feels like that sometimes, doesn't it.) How do you parent like you want to parent when you're constantly worrying whether you're raising your kids right, or if they'll grow up to embarrass you, join the opposing political party, or murder you in your sleep?
Seriously, though. Parenting is a tough task, but we run into the most trouble when we project ourselves into the future or get stuck in the past -- and not even our recent past, but our own childhoods. Balance is a very in the moment thing, and wisdom can only be gained by true presence. If you're in the moment, it becomes easier to make a choice of what to do. If you're thinking about the past and future, you've already chosen, because your brain is running through all its stories and wiring you up into a fight or flight state that may not even be true, clouding your choices with fears, expectations, and insecurity.
In the present, the choice is easy. You can do something either from love or fear, but not both. Love feels expansive, warm, like faith or a gift. Fear feels clenchy, like being pressed or confined in some sort of shackles. People, obviously, feel these things differently, but the basic energy is usually the same. When you have a choice to make in how you treat your child or what you say to them, stop and figure out what you're feeling. Are you afraid of what other people will think if you don't make them change their behavior? Or does your heart say that they'll correct themselves given trust and time?
Every day is different, and every challenge unique. Each though, is made up of many opportunities for love and fear. Learn to know what both feel like, how to tell the difference, and how to be honest with yourself.
Love is better.