I have been thinking a lot about balance lately. Being diagnosed with Bipolar almost 2 years ago now, has definitely been a learning and growing process. I used to just try to be Super Woman all the time. I would throw more and more things on my plate and if someone asked me to do something else, I couldn’t say no (can you say mania? haha). If my plate was loaded and I had no extra seconds in the day then I wouldn’t have to deal with the down side of my life. I would try to stay so busy that I didn’t have time to think about it.
I was always running way faster than I had the strength to do. I was afraid, yes afraid, of what might happen if I let my guard down for half a second. Where would I be? How would things work out? If I didn’t do it, who would etc., etc….. And then I crashed…. and it wasn’t pretty or fun for me or my family or anyone else. It was scary and foreign and something that unfortunately, would happen again. Luckily, not too often, but I have had to go through that process several times. And it has definitely been a learning and growing process. Finally being diagnosed (and accepting that diagnosis), was a major step forward for me. And I giant leap towards achieving balance in my life.
One of the things that I have realized about BiPolar and, it makes sense really, is that you have to maintain a pretty steady balance. You don’t want too get to far to the high, energetic, motivational, hyper, side. And yet you want to stay away from the low, depressed, bored, emotional side. And apparently, from my experience it takes a lot of courage to do that. Especially in today’s world of social media mania! It’s crazy how we are programmed to think, through social media, that we have to do all, be all, make all, spend all, and not drive ourselves crazy while doing it. Because…. everybody is doing it right? So why shouldn’t we?
I have to think about this from a Bipolar standpoint. But as I examined it more closely, I realized that it is not just a Bipolar problem. Yes, it is a bit harder for me to find my balance and stay there, and medication is required. However, you can be completely normal (not mentally ill, lol) to suffer from this “condition” of having to overload your plate and not have any down time. But down time is good! It is really, really good! Haha, who knew? I was so busy trying to stay busy that I didn’t even know how to do down time!
That’s where the courage comes in! That may sound trite, but it’s true. If you are so busy all the time and you never make time for down time. Or you feel like you have to be a certain way to be “enough”. Then being thrown into a whole new way of life that just doesn’t feel “right”, that takes a lot of courage. To stop looking around at others and what they are doing, to try and gauge what your life should look like, well that takes courage too. To let the calm be ok. To be able to “be still” and be ok with that. That takes courage! And what we find therein is the “balance”. We have to have down time to match the busy. We have to have calm to recognize the crazy and that’s hard sometimes. But so necessary to maintaining or finding a balance in our lives.
I guess you could say that I have grown to love this new me. It’s a lot different from the old one. And sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable in my own skin. But I’m definitely liking the feeling of being “enough”. Crazy that it took a mental illness to make me feel complete. The Lord works in mysterious ways. And sometimes we just need to trust that he knows what he’s doing and “be still”.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts, than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
So what exactly is courage?