To lose balance sometimes for love is a part of living a balanced life

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Although this diagram looks like garbage and slightly resembles a) the scope of a sniper and b) the starting dialation when starting the birthing process. This picture is meant to represent the ‘perfect balance’ in a life, a harmonium of sorts, a place where all chaos has ceased. O is where we’d like to be.

After seeing the movie Eat Pray Love this weekend, I left feeling like the first part sucked, and the second part was so moving that I had a lot of things to mentally work through. If any of you have read the book or even went to see the movie, you know what i’m talking about. Here is this woman amidst a mid life crisis up and leaves everything she knows because she feels trapped in her ways, she has spent so long living up to expectations, turning a blind eye to whats actually going on in her marriage, and shutting people out that tell her differently that she is now breaking at the seams. Praying to a God she only half heartedly believes in, lying on the bathroom floor sobbing while her husband sleeps in the next room, and finally going to find herself. Something she should have done years earlier but didn’t because she was too busy settling with all the wrong things. Painting her picture of perfect with the broken end of a crayon in a dimly lit room instead of using the vibrant oil pastels on a brand new blank canvas out in the warmth of the sun. I’ve been working through this movie in my mind so often, and there are times throughout my day I can hear the words ringing in my head not because the movie was unbelieveable or because I memorized the quotes; but because this is me. I am Liz Gilbert.

No I’m not married, No I don’t have a booming career, and thus far no I don’t think I’m on the brink of a mid-life crisis. It’s the in betweens, the lessons, the characteristics; the chaos, and confusion that I related to. It’s the feeling of absolute hopelessness in a situation that is beyond your control; It’s the inadequacies that someone would rather take the time to tally for you instead of verbally present to you beautiful perfections that would balance the inadequacies out. It’s the feeling of finally having my ‘perfect balance’ and then it being overturned at the drop of a hat. It’s feeling so great about yourself and knowing how wonderful you are, but you’ve spent so much time with the wrong people in the wrong situations that you’re just ready to leave everything you know in search of the oil pastels and blank canvas; i imagine, sitting somewhere in a big open field of sunflowers ready to be danced through under the warm summer sun.

It’s called the Augusteum. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the barbarians came they trashed it a long with everything else. The great Augustus, Rome’s first true great emperor. How could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. It’s one of the quietest, loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won’t let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Looking around to this place, at the chaos it has endured – the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. I was reassured, maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.

We must endure to see our own worth, we must see things we once knew as the truth, as our happiness, as our whole take a complete turn; ruin, degrade, then when we have lost hope in it we glance back and see the gleaming light of reconstruction, forge, and renewal. There is a new light shed, and we look at our world through a new lens, not at who we once were, but towards what we want to be, what we want out of certain situations, and what needs to be different this time. Because at the time of all hopelessness and chaos we didn’t want change, we yearned to have the things we once knew back, even if they were drawn with broken crayongs; because they were comfortable, comforting, and secure. We feared change, not because of the word itself or the bold action attatched to it, but because we fear our capabilities, we fear our reconstruction, we fear leaving everything behind for the next chapter. So many people are stuck living in fear and afraid to change because they don’t want to know what they can become.

I believe that part of this harmonium in our lives is constant change. If we are ever evolving, ever changing, we won’t have time to look back. We will be so focused on moving forward, forging through the ruins for the better being of tomorrow. Perfect balance is a place where you can tune yourself in while not having to tune the world out, having happiness through the hurt, feeling something, experiencing life and not waiting on the sidelines until it’s your turn to play. There will always be times of chaos and feelings of imbalance, we have to remember that we will re root, rebuild, and flourish once more. And through these past times of hopelessness you find out that you are strong, that you can endure, and that you really do have worth. Balance is not letting anyone love you less than you love yourself.

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