Finding Balance

A friend of mine and I have been dialoguing about “polarities’ and finding balance in teaching and in the masculine journey.  She said, “However, just saying one should have ‘balance’ is not all that helpful to someone who doesn’t have it, doesn’t know what it looks like or how to get it.”

This is a wonderful comment. I see this difficulty in men’s circles often. A man will sit there talking round and round a matter, so stuck in his head that he cannot see or know what is very evident to every other man in the room. I have certainly been that man, and will be again, as we all get ‘lost’ on this journey of life. Most often, a man needs to be confronted before he will go deeper. And he will go deeper if he knows that he will not lose the respect of the men with whom he is sharing. That’s why in men’s work we talk about building a container of safety for a man to go down. Boundaries are of critical importance. The process is one of confrontation, examination, insight, and affirmation. If there’s no blessing and affirmation at the end, then the man may stay in his wound or problem and then not experience growth.
Most men, unless they have discovered the freedom that comes with self examination in the company of men, need to go under before they will willingly choose to do the “unraveling and examining of the ‘self.’ Most often, it takes a divorce, getting fired, a heart attack, loss of a child, etc., before a man will examine his life. The tragedy is when those in his care suffer the effects of his refusal to go under. A friend of mine was in a good marriage, so we all thought. When it became news that her husband had an affair on her with his secretary, I asked her to tell me about her husband’s childhood. Nothing special she said, but I kept digging. After a while, she told me that her husband’s older brother had committed suicide when he was 14 and the family never spoke about it. Some time later she told me his father was an adulterer too. What a terrible wound. I suggested that maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with his infidelity. She suggested these things to him, but he refused to look at these issues, thus he left his beautiful wife and 2 children in a mess. Some men don’t have the courage to go under, even when the facts are staring them (and everyone else) in the face.

What is balance? Balance is when one’s thoughts and feelings are congruent with one’s sense of truth. Truth, I believe, is love and love is truth. We are in balance when we are able to love. How do we know this balance, this love? I think Paul described it very well when he wrote, “love is patient, love is kind…etc.” As cliché as it sounds when you’ve heard it at weddings over and over again, I believe it to be the best description of the spirit of balance, of love, that I have ever heard.

Categories Blog Post | Tags: , , , , , , | Posted on May 2, 2011

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