As I get older, I am realising more and more that this is key, to a happy life!
I am quite a perfectionist so, if something isn’t going perfectly well, I tend to dismiss it and move onto the next thing. I put pressure on myself to do everything better than average. Where is the balance in this? I either do something full on or nothing at all. I’ve been teaching myself that it’s not always going to be perfect and that there is nothing wrong with that. Where would we get in life if we gave up as soon as something wasn’t going 100% how we wanted it to?
Isn’t life funny like that? All of these thoughts come from our own minds. Our mind is so powerful and complex. It has told me that I can’t do something unless it is perfect, and I believed it.
But what is amazing in life is that, just how we are able to believe those negative thoughts, we are also able to change it and start to feed it positive ones and believe those too. We can literally change our lives in a day, by the way we think.
Life is constantly moving. We are constantly changing. Therefore we are constantly learning. There isn’t an end. So we must find balance and continue to move, change and learn.
With this constant moving and changing, there can’t always be positives. A battery has a negative and a positive side to it. Life too, must have these 2 sides in order for us to function and find balance. So we must accept the negative side as part of the moving and changing and know that there will also be positives. But acceptance, brings us balance. Once you accept the negatives, you must let your emotions flow and flower, just as we do with positive emotions. We don’t hide laughter and pretend we don’t want to laugh if we see a child doing a silly dance, or an animal make a funny noise. When we are hurt, we tend to suppress that emotion and tuck it away as deep as we can and pretend that we don’t feel that way. It then comes out in other ways, or further down the line you might feel upset but not really know why. Once you sit and feel the emotions, you’re letting them out, you are accepting what’s happened and you can let it flower and dissipate.
Accepting hurt, anger, pain, loneliness, does not in fact mean that you are saying what has happened is ok. If someone has hurt you and you forgive them for what they have done. You can forgive them, for yourself, to be able to accept what happened so that you can let the emotions flower and find inner peace. It doesn’t always mean you are saying, “What you did to hurt me is ok”. But this is a whole other story about the ego feeling hurt… I’ll leave that for another article!
So, balance. It can be quite hard to find. I have been vegan for over 2 years and it’s as if I have to find balance all over again. We don’t live in a vegan world, so I have to find balance where I am, now. Not where I want to be or don’t want to be.
When I first went vegan, I didn’t go out to eat unless it was a 100% vegan restaurant. I wouldn’t wear my old leather trainers. I couldn’t be around people eating meat. It was a very tough time, to find balance within something that you don’t agree with and can’t find peace with. Obviously everyone is different, and balance to one person will be something else to another. If you are vegan and your balance is, not going to restaurants that aren’t 100% vegan.. Then that’s perfectly fine. We do not have to look to other people to seek our own inner peace. We can’t. We must find it within. The clue is in the name “inner peace”.
I would always say, I am not God/a higher power therefore, it’s not my place or right to change the world and I wasn’t vegan my whole life so, I show compassion to everyone, no matter what. But although I would say this, this isn’t how I truly felt. I wasn’t accepting my true feelings. I couldn’t find balance because I was again trying to be perfect. I was worried about what people might say if I made a mistake. I then learned that I could have posted a photo of a carrot on social media and be told it wasn’t organic enough, wasn’t vegan enough, it wasn’t non-vegan enough, and so on.
The New Year has put me into situations where I almost felt like I was being tested, to see if I could find that balance. I passed a few tests, and learned from others. And I’m still learning, and this brings me onto the never ending journey. I’m not going to get to an end point. I just continue to be the best I can be and continue to move, change and learn.
We are not perfect… So accept this and find your balance.
Written by Stephanie Rowden, client at Spirohealth
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