21 Day Practice of Peace – Day 17 – Life in Balance


Life In Balance - The Five Agreements Keep Things Centered and Insuring Responsibilities Accepted Are Appropriate for Support Provided
Life In Balance – The Five Agreements Keep Things Centered and Insuring Responsibilities Accepted Are Appropriate for Support Provided

Over functioning with respect to relating to other people can tip life out of balance and create disharmony. I created this picture several years ago after studying Dan Millman’s Life Purpose book. The premise of Mr. Millman’s book is your birth date provides a life number which tells you the life lessons you are here to learn. According to the Life Purpose book, one of my life lessons is achieving balance.

As I read his book and the lessons – I realized I tended to carry more responsibility in some of my relationships than I was receiving in support. (People were getting a free ride or a “Michelle” scholarship as one friend calls it). All relationships are an exchange that requires a cooperative understanding. Over time, when over functioning and taking on more responsibility, a relationship ceases to create value commensurate with the energy expended. When this happens it’s easy for resentments to creep into the relationship. On the other side, the person receiving more support than they are contributing can feel suffocated by the person who is over functioning.

The key I’ve found is to gradually stop over functioning and to move more towards the middle – recognizing the other person’s innate capabilities for taking care of their own life. Functioning adults with no mental health or serious health issues are quite capable of securing and funding their own housing, getting their own transportation, and covering their basic necessities of life. Even in the roughest of times. Adults who have serious health issues are truly out of the realm of my capability to care for. While I can be empathetic to their plights and direct them to the resources where they could get help, for me to contribute my genius with the other seven billion people on this planet and care for my own immediate family, I need to maintain a level of balanced detachment, I employ forty people to run my company and I pay them based on the level of contribution, value and support they provide to the business. After I reflected on this model of responsibility and support, I realized when I was taking on too much responsibility than the support I was receiving, it was no wonder I felt at times crushed by the weight.

Becoming more conscious of my own role in creating interdependent relationships based on a balanced level of responsibility and support has helped me create a more peaceful co-existence with the important people in my life. It also at times gives me the motivation to make those difficult life calls and peacefully transition from relationships out of balance.

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