Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Great Balancing Act

I've realized that to really be 'the god of who we are', we must first be 'fully, truly human.'  Here's what I mean.  To the extent I am able to 'have' the fullness of my pain, can I most fully 'have' the depth of joy.  And vice versa.  I am deepened as a person by both experiences.  And it takes one to have the other more fully.

I think of the time I took my five children to a vacation spot in a neighboring state years ago.  There was an olympic sized pool, with three diving boards (6, 9, and 12 feet high, respectively), and a 35 foot high platform.  For those who did so, there were respective thrills possible from jumping into the water from each of those heights.  I noticed that there was something special about the bottom of the pool beneath the 35 foot platform however.  From 35 feet high, if someone jumped into a pool with only a standard 12 foot depth, they may very likely hurt themselves.  The water would just be too shallow for a jump from that height.  So, beneath the 35 foot platform, there was a '6 foot hole' in the bottom of the pool - making the depth of the water not just 12 feet, but 18 feet.  And the depression seemed broad enough to accomodate even the most 'enthusiastic' board jumper.  So, to have the thrill of jumping from a 35 ft. platform, there had to be a deeper hole to jump into.  That metaphor has served me well since, helping me through some of the hardest times in my life, and helping me explain 'how it works' to some of those dear to me.  'Ya gotta have both.

I wonder - Could it be that to experience the highest joys, it is required , to be able to also experience the deepest sorrows?  When I shared this with a good friend, she said, "Yeah, I think that's how it works.  It's that balance thing.  In fact, wasn't there 'One' who showed us 'The way' in this?"  Some may refer to this principle with the word 'karma'.  I think I like the word 'balance'.


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