That Was Mean

Have you ever had someone be very hurtful to you when you didn’t feel you did anything to deserve it?

It can be a total stranger or close friend or even a loved one.  More than likely we have all experienced this at some point. Our natural response is to feel anger.  We don’t understand how someone can be mean when we didn’t do anything to deserve it. Often this feeling causes us to respond in a similar fashion:  with meanness

We all know this only makes the situation worse and has the potential to escalate in a negative way often times killing relationships.

John Maxwell in one of his books teaches a principle that helps us in these situations.  He says, “hurting people, hurt people.”  Often times when people are hurtful towards us, it is because they are hurting themselves.

This is an important principle for us to remember.  It doesn’t mean that we won’t feel hurt when people are hurtful towards us. But it can help us to slow down and have a little empathy.  Maybe the person is hurting and we have no idea about it.  Maybe that stranger has been dealing with some major stress in their life and filled with pain.  We don’t know, but it helps to remember the principle that hurting people hurt people.

Let’s not forget that this applies to us as well. Are we hurting others because we are hurting?

What is Balance?

Balance is interesting.  Most of us want to live a balanced life. Meaning we want to have it together in all the areas of life.

We have all seen the examples of the movie star with the great career, but the rest of their life is a total mess. It could be the athlete, the business person or the mom. The point is all of us have multiple areas of life that we want to excel in, but that isn’t always easy.

I think it helps to start with how we view balance.  When you think of balance, what do you think of?  For many, the idea of balance is perfectly in the middle.  The idea that all areas are equally thriving at the same time. This is perfection. This would be balance.

If that is our view of balance, we will continuously fall short of it and live in frustration.  I don’t believe that definition of balance is possible.

I prefer to view balance like riding a bike. While it may appear to be perfect especially as we pick up speed and momentum, the reality is we are constantly making adjustments from one side to the other. We are shifting back and forth to keep from falling off to one side. When we are moving slow these shifts are very obvious but they become more subtle the faster we go. There are endless examples, but this is a principle of balance.  It is back and forth making constant adjustments and corrections to maintain what we call balance.

There are times in life that a certain area may require more attention to shift the momentum in that direction.  A person gets a wake up call that it is time to make their health a bigger priority.  Another realizes he better start paying more attention to his marriage. Another wakes up to discover he is out of a job and finding another becomes most important.

This is how life works.  This is what balance really looks like. So what does being out of balance look like? It is when we are so focused on one area maybe because it is going so well that we don’t shift our focus back. This is very easy to see in others.  It is not always so easy to see in ourselves.  I think this why balance can be difficult.

How do you view balance? When was the last time you shifted your focus?