Everywhere you look these days, someone is preaching the need for balance. Imploring us to find balance in our lives: to eat healthily, but also eat doughnuts if we want. To exercise daily, but also not to move from the couch until the entire season is finished on Netflix. #balance
Seeing this overarching theme across all social media platforms can result in feelings of guilt or shame for those of us who have yet to find “balance” in our lives. I’m here to tell you something, babe. Balance is bullshit. Here’s why.
Balance literally means “a condition in which different elements are equal.” Keyword being equal. As a Libra whose symbol is the scale, I know a thing or two about “balance.” Up until a few years ago, my life was a constant rollercoaster of striving for equilibrium. And let me tell you, it’s fucking exhausting. Why? Because it’s unattainable.
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The people who are preaching and advocating for balance are not talking about balance. They are promoting glorified forms of moderation. I believe that what most try to convey by preaching balance is of sound, genuine intent — but because it is wrapped in a seriously misleading bow called “balance” it sends mixed signals to the receiver of the message.
The girl on Instagram who is telling you that she had celery juice for breakfast and a margarita at dinner, #balance — that’s bullshit. Is she having a margarita every time she eats dinner? Probably not. She is probably showing you one dinner where she gave herself some leniency to find moderation in her diet and have an alcoholic beverage. Remember, balance implies that elements are equal. One celery juice and one margarita per day would have a fair argument as balance (equal proportions) but this one margarita at dinner after a week or two of not having alcoholic beverages is simply a form of moderation. (For the record, I am totally on board with this babe’s message — drink the marg, girlfriend!)
The man on Facebook talking about not working while on a week-long vacation in Tulum, #balance — that’s bullshit. Balance would imply that for every week of work you are also taking a week of vacation to slow the fuck down and find some presence in your life. That is not the case in this scenario. Don’t get me wrong, if you need a week-long vacation — take it! (Seriously, vacations are NECESSARY!) But this isn’t balance. It is moderation. It is avoiding burnout.
Where we must place our focus + effort ebbs and flows depending on the season in which we find ourselves. There will be seasons of hustle. Seasons of rest. Seasons of relationship. Seasons of singleness. Seasons of feeling found. Seasons of feeling lost. Seasons of extreme joy. Seasons of extreme lows. Seasons of struggle as you climb the mountain. Seasons of accomplishment as you sit atop the mountain.
Instead of being so focused on balance (which is bullshit anyway), honor the season that you are in. Look for ways to incorporate more moderation in any aspect of your life (it doesn’t have to be everything at once). Maybe that’s saying yes to a glass of wine when you typically say no. Maybe it is accepting a social invitation for a night out on the town instead of working all weekend. Maybe it is recognizing that your body has been at rest for quite some time and it’s time to add movement into your routine.
There are people that can hustle and grind for six months straight with a focus solely on work. There are other people that must religiously carve out time for their family to feel grounded. It looks different for all of us. The real goal should be to not take our #goals so seriously that we forget to add in the things we want/need in moderation to avoid burn out.
The truth is, our lives operate on a spectrum. Think of the ocean tides, the currents fluctuate from high tide to low tide. There isn’t anything we can do to control that aside from riding the wave. Going with the flow. Embracing the tide (or season) that we currently face. We are allowed to fluctuate, as the tides do. We are allowed to live in seasons, as nature does.
You are allowed to want to bust your ass every damn day if that is your autonomous choice.
You are also allowed to want to rest and be still every damn day if that is your autonomous choice.
Don’t let anyone guilt you into living your life a different way, because it doesn’t match their flawed views of life in #balance.
Let’s stop idolizing the unattainable form of perfectionism that is #balance. Instead, let us give ourselves grace. Let us meet ourselves where we are at and find acceptance there.
Drink the margarita. Take the vacation. Or if you’d rather, keep your head down and get to fucking work! Balance is bullshit, babe.