Our theme for the month of March is “Balance”. And like so many other themes, it is a surprisingly complex concept. After all, how many different kinds of “balance” are there? Psychotherapist F. Diane Barth, in an article she wrote for Psychology Today, writes: “There are so many things that we have to balance in our lives—work, family, play, leisure, relaxation, caring for others, caring for ourselves, social consciousness, political consciousness, environmental consciousness, religious beliefs and activities, physical needs … to name only a few of the issues most of us are balancing, often without realizing it, all of the time.”
I think that sums up very nicely the life of a Unitarian Universalist!
She reminds us that “balance” isn’t actually a goal. It’s rather a process, an approach to your life. It’s not vital to life, of course. It is no doubt possible to have a perfectly productive and fulfilling life without anything approaching “balance”. But generally, I think, people are happier when they feel like their lives are balanced. If you’re working at a company, finding time to relax with friends and family- to reconnect- is important. Hobbies and leisure activities provide a much needed respite. Companies have found that employees who take time to “recharge their batteries” are actually more productive and happier than those who don’t.
And on the other side of that coin, those who are retired or unemployed find that having something productive to do, a “reason to get out of bed in the morning”, works wonders in improving their outlook on life. Doing volunteer work of one sort or another, for example, not only helps your own mental health, but could provide much needed assistance to a worthy organization.
So the message is simple, even if the issue is complex. Take a look at Barth’s list in that first paragraph. Think about your life, and how you’re living it. Are there areas that seem to be eclipsing all others? If so, are there (even small) changes you could make? Is there some “wiggle room” in your already too-busy life? Could you perhaps spend a bit less time in one area and more in another? If so, try it! See how it goes. Remember: Whatever your age or stage, finding balance in life is important.
And, speaking of balance, this month is our annual pledge dinner! It is our opportunity to “balance” the budget, to think about what this community means to us, and how we can support it financially. My colleague Erika Hewitt writes: …Giving is, for me, both a statement and expression of my faith. I give, in all the ways I give and from all the means that I can give, with intention. I give to my congregation, with its mission to transform its members so that we may transform the world. I give because I choose not to harden my gaze and narrow my heart. I choose not to be seduced from my perch—where abundance is visible and alive in the world—by the siren song of “there’s not enough… hang onto what’s yours.”
I invite each of you to fill out your pledge card promptly and generously, making your pledge “a statement and an expression of your faith”.
And please join us on March 7 for dinner and our 2nd annual “talent” show! It’ll be great fun!
Wishing you peace and blessings,