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Balancing Your Balance Sheet
© 2010 by M. Dezelic & G. Ghanoum
We all have heard ourselves say- “I feel off balance.” But what does that statement actually mean? Life is definitely a balancing act of sorts and when you feel off balance, it means you are neglecting certain areas of your life while focusing all of your energy on one part or specific thing. If you do not take the time to balance your life, you are going to lose yourself in the midst of the chaos, hurry, or worry.
Imagine you are driving your car, and one of your tires is low in air or actually flat. You will be able to drive down the street for a short while, wobbling unevenly, but will most probably completely ruin the tire or the car. This is what happens to us in our lives; we are still able to function through appearance in the other areas for a short while, neglecting the “flat tire”- the area needing attention, but we are most probably suffering a great deal. The car and four tires are a great representation of the human being and the necessary balance in life. Each tire represents one area of our life crucial to our existence and balance; 1) Physical, 2) Mind/Intellectual/Thoughts, 3) Spiritual, 4) Love/Connections/Emotions, while the car itself is YOU holding the four parts in balance. If one area is being neglected or damaged, the entire vehicle will suffer the consequences! We need to take the time to investigate what area has been depleted or damaged, and how we can work on it with care and attention to bring it back to life.
As most of our dealings in life are involved with some sort of business transactions, we look at the basics of a business model. When investing or deciding to do business with a company, one of the first questions is “How is their Balance Sheet?” What is the importance of a balance sheet? A balance sheet is essentially a snapshot of a business’ financial condition at a specific moment in time, comprising of assets, liabilities, and equity. The Balance Sheet is a summary of a company's financial condition right now. So how can we take the idea of the financial Balance Sheet and Create a Personal Balance Sheet of our own to see what is our present condition?
When we are feeling “off balance,” we have an overall negative Balance Sheet, because one area is receiving too much of our attention or our capacities. To create a positive looking Personal Balance Sheet, we have to evaluate our current situation. When we focus on our “Liabilities”- what we consider to be our weaknesses, the areas we are lacking in or the hurt and pain we have suffered, we become trapped in a cycle of negativity. Either we become completely stuck in the victimhood role/ “woe is me,” or often times we move to the extreme opposite, and begin to focus our attention and energy on material goods, or pursuing certain prestige levels, “Assets,” to compensate for feelings of unhappiness, fear, guilt, shame and hurt. We start a process of wanting “more, more, more;” a bigger house, better car, nicer boat, fancier toys, higher paying job. But what happens when we achieve these things is that we do not find any meaning and still feel a sense of emptiness. We are still left with the feelings that were associated with the “Liabilities,” that we so desperately tried to cover up on the material side.
These “Liabilities” are part of who we are, and we need to do our work of healing and acceptance in this area so that we do not remain stuck on the “Assets” of success. If we do this process of healing and acceptance, then we will become naturally more successful in life, and be able to work towards finding meaning, purpose, fulfillment, joy and love.
The meaning of the Balance Sheet is to provide an account of our own strengths and weaknesses. When we can visualize them and accept them as part of ourselves, the positive and negative, we move away from compensating and towards transcendence, the “Equity” which is our Being, our Existence, and our Identity. If we are only looking at what we do not have, or did not have as a child, we will be stuck on the negative side of the Balance Sheet, becoming a victim of the hurt or pain. If we are only looking at what we have now or how can we have more, the positive side of the Balance Sheet, we are in the process of overcompensation for the negative side. Once we can create a sense of acceptance and understanding towards ourselves, WE START BECOMING BALANCED; we begin to move beyond the balance sheet and start creating meaningful relationships with God, others and ourselves.
“At times, it is difficult to keep a proper balance in our lives. But, over time, an improper balance will lead to problems.” (Catherine Pulsifer)