Have you ever driven on tires that are out of balance? You know that it is extra work to keep the car traveling straight without veering to the right or left. The ride can feel bumpy and out of control.
A friend of ours experienced a difficult situation. For years she had nearly exhausted herself, thinking she had to be the perfect wife and mother, the perfect Church member, the perfect neighbor and citizen. Instead of feeling joy, she often felt overwhelmed and discouraged. Her frustration was further exacerbated when well-intentioned leaders and friends seemed to indicate that if she had enough faith, she would be able to accomplish all these things. Only after a personal crisis of depression and anxiety was she able to understand fully the source of her suffering. It was a painful time not only for her but for her entire family. They grew stronger and learned many lessons as a result, but perhaps they could have been spared much of the pain if they had more clearly perceived the need to maintain temporal and spiritual balance.
Ask yourself these questions:
In what ways do our lives become out of balance?
Are we too busy?
How do we know if we are too busy?
Why do we let ourselves become so busy?
In Mosiah 4:27, King Benjamin counsels us, "See that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength."
Our current Relief Society General President, Julie B. Beck said, "No woman ever has enough time, enough energy, and enough strength to do all the good things that are in her mind to do."
What can we do to remedy being too busy? Answers from Relief Society sisters included: prioritize, delegate, be willing to ask for help, realize things don't always have to be done "my way," learn that it's OK to say "no sometimes," choose activities for the right reason-not because someone else is doing it.
Elder Ballard counseled, "Remember that too much of anything in life can throw us off balance. At the same time, too little of the important things can do the same thing." It may be that the worst thing we can give our children is the opportunity to participate in an additional sport, music lesson, or other activity that demands money and time away from the family. Teaching our children how to live "quiet, sane," and balanced lives may be one of the most vital things we can do for them in these frenzied last days.
To preserve the temporal balance of our lives, we may need to say no to those activities for which we do not have time, resources, or energy. We need not feel guilty or selfish in periodically pulling back to regroup, for there is a strength that comes from sometimes just being home with loved ones.
There is no peace for those whose lives are out of balance temporally or spiritually.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf - "Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship-the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace."
Let's start this year with the intent to do one less thing and find peace within ourselves and harmony in our family.