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The Universe Strives for Balance

08 Jun, 2015 | by
Featured Stories Life's Journey Spirituality

light shadow

 

In the brief amount of time I’ve spent on this planet thus far (in this particular body, at least), I’ve run the gamut as far as my spiritual and religious beliefs go. I’ve experienced all the feelings and confusion so familiar to those on the journey to seek out their truth. While I’ve come to a very serene place spiritually, there’s always been one belief that held fast regardless of where my heart and mind settled regarding a creator, an afterlife, a purpose. Perhaps it’s not even a belief so much as an acceptance—and it all started when I was in just sixth grade.

You see, sixth grade is when I started having an actual class devoted to science. My teacher was an interesting, albeit gruff, man of about 55 years with a big mustache. To be honest, he absolutely terrified me. I have only a few memories of the class, and only one that really stuck. We were learning about weather patterns… evaporation, condensation, precipitation… you know the drill. And as we’re learning about all of this, he looks at the class and he says,

“Everything on this Earth strives for balance. The magnetic poles constantly move, striving to balance each other. The tsunami hits the most populated city on the coast, striving to balance nature with the most overpopulated species. It’s not evil, it’s just balance.”

That thought sat dormant through adolescence. It was always there, resurfacing when I needed to remember how things worked. To understand that the lions that attacked the gazelles on Animal Planet weren’t bad… they just needed to eat. They needed balance, too.

Years later, loved ones of mine fell on tough times… and not tough as in “I’m a little short for my car payment this month.”… tough in the kind of way where you get knocked down so many times that you think you’ll be down forever. With a division in our spiritual beliefs, “Trust God and be patient” wasn’t a viable response to the immense troubles they were facing. So what could I tell them to have faith in? Balance. The only universally true thing I knew of. I started to see that they had had these moments of intense good, of light, and now they just had to deal with the shadow. And it was dark… Lord, was it dark. And the only words I had were “Trust that the universe will bring you balance. I’m so sorry. Just trust. You’re in a down swing, but an upswing will come. Just keep holding on long enough for that upswing to get here.” I said it, hoping to God it was true. I said it because I needed something to say, because in theory it should work… it needed to work. It had to. For them, for me, for life to keep happening. And eventually, it did. The clouds didn’t necessarily dissipate, the troubles didn’t go away, but good things happened. They started to level the scales.

It’s Karma. It’s God helping you out. It’s divine intervention. It’s whatever you want it to be, but it’s balance, infinite and immersive. It’s high tide and low tide. It’s the white-blue nights of the full moon and the inky blackness during the new moon. It’s the desert, with blistering days and the freezing nights. The balmy eternal summer of the equator and the frozen, never-ending winter of the poles. The elation of a new relationship and the crushing grief when it ends. It’s happiness, it’s sadness. Excitement and anger. It’s the perfect placement of the Earth to the Sun, close enough to sustain life without frying everything. It’s the magnetic field, directing solar winds away from and around our planet. It’s the way your granddad died two weeks after you were born, and you hear forever how bittersweet it was. How the days were full of a sadness and joy, simultaneously. Your birthday initiates a month of sadness for your grandmother every year, the number of candles on your cake counting how many years she’s gone without him, but she never forgets to tell you how happy she is that you’re here. She’s always the one with the best birthday card.

They’re not enemies. Your happy days and your hard days aren’t in opposition to each other, they’re in perfect harmony. Without your troubles, your happiness wouldn’t matter so much. Without your happiness, the hard days wouldn’t teach you the hard lessons. We don’t begrudge the sun for setting, because we know it must, and we know it will rise again. Please, keep faith. Keep faith even during the times where you don’t think you have anyone to have faith in, because regardless of who’s pulling the strings, balance prevails. Try to accept the rainy days, to trust that they’re necessary for the greenery to emerge. Lean on your loved ones, and accept the balance when they need to lean on you.

I don’t think being a good person frees you of your struggles, because to be human is to struggle. But if you’re kind, if you’re caring, if you’re the best kind of good you know how to be, then you can at least trust the world to be balanced.

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Kristen Watrous

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