An Exercise Of Living In Balance With Out Limitation
My friend Angela shared a lessons she’s trying learn at this time in her life. A lesson for determining what you want for yourself, regardless of the “should’s” and anything viewed as limiting.
My Dad’s Mom taught me some great lessons in this area. So I thought I’d use Angela as my inspiration this evening and tell you about my Grand Mother. Or Maw as we called her.
She was a little lady by today’s standards. Petite and very tough. She was married on July 4th, 1922 to my grandfather and spent her honeymoon in the new house he had purchased for her and their soon to be family. One of the first things he did for her, was take her to the local voting registrar and get her a voting card. She voted in every Presidential election throughout her life.
She lost her middle son in 1945 during WWII when he was killed in action in Germany. Within 3 years of his death, her husband (my grandfather) died after a long illness. With her remaining children grown and her husband gone, she lived out the rest of her life alone in that very same house. She never remarried and remained close to her two remaining children. She filled her days with work. probably to keep busy. I doubt anyone knows or ever knew how she felt and what she went through to cope through her losses.
She worked every day of her life; in the garden, in the kitchen, canning, cooking, doing little things here and there in the house to keep things clean. She didn’t over do anything. “Everything in moderation” was what she’d constantly say to me when we went down “home” for a visit in Tennessee.
She baked the best cakes with the most wonderful icing all from scratch. She made the best sweet pickles and I only wish I had gotten her to teach me how she made them. When we’d visit; she made sure there was plenty for everyone to eat. Sometimes too much of everything to satisfy everyone. But she wanted to take care of her family and that was how she did it.
When I was in my teens, she and I sat on her front porch on the swing and we watched the cars go by while we chatted. She told me one day while eating a bowl of ice cream to never deprive yourself of anything and you’ll never want for anything in your life. If you want a piece of cake; have a piece of cake. But here’s the catch, that craving your having will be satisfied if you take your time eating it and you only eat 3 to 4 bites of it. You don’t have to eat the whole slice and over do it. Cakes can be frozen and they’ll be just as good a month from now out of the freezer, when you have another craving for cake.
Moderation means not eating the whole cake. It can also mean you don’t have to eat the whole slice either. You can satisfy your desire and balance your moderation not to over do it at the same time. That is why all her cakes were 1 layered pan cakes. You can measure out the perfect slice for 3 or 4 bites and not have anything left over. Eating she said, was as much about your brain as it is about your tummy. And she was right. We do things to sustain us in life, but we also do things to gain pleasure and fulfillment too. Knowing you ate the whole serving you given makes you feel like you didn’t deprive yourself. Only eating half the slice of a really big piece of cake may satisfy the craving, but in the back of your mind your subconscious doesn’t feel as though it got all it deserved.
Depriving yourself of anything sets up a mental attitude that you “can’t have” something you want. Over time, that message filters into other areas of your life creating a pattern of self limitations. You can’t have the sweet things in life that you crave, because you don’t deserve it or can’t have it and must deprive yourself. No matter what “it” is you desire; love, abundance, happiness and so on, you slowly build a pattern of what you can or cannot have in life and not just at the dining room table.
Setting limitations come from one place; a place of fear. When its food, some are afraid of gaining weight, or maintaining health to live longer, or to ensure they’re able to live well in their old age. But don’t be so afraid of not living well later in life that you forget to live well today. My Grand Mother was well into her 90s when she passed. She wasn’t overly cautious about what she ate or even what she did day by day through exercise. She took her time doing things, in moderation and continued to work in her garden, which was fairly size-able. When she was forced to live with limitations at a nursing home, her health began to fail and it wasn’t long before she left us. Limitations have far-reaching consequences that we may never see until years later. Don’t put limits on yourself and break the pattern of lack to remind yourself you deserve to fly free without chains holding you down.
Living in balance will even out the playing field between indulgence and practicality. Why can’t you have the fancy new car? What’s wrong with taking the roof off your desires and reaching for the stars? Should you go out and live a champagne lifestyle on a beer salary? No, but then that wouldn’t be living in balance; would it?
Don’t be contained, be the container!
Your method of travel can be an Armored car, guarded in constant fear,
or it can be a convertible with the top down, ready to fly free!
~ Springwolf 🐾 © 2014
Living in balance doesn’t mean living to extremes. It means balancing expectations and desires, with practicality and accountability. You may not be able to buy the Limited Edition Range Rover today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something new and reliable that will get you closer to that goal. Maybe the little Ford Escape is the means to getting you further down the road of success where that Range Rover is waiting for you.
Break the pattern of “can’t” have and “shouldn’t” have. Live your life in balance and give your mental health a boost. You can satisfy the craving, enjoy all the senses that little piece of cake provides and eat it too!
© 2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.