Somewhere we learned that we can (should? must?) find balance, find, peace, find love, find courage… as though these are some sort of exotic treasures to be hunted and discovered in sacred places, or objects that some people are lucky enough to have stumbled upon while spirituality shopping, or read the recipe for in a book of secrets, or inherited from their great-aunt on their mother’s side.
Balance, peace, love, courage: these are not things, but states of being, and every state of being is impermanent.
Balance is not something we have; it is something we choose, something we cultivate moment to moment. Life presents us with imbalance, and we may choose to correct that imbalance and return, temporarily, to a state of equilibrium. Love is not something we have; it is something we choose, something we do moment to moment. Life presents us with disharmony in our relationships, and we may choose to respond with avoidance, attack, or addiction, or we may choose to respond with maturity and kindness and return, temporarily, to a state of harmony. And so it is when we are presented with chaos, conflict, fear, and discord. We don’t just have courage or peace, we choose them.
Balance, peace, love, courage: these are not possessions, they are not feelings; they are practices, and we are always practicing something.