Balance and Joy

Yemi (4) laughing in leaves

My husband was watching a TED talk the other night on Netflix. I walked in and sat down and was really quickly drawn in to the topic. This young woman with kind of crazy hair and a funky dress on was talking about how she had suffered a concussion and went through severe brain trauma. She was very depressed at one point, and said that 1 in 3 concussion sufferers go through this extreme part of recovery. She was a video game creator, and she decided to make a video game to help her get well.

So she created this game that would motivate her to do very small (each taking less than a minute many times) tasks, and by making it a game she could play online with friends, she could bring in a little competition which would be even more motivating. You could get points for little things like going to sit by the window, or snapping your fingers 50 times. She had a mental, a physical, an emotional, and maybe a spiritual (I can’t exactly remember) component to the game, and each challenge led to healing.

This reminded me of my favorite professor at Campbellsville U, Dr. Hurtgen. He said every day you need to open “each of your four doors.” I will add social, making it five :). For a general sense of well being, we need to realize that we are not merely 100% spiritual or merely 100% physical.  We are all of the above and we need take a little time for each of these parts of our being every day instead of thinking “I’m eating great, why don’t I feel good?” or “I’m around lots of friends, what’s wrong?”

When we begin to feel “out of it” or depressed or just imbalanced, there is usually a door that we have either abandoned or let get stuck in a rut. God created us to be multi-faceted, right? It’s fun to embrace who we are on all these levels, because He made us so uniquely. I love to find out what makes people tick. He made us mental, our brains are always at work. He made us emotional, our feelings are embedded in all we experience. He made us physical, our systems never stop. He made us social, even an introvert like me craves face time with people. He made us spiritual, and connects us to Himself through the Holy Spirit so that our Life in the spirit remains our anchor.

This TED talk speaker also said that she has learned through talking with people, especially those who have suffered much, that most of us don’t allow ourselves to be happy. We think we’re lazy or doing something wrong if we aren’t worried or working ourselves to death. I am so so guilty of this!! I forget to relax and just enjoy life sometimes. I forget that the possibilities are endless. I forget how fragile and precious the people around me truly are. I forget the freedom both physical and spiritual I have been graciously given, with no work on my part to receive it. I forget that seasons change and it’s okay to let go of things and that God isn’t breathing down my neck about a single thing. Praise the LORD!

As believers, we can be happy in suffering because we have surrendered our wants to God…we aren’t demanding our way anymore. We’re saying, “God, I want life to the fullest, whatever You want that to look like.” There is such joy in surrender, such peace in obedience, and such fulfillment in letting each day grow us a little more in all these parts of who we are.

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