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Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

How Balancing Life Affects Relationships

One of the most difficult things in life, that most of us confront, is balancing life itself. For most people, finding and maintaining a comfortable life balance, seems to be a universal challenge. Whether you are an executive, blue-collar or home worker, or run your own business, the success of your work life, is ultimately up to you. More often than not, Americans spend more time working than in many other countries, with less than generous personal time off just to handle the things that are necessary in our lives, let alone actual vacation time.

Therefore, it's more than likely that we sacrifice in other areas of our lives, including personal relationships.

Now more than ever, it is essential that we learn exactly what "balance" really means, in terms of our lives, especially if we are ever to develop the types of interpersonal relationships that we desire.

Living a balanced life does not necessarily mean, devoting equal amounts of time to each area of it. The true meaning of a balanced life might be that every aspect is dealt with adequately to our satisfaction, and the satisfaction of our life partner, if we have one. If there is no life partner, or we have the desire to develop one, then the time normally devoted to having someone in our lives, needs to be devoted to finding that person.

But before we can begin to develop that area of our lives, it is best to determine what we need to do to become more balanced as individuals. Trying to envision that having someone in our lives will solve all of our problems will just create more problems, because, ultimately, we are responsible for ourselves.

Getting into balance in our lives, involves attending to the multidimensional aspects of our lives, so that we can make conscious choices about how we spend our time and energy, at work and in other areas of our lives.

The areas of our lives that we need to attend to, include: physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual. If one of those areas is lacking, it can create an out of sync kind of feeling. By placing adequate attention to each area, we can focus on finding the right mix of priorities and actions for ourselves as individuals. When all of the areas are in balance, we can be more creative, productive, and appreciate life, as it should be experienced.

A good way to start is to take a good look at your life. What areas could use more attention? List them out, and then develop a plan of action to attend to them. They can be as simple as, "health: eat better quality food," to embarking on a career change. Depending on how important each item is, will determine the amount of time spent to deal with it.

For many people, there seems to be a "lack of time" element that causes difficulty in the area of personal relationships. This can be handled simply, by thoroughly examining how time is spent, very specifically. A good method to handle time management issues is to keep a record of what is done each day, on a chart, with the amount of time. Chances are, you will find someone has done many things that could either more efficiently, else, or not at all. By addressing this issue, and paring it down, you can better figure out what can be done to better manage time, which will result in more time to do the things that matter most to you.

Many of us do not manage to take time for ourselves on a daily basis, which results in a feeling of chaos and disorder, and can also cause illness and tiredness. It is essential to make time for personal exercise and mental relaxation. These things are just as important as breathing, eating and sleeping. And they need to be made time for.

Once we have managed to develop a sense of personal balance in our lives, then we can look to finding the same, within an interpersonal relationship. The process of balancing, allows individuals to look at what is happening, respond in a constructive way, and return to simple truths. As we work directly with our attention, the question before us always is - What am I focusing on at this moment? How can I handle this situation?

By analyzing, rather than reacting, you can get in touch with whatever is going on inside, by listening to and being there, with all that is going on what's actually going on. Though this sounds simple, it is often not as easy as it sounds, and requires that we focus our attention completely on the situation, rather than how we may initially wish to react to it.

Engaging in balancing techniques, teaches us the true meaning of responsibility, which is the ability to be accountable for our actions, and respond accordingly. This ability must be cultivated and learned. Most problems in life arise, because we react, rather than respond. Reactions arise out of conditioned nature, while response is based on choice.

The reality of live, that is ever changing, continually renews and confronts us with new tasks and insights in our relationships. There will always be new challenges, and opportunities. As long as we strive to maintain balance, we can be in touch with the ever-flowing reality, and deal with what is happening presently, rather than dwell on the past.

By remembering that how we feel is a choice we make, based upon what we choose to put our attention on, we can focus upon that which matters most, while dealing with things as best as we can.

For example, by taking our attention off toxic inner dialogue, and focusing upon what is in the present, before us, we can directly affect habitual patterns that may need to be adjusted or changed.

When we engage in balancing our lives, we strive to do each action with full attention, (no matter how small or large), rather than dwelling upon the outcome. Results and consequences then happen naturally. This allows us to let go of anxiety, and frees up our space for positive situations.

Remembering that how you live your life, is much more important than what you do for a living. Creating and maintaining balance in life is well worth the effort, in order to reap the rewards of a richer, fuller life, enjoying life, and having the time to nurture relationships, while being true to your own individuality. And that is the person we want to attract a life partner with, which will happen more easily, the more balanced we become.

Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.

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