Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Finding a balance

When I was 21 and in my second semester at Faith Bible College, a good friend of mine shared with me that he was praying for me and he got the word "axis", which can relate to the word "balance". I didn't quite know what he meant by this word at the time, but it stayed with me ever since and only recently has it come to light what that word actually means for me personally.

When I was graduating from Faith Bible College, one of the visiting prophets was watching me playing drums. I was flailing around and beating seven shades out of them, as that's just the way that I play. Those who know me in person will agree with this :) He later came up to me and said that watching me playing was almost like watching a person with another person inside of him who was trying to get out. Once again, those words stuck with me and I never forgot them.

Since the revelation I had in August last year that has started to free me of the terrible mental sickness that has kept me tightly wound for 27 and a half years, both of these words have begun to make sense. Because of the oppression and fear that kept me trapped inside myself I was often known as "a man of extremes". Most of the time I was extremely passive to the point of willingly letting anyone trample me into the ground just because it was safer to do that than fight back and have something worse happen to me. Other times, depending on circumstances I would swing right to the other extreme and become incredibly aggressive to the point where I'd feel no shame in verbally tearing someone to shreds despite who was around me at the time. I often saw genuine fear in the eyes of the people who faced this sort of behavior from me.

It was like I was a pendulum and I was permanently stuck fast onto one side of the equation, as far to that side as I could possibly go - although occasionally I would swing as far as I could to the other extreme. In short - there was no balance in my life. Once I realized the root of my sickness and began to get well and find my place in the world for the first time - that pendulum is starting to swing again, back and forth between passive and aggressive, although when it swings back into passive I am not nearly as passive as what I used to be and when it swings to the aggressive side, I'm more capable of being in control of my emotions while still expressing anger and getting my point across without seeing red and exploding to the same degree that I used to.

As I continue to heal and become stronger emotionally, my emotional state of mind is swinging back and forth far less than it used to and I am moving towards the center point of assertiveness which is when I will be truly in a place of balance for the first time ever. I can see assertiveness as being able to be gentle yet firm at the same time and being able to get angry about the right things yet keep a clear head and not be fazed by the reactions of others to my expression of anger. I'm getting closer to this all of the time, and it's a good place that I am coming into.

It's certainly been an interesting journey even getting to this point. As I am getting more comfortable in my own skin and become more of who I was always meant to be, I am finding that my personality is quite different than I initially anticipated. I always saw myself as a super nice, supportive, quiet type of person but I am realizing that I am really designed to be a strong, no-nonsense leader with a softer side that can be used when necessary as well as the discernment to tell when to use which side of my personality. I used to terribly fear strong leaders and now I realize that the reason I feared them was because they were touching on parts of my personality that had been trapped and buried within my own heart and weren't free enough to come out yet.

Another thing that's interesting is seeing people's reactions to the "new me". Some people appreciate the strength that is coming through but others who are obviously used to having someone like me in their pocket to be walked all over whenever they see fit, seem to get quite annoyed at the fact that I no longer fit in their pocket and that they can't control me anymore. Often their response has been to cut me out of their lives. A few years ago this would have devastated me and left me begging and pleading for them to return because I was so caught up in relationship addiction. These days, it's just not the case. If someone doesn't appreciate the new me and wants me out of their life as a result - I just let them go. Sometimes I've even taken active steps to remove people I felt were holding me back for various reasons.

Coming into the place of balance through learning about who you are can be quite an intimidating journey as you find yourself having to face things in yourself and in others that you don't like and you often find yourself making tough calls, which are always difficult to make the first time round - but its a necessary part of growing into your own skin and becoming who you are created to be. You can't live on one side of the spectrum forever, occasionally swinging right to the other extreme when necessary. The healthiest thing you can do is ask God to help guide you to the changes you need to make in your own heart so that you can find your own personal place of balance and become the person you were always meant to be.


  1. Very wise words, Graham and not uncommon to many. I think finding balance is common to so many and a sign of maturity. Glad you have largely found yours - I know how precious that feels.
    See you on the 18th hopefully

  2. Thanks Cat :) Don't think I can make the 18th unfortunately as I have to work. Still very keen to catch up sometime soon though?