Friday, April 20, 2012

Jane ponders yin and yang

It's all about balance, you know. The idea is that you lead a balanced life and things work out rather nicely. Right? Is Jane right? Balance your energy, balance your eating, balance your interactions, balance your work and play, balance, balance, balance. Create and maintain a good balance and it's all smooth sailing from there, yes?

Why, then, when balance seems to be in order, do bad things happen to good people? And for that matter, why then do good things happen to bad people? Where's the balance in that?

Jane has heard various theories about why this happens. Some say that it's karmic debt being repaid and so if you were a stinker in previous lives the universe will extract retribution this time around. Jane supposes that could also be the reason some stinkers in this life seem to get such an easy ride. Where they *that* good at some point in their vast histories? Meh. Jane finds this less than satisfying.

Another theory is that God is up there playing Point the Finger of Fate. It's God's will, people say. Ummm...seriously? It's God's will that babies die? It's God's will that happy families are blown apart by bad behavior and bad choices? It's God's will that diseases have no cure? This paints an image of a God that Jane can't accept. Her God doesn't peek down one day after consulting the list in His hand and decide to smite this one and that one. You there, you in the red plaid shirt. It's your turn!

Nope. No, thanks. When it comes to karma, Jane does believe that we create an energy for ourselves, something that is at times palpable. There are people who radiate such joy and positive energy that others are drawn to them and respond with more of the same. There are others who radiate such negativity that people withdraw. This doesn't mean that the joyful and positive people are spared challenges. It does mean, though, that when confronted with these challenges they have a stampede of loving friends coming to help. We can't live good enough or perfect enough lives to avoid the bad stuff. We can live in a way that keeps us from being alone when the bad stuff happens.

And as for God? Jane has never and will never accept that God creates the bad stuff. God does not create the whammies or double whammies that sneak up and surprise us. He's there to comfort us, inspire us, strengthen us and hold our hands, but not to punish us.

How, then, to explain why these things happen? Maybe there is no explanation. No tidy reason why. Maybe the point of seeking balance is not for the ultimate protection from stuff that happens but instead is for the ultimate survival kit when it does. Balance is not a talisman to keep you safe. It is, though, a wonderful tool to keep you secure.

Why do good things happen to bad people? Jane has no earthly idea. She does believe, though, that bad people do not have the balance to ultimately embrace the good and so it will slip through their fingers and they will be left grasping exactly nothing.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Jane believes there is no reason why. No explanation, nothing that can make sense of it all. She also believes that the balance in their lives creates the strength they need to cope. Step by step, with their hands held securely by people who care, with their faith in place and their hope and their love leading the way. And because of that, they consider themselves blessed.

Maybe that's the greatest balance of all. Finding blessings in the midst of despair.

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