Let’s make this week a Wisdom Week and start today on the right path by considering the value of moderation.
Moderation is the avoidance of excess or is defined as doing something within reasonable limits. Now, moderation is not an area I am NOT strong in. When I decide to do something anything, I go all in. There is no halfway about me. However, this is something that has time and again been detrimental to my achieving any goal I have, as I get into trouble a lot by having the most unrealistic mindset and acting in the most extreme and unnecessary manner. And this is can be so exhausting. It is certainly no sane way to live! No matter what it is, if I am trying to be healthier for example, in the past I have gotten to the point where I end up eating next to nothing because it seems even a “superfood” or the healthiest thing on God’s green earth has a disadvantage. So, quinoa is good, then actually not, well dark chocolate is way better than milk chocolate but actually, it’s not! This goes on until I end up with a way of eating that is so extreme that I cannot keep it up and worst is damaging to my health and well-being. In order to have the perfect diet I somehow end up with a really unhealthy one and I know the inability to approach the enterprise with a concept of everything in moderation is the main culprit at play. I have yet to master the art of thinking and acting in moderation.
The question is also, is this possible for everyone to do? Can we all live a life based on a framework of moderation? To be extreme is to be farthest from the centre. If we are always going to the extreme, we are always moving away from the centre, we are always awry. If we are always awry, then we can never see the way ahead clear enough to read those signposts that can help us to the other side of where we want to be. Always having to remind ourselves that we have to be the best version of ourselves and be positive, smiling, smiling and being on our ‘A’ game can be quite annoying, tiring and lead to frustration or even resentment. Even being kind can become sickly sweet as the giver can burn out faster than a forest fire. Stretching yourself thin to do good has its disadvantages it would seem because we don’t know how to straddle that middle ground and find our centre.
A part of this need to be so extreme I believe, stems from how some view moderation. Some believe in order to be successful you have to give all or nothing. But is it really a good thing to have no middle ground (centre), to compromise on nothing all the time? Me having such a mentality has not worked out well. You see the more I tried to be an extreme me, the further away I got from myself because no one can last long being off-centre. It will manifest in some unpleasant ways that will set you back further than you thought you would ever be.
So at this point, I am all for moderation in my life. I no longer believe that I have to be the best, just that I have to do my best which sometimes is just showing up, not because I have anything to contribute but because that is all I have in me to give on that day, at that time. And that is okay. There is nothing wrong with being moderate, in fact, it is the happy medium I now seek. I know it is not elusive or a unicorn, I know I will have to rethink, relearn and reevaluate how I look at the world and how I look at me. But I believe it is the star I need to see my way ahead and avoid potholes that my extremist mindset cannot see.