Have you ever been washing laundry or been around someone who was and heard the washer begin to make a loud thumping, bumping kind of noise? At a high speed, it almost seemed as if the washer would run out of the door. Well, I have. I remember my mother telling me that it meant that the clothes in the washer were not evenly distributed.
She would stop the washer, take a look inside, and spread out the laundry better. And, sure enough, it would resume to its normal functioning. I remember thinking that was the coolest thing. The fact that my mom knew what had caused the problem, I mean.
Now, of course, many of the new washers have auto-detect sensors that will re-adjust a load on its own, but the one in my home back then required manual labor. Wow. That is funny. The thought of that washer making so much commotion, I mean.
In a way, even that old washer had a built-in way of alerting its owner that there was a problem. When it became off balance, it let us know that we needed to check the load.
There are times when we ourselves become off-balance or "off-center", as I often refer to it. Our individual signs will vary, but we know our own "noise", and when we hear it, we must check it out.
Sometimes we will have days when we feel off-center, and sometimes we will have periods where we feel this way. For some, it may be that you started your day without your prayer or meditation time, for others, it may be that you've been working too much and not taking time out for those things that you really care about. Still, for others, it may be that you are stuck in a place, whether a relationship or career, that does not serve your best interests.
Any one of these scenarios and several others could cause us to begin spinning, bumping, and thumping.
We may notice that we are consistently skipping meals, always behind in completing important tasks, or never seeming to have enough time to spend or to even reach out to family or friends.
What is so dangerous about being off-balance or "off-center" and it going unacknowledged is that it can cause us to feel bad about ourselves. We may begin to feel bad about finding ourselves in a place where we seem to be stuck being unproductive, isolated, flustered, and fearful.
Some of us will go and go and go without ever acknowledging our "noise", but you can hear it and you can see it.
I believe that we experience the feeling of being off-balance or "off-center" not so that we can go insane, but so that we can "stop the washer, take a look inside, and redistribute some things more evenly."
For me, it begins with making sure that I am allowing my Anchor to anchor me while I begin to sort through the other stuff. It is still a work in progress, but I hate feeling like I am not functioning the way I should.
When our lives seem and feel off-balance at times, it is our "built-in programming" that is signaling to us that we need to do something differently. Check your load.
Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.