When I was little we used to go to the swings and slides in the park and there would always be a see saw. A see saw then was a plank of wood, balanced in the middle, and you and your friend (or you and your brother or sister) would sit on either end and each take it in turns to push off the ground with your feet, one of you would be down on the ground and the other up in the air, or you’d be travelling between the two. That was what passed for fun in the Fifties. Innocent times.
Do they have see saws anymore? And what about those colouredy circle things, did we call them merry-go-rounds? Great fun. I think they’ve been banned now, too dangerous. ‘Elf and Safety have probably done away with those long since.
Anyhow, back to my point. A see saw only works if it’s balanced. If one of you is heavier than the other, forget it. You are down all the time and the other one up, or vice versa. No fun at all. No travel. What you want is it nicely balanced between the two ends. You definitely do not want Jack Spratt and his wife.
“See Saw: A long plank balanced in the middle on a fixed support, on each end of which children sit and swing up and down by pushing the ground alternately with their feet.”
And that’s pretty much how it is with everything. We want balance for it to work. But balance is such a dull-sounding word. Several of my clients who are coaches talk about balance and I think (and say) “Yup, nice coach-y word, but no-one’s going to buy balance”. It isn’t a sexy commodity, no matter how vital it is to our health and well being. Probably the same reason why there are fewer see saws up the park these days. Not fast or furious enough, not exciting enough for the times in which we live now.
A see saw is the image which comes to my mind often when I am talking to clients, when they are explaining to me why something’s not working, why they are always down and not up. It’s often because we don’t know how to ask for our own needs to be met in any partnership, either in business or at home.
If you are giving away all your time and not getting anything in return, you are on the down end of the see saw doing all the work without ever leaving the ground.
If your relationship is one-sided, you do all the giving and your partner all the taking, same thing.
If anything you are involved in is all that way, it’s out of whack and you are going to get pretty sick and tired of doing all the work with none of the fun pretty soon.
A balanced see saw is in equilibrium. This is a healthy situation. This is what you want. Give and take. Give and receive. Abundance. Gratitude. Plenty for all. Generosity. Kindness. Balance.
Are you balancing your see saw?
What would need to change for that to happen?
What could you ask for which would restore equilibrium and fun, and enable you to be up this time instead of down?