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Unbalanced Force


An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Most of us learned about Newton's First Law of Motion back in school. Your physics teacher likely pulled out those clacking metal balls to show you an example of Newton’s Law at work. If you’re anything like me, however, you quickly forgot all about it once that final was over.

Well, Sir Newton popped back into my mind a few weeks ago, but this time we weren't discussing physics (and I’m a long way from that high school classroom), we were discussing emotions. A friend was telling me how she just couldn't get out of this funk she was in, and she didn't know what to do. “Same crap day after day. Now I just expect it,” she told me.

I was a little shocked. She’s one of my friends who seems like she has it all together. But then I remembered how easy it is to get to that place. That place where negativity lives is easy to check-in, but checking out isn't an easy task.

It’s really amazing how our own thoughts can get in our way. Negative thoughts breed more negative thoughts, and then more and more. We start dwelling on the all the seemingly negative things in life, and then we can’t find the way out. The negativity turns us cold and bitter, and who ever said they wanted to grow up to be cold and bitter?

We all get there at some point – we feel like we just can’t catch a break, we feel stuck, we can’t see our path taking a different direction any time soon. So how do we catch that break or get unstuck? How can we change our direction?

Just like Sir Newton taught us, we have to create our own unbalanced force.

So how do we create an unbalanced force? That sounds really hard, right?

When you first create your unbalanced force, it’s usually by accident. You find something that lifts you up, something that changes your mind or allows you to see a situation in a different light. But once you've found it, it’s up to you to use it.

My mom is my unbalanced force (and yes, I know how terrible that sounds.) When I’m feeling stuck, she helps me find a different direction. She also reminds me that I’m the prettiest, smartest girl she knows, so the confidence boost helps. She is sure to commiserate with me for a bit before she logically and methodically walks me through the way out of whatever has me stuck.

I also have a word that works as an unbalanced force – transform. It reminds me to change direction. I’m making a conscious effort to look at things that make me feel stuck to see how I can change the way I do them – how I can transform them. I was given a coffee mug with TRANSFORM etched into it; I don’t know if it’s the cup that has helped or the delicious coffee in the cup, but I am able to more easily make changes when it’s in hand.

If you ever feel like you can’t change direction, or you’re just plain stuck, find your unbalanced force. Find a word that is a reminder or friend who props you up and helps you find a different way. You just might not want to tell them that they’re your unbalanced force.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. March 2, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Posted by grace c walker

    Lisa, there is a therapeutic answer and that comes from the professionals who best are able to answer you concerns with calculated intelligence. There is the supportive caring concern answer which comes from someone who was the primary caregiver to my mother till her last breadth. I really encourage you to embrace moments. They may be few and far between, but let those moments be lasting. It may be the moment of being with the kids, while caring for your Mom and they participate in the caregiving because they are given the opportunity. Dont hesitate to include them in the care practices. It may be a moment of eye contact with your dear loved one. I remember a specific moment with my Mom in her final days. She was tube feeding, could no longer speak, had no function in any of her limbs but I could see her through the way she would look at me as I cleaned her or during the tube feeding. I would talk to her as if she were my own child. It was a complete role reversal. Knowing that death was innevitable, whether sooner or later, I would say to her.. Rosie, my new way to call her by her first name, rather than Mammy, I would say, When you are in heaven, please remember me. And she would mouth back, I will always be with you. That was how I was comforted in caring through many pains and trials. I know the strain is more than you personally feel you are able to bear, and also with the additional Dad factor. I can only share, that you are far stronger and have greater capacity than you are able to imagine. It really comes in and with the process of acceptance and surrender. much love and sincere blessings to you


  2. February 16, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Posted by Lisa Valcarcel

    This is a comment...which I need advise. I am the adult caregiver of my mom with ALS, and my dad is alive and not so well. We live together, myself, husband, two boys and parents. Stressful???? To add to it, lately, if my dad needs a ride to meet friends, or forgot to tell me he needs a ride home from someplace, or it's not convenient for me, he is marking it down on a calendar. Why? So that he will subtract his cab fare from his contribution to the monthly household bills! I have given up my job, because my mom cannot be left alone- at all. I have two very active boys, and a husband- who all need some attention too. How do I handle this?


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