And so I searched for the definition of the word. Symmetry. Words like exact or correct appeared. Synonyms for symmetry (now that feels symmetrical ) are uniformity and consistency. I certainly can't tell the makers of definitions - who does this for a living anyway? - that they have not truly captured the meaning of this word. Still, for me, they have not captured the essence of this word. Because in all these definitions there is never any mention of the word balance.
However, if you ask google - god is google smart - whether symmetry means balance, you get a bit more information. You get symmetrical balance - the balance that is achieved when arranging elements on each side of a composition so that they are equally weighted.
I like this better.
Symmetry, to me, means balance (definition writers be damned). And these things that are in balance, they do not have to be the same or even similar, they just have to feel in harmony in that way where it sits just right. Where the pull is not more to one side than the other. Where the air flows freely around each part - whether it's a plant or a dress or a thought or a relationship or a dog and a cat.
We know when things are not in balance. We feel this with everything around us. When we fix that picture on the wall that is just that tiny bit lower on one corner - OCD be damned - or stand some books back up on a shelf because the way they fell over makes the whole room feel off kilter.
And we know when things are out of balance in the way we interact with others. When we have a conversation and the flow is one-sided, the interaction not even in the exchange of information. But more. When we walk away from our time with another, feeling spent rather that rejuvenated because the exchange of energy between us is not weighted, one side like the other.
And we know when there is a lack of symmetry within our selves. When we wake in the morning and things are just off. We can't always put our finger on what exactly it may be, but something does not line up, the yin yang, push and pull, ebb and flow of our inner being is warped. Our pieces are not in harmony. And we know we are out of balance.
It is easy to fix the photo on the wall or hem the dress that is too long. But when it is the exchange that we have with others and most certainly the relationship that we have with our selves, things get a bit trickier. And what is interesting is that we look to those relationships first, to try and rebalance the outward manifestations of our being - the relationships that we have with others - when really it is the balance we are searching for within our selves that puts us in harmony.
I think I have the balance within myself. Sometimes I do. When I am out with my dog and the morning is fresh and light and quiet and I see two deer run by effortlessly or the fog hangs low and my footsteps make that lovely crunching sound as I walk over the stone and dirt of the road that I live on. Then I am in balance.
Or when I am making a piece of jewelry or sewing a dress or shirt or painting something - most likely flowers - on a pair of sneakers or my dog's collar and I am thinking of nothing other than what I am focused on in that moment. Then I am in balance.
When I sit in the shower and the water flows warm I am in balance.
When I dance I am in balance. But only when I get out of my head and the movements come from that place of total expression and wonder and joy. Then I am in balance.
When I am in mother I am in balance. But not yet now that I am also in crone.
When I nourish my body with foods that flow with the Qi of my body I am in balance.
When I write I am in balance. And when I edit what other's write I am in balance, too.
I look at the commonality of this, of all these things that put me in harmony within myself. And this is what I see. When we can truly sit in that space of the exact moment where we are, the alignment of who we are is able to come through. And balance comes forth. In symmetry. Whatever it is that means.