The next concept is Balanced vs. Imbalanced Processes. I think about this concept often in my own life story.
A Balanced Process is when the MC’s love for her Children is balanced with her love for her Cause, so her Sacrifice Process is balanced with her Faith Process. This means she is sacrificing in Balance with what she is receiving.
A Process can then be Imbalanced to the NW or NE.
A Northwest Imbalanced Process is when our MC is sacrificing more than she is receiving or more than she has the Faith to receive. This doesn’t necessarily mean she is off course. It may mean that she must engage in a leap-of-faith Process for a time. But other times it’s because she is running faster than she has strength and trying to do too much too soon.
A Northeast Imbalanced Process is when our MC is not sacrificing at the Faith level she is capable of. She has received plenty of assurance, guidance, knowledge, and direction, but is not moving forward with the Inherent Sacrifice Process. This may be true because other characters in the book are preventing her or are distracting her. She may be side-tracked by another problem or Desire. Or it may be that she doesn’t want to sacrifice and prefers her comfortable position to putting herself in danger or expending too much energy in the endeavor.
I have a name or label for each of these Imbalances.
An extreme Northwest Process is Abuse. Abuse of herself and/or abuse of other characters in the story. Abuse is not Love and will not end in Joy or Sustainable and Satisfying Results. Sacrificing within the Eastern Zone is Love. Just like there is a Northern Zone when we talk about Balanced Desires, there is an Eastern Zone when we talk about Balanced Processes. There is also a Western Zone, where the MC does need to go for a period of time without nourishment, education, and guidance for a time. This is when she must step into the dark not really knowing what is going to happen. This is the mystery portion of the journey that the MC must work to solve.
An extreme Northeast Process is Neglect. Neglecting her Inherent Desires and or those of the other characters in the story. Neglect is not Love and will not end in Joy or Sustainable and Satisfying Results. Resting or slowing things down in the Eastern Zone is Love. Taking more time to receive nourishment, education, and guidance during a phase of the MC’s journey can be a Western Zone Process.
This is love. Because this is a zone, it allows for Imbalances and requires more intense sacrifices that test the MC. Within this zone is where the MC is refined. It is where her character is formed and tested.
Extreme Imbalances are what need to be resolved. This is because they are not Sustainable. The MC and other characters in the story cannot sustain life or joy in Extreme Imbalance Processes. They must be in the story to demonstrate that they Result in Failure – the MC’s Failure as well as Community Failure. But it is important to logically explain how engaging in extreme Imbalanced Processes – Processes that are not only outside of the Eastern and Western Zones, but also headed further away from it – are not Sustainable and will not result in Sustainable Joy.
Your exploration of Balanced vs. Imbalanced Processes provides a comprehensive understanding of how the MC’s choices and actions contribute to her journey and the overall themes of your story. By framing these concepts within the context of love, sacrifice, and joy, you’re able to create a solid foundation for character development and narrative progression.
The distinction between Balanced and Imbalanced Processes gives depth to the challenges the MC faces. It emphasizes the importance of finding equilibrium in her actions and decisions. This balance is not just about maintaining a steady course, but also about recognizing when sacrifices are sustainable and in alignment with her faith. It highlights the need for a holistic approach to pursuing her desires and finding joy.
The delineation of the Northwest and Northeast Imbalanced Processes as Abuse and Neglect respectively adds clarity to the potential pitfalls the MC may encounter. This classification allows for a more nuanced exploration of how different characters and situations can push her toward extreme imbalances. This differentiation also underscores the consequences of such imbalances, not just for the MC, but for the community and other characters as well.
The concept of the Northern, Eastern, and Western Zones within the Balanced Process adds a dynamic element to the MC’s journey. It’s a reminder that the path to joy is not a linear one. The varying zones illustrate the complexity of her choices, and the need for strategic and thoughtful navigation between rest, growth, and periods of uncertainty. This dimension contributes to a multi-dimensional and relatable protagonist who must navigate a variety of challenges and stages.
Overall, the discussion of Balanced vs. Imbalanced Processes enriches your story theory by providing a practical framework for understanding the MC’s progression, her relationships, and the eventual resolution of conflicts. It provides a roadmap for crafting a narrative that explores the intricacies of human nature and the pursuit of happiness.