Ben and I have been more or less absent from the world recently because we’ve been sick. I feel like we’ve been just passing different strains of the flu back and forth, and in sum, we’ve been out for a little less than three weeks.
Not too fun for social people. But at the same time, it’s afforded us an opportunity to spend a lot of time together (hacking, sneezing, and snorking stuff out of our chest cavities, but still, it’s time together). And for me, it’s been a time to think and continue to heal from a few things – not just physically, but emotionally as well.
Something I’m considering today as a result:
In this world, we have a tendency to get really busy. I mean, REALLY busy. We all know this, and I’m hardly the first person to talk or blog about it. However, I’ve said no to quite a few things recently due not only to illness, but also due to an inner sense that says I just shouldn’t. I believe that sense is usually God. And I’ve learned to listen to it.
So yes, we’re busy. We commit to a lot of things, and then find ourselves wondering what happened…to our free time, our bodies, our sanity. We get sick, exhausted, and cranky.
Here’s my theory: when emotional stress hits us, as it does often, we need time to heal from it just as we need time to heal from physical stress.
But we don’t give emotional pain the time and attention that we give to physical pain, even though one often leads directly to the other. I’m not saying that we should nurture and dwell on our emotional pain, because that can cause further damage, but we do need to take some time out every once in awhile to let our hearts and souls heal.
In my experience, when I set aside time to write, to create, to sit and breathe, or even to just veg out and be unabashedly lazy, more is being rested than just my body. It’s during those times that God is slowly putting me back together, and I’m processing emotional pain and issues subconsciously. Issues that are too big for my conscious mind to work through or understand.
I’m not advocating being emotionally numb or avoiding pain; there are certainly times when I have to confront, directly pray, and think about things consciously, but I know that my times of quietness and rest are crucial.
And yet, our society is one that moves at breakneck speed, so much so that we constantly measure ourselves by how productive we are. We feel guilty for “wasting time,” when often that wasted time isn’t wasted at all. It’s necessary. It’s why God designated a day a week specifically for rest. I firmly believe that God was designating a day for physical and emotional well being.
All this is to say, take care of yourself, physically AND emotionally. I want to release you from the guilty mindset that says you aren’t allowed to rest. You don’t have to say “yes” to everything. Don’t worry about who you might offend, because quite frankly, you can’t please everybody. And you weren’t designed to, so stop trying.
Let God heal you. It may be something hurtful that someone said, it may be something gigantic that you can’t even begin to face, but I’m telling you, God can do a lot if you just allow yourself to be.
My two cents for the day. I hope your Saturday is a beautiful one, full of rest.