May is well under way and I have found myself struggling with some echos of the past like negative self-talk, extreme weariness, resentment, bitterness, blame-shifting…
In trying to locate the origin of these bad boys, I began to realize that I have done this to myself. I took my eyes off of the road, my hands off the wheel and without a second thought have driven myself into a desert of my own making.
In accepting such a responsibility, I am compelled to find a way back out and to do that I go back to the basics which includes things like:
I am not invincible
I need rest/sleep/time alone
I need to re-learn to time management
I can say “NO”.
Consequently, I have been thinking about self-care and the idea that when life gets busy, maybe too busy, the first thing to go is myself.
I don’t know about you but I have a tendency to run myself into the ground whether through too much activity and busy-ness or
through allowing negative thought cycles to go unchallenged and unchecked or
ignoring my spirit for too long.
In deserting myself, I find myself in this desert somewhat lost, alone, and without water. So how do I get out of here and back to the lushness of a well-tended garden/life?
I have to remind myself that
life is marathon and not a sprint,
negative thoughts are seeds that if left alone long enough will bear fruit,
I am a spiritual being.
Those are the times that I find myself in this state of crisis. Feeling overwhelmed, put upon, resentful, exhausted, defeated…not very hopeful at all. Then comes shame, self-pity and a host of other bugs and critters.
I get physically, mentally and emotionally winded, side stitches and leg cramps as well as dehydrated. It’s so ridiculous and laughable if it wasn’t so pitiful.
The spirit, soul and body connection is unmistakable in this situation.
I have worn out my body.
I have let crud infect my soul.
My spirit is a neglected space.
...and HOPE is no where to be found.
I need a map to get back to a place where hope can be found, crafted, cultivated and intentionally grown. And I know just such a map…
The Latin phrase, “omne trium perfectum” conveys the idea that everything that comes in threes is perfect, or, every set of three is complete. We are triune beings (spirit, soul and body) and when we neglect even one portion of ourselves, we become so much less than our potential. We allow a portion of our being to become a desert. Here are some ideas or maps to find our way back.
Hope and help for the body can be found in the acronym–REST.
R-rethink: your lifestyle choices. Am I over-scheduling or saying ‘yes’ too often? Am I eating well? What about the pace of my life? Life is NOT a sprint–it IS a MARATHON.
E-exercise (or not): Depending on your own fitness level, do you need to kick it up a notch, just get moving (take a walk) or cut back to allow your body some recovery time.
S-sleep: seriously, sleep is one of the leading causes of physical, mental, emotional issues. Take a nap. Go to bed earlier, if possible.
T-time: Take/Make time to eat, drink, walk, rest…you only get one body–care for it.
Hope and help for the soul can be found in the acronym–CARE
C-create s safe space for your soul to grow. Avoid negativity, insults, sarcasm whether from yourself or others. Our journey in this life is one of discovery.
A-allow yourself to be vulnerable to love and goodness. Don’t let hurt and fear build a wall.
R-reach out to others and work to build a support group/community.
E-enjoy even the smallest treasures/moments. Learn to savor.
Hope and help for the spirit can be found in the acronym–LIFT
L-love. Pursue love and earnestly desire spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1)
I-inspiration. Look for it and let it do it’s work. Read scriptures, go to church, talk to other people of faith.
F-faith. It is the food of the spirit. Find ways to grow it. Church, small group, meditation, readings, etc.
T-treasure yourself and others as spiritual beings.
Sounds simple, I know, but keep in mind that while simple may be better, it is not necessarily easier. We are headed for summer and the busy joys that come with it so take some time now to assess your body, soul and spirit.
Hope can and will be found when you seek it out and do what it takes to be a healthy triune being.
Heidi Mull, mulling over the mess of me, making myself a priority.