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A Shower AND a Nap! This Girl is on Fire!!!

A SHOWER & A NAP: GIVING YOURSELF PERMISSION TO REST

Ecclesiastes 4:6  One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.


Has there ever been a time(s) in your life when even the most insignificant tasks seemed monumental? Have you ever just felt like you were being crushed by life and could not muster the strength to overcome it? I assure you, you are not alone. I've been there, I am there, and I know so many other people who can relate.


Even when life is good, it can be hard. That reality has been difficult for me to come to terms with. By all means, my life is good so why do I go through these periods of struggle?


These last few years, actually the last decade, have been quite a wild ride. There have been high, highs, and low, low, lows. I didnt realize that the lows, the traumas, and the challenges were all compunding deep within. Sometimes we think we're past something or over it, but if left unresolved it can rear it's ugly head at the most inconvenient time.


That's where I find myself. I should be living my best life and I am sometimes, but other times it seems as if life is getting the best of me. Chasing my dreams, moving to an island, new business ventures, new friends, and new houses are all very exciting! To think that the dream I had all of those years ago of living the island life has become a reality is incredible to say the least, but with all of the excitement and thrills has come a host of challenges. The opposite of chasing your dreams, moving to an island, new business ventures, new friends, and new houses is the reality of leaving the life I knew behind. The trade offs were giving up the familiarity of a place I've lived a long time, giving up the stability of a job I knew how to do, leaving the friends I know and love, and giving up the comfortability of a home I loved. All of those things were difficult, but they paled in comparison to the emptiness I felt from being separated by my son.


All of these major life changes were coming at me at once and I was "dealing" with them, but was I really? The process of gaining residency in another country, opening a business, and physically moving became a full time job. Things had to get done which meant I had to push harder to keep up. I didn't have time to worry about my feelings and I certainly didn't have time to rest even though I was so damn tired. I could have never imagined that I would want to get off of a Caribbean island so bad. It seemed incredulous, but I was dying inside to be with my son, find some peace, to rest, to be with the people who know and love me, and to just BE. And so I left.


It felt good to be back in familiar territory, but I knew it was temporary. There would be another move, more changes, and still no stability or security. I wanted and needed to rest, but still couldn't allow myself to take a real break. I couldn't just "not do anything" so I continued to keep creating to do lists and action items. I punished myself when I didn't complete a task or accomplish a goal. I was becoming more and more overwhelmed and exhausted when it seemed like I shouldn't be because there was nothing I HAD to do. But I HAD to do something right? It's not acceptable to just rest, right?


I am constantly loading myself with tasks, refusing to rest, and not taking very good care of myself. It was getting to the point that going to the grocery store, showering, leaving the house seemed like monumental tasks that I just didn't have the mental capacity to deal with. All of my energy was spent creating work for myself to do and worrying about things I couldn't control.


"You look tired. My counselor said." " I'm fucking exhausted, I replied." But why??? I don't "do" anything. At least that's how I feel. She assures me I do and have done so much, except allow myself to rest, heal, and just be. I am grappling with this concept of just being. I feel lazy, without purpose, without direction. Like somehow it's not ok to just be me. I have been getting so caught up in feeling this way that I haven't been maximizing this time that I carved out for myself to be with my son, to be with my friends and family, to rest and heal, to find peace and joy. Instead I've spent way to much time ruminating on what I haven't gotten done and what I "should" be doing. Sound familiar?


I am learning that because of my past experiences and traumas, in the absence of chaos, I create it because that is what I know. Constantly being in fight or flight mode has impeded my ability to relax and enjoy the life I have. That small ah-hah moment motivated me to try to start shifting my mindset and giving myself permission to relax and take care of myself. I, like many people and especially women need to stop believing we have to earn rest. Rest is a basic human right and it is critical to our well-being. Beyond rest, we owe ourselves self-compassion, patience, kindness, grace, and the time to heal.


I shared with my counselor this week that I took a 30 minute nap and she reacted with shock and delight. I went on to inform her that I also showered even though I didn't have to go anywhere. She praised me as if I had climbed Mt. Everest. I had to laugh at myself, someone who has always been able to get a million and one things done, now celebrating a shower and a nap. It may seem ridiculous, but getting to the root of our pain and beginning to heal is a celebatory event.


If you can relate to this, please know you are not alone. Be kind and gracious with yourself. Grant yourself permission to rest. Allow yourself the space and time you need to heal and know it is ok to just "be." Your value doesn't come from all the things you do. It comes from who you are. So take a shower and take a nap because you deserve it.


Progress isn't linear. I will consider the shower and nap a win for this week, but my healing journey isn't over yet. There will be plenty more highs and lows along the way.


I've showered and taken a nap... who knows what's next. I might wash my hair two days in a row. (If you know, you know).😀


Matthew 11:28-30


28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

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