Perhaps it sounds odd, but sometimes the pressure and pulls of a good life can be taxing. It doesn’t take so-called “problems” to create stress. Even good things — a family you love, the opportunities you’ve hoped for, a career you’re passionate about, people you normally enjoy mentoring or helping — can feel exhausting at times.
My life is way out of balance, I confess, and it has been for way too long. (Probably since early childhood, if I put on my clinical hat and review all the responsibilities I had at too young an age.) I feel constantly stretched too taut with margins that are tissue-paper thin. After decades of juggling too much, I haven’t accepted that all the self-care in the world isn’t a match for chronic over-working.
I just don’t have a good solution, but that’s a blog for another day. As one of my favorite little guys said when offered a variety of healthy snacks, “I don’t like any of those good options, GrandMarnie.”
I’m aware my bandwidth is shrinking from the overload, and I’m weary beyond what sleep can replenish. During a recent morning quiet time, I closed my eyes and took several intentional breaths. I then remembered my spiritual director’s encouragement to ask Jesus for help in any situation. I asked him to be present in my emotional fatigue, to quiet my spirit and open some interior space before the day’s business and busyness. I asked for the grace to walk through the day and next couple of weeks until David and I escape for a quiet vacation in April. I felt myself relax a bit.
Suddenly, the loud noise of a TV blared into my sanctuary. Jesus likely was doing his thing, because for once, I found that comical. Jesus whispered, “I’m here even in the noise, dear child. And in the bustle that burdens you. Time and space? You have what you need.”
Ah. Oh. Really?
I realize that I operate from a position of scarcity and always have. I perceive things as not enough – not enough time, energy, resources, patience, or wisdom. I feel my heart isn’t big enough to hold all the pain I hear daily, and my shoulders aren’t wide enough to carry the responsibilities of trying to meet it.
I see that I need a change of perspective. The whole picture is, indeed, too much, but this moment is filled with holy enough to meet whatever need or task is at hand.
I suspect I would feel better if I stopped fighting the pressures of life and stopped believing the lie that if I just do X (figure out how to work less) I’ll get Y (a calmer spirit). Maybe being still in the moment is the best respite for a worn-out spirit.
I notice that brilliant sunshine streams through the large picture window and outside redbirds flit among the trees. Hmm, the serene scene feels enough reprieve for now. I think I’ll turn on some smooth jazz, have another cup of coffee (and a cookie!) and sit a minute.
Marnie C. Ferree