By Glyndora Condon MS MFT NCC LPC
We are prescribed Rest, Easy, and Lite; Romans 3:5-6, however today our people; as they are reinforced by this culture of being on a treadmill of constant running and business; have found it a challenge to find a happy medium between laziness and craziness.
We are running as we:
· Believe that we must have our children in every possible positive activity to the expense of the family, family time, and rest.
· We are consumed with screen time and social media, with it reinforcing our feelings of becoming an overachiever otherwise we will not measure up, or that we must have pleasure 100% of the day as we lose ourselves in the gaming and prioritize it over our real lives and needs.
· Or we have decided that since work is a need to support ourselves and our families, then we lose our identities within work and allow it to consume us as our families long to be with us.
· Or we must be the fix-it, go-to for all family and friends with the fear of saying no, since then they may not value us or love us anymore.
· As well as: We feel that things, money, or title makes us valued more than the others.
· Sickness, our children, our pain, our relationships, our clothing, our intelligence, our finance, our possessions, our bodies, our faces, our talents, our work-all compete with others to be the MOST, BEST, or WORSE as we become complete absorbed in either.
· And we even judge our significance by how much stress and business we have upon our shoulders.
And therefore, we push and pressure ourselves and others, but the cost of this problem is most costly. Overloaded people tend:
1. To drift from their core values and the ability to discern as they cut corners in order to sandwich as many things possible within the same day, often seeding easy outs, lowering quality, lowering higher standards;
2. And tends to value self and others while comparing ourselves with others and with things;
3. Also struggles with relationships that are sacrificed;
4. Are consumed by the to-do lists with no time and no energy to interact with people;
5. Viewing life as a contest (Romans 12:15), in a competition where we will become impatient, resentful, intolerant, and irritable;
6. With extreme fear of losing being on top in any possible context;
7. As our spiritual growth is challenged, slowed, and shallower as we praise our own or other’s efforts more than we praise God. He takes the back seat as an obligation, and sometimes we resent this added burden.
We are the human race and we are social people. Our bodies and our brains are not able to work on a 24/7 time line, with constant stimuli and no rest. Both require rest in order to heal.
We therefore must be mindful to apply boundaries and to change our pace and our beliefs of being in a race. A wise person once said, to achieve life as we have always wanted will require us to ruthlessly eliminate HURRY. As we eliminate hurry, then we find life more fulfilling and our lives are less stressed.
As an Entrepreneur, then there were plenty of times that life seemed most overwhelming for me. I would look at the big picture and gasp with despair, wondering how on earth will I be able to get it all done as all sides were closing in upon me. I was afraid to say no to most every request for help, and yet I was completely obligated to support myself and my children; while running my businesses. I was expected to be in worship 3x weekly, to be the perfect mother, landlord, child, employer, neighbor, wife, teacher, Christian, parent, employee, and more-in my thoughts and in my heart. I could not make a mistake or I was worthless.
I learned however; that breaking the task down in small steps and then pacing myself as I allowed margin (space and time) for the unexpected, and also, for rest, to eat, to play, to pray, to travel, or to just take a moment, then the tasks were completed without utter exhaustion; and when completed, then I was able to have some energy to love my family to the fullest. Some things simply had to be let go as I learned how to prioritize NEEDS over wants. Then each need was prioritized with the most important down to the least. Applying margin allowed me to expand space between the load (demands or needs) and my limitations. What was I able to carry without excessive emotional or physical pain? Rest allowed for me to recharge my brain and my body. When without rest, my brain and body broke down and was more susceptible to emotional and physical trauma.
Next, I had to eliminate clutter. Clutter from being unorganized, or from procrastination as things piled up; as well as; from all of the wants, the yes’, the things, the less important issues, items, or people within my circle; was a huge factor in my level of stress. These had to go.
Oddly enough, as clutter and margin were implemented then I actually had more time to meet my needs, other’s needs, yet with rest and joy. Being a better steward of time and money aided me to be able to be patient and to listen to what God wanted me to do; Psalms 37:7-9. With margin and rest, I discovered that my low self esteem and negative feelings ebbed away and were replaced with true joy in what God provided for me (family, life, income, health, and peace). WE must have rest to heal from each day’s trials, toils, activities, screens, and other like distractions that actually steal from me what means most to me. We can teach you how.