My body decided it had had enough today.
I felt it coming on throughout the evening last night. The ache slowly seeping into my limbs. The swelling beginning in my throat. The last bits of energy oozing out of me.
And today I have been barely able to move. I mostly laid on the sofa, alternately attempting to work and taking short naps. And confession: I let my children watch at least a week’s worth of television in one day (um, thanks, PBSKids).
I felt so guilty.
Never mind that I have been going like a whirlwind non-stop since at least June. Never mind that we just went through some pretty significant life transitions coupled with one of the most spiritually intense seasons I’ve ever experienced. Never mind that I chase a 4 year old and a 2 year old from sun up to sun down every day. Never mind that my husband’s job has him working insane hours that leave me feeling like a single mom at least 90% of the time.
How dare my body give out on me! How dare it decide to rest. And the question nailed me all over again: why do I feel guilty when I need rest? Why does it seem wrong to take care of myself? What lie have I believed that causes me to only pay attention to the needs of my body and heart once they’ve been pushed to the brink?
I mean, even in writing this post, my initial primary motivation was to at least be able to say I’d accomplished something useful today. As if rest isn’t useful.
But I also felt compelled to push forward with these thoughts because I know I am not the only person who struggles with this. And no matter the significant strides I have made in this area, it continues to be a struggle. I have to fight tooth and nail for Sabbath, for rest.
But I do fight and will continue to do so. And I would urge you to do the same. Because it’s necessary and life-giving. And if it became a habit, a pattern, we could most likely avoid being knocked out of the picture for big chunks of time. Besides, your heart is most beautiful, most inspiring, most strength-giving when it is at rest. And your physical body certainly functions better.
So while it may be hard for you and I to believe sometimes, let’s keep telling ourselves until we’re convinced: we are worth it. We are worth the time and effort it takes to refresh our hearts and bodies.
And now I shall go back to laying on the sofa doing nothing.