It’s Noisy In Here

The past few days I’ve realized that my mind is noisy. Without a daily venting space like Facebook, I find I am left to the echoing of caverns in my mind – and that’s not necessarily a good thing. 

I want to be able to share my message of love with those who most need to hear it – my friends who are disenfranchised because of their heritage and religious affiliation, and my friends who struggle to see their fellow humans as humans. It makes me very sad. What makes it worse is that even when I share my thoughts and feelings, there are still those who don’t “get it”. 

My mind turns in circles trying to rephrase things or use a different analogy, hoping to somehow create an “aha!” moment that finally breaks through the mental and emotional barrier that this hatred has created. And these thoughts take up a lot of emotional energy in my brain…emotional energy that could be used for helping me focus on a more important task such as cleaning the dishes or finishing my work notes, or planning the structure of my day.

My poor brain is exhausted from thinking and feeling. It’s why I had to step away from Facebook for a while. I have more important things to accomplish in my day than sitting and reading through articles and status posts, processing the emotions, then attempting to respond in an appropriate way. It often involves me spending multiple hours invested in this process.

So, I completed my first Facebook-free week rather successfully. I did sign on for some time on the weekend, responding to relevant interactions and checking out the latest social reports. But, for the most part, I realized that the notifications were just another distraction and the posts I missed sharing could just as easily be shared here on my blog. And here I preserve my sanity by not having any back and forth interactions with people who feel the need to prove their point. I am just as bad as the next person at letting myself get worked up about something in wanting to prove a point. (It’s something I am actively working on and why I step away). 

I do hope, though, that some day we can all recognize that we are being fed a line. A good portion of the North American nation is being duped by the manipulator in the hot seat.  The fear mongering is feeding a hatred that has welled up from the underbelly of society. The only way to stop this is to practice radical love and acceptance. To my fellow Christians especially, I speak a word of caution. Jesus came and lived a life of quiet love. His radical acceptance of those who were different is what set Him apart and drew people toward him. This is not the practice of a good portion of today’s so-called Christians. Let’s change that.

Peace be with you. 

Sometimes “Rest is Best”

Writing from experience, I am convinced that not enough of us acknowledge that sometimes rest is best. Having put myself through college, worked several different jobs, and participated in countless activities or commitments since my brain injury, I have known what it is to strive….to give 150-200% and push every physical, emotional, and psychological boundary to accomplish a certain task or just to make it through the day.

Yes, sometimes we just need a swift kick in the butt or a gentle nudge to get us motivated, to take that first step, or to keep us going in the right direction. But sometimes “rest is best”. And to each of us that balance will look different. Only you will know when you’ve pushed yourself – or been pushed – too far.

Even the rest itself will look different for each individual. For one person it might mean at least one nap per day – maybe more. To the next person, however, rest might mean simply existing in the quiet but actively engaging the mind by reading a book or writing in a journal. Or it might change from day to day! It might even mean removing one activity or another from ones’ life for a brief period of time – a hiatus from the gym, from participating in a club, or from some other routine in life – or possibly removing it altogether.

Whatever “rest” looks like for you, know that no matter what anyone else tells you – only you know your own body – and IT is the gauge to know what to do for rest and for how long. Don’t let anyone bully you into thinking otherwise (Obligation is a silent killer.) Think of “the body” as referring to both the physical entity and your mind. Either way, I’m here to tell you that “it’s okay to rest!”

This might be difficult for some to wrap your heads around. Our society is so goal-oriented and action-driven. Rarely do we consider the “refueling” stage of the process as significant or valuable. Today’s blog is a reminder…whether or not you have a “challenge” of some kind, your body and mind NEED renewal. So allow for that. Honour your body and learn to give it what it’s asking for.

And this applies to other areas as well. Learn to distinguish hunger from thirst, whether your muscles need movement and stretching or passive rest and relaxation, or even the difference between positive and negative energy to affect your mood and mindset. Use journaling as a way to observe and document to assist your awareness. Spend some time every day in reflection. These tools of increasing awareness will be your best bet to combat stress and to equip you for more focussed, effective activity in life.

So I guess the admonishment is twofold. Learn to know what your body needs and don’t be ashamed to honour that. Sometimes rest is best.

…this is my life…